Author Topic: Teacher Discussion  (Read 7544 times)

westtoeast

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
  • Location: East Coast City
Teacher Discussion
« on: October 19, 2016, 04:25:15 PM »
Hi all,

Seems to me there are quite a few teachers here on MMM. I was wondering if teacher folks would be interested in a teacher specific thread to ask questions and share ideas on. This might be helpful since we all work with fairly similar salaries and teaching brings up a lot of specific financial issues.

If you are interested, reply with the state you teach in (and any other details you want to share)!

I'll start...
I teach in an urban district in Massachusetts & I'm a 3rd year teacher. 2 more years until loan forgiveness!

Also, would a journal be a better platform for this? I wasn't sure.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 05:34:23 PM by westtoeast »

JG in Hangzhou

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: Hangzhou, China
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 04:45:09 PM »
I'll bite for two.
My sister and brother in law are teachers in upstate New York. Hoping to get them on this thread.
My wife and I live and China and run a small education business.  We have hit our FI goal, but for now, feel like running the school is rewarding and provides additional income. 
Interested to hear what's happening with other teaching folks in this community.

mancityfan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 05:09:55 PM »
In Maryland. 18 years in teaching. 53 yo presently. Hoping to retire before 60!

Teachstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 05:21:01 PM »
Nebraska, 12th year teaching in a large, urban district. Spouse works for a community college. I get a defined benefit pension after 30 years. Spouse has a traditional 403b. We are maxing out two 403b plans, my allowable pension contribution, $6k in a 457 plan that spouse has. We are contributing $300/month to our 18 month old son's 529 plan.

I use my summer time and one night a week each semester to adjunct for a local university.

We are deciding whether to take the majority of our cash savings to pay off our 30 year $585 mortgage that is at 3.625% with 26 years remaining. We have no other debt.

Would love to hear from other teachers.

Lagom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 05:57:05 PM »
Former teacher here still making an equivalent salary and married to a 9 year veteran elementary teacher in the SF Bay Area. So far, despite the cost of living, we have been managing to support our family of 4 on about 65% of our combined income. My wife is still two columns and 6 steps from maxing out her salary, so we're hoping by then we can live on her paycheck and save 100% of mine, if not a bit of hers too (which should work out to a 45-55% savings rate). Both of us have pensions and access to both a 403b AND 457 plan, so I am salivating and the savings possibilities once we pay off the rest of my student loans and improve our cash flow just a little.

We may not be able to buy a Tesla, but I relish the fact that mustachianism has enabled us to be on track to FIRE before 50 (and that's after starting in our early 30's) in the highest COL area in the country. :)

Yay teachers!

moneysaver

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 09:05:02 PM »
I teach in Wyoming, this is my 10th year, and I am starting to feel like I need to change.  Probably just changing grades will do the trick.  I am wondering what the starting salary is where everyone else is.  Currently we are starting first year teachers at $47,000.

rageth

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 09:25:53 PM »
I'm in my 4th year of teaching in Wisconsin, 3rd since my school got put on the low-income school list, so 2 more years until federal loan forgiveness and Perkins loan cancellation.  I only have access to a 403b.  I'm 3 lanes and 12 steps from the top of the payscale, but I'll be moving over a lane in January.

Starting salary here seems to be between $39k and $43k.  I'm up considerably from that since finishing my masters this year.

Are any of you on TeachersPayTeachers?  I'm just starting to ramp up my focus on that side gig since I'm getting a lot of my other side gigs pretty streamlined along with my teaching.

Lagom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 09:27:08 PM »
I teach in Wyoming, this is my 10th year, and I am starting to feel like I need to change.  Probably just changing grades will do the trick.  I am wondering what the starting salary is where everyone else is.  Currently we are starting first year teachers at $47,000.

Damn, that seems like a great starting salary for WY. My wife's district starts at 51k, and this is in the middle of one of the richest parts of Silicon Valley. Pathetic, really, but it is what it is. A teacher shortage is starting to become an issue, though.

NV Teacher

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 355
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 09:46:30 PM »
I'll chime in.  I'm in a rural town in southern NV but we are a part of CCSD the 5th largest school district in the nation.  This is my 27th year teaching but 6 of those years were in California.  I topped out on the salary scale years ago at $72,000 but just last year they revamped the schedule so I'm tracking my hours to make another jump in two years and I'll be at about $85,000 once that happens.  I love teaching but I hate the mandates coming from the state politicians.  I'm glad I'm on the downhill side of teaching and not just starting out.

