Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

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jimmyrules712
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Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby jimmyrules712 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:00 am

Here's our situation.

My wife is currently a marriage and family therapist making about $35k. She just got an offer to join a fully funded & accredited 3 year PHD program at one of the big state schools that's about a 3 hour drive away. Tuition is funded and it comes with a living stipend of about $1,000 per month but "fees" are not funded. I'm told fees amount to around $4,000 per semester. With the PHD she would be able to become a licensed psychologist or professor with an income potential at least double what she makes now. These funded PHD programs get over a hundred applicants every year, they interview about 25, and they only accept 5 or 6 so it's a pretty big deal to get into it. So we've decided that she should go for it.

Wife and I are both early thirties with no kids. I make around $110k at stable job with a large corporation. Due to the distance our current plan is for her to get a basic apartment at the town the college is in and stay there 4-5 days a week and come home on the weekends.

We're going to try to go without taking out any loans. Losing her $35k income plus taking on the extra expenses of an apartment and everything else that entails will be painful but my income should be high enough to cover all of that plus the $8k a year in fees. However this will force us to scale back our retirement savings to probably just my employer match.

Is there anything else I should do or plan for? What about tax preparation; I assume the $8k a year in fees can be deducted as education expenses? Anything else?
Last edited by jimmyrules712 on Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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knpstr
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby knpstr » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:03 am

Financially this should be a piece of cake, with free tuition plus $1,000/mo stipend, while you make $110,000.

Congrats to your wife and good luck.
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby Ethelred » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:35 am

Three years is a long time, and PhDs can often end up taking longer than planned. You don't say what job you do. Unless you have a particularly good deal where you are, consider looking for something in, or closer to, the city where she will be studying.

On education expenses: I was looking into this recently for related reasons, and it's not always simple. Some credits and deductions are limited by income, and some are not available above a bachelors degree, and there are some other limitations. More info is here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-benefits-fo ... ion-center

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby cheese_breath » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:46 am

Ethelred wrote:Three years is a long time, and PhDs can often end up taking longer than planned. You don't say what job you do. Unless you have a particularly good deal where you are, consider looking for something in, or closer to, the city where she will be studying....

+1

A three year separation seeing each other only on weekends can be tough on a marriage. And I suspect there will be many weekends where she won't have much free time due to the workload. If you can't move closer you should think about you making the weekend trips to her apartment rather than her doing the round trip traveling.

disclaimer: I don't have a PHD, but I've heard earning one is a full time job and then some.
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby flyingbison » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:51 am

Ethelred wrote: ... and PhDs can often end up taking longer than planned.


This is an important consideration. Does she know the average completion time for students in this program? If her funding is for 3 years, but it will potentially take 5 years, then you will need to plan for the additional cost.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby newbie_Mo » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:07 am

flyingbison wrote:
Ethelred wrote: ... and PhDs can often end up taking longer than planned.


This is an important consideration. Does she know the average completion time for students in this program? If her funding is for 3 years, but it will potentially take 5 years, then you will need to plan for the additional cost.

+1. Most Ph.D programs takes longer than 3 years.

I don't know much about the licensed psychologist career path. However, in order to become a professor she would need many publications. Plan for additional post-doc trainings in another university.

jimmyrules712
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby jimmyrules712 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:10 am

In response to several replies; yes probably every other weekend I'd go see her instead of her coming to me.

Also I think part of the reason for the shorter 3 year program is she already has a masters degree in that field so some of those classes will transfer over.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby stoptothink » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:13 am

newbie_Mo wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
Ethelred wrote: ... and PhDs can often end up taking longer than planned.


This is an important consideration. Does she know the average completion time for students in this program? If her funding is for 3 years, but it will potentially take 5 years, then you will need to plan for the additional cost.

+1. Most Ph.D programs takes longer than 3 years.

I don't know much about the licensed psychologist career path. However, in order to become a professor she would need many publications. Plan for additional post-doc trainings in another university.


Yep, I finished mine in 3yrs, but nobody else I started my program with even finished in 4. I know that it took 6yrs for two that I started with. I had a new wife and an infant daughter, so I was very very determined to get done ASAP.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby Alto Astral » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:54 am

If your state provides has deductions, put the money she will be needing for tuition, board etc in a 529. You can leave it one of the bond funds. When the time comes, you can withdraw as a qualified educational expense. If there is anything left over, that can go to your kids.

While this is not relevant to your question, what are your ages and how long have you been married? I ask since you are potentially putting of having kids for at least 3-5 years. I am sure you've considered this.

