Author Topic: Graduate degree?  (Read 2307 times)

Murse

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 556
Graduate degree?
« on: August 25, 2016, 11:58:21 AM »
Here is my biggest issue- I have no idea what my living expenses would look like if I were to FIRE. I am a 24 year old nurse with 1 year experience making roughly 80k gross. I am currently getting my bachelors degree which opens up the question- do I want to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner? Looking at the math it looks like it really depends a lot on how I calculate my opportunity costs. I can get my current compensation up to about 90-95k gross in my current role. As a nurse practitioner I know the max pay goes to 120k minimum (I was speaking with a psychiatric NP the other day and he said I would get a substantial pay raise if I became a NP, "think 50% because of on call time".) At my current living expenses I could fire at 300k-350k, however I splint rent 3 ways in a 700 sq foot apt, have no kids and these expenses do not include a wife. I do think I would enjoy the new role better however I think I would ultimately enjoy FIRE the most. Another problem I am having is I am already fearful that I will not like FIRE and end up working at least part time while FI.

The numbers- I am currently worth 45k after 1 year as a Nurse, starting at -5k (with artificially low expenses for 8 of the last 12 months) If I were to continue plugging along my assumption is in 2 years I would be around 150k, this is when I would apply for NP school and the tracks would change. The only program in my state comes with a 60k price tag for the 2 year program. There are online options which cost about 40kish but I worry about the quality of online education when it comes to psychiatric assessments. I assume in both scenarios that my living expenses will be covered by my then spouse (I will likely get married next calendar year.) this means I would complete the program at 28 years old with around a 90-100k net worth. Then shovel my entire net pay into accounts until FI. By my math assuming a net pay difference of about 30k and factoring in opportunity cost the break even point is between 7 and 8 years putting me at 36-37 with around 1m in assets either way.

Or I could just continue along as an RN doing my work and going home. Without knowing how long I will work or my target stache I can not figure out if this is a good or bad idea.

Major nontanable benefits of going Psych NP- much more freedom to choose my work schedule, typically an 8-5 day shift with holidays off with no mandates, it is much easier on the body and the opportunity to open my own business if I decided that was what I wanted, ability to work "on call" rather than in person.

Benefits of staying RN- much clearer path forward financially with a greater ability to call it quits once I know the variables I currently do not know.

Why it matters now- a position is opening up on our mental health unit in a couple of months, if I want to be a psych NP then I would apply and hopefully get that position making me much more competitive for the program/programs.


I can't talk to other people about this because they all say "go for it" thinking that I have a 40 year career ahead of myself
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 12:28:53 PM by Murse »

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 808
Re: Graduate degree?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 07:58:53 AM »
Here is my biggest issue- I have no idea what my living expenses would look like if I were to FIRE. I am a 24 year old nurse with 1 year experience making roughly 80k gross. I am currently getting my bachelors degree which opens up the question- do I want to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner? Looking at the math it looks like it really depends a lot on how I calculate my opportunity costs. I can get my current compensation up to about 90-95k gross in my current role. As a nurse practitioner I know the max pay goes to 120k minimum (I was speaking with a psychiatric NP the other day and he said I would get a substantial pay raise if I became a NP, "think 50% because of on call time".) At my current living expenses I could fire at 300k-350k, however I splint rent 3 ways in a 700 sq foot apt, have no kids and these expenses do not include a wife. I do think I would enjoy the new role better however I think I would ultimately enjoy FIRE the most. Another problem I am having is I am already fearful that I will not like FIRE and end up working at least part time while FI.

The numbers- I am currently worth 45k after 1 year as a Nurse, starting at -5k (with artificially low expenses for 8 of the last 12 months) If I were to continue plugging along my assumption is in 2 years I would be around 150k, this is when I would apply for NP school and the tracks would change. The only program in my state comes with a 60k price tag for the 2 year program. There are online options which cost about 40kish but I worry about the quality of online education when it comes to psychiatric assessments. I assume in both scenarios that my living expenses will be covered by my then spouse (I will likely get married next calendar year.) this means I would complete the program at 28 years old with around a 90-100k net worth. Then shovel my entire net pay into accounts until FI. By my math assuming a net pay difference of about 30k and factoring in opportunity cost the break even point is between 7 and 8 years putting me at 36-37 with around 1m in assets either way.