Lagom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 10:00:03 PM »
I'll chime in.  I'm in a rural town in southern NV but we are a part of CCSD the 5th largest school district in the nation.  This is my 27th year teaching but 6 of those years were in California.  I topped out on the salary scale years ago at $72,000 but just last year they revamped the schedule so I'm tracking my hours to make another jump in two years and I'll be at about $85,000 once that happens.  I love teaching but I hate the mandates coming from the state politicians.  I'm glad I'm on the downhill side of teaching and not just starting out.

I hear that. This is why I am a *former* teacher, personally. Got my masters in teaching history at the peak of the recession, when teachers were especially resented for their supposedly cushy situation. Combine that with the institutional/political pressure, disrespect of young teachers from the union, standardized tests, etc., and I can't say I wasn't too sad when I had trouble finding a stable full time position and transitioned into another field. I think it's going to become increasingly difficult to attract qualified young teachers if these sorts of trends continue. I honestly worry quite a lot about the future of our education system unless we can get someone who actually knows what they're doing in charge of policy.

Edit - Just wanted to mention that my wife absolutely adores her job and is great at it. Don't want to be too negative! :)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 10:32:08 PM by Lagom »

socalteacher

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 10:07:22 PM »
Two southern California elementary teachers in this family. I am 14 years in, on the last column, but 13 years away from being on the last row (101K). She is part time, two days a week. MrsSoCal stays home with the kiddos the other days so she only gets paid 40%. With the limited income we are only funding 2 Roth IRAs and committed to a 15 year mortgage on an average starter home for these parts.

Starting in our district is 47K. We pay $530 a month for health care total for our family.

Side gigs... tutoring pays $50 an hour and MrsSoCal is currently teaching one lesson as a favor. I have a couple leadership duties that pay an extra 2k.

When she goes back to work full time in 3 years there will be a windfall of cash. We will max out our IRAs, 403b, and maybe a 457 plan if it changes from the current option which is a joke. Goal is to knock off the mortgage by the time the first kid hits the 10th grade. We love what we do so we are planning to be capable of retirement at 50-55 but with expectation that we will probably go for a shared contract a little earlier and work a little longer.

MrsSoCal is a recent convert to the mustachian way of thought (after years of my trying to convince/educate her). In the past our frugality was more of a necessity for her and an way of life for me. Only recently have we been on the same page and it looks like she is legit in her new way of thinking!

Teachstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 04:37:04 AM »
I teach in Wyoming, this is my 10th year, and I am starting to feel like I need to change.  Probably just changing grades will do the trick.  I am wondering what the starting salary is where everyone else is.  Currently we are starting first year teachers at $47,000.

Damn, that seems like a great starting salary for WY. My wife's district starts at 51k, and this is in the middle of one of the richest parts of Silicon Valley. Pathetic, really, but it is what it is. A teacher shortage is starting to become an issue, though.

My district starts at $43K and tops out after 35 years at $85K. 23 more years for me before I max out.

westtoeast

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
  • Location: East Coast City
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 05:09:19 AM »
Great to hear from everyone!

It would definitely be interesting to keep hearing about starting salaries in various states. In Mass, a BA starts at 47,000 and MAT starts at 51,000. Pay scale currently tops out at 95,000.

I'd also love to hear what side hustles teachers are doing! I do 1 hour of tutoring per week, three after school clubs/committees, and summer school. All that brings in roughly 5,000. I've done some freelance curriculum work but the payoff has been low... Also wondering if others have success on teacherspayteachers!

Teachstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2016, 05:43:45 AM »
I am really interested in other states' starting salaries. I always thought NE was on the low end of the scale, but apparently not my district.

For extra income, I find that trading 1 of my 2 prep periods and adjuncting at the university pay around an extra $10-$12K per year. I am glad that I no longer have to do after school clubs. Too much time away from my son. Adjuncting pay isn't great (anywhere from $2700-$3500) but the freedom to make the courses my own and the short work schedule is spectacular.

Best thing I ever did was to find a cheap and reputable program at a local university to earn my doctorate while still teaching. Ended up getting it paid for by grants. Will end up netting me an extra $200K post masters just on our pay scale alone (not including extra work adjuncting) over the course of a 35 year career.

I love my job, and I see no reason to quit. Sure, there are stressful days, but the summer break is immensely valuable. My district provides excellent PD opportunities, and is 1:1 with Chromebooks.

Spouse loves his job working in IT and elearning at the community college.

l2jperry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Port Huron, MI
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2016, 06:13:24 AM »
Following along for my girlfriend who is a first year teacher in rural Michigan. She is teaching Kindergarten and starting salary is 36k. I know there are some additional retirement benefits to being teachers with some plans that are not open to myself, so I hope to learn something here.

clarkm04

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2016, 07:26:59 AM »
16 years teaching

First 5 in Northern Colorado

Last 10+ at a private school in Omaha, NE.  Our school follows the Omaha Public Schools salary schedule minus 1 year.