If not already considered - would she be able to get a psychologist or professor location closer to home? Or are the likely employers further away from home? You can of course move closer to her workplace or look for a job closer to when she finds employment.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby Meg77 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:04 am

I would think long and hard about this. I know several licensed psychologists who make well under 6 figures and do side hustles like teaching yoga to try to make ends meet, despite having a laundry list of prestigious degrees that took many years and many thousands of dollars to obtain. If increasing her income potential is the primary goal, this is not an efficient way to do it. She does not need this degree in order to double her income in 3 years. Many jobs pay well over what she is making with a much less burdensome education requirement.

Also, you say you don't have kids but don't say whether you are planning on ever having kids. If you guys do start a family in the next 5 years, there is a very good chance that she will either take many years to complete the phD, and/or that she will opt out of the workforce or scale back dramatically once kids are in the picture. Point being that she may never actually realize a return on this 3 year investment of time. Women with spouses who earn 6 figures are much more likely to opt out of the workforce for many years when they have children, especially when they don't earn much.

If you guys to decide to proceed with this program though, your primary financial steps to consider are getting a new job and moving to that city/town. That's what couples do when one takes a new job that requires a move. Long distance marriages don't work well, and planning to live apart for 3+ years is crazy. You may as well just split up in my view.
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jimmyrules712
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby jimmyrules712 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:54 am

Meg77 wrote:I would think long and hard about this. I know several licensed psychologists who make well under 6 figures and do side hustles like teaching yoga to try to make ends meet, despite having a laundry list of prestigious degrees that took many years and many thousands of dollars to obtain. If increasing her income potential is the primary goal, this is not an efficient way to do it. She does not need this degree in order to double her income in 3 years. Many jobs pay well over what she is making with a much less burdensome education requirement.

Also, you say you don't have kids but don't say whether you are planning on ever having kids. If you guys do start a family in the next 5 years, there is a very good chance that she will either take many years to complete the phD, and/or that she will opt out of the workforce or scale back dramatically once kids are in the picture. Point being that she may never actually realize a return on this 3 year investment of time. Women with spouses who earn 6 figures are much more likely to opt out of the workforce for many years when they have children, especially when they don't earn much.

If you guys to decide to proceed with this program though, your primary financial steps to consider are getting a new job and moving to that city/town. That's what couples do when one takes a new job that requires a move. Long distance marriages don't work well, and planning to live apart for 3+ years is crazy. You may as well just split up in my view.


You raise a lot of valid concerns, many of which have already been in the back of my mind.

The main reason she wants to do it is to get some better job options. Right now she's tired of what she's doing (been doing basically the same thing for 5 years now which is providing counseling services to poor/medicaid clients) and sees this as her best option to open the door to better career options. Better income potential is more of a secondary bonus if it happens.

Kids is another factor. We've been trying to have kids for about 4 years now but due to some medical stuff we both have going on it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to have biological kids. No kids + no prospects for kids + unfulfilling job = wife looking for options. We were planning to start the process to adopt an infant until this happened. Now we're assuming we'd wait on that until after she's done.

I don't think she's the kind of woman who will be content staying home and not working for several years after we do adopt or have kids. I know that might change once we're in that situation but I honestly think that after 3 months or so she'd want to use daycare and go back to work at least part time.

The reason why I'm not currently open to me looking for a new job closer to her school is I'm doing REALLY well where I'm at now, on a "leadership career path", getting significant bonuses and raises every year for performance, have developed a lot of positive relationships and connections with upper level management, being given lots of company stock that hasn't vested yet, etc. and feel that I would lose a lot of ground if I pick up and go to a new company. Am I being irrational on this? I'm not a big risk taker so if you guys think I should really seriously look at getting a different job I'd like your thoughts.

So it's hard to know what to do here. my wife and I have a strong relationship and we're both pretty independent so I think our marriage can survive doing the distance thing but I know that's a risk. But honestly given our current circumstances I'm not sure how good it would be for our marriage for me to try to stop her either.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby flyingbison » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:25 pm

jimmyrules712 wrote:
The main reason she wants to do it is to get some better job options. Right now she's tired of what she's doing (been doing basically the same thing for 5 years now which is providing counseling services to poor/medicaid clients) and sees this as her best option to open the door to better career options. Better income potential is more of a secondary bonus if it happens.



If she would be happier with the licensed psychologist path, then it makes sense to pursue this. However, she should know that her chances of ever becoming a full-time professor are very slim.


jimmyrules712 wrote:
The reason why I'm not currently open to me looking for a new job closer to her school is I'm doing REALLY well where I'm at now, on a "leadership career path", getting significant bonuses and raises every year for performance, have developed a lot of positive relationships and connections with upper level management, being given lots of company stock that hasn't vested yet, etc. and feel that I would lose a lot of ground if I pick up and go to a new company. Am I being irrational on this? I'm not a big risk taker so if you guys think I should really seriously look at getting a different job I'd like your thoughts.