Or I could just continue along as an RN doing my work and going home. Without knowing how long I will work or my target stache I can not figure out if this is a good or bad idea.

Major nontanable benefits of going Psych NP- much more freedom to choose my work schedule, typically an 8-5 day shift with holidays off with no mandates, it is much easier on the body and the opportunity to open my own business if I decided that was what I wanted, ability to work "on call" rather than in person.

Benefits of staying RN- much clearer path forward financially with a greater ability to call it quits once I know the variables I currently do not know.

Why it matters now- a position is opening up on our mental health unit in a couple of months, if I want to be a psych NP then I would apply and hopefully get that position making me much more competitive for the program/programs.


I can't talk to other people about this because they all say "go for it" thinking that I have a 40 year career ahead of myself

Seems like 'no' is the answer, unless you get a larger benefit such has more career/intellectual satisfcation.

If you aim to FIRE, the choice is more clear.  Since you are already making a good salary (80k), the added benefit of making an extra 10-20k per year is countered with two years of no income but added debt, and lowered additional earnings due to tax.  Not worth it.  Would slow you down.

If you do not aim to FIRE, then probably worth it as the flexible schedule and other intangibles could be more substantial.

If you aim to FIRE but continue working part time, probably not worth it unless you think those intangibles will give a significant benefit in the part-time job.  I would think not, because as you become more specialized, you work more towards full-time careers (unless you can swing into consulting or something specialized like that, but success in that area usually requires a previous long successful career).

So, you need to think about what type of life you want. 

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1984
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: Graduate degree?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 08:31:39 AM »
What does your SO think?  Are they on board with FIRE/FI?

Case has a good summary.

You say you can have 1million in 7-8 years doing what you are doing now?  I sort of see that as a bird in hand, shit happens.  With no school you can do your job, keep your head down, have some fun and in 2023 cash out. 

I went to grad school, engineering, left nearly done to get a job.  I assume the rubber stamp is more important in medicine.

patchyfacialhair

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1113
  • Age: 31
Re: Graduate degree?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 08:41:13 AM »
Can you switch employers to a new one that'll pay for your education?

Forgive my naivete if this is not common in the medical world.

Yokan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Houston Tx
Re: Graduate degree?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 08:43:27 AM »
If your main priority is FI stay the course. You've only worked one year at your job and you're still very young. With the income you're making you'll reach your goal pretty quickly. Like others have said, you need to weigh out your priorities, do you really want FI? Do you think it will provide you benefits above what you think you'll get out of a nurse practitioner role? My mom has been a registered nurse  for 9 years and has been able to go to school and work 3 days out of the week, which is full time for nurses I think. Her employer also pays for some of the school. Not sure that's an option with your scenario. Without going to school she feels like her schedule is pretty flexible. It seems borderline part-time compared to alot of other careers from the outsider looking in.

 

Murse

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 556
Re: Graduate degree?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 01:13:45 PM »
What does your SO think?  Are they on board with FIRE/FI?

Case has a good summary.

You say you can have 1million in 7-8 years doing what you are doing now?  I sort of see that as a bird in hand, shit happens.  With no school you can do your job, keep your head down, have some fun and in 2023 cash out. 

I went to grad school, engineering, left nearly done to get a job.  I assume the rubber stamp is more important in medicine.

No, I meant 7-8 years after 28 years old would be the break even for NP school. The break even is about 1m at 36-37. This obviously changes a lot based on how the stock market does, future raises, if I decided to try my hand at real estate (it would have to be out of state.) If my spouse wanted to be a stay at home parent when kids are in the picture ect.

To answer other questions I work 5 8.5hr shifts doing mainly task oriented work (changes everyday.) If I switched to hospital work (which I don't enjoy) I would lose my state benefits and would work 3 12s so if I was paid the same hourly I would still take a pay cut.

I want FI but I don't necessarily know I want FIRE. Probably part time work.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 01:24:35 PM by Murse »