I have a master's degree and get paid a small stipend for running a club, so I make a little north of 58K.

Health Care: Since I'm on my wife's HDHP with HSA, I get an extra $1500 a year to not be on the school's plan

Defined Contribution Retirement: You are required to put in 3%, they match with 6%. 
I rolled over my Colorado pension (PERA) three years ago into a Vanguard IRA.

When I moved to Omaha, I made less money BUT my buying power went up since Omaha is much cheaper than the city I moved from.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 11:46:59 AM by clarkm04 »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 26975
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2016, 07:53:53 AM »
Two former (now FIRE'd) teachers here.  Me 4th/5th grade, her High School English.

Taught in Vegas. Started at about 32k.  After 8 years experience and Master's Degrees, ended at 44k.  That was base, gross salary.  We also did a bunch of extras (Saturday School, after school tutoring, clubs, summer school, etc.), and then side gigs, plus rentals.

Vegas is low COL, but we were still proportionally on the lower end of wages nationally, I believe (in both starting, and later with experience/education bumps).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

azu612

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2016, 08:20:02 AM »
I am a teacher in a suburb of Boston.  This is my 13th year.  I like teaching and I love the breaks.  I worked hard to get to the top of the pay scale which was definitely worth it.  I think starting a teacher thread is a great idea.

I also adjunct on the side for extra cash.

NESailor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2016, 09:01:14 AM »
My wife is a teacher in upstate NY.  5 years in, I think, this is her first year in a public school.  Considering her experience, she started at 50K even.  She also get an after school grant on top of that.  Not a bad salary for our relatively LCOL (at least as far as NY goes).

She has a lot of teacher friends who would benefit greatly from the knowledge shared in the FI/RE circles.  They are utterly clueless about retirement savings beyond the basic understanding of their pension plan which appears to be the only avenue for retirement savings for many (which is a pity).  We actually spoke about this last night since many have asked me for advice (I'm a CPA) but I can't seem to explain the concepts in plain enough language to actually help/convince people of the value in pursuing FI.

Also, the 403(b) options in our area are a MINEFIELD of horrible "investment advisors" who will take advantage of the security of a tenured salary...

What's worked for the teachers on here?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 26975
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2016, 09:05:35 AM »
Awesome FI learning resource for teachers:
Ed Mills (The Millionaire Educator)'s blog: http://www.millionaireeducator.com/

She has a lot of teacher friends who would benefit greatly from the knowledge shared in the FI/RE circles.  They are utterly clueless about retirement savings beyond the basic understanding of their pension plan which appears to be the only avenue for retirement savings for many (which is a pity).

I saw much of the same.

Quote
Also, the 403(b) options in our area are a MINEFIELD of horrible "investment advisors" who will take advantage of the security of a tenured salary...

Ugh, no kidding.  It oughtta be illegal.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

NCSteve

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2016, 09:41:10 AM »
My wife and I both teach in NC. Starting in our district is about $38k. I have 14 years and a master's but only make 50K, it should be about 55k next year. Our area is LCOL though. So a combined income of 100k+ is plenty. We will be able to retire with 30 years at age 53 with full benefits.

NESailor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2016, 09:44:35 AM »
Awesome FI learning resource for teachers:
Ed Mills (The Millionaire Educator)'s blog: http://www.millionaireeducator.com/

Quote
Also, the 403(b) options in our area are a MINEFIELD of horrible "investment advisors" who will take advantage of the security of a tenured salary...

Ugh, no kidding.  It oughtta be illegal.

Thanks for the link - maybe this will resonate.  I'll also try some simple presentation to see if I can change a few minds.  Not that I have to of course but I just want my friends to do well...and selfishly want others to share my excitement over this topic.  Having early retiree friends would also be nice when we do finally get there.  We're not at risk of retiring alone just yet...we're a good while out:).

Regarding the 403(b) choices - it's absolutely nuts.  Some of these outfits charge 1.2% of AUM before any of the funds even take their cut (and I suspect give the "advisor" an additional kickback).  Luckily I found one that lets you self direct and charges 'only' $40/year + 0.15% AUM.  So I plow everything into VTSAX and end up paying 0.20% + the $40 a year.  Still spectacular considering the alternatives but I'm afraid many fall for the bologna served up by the expensive guys who actually visit the school in person as part of their marketing strategy.  The cheap alternative is obviously not doing that and I assume gets a lot less business as a result.