Personally, I wouldn't consider looking for another job until she's gone through the program for at least a year. She may hate it, she may lose her funding, she may flunk out, etc. If she does complete the program, then you may need to relocate for her to get a job, so why do it twice? Living apart isn't ideal, but lots of people do it and 3 hours away isn't very far.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby Meg77 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:40 pm

jimmyrules712 wrote:
Meg77 wrote:I would think long and hard about this. I know several licensed psychologists who make well under 6 figures and do side hustles like teaching yoga to try to make ends meet, despite having a laundry list of prestigious degrees that took many years and many thousands of dollars to obtain. If increasing her income potential is the primary goal, this is not an efficient way to do it. She does not need this degree in order to double her income in 3 years. Many jobs pay well over what she is making with a much less burdensome education requirement.

Also, you say you don't have kids but don't say whether you are planning on ever having kids. If you guys do start a family in the next 5 years, there is a very good chance that she will either take many years to complete the phD, and/or that she will opt out of the workforce or scale back dramatically once kids are in the picture. Point being that she may never actually realize a return on this 3 year investment of time. Women with spouses who earn 6 figures are much more likely to opt out of the workforce for many years when they have children, especially when they don't earn much.

If you guys to decide to proceed with this program though, your primary financial steps to consider are getting a new job and moving to that city/town. That's what couples do when one takes a new job that requires a move. Long distance marriages don't work well, and planning to live apart for 3+ years is crazy. You may as well just split up in my view.


You raise a lot of valid concerns, many of which have already been in the back of my mind.

The main reason she wants to do it is to get some better job options. Right now she's tired of what she's doing (been doing basically the same thing for 5 years now which is providing counseling services to poor/medicaid clients) and sees this as her best option to open the door to better career options. Better income potential is more of a secondary bonus if it happens.

Kids is another factor. We've been trying to have kids for about 4 years now but due to some medical stuff we both have going on it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to have biological kids. No kids + no prospects for kids + unfulfilling job = wife looking for options. We were planning to start the process to adopt an infant until this happened. Now we're assuming we'd wait on that until after she's done.

I don't think she's the kind of woman who will be content staying home and not working for several years after we do adopt or have kids. I know that might change once we're in that situation but I honestly think that after 3 months or so she'd want to use daycare and go back to work at least part time.

The reason why I'm not currently open to me looking for a new job closer to her school is I'm doing REALLY well where I'm at now, on a "leadership career path", getting significant bonuses and raises every year for performance, have developed a lot of positive relationships and connections with upper level management, being given lots of company stock that hasn't vested yet, etc. and feel that I would lose a lot of ground if I pick up and go to a new company. Am I being irrational on this? I'm not a big risk taker so if you guys think I should really seriously look at getting a different job I'd like your thoughts.

So it's hard to know what to do here. my wife and I have a strong relationship and we're both pretty independent so I think our marriage can survive doing the distance thing but I know that's a risk. But honestly given our current circumstances I'm not sure how good it would be for our marriage for me to try to stop her either.


This makes sense. I'm sorry about your struggles regarding starting a family. Her desire to make a big change with her career is understandable, especially in light of that. I've seen colleagues do the same thing even when the career change doesn't seem rational after dealing with infertility; it's a way to take control of something when you feel a lack of control. You're in a really tough spot. I totally get that it may be problematic for your relationship to deny her or strongly discourage her regarding this opportunity. On the other hand, I think you're being totally rational to resist giving up your good gig to follow her.

I think it still makes sense to gently encourage her to consider other options. Staying at her current job and entering this program are not her only two choices. But if she is committed, I think you're doing the right thing to support her. You could agree to try your current plan for 6 months (her moving, you staying) and schedule a time to formally re-evaluate your situation every 3-6 months after that. You could end up moving there eventually, she may hate it and come home early, or any number of other unexpected factors could arise.

I wish you the best.
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby maria00200 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:52 pm

I would really think about all this. The distance and barely seeing each other will strain your marriage. My husband had a high paying job (long time ago), but had to travel. We had lots of money but were miserable. Eventually he quit and got a pay cut, but we are much happier. I know it's different for you because it's temporary, but it will still be hard.

As far as trying to have a family, it took me about 6 years of trying but I finally had one child, (4 miscarriages). So I feel your pain. Adoption is always an option.

That's my humble opinion but best of luck to you.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby jimmyrules712 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:38 pm

Meg77 wrote:
I've seen colleagues do the same thing even when the career change doesn't seem rational after dealing with infertility; it's a way to take control of something when you feel a lack of control.


I really appreciate this comment. You're absolutely right. A big driver here is both of us wanting to make a change that in some way moves our lives forward and that we are in control of. I didn't mention this earlier because it wasn't really relevant but we also did 2 cycles of IVF last year both of which failed and her dad died of cancer 2 years ago.

