Author Topic: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?  (Read 1347 times)

RickCerone

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Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« on: December 04, 2018, 08:16:06 PM »
I am 40
Married
1 kid (11 months)
Wife does not work
House paid for
500k cash savings
300k retirement accounts
Salary 140k.   It is a difficult job.   Stress level is typically 7 out of 10.  A less stressful equivalent job at a different organization could be found but the pay would be less, probably around 120k.    Sometimes we lose clients and it can be quite scary as there is little communication by management as to what this signifies in terms of health.  Currently I have an opportunity to join state government for 110k.   I would like to do this because it would allow me to spend more quality time with kiddo and the job would be less stressful.   The downside is losing 30k per year.   I used to think I would FIRE at some point so the extra income was important to me, but now with a kid on the scene I suspect I will want to work on for awhile.
 Would you make the jump?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 08:23:45 PM by RickCerone »

twe

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 08:19:53 PM »
Yes

Goldy

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 09:49:08 PM »
Yes

Cwadda

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 11:35:53 PM »
Definitely, go for it!

tyler2016

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 02:35:25 AM »
Annual salary can be deceptive.

Have you compared the total compensation and real hourly rates? The difference might be smaller than you know think once you factor in vacation time, hours, health care, etc. Also state jobs tend to have 457 plans. With a 457, you get the tax advantage of a 401k but no 10% penalty of you no longer work for the provider.

Why so much cash? No investments outside a 401k?

Roger D

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 04:08:34 AM »
Before making the jump, consider whether you will thrive in the presence of mindless and all-pervasive government bureaucracy.

brute

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 05:36:56 AM »
Not sure what state you're in, but state gov't can really drag some people down. Exact work hours, no freedom to make your own decisions, bizarre ideas of what is and isn't normal. Very strange retirement savings options. Check every last bit out, and ask yourself if you can be a drone. If the answer is yes, go for it. If it's no... well, go for it anyway. You can always go back into private.

Brother Esau

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 06:49:54 AM »
I recently left a private industry job for a municipal job with about a 10% reduction in salary. The benefits more than made up for the loss of pay. Better/cheaper health care, pension, 457, more time off, boat loads of sick time, etc. Be sure to factor in the benefits and not just compare salary.


Before making the jump, consider whether you will thrive in the presence of mindless and all-pervasive government bureaucracy.

^^^ Unfortunately this is true but I was prepared for it and have adapted well.

BicycleB

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 08:06:53 AM »
Probably, but would use more info to decide. Depends in part on family spending rate, therefore years to FI. Are you working longer because you need money to pay for kid stuff, or because something about parenting makes you want to spend part of the day at work?

Also depends on pension plan of the state. I'd research questions such as:
1. How many years to qualify for pension?
2. At what age would pension begin payments?
3. Is the pension inflation adjusted, or are payments fixed?
4. How are pension payments calculated (in other words, how can I reasonably estimate the payment amount)?
5. What is the fiscal health of the state pension?
6. Is there an option to "buy time"? If so, what are the requirements and what does it cost?
7. What % of gross pay is diverted into contributions to the pension?
8. If you leave the pension system, how is the amount of your lump sum payout calculated? (In other words, if you don't get the pension, how much money do you get back)?

Former state employee here. The culture questions others have raised by others are relevant too. Have you worked in govt before? If not, I would research culture issues through as many online and in person avenues as possible. This could double as interview prep.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 08:10:33 AM by BicycleB »

the_fixer

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 08:46:08 AM »
Wife just took a job working for the government for an 18k pay cut this year and is loving it so far.

Went from working as a consulting engineer to working in a national lab doing nerdy stuff and in her words it is like going to science camp every day and hanging out with her people.

Having worked in similar arrangements in the past I did warn her that things move slowly and that there is a form that needs to be filled out for everything and it has been a bit of adjustment to the pace for her but she is starting to assimilate.

We are in similar financial situation to you only a few years older and figured that we have worked hard and saved just for this situation so it was a no brainier to go from working crazy hours with high stress to what she has now.

FYI, you might be able to qualify for some type of commuting benefits such as the Eco pass, bike commuting or car pool. My wife took the Eco pass option where she gets a free light rail / bus pass.

Benefits are better at my job but we signed her up  for the government benefits anyway since if you retire and have been on the for 5 years you can keep them for life.

