Author Topic: professor job--best way to invest  (Read 4193 times)

chinachemmy

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professor job--best way to invest
« on: June 11, 2013, 01:33:12 PM »
I'm nearly 30, am going to be finishing my PhD soon, and am hoping to get a professorship. This is my dream job that I would probably do for free if I could afford it (so at least currently I have no desire to retire early).  The school I am hoping to work for offers free tuition for dependents.  My son is 1 year old and we plan to have several more.  Therefore, I will probably be at least 60 if not 65 by the time my kids are out of college.  Because I love teaching and because I want to give my kids the option of free tuition (I will probably have them work to pay their own room and board), I will probably not retire until I'm 65.  Should I put all of my investment money into my 403b, going above my employer match amount, or should I only put in up to the employer match amount and invest the rest somewhere that can be accessed before I turn 65?  I realize there is a cap to how much I can put into the 403b per year, but might not be able to reach that amount, at least at first.  On a related note, should I get a 15 year mortgage and pay the house down quickly or should I get a 30 year mortgage and put more money into investments?  I hate the feeling of debt, even just a mortgage.

NumberCruncher

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Re: professor job--best way to invest
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 01:52:08 PM »
It's hard to give specific advice without knowing more about your situation (any debt now? Income/Expenses?), but probably invest in 403b to the match, use leftovers towards the mortgage/emergency fund, and then figure out what's important to you for the rest (charity, maybe? Travelling?)

It's all about optimizing happiness :)  Figure out your goals first.


anastrophe

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Re: professor job--best way to invest
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 02:06:38 PM »
That's a lot of what-ifs. Are you sure you will get the position? Are you sure they offer a match (many don't)? Are you sure you will be able to convince your kids to go to that school, or that the tuition waiver will still be available in 20 years?

Rural

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Re: professor job--best way to invest
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 02:07:32 PM »
What field are you in? Have you landed an interview at your dream school?

Those questions are related; in the vast majority of fields, you should be putting energy into getting interviews. If you are flexible enough about location, you may well land something. If you're married to the idea of one area or even one school, most people will tell you that you'll never get a tenure-track position, because most people have to be willing to move cross-country or internationally.

I'm actually the exception; I moved to where I wanted to be and then landed a tenure-track position at my top choice school. But I've never met or heard of anyone else to whom this has happened, and I had to wait several years for a position to open up. I was willing never to have such a job, and able to manage without it. If you're not, think carefully about tying yourself to an area.

Now, if you get the job, look to see if there's a 457 plan (assuming it's a public school). Those have more withdrawal flexibility while still being pretax. And do be sure you invest in the 403b if there's a match.

I don't want to be a downer, and like I said, though it's rumored to be impossible, I'm living proof that is isn't, quite. Best of luck to you, and congratulations on the forthcoming degree! When do you defend?

chinachemmy

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Re: professor job--best way to invest
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 02:14:01 PM »
I am getting my PhD in biochemistry and will be having an interview in July for a January start date (unusual, but it actually works out for both me and the school since I defend in October and they are probably starting a new Master's program in January).  I talked to the department  head on the phone and from what he said and how he said it I think I have a very good chance of getting the job.  It helps that it is a small private college, so they don't require a post-doc.

chinachemmy

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Re: professor job--best way to invest
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 02:21:21 PM »
That's a lot of what-ifs. Are you sure you will get the position? Are you sure they offer a match (many don't)? Are you sure you will be able to convince your kids to go to that school, or that the tuition waiver will still be available in 20 years?

Yes, they offer a 100% match up to 5% of income.  I'm not necessarily going to try to convince my kids to go there, but I'd like to give them the option of going there for free or them paying most of their own way through somewhere else.  I don't know for sure that the tuition waver will still be available; I plan to ask during my interview.

Mustache Fatty

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Re: professor job--best way to invest
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 07:07:04 PM »
As a professor who started when I was your age and am now 15 years out, I agree with everything stated above.  Excellent advice, IMO

 

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