Lagom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2016, 11:22:19 AM »
Awesome FI learning resource for teachers:
Ed Mills (The Millionaire Educator)'s blog: http://www.millionaireeducator.com/

Quote
Also, the 403(b) options in our area are a MINEFIELD of horrible "investment advisors" who will take advantage of the security of a tenured salary...

Ugh, no kidding.  It oughtta be illegal.

Thanks for the link - maybe this will resonate.  I'll also try some simple presentation to see if I can change a few minds.  Not that I have to of course but I just want my friends to do well...and selfishly want others to share my excitement over this topic.  Having early retiree friends would also be nice when we do finally get there.  We're not at risk of retiring alone just yet...we're a good while out:).

Regarding the 403(b) choices - it's absolutely nuts.  Some of these outfits charge 1.2% of AUM before any of the funds even take their cut (and I suspect give the "advisor" an additional kickback).  Luckily I found one that lets you self direct and charges 'only' $40/year + 0.15% AUM.  So I plow everything into VTSAX and end up paying 0.20% + the $40 a year.  Still spectacular considering the alternatives but I'm afraid many fall for the bologna served up by the expensive guys who actually visit the school in person as part of their marketing strategy.  The cheap alternative is obviously not doing that and I assume gets a lot less business as a result.

This is a good point. I work for the UC system, which actually has fairly good funds, from a fee perspective, but they are much less transparent than the big indexes, which made me nervous enough to investigate alternatives. Turns out that with a bit of effort, I was able to set up what they call a "Brokeragelink" to Fidelity, which gives me full access to their fund menu. Luckily, I don't even have to pay a fee for this, but I think most of the time you do. I have no idea how common this is, but it's certainly worth investigating if your initial options seem poor.

snappytom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2016, 11:39:41 AM »
Going to pay attention to this thread ....

I am not a teacher but my wife is a public elementary teacher in her 25th year with the same suburban Chicago area district.  Her defined benefits are a big part of our future plans, she is going to retire in a few years.  I am in IT (another popular MMM field of employment) and while I currently earn more than she does, her employment is much more important than mine in many ways .... how it contributes to our future and how it contributes to the world in general.

socalteacher

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2016, 02:14:25 PM »
16 years teaching

First 5 in Northern Colorado

Last 10+ at a private school in Omaha, NE.  Our school follows the Omaha Public Schools salary schedule minus 1 year.

I have a master's degree and get paid a small stipend for running a club, so I make a little north of 58K.

Health Care: Since I'm on my wife's HDHP with HSA, I get an extra $1500 a year to not be on the school's plan

Defined Contribution Retirement: You are required to put in 3%, they match with 6%. 
I rolled over my Colorado pension (PERA) three years ago into a Vanguard IRA.

When I moved to Omaha, I made less money BUT my buying power went up since Omaha is much cheaper than the city I moved from.

Out here in California we contribute 10.25% to our defined benefit and I do not doubt that it will be going up soon. The school districts currently pay 12.5% of which 8% goes to the teachers benefit plan and the rest goes into the pot. This will increase to 19% by 2021. I see cutbacks coming in salary, more taxes pushed on the public, or more reform. We do not contribute to social security either. The benefit does not really pay off unless you wait until you are 60 years old. Golden handcuffs indeed. The plan is to save and prepare as if we don't expect the pension.

englishteacheralex

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 676
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2016, 03:27:47 PM »
Teacher in Hawaii. The public/private system here is anomalous and would be a whole different discussion. Started at $36k with a BA and state certification from NY in 2003 teaching at a public school. Got my masters in education and by the time I changed jobs to a public school in 2011 was making $46k/year. Now I make $60k at a private school, and my salary will probably not go up much higher unless they make drastic changes to the pay scale, which seems unlikely.

The 403(b) in the public school system had horrible offerings. I skipped the 403(b) and maxed out a Roth IRA at Vanguard and called it good. Now I have a 403(b) through a different investment firm offered by the private school. The fees are high BUT the private school contributes 5% on top of my gross, plus they match 5% of my contributions. So I take advantage of that, obviously. The health insurance is 100% paid for and is excellent. So despite the somewhat lower salary (public school offers a cap at 85k and there are education steps past masters degree, which isn't offered at my private school; I've already gotten to the cap offered here and additional raises are based only off years of experience), it's a better deal financially than public school.

My reliable side gig was always summer school, which I did at a different private school and used to make $6k for six weeks of four classes/day. It was awesome. I gave it up once I had my son.
I journal at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-aloha-journal/msg1267277/#msg1267277

Tales of a haole teacher whose futon washed up on Oahu over a decade ago.

Neustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2016, 05:16:28 PM »
First year, private pre-school teacher, here, who hopes to get certified to teach in elementary ed in the next year or two.  Bachelors in psych, going an alternative cert route.  Have enjoyed this year a lot, but the pay is just not high enough to consider it long-term.  I work around 20 hours a week and will rake in $6K this year.  It's worked out great for this year, though, as I hadn't planned on working yet.  The experience has been helpful; I figure if I can manage 25 minutes of circle time for 3 year olds, I feel pretty good about my classroom management skills! 

I cannot wait to have access to the public school benefits - maxing out my 457 and 403b will pretty much wipe out my paycheck, but will be fun filling out that paperwork!

ETA - maybe I can't wait - sounds like the options for 403bs are bad at a lot of districts.  Maybe I'll figure out who chooses the options and try to get on a committee if ours is bad. 

Pay starts at $36K in our area, which will be more money this 36 year old has ever personally made in her life!  WooT!!!! Big MONEH!  (my husband is in IT, we have a high household income, I've just never had much of a career). 

« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 05:21:42 PM by Neustache »

aceyou

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1287
  • Age: 34
    • Life is Good - Aceyou's Journal
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2016, 08:02:57 PM »
State: Michigan - Married with a 4 year old son and 1 year old daughter

Me: Math Teacher, 33 years old, starting my 11th year. 
Pension:  After 30 years of service I'll get 45% of the average of my highest 3 years.  After my first year I bought 5 years towards my pension for 20K, so I'm in my "16th year" of 30 as far as retirement is concerned.  So, 15 years left to teach if you count this year; I'll be 48.  I pay 7% of my gross towards my pension. 

Income: Current salary 61k because I have MA+15.  Varsity coach of two sports for another 9.5k.  I take cash in lieu of insurance for 6k.  School puts 1k into a personal healthcare fund for my retirement each year.  Subtract from that the 7% to fund my pension, and I'm probably at about 72k all things taken into account. 

Other Side Gig:  I got a job this summer at a local fitness club as a tennis instructor.  I'll work VERY few hours and make only about 1k, but it gets us a family membership to the club, plus I get to train my players in the offseason, something I'd want to do anyway.  The whole thing has been a win-win for the club, my family, and myself so far. 

Wife: 32 years old, starting my 10th year.  Was ESL teacher, but as of next week she'll be taking an Admin job as an ESL consultant at our county's ISD.   

Pension:  Same structure as mine.  She bought her 5 years 16 months ago for 46k, and we just paid them off a few weeks ago.  She'll also be out at 48, but since she's a year younger, she has 16 to go. 

Income:  Her new position will come with a salary of 75K, minus the 7% for the pension.  We will take her insurance, and it will cost us about 3k/year.  So, we'll get about 68k of that in gross income plus health care. 

Investment options:  I have access to a 403B or a Roth 403B, plus a 457 account.  We are learning about my wife's options now, but it looks like her options will be the same as mine.  Fees are .35% plus fund cost.  We put all our investments into VTSAX at .05%, so I pay .40% in annual fees. 

Savings goal for 2017:
Roth IRA - 5.5K each, so 11k
457 - 18k each, so 36k
403B - 10k each, so 20k
Total goal for 2017: 67k ish?  Anything in that ballpark would make me very happy.



« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 08:05:04 PM by aceyou »

Jankle NSS

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Texas
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2016, 09:48:29 PM »
Texas elementary teachers here:

My wife in her 8th year making 48k and I'm in my 3rd year making 45k. My wife works a second job after school each day, and I'm currently in grad school for administration. The pensions in Texas changed and are basically irrelevant for our generation. We have zero benefits from our TRS system calculated into our 2026 retirement date. We would have to work until we are 65 to be eligible for full retirement, which is not mustachian at all...


JG in Hangzhou

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Location: Hangzhou, China
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2016, 10:45:47 PM »
Interested in hearing from ESL teachers in the US. 
Do you need  a teaching degree? Are the jobs full time or part time? What is the pay range?

shanghaiMMM

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 168
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2016, 11:35:15 PM »
Different to most but thought I'd chime in.

I teach in an international school in Shanghai. My 4th year here, 5th year of teaching overall.

I make about $70k a year including housing allowance and get a bonus of around 20% of the contract wage every two years. Healthcare + flights etc included. If you're a Mustachian, it's very easy to save the majority of your wage.

I'm in my last year of my Masters which will bump me up a little next year, and I might apply to become head of year next year which will bump it up further.

