Author Topic: So I got into Duke....Crap  (Read 6108 times)

BCpuppy

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So I got into Duke....Crap
« on: August 22, 2016, 11:58:48 AM »
My plan for years was to go to back to school once my husband was done with dental school and became a Family NP.  I applied for Duke last year since my options in our rural, HCOL area are very limited for quality schooling.  Then I discover MMM several months later... 

Found out several days ago I got in!! Yay!!! Except the all in cost of school including travel and a specialty in cardiology is $90,000... My mind post the MMM discovery can't handle this number.  I want to make sure that I'm making a solid decision that isn't based my initial freak out regarding this crazy high amount of money for school.

Our financial picture:
My husband: new dentist $113,000/yr with a 3 year loan repayment contract.  Will pay back $90,000 of his loans tax free.

Me: ICU/ED RN $57,000/yr  I currently drive 150 miles each shift to the hospital where I work both nights and weekends.

Goal: Starting Salary for NPs in this area: $80,000-$90,000, no nights, no weekends, no crazy drive

Current loans:
$130,000 in student loans for dental degree ($90,000 will be paid in the next couple of months, loans left will be at %2.25)
$9,000 truck loan at 1.9%
$244,000 mortgage at 3.875%

Current assets:
$22,000 cash
$6500 investments including 401k
$269500 condo (rural area next to ski resorts...)
2006 Subaru paid off
2006 Toyota Tacoma worth around $16000

My initial thought is NOOOO!!!!  However, the more I think about it, I can drop to part time for both the NP program and work.  I would earn about $38,000/ yr with part time work, and still max out my 401k and put 12,000/yr towards paying for school for a total of 3 years. I could possibly qualify for the same program my husband did and earn $50,000 in loan repayment for working in this area.

I have talked with several people who have graduate from this program, and they absolutely loved it.  My family actually lives very close to the school in NC so the hybrid portions of the program will not be too much to handle money wise. 

Thoughts? Face punches?



tarheeldan

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 12:09:47 PM »
I'd just compare the numbers full time and part time versus not doing it. The marginal increase to your salary after you graduate is is $28k/yr, with an opportunity cost of either $57k or, if you did part-time, then $19k/yr for three years, then add the cost of interest and principal on the $90k loan. How long do you plan to keep working? Is the program 1 or 2 years full time?

Nick_Miller

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 12:17:56 PM »
My first thought is that a complete case study with monthly budget, etc., would be helpful to see your spending habits, etc. (any way to cash flow more of school?)

How old are you guys? How long do you plan to work? If you went this route, would you be 100% dedicated to working FT enough years to make this work mathematically?

As tarheeldan (I hope your advice was not colored by any dislike/hatred of Duke! haha) said, the ROI really depends on how long you plan to grind it out as a PT.


Dancing Fool

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 12:24:38 PM »
150 miles one way? Even if it's 150 round-trip, the prospect of eliminating that crazy commute alone would be worth it to me (not the most Mustachian approach). Assuming you plan on working at least part-time as a NP once you graduate, I'd say go for it! $28k average salary increase plus reducing your driving by ~25,000 miles / year (150 mile round trip, 3x per week - totally made up number, 50 working weeks / year - again ballparking) which nets to ~$12k in driving costs saved (using IRS mileage). I think your option set might now be down to whether to do full or part-time on the program, not whether to do it at all. The real gain looks like it's at least $40k, assuming you'll land an NP job in the area and that I didn't mess up the math on the driving costs.

Assuming you and your husband can manage it, I think the full-time option might win, since you're talking giving up ~$57k of nursing income either way but you'll have more time at the higher salary by taking the 1-year off to just work on the program (I'm assuming the program is 1-year, might be wrong). And I suspect your stress level will be lower than if you tried to juggling 2/3 of full time work plus 1/3 of full-time school.

Drifterrider

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 01:10:39 PM »

Found out several days ago I got in!! Yay!!! Except the all in cost of school including travel and a specialty in cardiology is $90,000... My mind post the MMM discovery can't handle this number.  I want to make sure that I'm making a solid decision that isn't based my initial freak out regarding this crazy high amount of money for school.

Thoughts? Face punches?

You could get the same degree from ECU.  You will make lots more money with a degree from Duke.  Every year.


BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 01:25:41 PM »
Hahaha I actually went to UNC-Chapel Hill for nursing school so it was pretty painful to hit that apply button!

My RN jobs since moving here 10 months ago have been pretty painful.  CO board of nursing took 4 months to approve my nursing license and then the first job I took at the tiny nearby hospital (15 miles) was awful.  I was called off around 75% of my shifts due to no patients.  The next closest hospital: 75 miles away.... At least I am guaranteed the hours there.  So far the $ has worked out better to drive than stay in hotels. I tried for about 6 months to get a work from home or non nursing job (salary of >$40,000) nearby with no luck. 