So lots of stuff to consider not just the difference in wages.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


Michael in ABQ

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 03:14:21 PM »
As long as you aren't counting on the state pension. I'm not sure what line of work you're in or what state but pretty much every state pension plan is underfunded. The odds of that pension paying out 100% of what you're currently promised in 20-30 years, to say nothing of 40-50 years down the road is unlikely.

I was offered a state job a few years ago but it would have been about a $15k pay cut (from a much lower base) and really wasn't worth it. Plus they took a big chunk out for a pension plan that I didn't expect to ever see a dime of.


Just out of curiosity, what state are you in? Here in New Mexico there are cabinet secretaries that barely $110k. For the most part state/local jobs don't pay very much.

Brother Esau

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 04:48:10 PM »
As long as you aren't counting on the state pension. I'm not sure what line of work you're in or what state but pretty much every state pension plan is underfunded. The odds of that pension paying out 100% of what you're currently promised in 20-30 years, to say nothing of 40-50 years down the road is unlikely.

Good point. I'm in CT which is considered the worst state pension fund in the country by many. I'm late in the game, the 20 - 30 year window, so I'll take my chances

south of 61

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 03:03:28 PM »
I jumped to the government in 2010. I will never earn what I was earning in the private sector (which is weird as most people don't earn more in their 20s than they do in their 30s or 40s or 50s)

My experience has been nothing but positive - I can count on one hand the number of times I've done overtime (whereas privately I was working 60 -80 hour weeks) and the stress level is about 1/3 of what it was.

I'm not going to FIRE in a hurry, but I love having time with my family and keeping my health and sanity.

TLDR: I did it and love it!


brute

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2018, 11:24:21 AM »
Wife just took a job working for the government for an 18k pay cut this year and is loving it so far.

Went from working as a consulting engineer to working in a national lab doing nerdy stuff and in her words it is like going to science camp every day and hanging out with her people.

Having worked in similar arrangements in the past I did warn her that things move slowly and that there is a form that needs to be filled out for everything and it has been a bit of adjustment to the pace for her but she is starting to assimilate.

We are in similar financial situation to you only a few years older and figured that we have worked hard and saved just for this situation so it was a no brainier to go from working crazy hours with high stress to what she has now.

FYI, you might be able to qualify for some type of commuting benefits such as the Eco pass, bike commuting or car pool. My wife took the Eco pass option where she gets a free light rail / bus pass.

Benefits are better at my job but we signed her up  for the government benefits anyway since if you retire and have been on the for 5 years you can keep them for life.

So lots of stuff to consider not just the difference in wages.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Dude, I loved working for Sandia National Labs. The labs are so freaking cool. I don't regret leaving to head back to the private sector, ABQ wasn't really my cup of tea, but sometimes I wish I'd headed up to CO or maybe over to PNNL.

the_fixer

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2018, 02:17:39 PM »
I worked on a project at PNNL for about 3 years and most recently at NREL for a couple of years both were pretty interesting.

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Michael in ABQ

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Re: Trade 140k Private Industry for 110k State Government job?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2018, 08:15:49 PM »
Wife just took a job working for the government for an 18k pay cut this year and is loving it so far.

Went from working as a consulting engineer to working in a national lab doing nerdy stuff and in her words it is like going to science camp every day and hanging out with her people.

Having worked in similar arrangements in the past I did warn her that things move slowly and that there is a form that needs to be filled out for everything and it has been a bit of adjustment to the pace for her but she is starting to assimilate.

We are in similar financial situation to you only a few years older and figured that we have worked hard and saved just for this situation so it was a no brainier to go from working crazy hours with high stress to what she has now.

FYI, you might be able to qualify for some type of commuting benefits such as the Eco pass, bike commuting or car pool. My wife took the Eco pass option where she gets a free light rail / bus pass.

Benefits are better at my job but we signed her up  for the government benefits anyway since if you retire and have been on the for 5 years you can keep them for life.

So lots of stuff to consider not just the difference in wages.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Dude, I loved working for Sandia National Labs. The labs are so freaking cool. I don't regret leaving to head back to the private sector, ABQ wasn't really my cup of tea, but sometimes I wish I'd headed up to CO or maybe over to PNNL.

Sandians are an interesting breed for sure (I work on base but not for Sandia).