I make about $75 an hour tutoring. I usually only do 1 hour a week.

Obviously no retirement plans like your guys have! Which means saving is more important. Not that you would know when looking at my colleagues' spending!





British guy in Shanghai.My Shanghai Journal

Physicsteacher

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Arkansas
Re: Teacher Discussio
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2016, 04:29:35 AM »
I teach physical science, physics, chemistry, and AP chemistry in a tiny rural district in Arkansas. This is is my sixth year teaching high school science and fourth year in my district. My base salary is $33,850, but I've contracted for various extra duties that will bring this up to $37,350. My district's starting salary is $31,600.

aceyou

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1287
  • Age: 34
    • Life is Good - Aceyou's Journal
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2016, 06:50:17 AM »
Interested in hearing from ESL teachers in the US. 
Do you need  a teaching degree? Are the jobs full time or part time? What is the pay range?

My wife has taught ESL in a public school in Michigan for the past 6 years(she taught Spanish 3 years prior to that).  Pay is the same as any other full time teacher at the school.  Last year she was 60k with a MA+15 and 9 years of experience.  Like any teacher in our district, she needs and has a teaching certification. 

NESailor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2016, 12:31:31 PM »
sounds like the options for 403bs are bad at a lot of districts.  Maybe I'll figure out who chooses the options and try to get on a committee if ours is bad. 


Indeed.  403bs are not ERISA plans so it's a bit of a wild west out there.  That doesn't mean that they're all bad, though.  You may get lucky and find a choice that's not overly expensive and lets you self-direct.  This is what we did with my wife's.  We were fortunate that from the 8 different investment outfits 1 was basically a brokerage that allowed us to invest in Vanguard funds.  0.20% total expense ratio + $40 per year is still pretty good.

This question came up on the board here before and I believe another teacher in NJ also had access to the same place so they do business all over.

Ynari

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Age: 25
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2016, 01:57:22 PM »
I'm applying to start a master's in education in January, so this thread is timely. I've been subbing on and off for the past year, as well as teaching summer school, so I've decided to give the career a go. I'm doing the specialization in secondary school mathematics.

In my HCOL area of northern Virginia, starting salary with Bachelor's is around $48k and with a Master's is $54k. We're here because of SO's job in tech, but together we spend around $40k a year on our lifestyle, so it sounds good to me. I'm a big fan of the breaks - it's a convenient time for travel and intensive programs around my hobbies.

The program I'll be doing is at a public university, costs around $20k total, and takes two years that cannot be accelerated (final semester overlaps with job placement - from everything I've heard subbing and talking to people around here, job placement is not at all a problem in this area, and for this program in particular.) Technically to just get a license only takes a year and a half and costs $5k less, but then you're leaving the higher salary on the table. Earlier, I was looking into getting an alternative license to teach special education, but I don't think I'm ready for that. Math is more my jam.

Two of my siblings are aiming to be teachers, too, so something about it must run in the family. :P

Question for people who recently started teaching or have looked into this sort of thing in the past few years, what are the standard licensure programs/requirements like in your area? Is $20k and two years (on top of an unrelated BA) comparable?

Northwestie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2016, 02:11:58 PM »
Best of luck. 

My spouse is a science teacher - second career - she actually worked in the science field (geology) before moving to teaching so she is a rare one with real science experience.  Because she has a M.S. in her field it helps in the pay.  After 18 yrs she is at about $88k - so not bad - but she puts in a hell of a lot of hours, all year, over breaks, on weekends - constantly.  She is very conscientious and is always tweaking things, going to workshops, and collaborating with other science teachers.  The summer break is short, about 5 wks really.  Enough to get organized on some items and take a bit of a breather.

I don't know if I could do it - it really sucks time from almost everything else.  That said - she loves it.  And I don't know many jobs where you truly make more of a difference in someone's life.  She gets the adoration of parents and kids - and students she has taught come back to visit, stay in touch after they start a career, and invite her to college graduations and weddings.

Sniff.  None of my clients do that!  Cheers to the teachers out there - tough, tough job - and I certainly appreciate your efforts.

fidreamer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2016, 03:04:03 PM »
Love to see financially savvy educators.  This is my twentieth year in education--was an English teacher and now a guidance counselor in RI.  This year I am taking advantage of the jobsharing program my district offers, so I am working half time for about $41,000.  I am hoping to retire in five years when I turn 50.  I just stopped contributing to my 403b and am focusing on my taxable account that should help me get me from 50 to 64 when pension kicks in.

yuka

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
  • Location: East coast for now
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2016, 04:28:20 PM »
Best of luck. 