The NP program is 24 months Full time (recommended to work very little) or 36 months Part time (recommended PT work)

Current Monthly Income after tax:
DH: $5800
Me: $1200 Job A
      $800 Job B to make FT hours
DH 401k: 520/month with 3% match
Me 401k: 1200/month with match that starts in 8 months
DH HSA: 200/month

Total Monthly Income: 7800/month + 1720/month to 401Ks  + 200 HSA

Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage + HOA= 1520
Student Loan= 1700 (will hopefully drop to 600 after the loan repayment)
Water/Trash= 80
Electric/Gas= 60-80
Life Insurance= 50  (my husband's loans are partially private)
Malpractice= 150
Internet=75
Cell phones= 60 (unlimited family share plan with my dad's MASSIVE sprint discount)
Car Loan= 250
Car Stuff=100
Gas= 250-300
Groceries= 600-700 (Having a lot of trouble getting this down with eggs at $4/dz at the cheapest)
Restaurants= 200
Alcohol=40
Health= 200
Pet=150
Xmas savings=100
Outdoor trips= 250
DH spending= Goal 250; Reality= 1000 (this has been a constant issue, he feels like he deserves it now that he is earning $)
Me spending=100
House Stuff (cleaning/toilet paper)= 100
House account for future repairs: 250
Emergency Savings: 250

Total 6955 (not including the additional 750/month my husband spends)

Extra ~ $800

Since I have discover MMM about 6 months ago, I have paid off the rest of my student loans, my car loan, opened both 401ks, HSA, and roth IRA.  However, my husband still feels like he can spend crazy amounts of $ on welding and climbing gear.  I can't get him to look at the mint account, and I feel like I am nagging when I keep telling we can't afford it.  We lived completely off my salary for the 4 years of dental school, paid for our wedding and 3 month grad trip in cash, and tried to take out the absolute minimum for loans.  (one of his fellow classmates was $400,000 in SL debt at graduation!!)

We are both 27 and originally had goals to both work PT after the loans were done.  However, I have had several come-to-jesus talks with my husband about our spending and that we will never get there if we keep dropping so much money on welding stuff. 










BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 01:26:55 PM »

Found out several days ago I got in!! Yay!!! Except the all in cost of school including travel and a specialty in cardiology is $90,000... My mind post the MMM discovery can't handle this number.  I want to make sure that I'm making a solid decision that isn't based my initial freak out regarding this crazy high amount of money for school.

Thoughts? Face punches?

You could get the same degree from ECU.  You will make lots more money with a degree from Duke.  Every year.

I wish i could go to ECU.  I'm out of state in CO now.  ECU in-state is sooooo cheap!!!

CU Tiger

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 01:50:41 PM »
Wait, are you moving back to NC to attend? Will both of you go to NC?

JLee

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2016, 01:54:37 PM »
Regarding 'welding stuff' - what sort of stuff is he spending money on?  Welding isn't expensive once you have a welder...any way he could turn it into a profitable side gig?

BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2016, 01:56:38 PM »
Wait, are you moving back to NC to attend? Will both of you go to NC?

Its actually a hybrid program.  Ill fly out to NC every semester for about 2 weeks (paid with credit card churning!), and Duke will find my clinicals here in CO.  We absolutely love the area we moved to here in the Rockies, and my goal is to work for the same community health center that my husband is currently employed with.

BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 02:01:27 PM »
Regarding 'welding stuff' - what sort of stuff is he spending money on?  Welding isn't expensive once you have a welder...any way he could turn it into a profitable side gig?

That is the hope, but he has just bought a tig welder, fancy metal saw, plasma cutter, air compressor, and is looking at getting a mig welder too.  My request was that maybe he should practice for a while and make furniture and stuff for the house before he buys any more expensive tools.  I don't think it will be profitable for at least a year. 

Its more that the spending high amounts of money each month on it has become the usual expense rather than an occasional unusual purchase.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 02:04:31 PM by BCpuppy »

Nick_Miller

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 02:18:57 PM »
Even when the majority of the loans are paid soonish, you still have about $50k in non-mortgage debt. His spending strikes me as irresponsible. That $1000 per month would go a long ways for paying for your PT program and avoiding/reducing any further debt.

Axecleaver

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2016, 02:21:38 PM »
First, talk to the school to see what they can do for you in terms of scholarships. All private schools negotiate tuition to some degree. $30k is their retail price, see what you can negotiate it down to.

Then talk with your husband about funding half of your school as you go, instead of using loans to pay for all of it. This way, you avoid the super-high origination fees (some student loans are up to 6% origination fees!) and your husband gets a good reason to control his spending - he's supporting you by keeping expenses low. It will be his turn to pay you back for supporting him during dental school.