My spouse is a science teacher - second career - she actually worked in the science field (geology) before moving to teaching so she is a rare one with real science experience.  Because she has a M.S. in her field it helps in the pay.  After 18 yrs she is at about $88k - so not bad - but she puts in a hell of a lot of hours, all year, over breaks, on weekends - constantly.  She is very conscientious and is always tweaking things, going to workshops, and collaborating with other science teachers.  The summer break is short, about 5 wks really.  Enough to get organized on some items and take a bit of a breather.

I don't know if I could do it - it really sucks time from almost everything else.  That said - she loves it.  And I don't know many jobs where you truly make more of a difference in someone's life.  She gets the adoration of parents and kids - and students she has taught come back to visit, stay in touch after they start a career, and invite her to college graduations and weddings.

Sniff.  None of my clients do that!  Cheers to the teachers out there - tough, tough job - and I certainly appreciate your efforts.

Not a teacher, but that's exactly what I'd like to be doing at some point in the future. My background is nuclear power, electrical engineering, and computer network exploitation. That stuff isn't exactly exactly easy to integrate into a high school curriculum, but I always loved having teachers who had real experience. Anyway, I guess I'm just saying I really admire your wife (and that's not bad money!)

englishteacheralex

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 676
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2016, 05:12:43 PM »
Whoa. Check out this article about teacher 403(b) plans from today's New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/your-money/403-b-retirement-plans-fees-teachers.html?ref=business
I journal at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-aloha-journal/msg1267277/#msg1267277

Tales of a haole teacher whose futon washed up on Oahu over a decade ago.

azu612

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2016, 08:56:05 AM »
This is interesting.  I have a 403b that I only use for the match.  I haven't paid to much attention to it since I put the minimum in, but I'm sure there's something I could be doing better.

msjd123

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 198
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2016, 04:27:37 PM »
Whoa. Check out this article about teacher 403(b) plans from today's New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/your-money/403-b-retirement-plans-fees-teachers.html?ref=business

I came here to share that, but I'm glad someone else did. Our district is just as bad as described in this article. We have 20+ 403b options, but only two are actual mutual fund companies instead of insurance companies selling annuities. Even our plan administrator is called TSA Consulting Group, which chaps my hide every time I login.

We're a two-teacher couple as well in the largest school district on the west coast. I've taught middle school English for 17 years and make $82K, and my husband teaches Special Education (15 years) and makes $72K. The difference in our salaries is entirely explained by his reluctance to take classes to move up the salary scale, but he's getting there slowly.

Teachstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2016, 06:13:47 PM »
Interesting to read. Our 403b options in the state of Nebraska are limited to one choice, with $25 in annual fees, as mandated by the state legislature.

wepner

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Yokohama, Japan
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2016, 11:06:56 PM »
I'm currently student teaching in the Sacramento area. Sacramento is a relatively expensive place to live and the starting salary for teachers seems to be around $43,000 per year.

westtoeast

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
  • Location: East Coast City
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2016, 09:57:29 AM »
Oof, this 403b talk is motivating me to stop contributing to my school's plan and start another private investment. I've been putting this off!

On another note... has anyone heard of administrators acting hesitant to hire more experienced teachers due to their higher place on the pay scale? I heard one such story recently and as a teacher who may move states in the future I became a bit nervous. Do you all think it is hard to get hired with more years under your belt, and if so how many years are too many?

I also wonder if low income districts are more prone to hire just younger teachers.

mancityfan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2016, 12:23:20 PM »
Oof, this 403b talk is motivating me to stop contributing to my school's plan and start another private investment. I've been putting this off!

On another note... has anyone heard of administrators acting hesitant to hire more experienced teachers due to their higher place on the pay scale? I heard one such story recently and as a teacher who may move states in the future I became a bit nervous. Do you all think it is hard to get hired with more years under your belt, and if so how many years are too many?

I also wonder if low income districts are more prone to hire just younger teachers.

I stopped contributing to my - Insurance run (AXA) - 403b a few years back as I became educated about the high fees. I now funnel my savings into a Vanguard Roth IRA and investment account.

With regard to the hiring of experienced teachers. I do not think you will see it written as a stated policy, but in my own county and school there is a discernible pattern of new teachers being hired for pretty much every opening.

wwilberforce

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2016, 01:25:17 PM »
Teacher from Ontario, Canada here.  Interesting article in the NY Times re 403(b)s and teachers:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/your-money/403-b-retirement-plans-fees-teachers.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

Makes me so glad that we still have a defined benefit pension plan--one of the most successful in the world and back to fully funded status following the 2008 crash. Teachers in this province went on strike 30 years ago to wrest control of our pension plan from the provincial government, which was doing nothing with our money. Good thing we did, as even in today's low-return atmosphere, Teachers' manages to get returns >10% a year (13% in 2015!).

https://www.otpp.com/corporate/annual-reporting

Way back when we assembled a team of hired guns to engage in low-cost investing on our behalf.  Without this move by my predecessors, we'd likely be in a bad situation now too.


NV Teacher

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 355
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2016, 04:44:20 PM »
On another note... has anyone heard of administrators acting hesitant to hire more experienced teachers due to their higher place on the pay scale? I heard one such story recently and as a teacher who may move states in the future I became a bit nervous. Do you all think it is hard to get hired with more years under your belt, and if so how many years are too many?

I also wonder if low income districts are more prone to hire just younger teachers.

I work for Clark County School District which covers all of southern NV.  We are the 5th largest school district in the nation.  NV has/had a state law that each county has one school district.  There has been talk for years and years of breaking up the CCSD because it's too top heavy and large to work efficiently.  The break-up starts this year.

With the break-up, principals are being given a lot more control over their school's budget.   A week or so ago we all had to watch a video outlining the upcoming changes.  One thing that jumped out at me is that schools will be given $81,000 for each teaching position assigned to that school regardless of what the teachers actually earn.  In the video it states that principals can hire long term subs for the year at the cost of $51,000 and they get to keep the extra money to use at the school.

So if a principal hires ten long term subs instead of licensed teachers he/she will have an extra $300,000 to spend.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  I'm sure the temptation will be there with some principals to fill positions with subs and use that extra money in other areas.

It's going to be a wild and crazy few years I'll bet.

Edited to add.
The plan that the district is using for the reorganization was developed by a superintendent from Canada.  Essentially each school will become its own district.  We have around 330 schools in CCSD.  Each school will have a committee that will be responsible for contracting services like landscaping, building maintenance, etc with the budget. I'm not sure how things like transportation, school lunch, and payroll will be handled.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 07:23:06 PM by NV Teacher »

fidgiegirl

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1114
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2016, 05:03:09 PM »
I am a teacher of English learners, have taught Spanish and done technology integration work in the past.  I am in my 15th year in education.  My husband is a teacher as well, we both work in the Twin Cities area.  We met at school, awwwww.  But now we work at different schools and different districts.

Didn't read the whole thread yet but commenting so it lands in my updated threads list when I have time to dig in.

I will watch with interest as your school district reorganizes, NV teacher.  I question if my employer is simply too large to be successful, though there certainly are larger districts out there.

Sandia

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2016, 01:46:30 AM »
I hope this isn't too off-topic, but I am currently weighing up whether to keep struggling as a university tutor/adjunct teacher in my obscure field (which I love), or to get a diploma in education so I can teach high school.

I know I'm good at teaching undergraduate adults, but the university feels like a sinking ship these days. On the other hand, I keep hearing teachers (on here and elsewhere) say things like 'so glad I'm leaving teaching, it sucks, I wouldn't recommend anyone start it now!'

The negativity in both places is really crippling my decision-making process; I'm a mustachian-science-type, and I want to optimize this decision, but it seems like most advice says 'stay away from all teaching.'

Does anyone have experience teaching at both the university and high school levels? Which would you choose?

(should I make this question a new thread?)

westtoeast

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
  • Location: East Coast City
Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2016, 02:48:19 PM »
I hope this isn't too off-topic, but I am currently weighing up whether to keep struggling as a university tutor/adjunct teacher in my obscure field (which I love), or to get a diploma in education so I can teach high school.

I know I'm good at teaching undergraduate adults, but the university feels like a sinking ship these days. On the other hand, I keep hearing teachers (on here and elsewhere) say things like 'so glad I'm leaving teaching, it sucks, I wouldn't recommend anyone start it now!'

The negativity in both places is really crippling my decision-making process; I'm a mustachian-science-type, and I want to optimize this decision, but it seems like most advice says 'stay away from all teaching.'

Does anyone have experience teaching at both the university and high school levels? Which would you choose?

(should I make this question a new thread?)

I'm not in a position to advise on the differences since I've never worked at a college but the adjunct trend is discouraging. I do want to pipe in with a positive perspective on public school teaching. Sure, teachers have lots to complain about what with low pay and increasing demands, but I do really love the work. I feel challenged and valuable every day and teaching gives me a great sense of purpose. I also have a fantastic teaching team and administrators that I like and respect. If you can find a school that aligns well with your philosophy and that supports your growth, in a state that pays decently, it can be a really wonderful career path!