Keep your loans no higher than what a loan forgiveness program will cover. 50k for three years (that's pretty generous) leaves 40k to cashflow, plus 19k x 3 = 57k in lost wages. Payback period for 97k is just over three years with a difference in earning power of ~30k per year. Without the loan forgiveness, your payback period is 90k + 57k = 157k, or a little over five years.

Risks:
* You may not be able to get a job where you want
* Loan repayment program may not come through
* You may not enjoy the new career
* The next three years will be taxing, can you finish while working part time and commuting 150 miles?
* Others you think of.

If the risks and payback period seem worth it to you, go for it!

Happy in CA

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2016, 10:04:53 PM »
Think long term.  Then go get the advanced degree at Duke.  You will make more for the rest of your career and like your job better.  FWIW after your husband has worked as a DDS for a few years the welding gear won't seem so expensive either.

arebelspy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2016, 04:25:58 AM »
Think long term.  Then go get the advanced degree at Duke.  You will make more for the rest of your career and like your job better.

If she wants a long career.  With their income (170k and probably increasing since he's new to the field, raises are coming), they could FIRE in 5-7 years.  Or she may want to become a SAH parent or something.

I'd personally choose which will make you happier--spending the time/money to do this, and do it as a career for awhile, or stay the course and (likely) FIRE sooner.  Run the numbers though on FIRE--when will you FIRE under the current scenario, and when will you FIRE under the spending 90k for the degree (and the opportunity cost of money you could earn in the meantime) but working in a higher paying field after.  I'd bet not getting the degree gets you there quicker, but perhaps not, if you guys are high spenders.

And then forget the money for a minute.  Think about what you want.  Which would you prefer?
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goatmom

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2016, 05:15:29 AM »
I don't think you will make more money with a degree from Duke as an NP.  Any decent non-online degree program will probably end up with similar earning potential.

BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2016, 02:33:23 PM »
I don't think you will make more money with a degree from Duke as an NP.  Any decent non-online degree program will probably end up with similar earning potential.

Completely agree, its more that the closest decent school is 5 hrs in Salt Lake, and my husband is unable (due to contract) and unwilling to move.  The only quality hybrids programs I have been looking at are all $$$: Duke, Georgetown, and Vanderbilt. 

BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2016, 02:33:58 PM »
Thank you all for your advice!! You have given me a ton to think about.

Dicey

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2016, 02:48:16 PM »
My college BF was an Air Force veteran, working full time managing the Paint Department at Sears. Decided to get his shit together and get on a better paying career track. Became an EMT, then applied to Duke, well, because he was from there. Became a Cardiology PA and never looked back. I am so proud of him and the life he deliberately created.

My vote is yes, particularly as you seem to be DINKs. Look for every way to minimize costs. Apply for every grant and scholarship possible to reduce the cost of your education. Churn credit cards to get free/cheap flights and lodging. Make it happen as fast as you can. PAs can work longer than RNs, because they are not required to do the literal heavy lifting that RNs do. Also they call the shots more than RNs, which makes the day-to-day grind less taxing. One more vote in favor, with caveats as noted.

Please keep us posted!

Edited to add: Crap, I can't read. I totally misprocessed "NP" as "PA", perhaps because of my friend's experience and the Duke association. I'll just stand over here quietly now and wait to see what you decide.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 12:31:03 AM by Diane C »

Lunasol

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2016, 02:54:28 PM »
Everyone forgot to say congratulations!!! getting admitted is already an accomplishment, whatever you decide I hope is for the best :)

BCpuppy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2016, 04:28:14 PM »
UPDATE

I decided to complete the program part time because.....

I finally got a job close by!! New part time job is only 10 miles away with slightly more income and no nights/weekends! WOOOOOOOHOOOO!!
The ROI was slightly in favor of going to school part time and working part time, but I think the mental aspect of having no student loans is what makes this the decision the real winner.

And we sold the truck for $17000 and got almost the same deal as MMM to buy a new Nissan Leaf.  Our total cost was 13600$ including sales tax.  We saved around $3500 switching vehicles and estimate at least $100 of gas savings each month.

Thank you all for your help! You guys gave me a ton to think about:D

arebelspy

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2016, 06:05:16 PM »
Congrats on the job!  :)
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waltworks

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2016, 09:22:46 PM »
You guys in Steamboat?

Does your husband have a specific plan to utilize his welding/metalworking tools for something? Or is he just hoarding tools? If he has specific skills (ie TIG/precision stuff, unusual materials, artistic projects) or is set up for railing jobs (requires lots of space) and is fast, there is money to be made there. But probably not more money than his existing gig. Every once in a while Moots is hiring, and they pay pretty well and would teach him a lot of useful skills (assuming you are in Steamboat, that is).

-W

Dicey

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Re: So I got into Duke....Crap
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2016, 09:43:31 PM »
Woo-hoo! Hooray for decisions made!!