I know my wife feels like getting into this program is the first really good thing that's happened to her in several years and unless I see a huge red flag I'm not going to try to take that away from her.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby mrc » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:50 pm

DW in her early 40s went to law school while I worked. No kids. School was an hour away, so she didn't need separate living. But I hardly saw her during that time. Law school and PhD programs keep one very busy. DW makes more than I do now (after a bit of a slower start). Some in the social sciences can work on dissertation for 3 years, but this likely isn't that type of program. You'll be fine. Go for it.

One question: do licensed PhD psychologists make that much more than masters level therapists? And will people without insurance be able to pay the difference?
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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby guitarguy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:16 pm

OP - your situation mirrors my own in almost every aspect. From our income levels and that of our spouses, to your situation regarding having kids, to your wife leaving a job she doesn't like and going back to school full time to expectedly double her income in the end doing something she enjoys, to the expected costs of the schooling. Even the selectiveness of the program she joined...not the same % of people accepted but close. It's actually quite remarkable how alike our stories are.

There are however a couple key differences that are making it easier for us...she didn't have to move and her program is only 2 years. Also my wife scored an internship in her field so she's able to work part time 15 hrs a week in her new field as an assistant...learning a ton and still picking up a paltry $10/hr on the side. Your journey will be a little more difficult for those reasons.

All that said, I've never seen my wife happier. She is finally out there doing something she absolutely loves to do. After nearly 7 years of emotional misery trying to have children and going thru multiple miscarriages and a still birth, she is out there doing something she loves and it shows in her face every time I see her come home from work or school. For someone that wanted to be a SAHM to find her other calling in life is a beautiful thing to see.

If it will make her happy to do this, then do everything you can to help make it work. Others have already chimed in on most of the financial aspects.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby Minot » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:52 pm

guitarguy wrote:OP - your situation mirrors my own in almost every aspect. From our income levels and that of our spouses, to your situation regarding having kids, to your wife leaving a job she doesn't like and going back to school full time to expectedly double her income in the end doing something she enjoys, to the expected costs of the schooling. Even the selectiveness of the program she joined...not the same % of people accepted but close. It's actually quite remarkable how alike our stories are.

There are however a couple key differences that are making it easier for us...she didn't have to move and her program is only 2 years. Also my wife scored an internship in her field so she's able to work part time 15 hrs a week in her new field as an assistant...learning a ton and still picking up a paltry $10/hr on the side. Your journey will be a little more difficult for those reasons.

All that said, I've never seen my wife happier. She is finally out there doing something she absolutely loves to do. After nearly 7 years of emotional misery trying to have children and going thru multiple miscarriages and a still birth, she is out there doing something she loves and it shows in her face every time I see her come home from work or school. For someone that wanted to be a SAHM to find her other calling in life is a beautiful thing to see.

If it will make her happy to do this, then do everything you can to help make it work. Others have already chimed in on most of the financial aspects.

Lovely post, Guitarguy. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby student » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:53 pm

Since you mentioned that one possible future career is for her to be a professor, I would like to caution her on this career choice. Tenure-track job is very difficult to come by. Ask the school about the job placement rate of their graduate students in this regard. For example, new assistant professor gets about $62,000 at my school. (Medium size state school.) Moreover, if you want a tenure-track job, you have to be willing to move.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby ICMoney » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:39 am

Congratulations to your wife on her acceptance to a Ph.D. program in psychology! A few thoughts for you, as my spouse just completed a Ph.D. at a R-1 research institution/state school in psychology:

1. It is likely you can schedule classes so that your spouse will have a 3 or 4 day weekend. However, you may be limited by how the program is funded - i.e. if she's working a part-time job on campus she may need to be there on days when she doesn't have classes scheduled. Summer classes are usually short-term so you may have summers and long school breaks to look forward to not being apart. Do you know if any summer classes will be funded though? Often the funding is just for fall/spring courses so any summer courses would be paid for out of your own pocket. (and at spouse's institution, some required courses were only offered in the summer) Would you get in-state tuition otherwise? It could be worth it to consider accepting partial (or no) funding if it meant you get to spend more time together. The in-state tuition may not be that much higher than what you're expecting to pay.

2. I agree with others that 3 years start-to-finish for a post-Master's student is a best case scenario (also, this 3 years includes only the on-campus time, not the one-year, required, predoctoral internship). Has the school indicated how many of her Master's classes they will transfer in? Some of my spouse's classmates were surprised that there is a cap on how many classes will transfer in and some struggled to get certain courses accepted by the institution. That could easily add 1 year to what you are expecting this to take (and did for the majority of post-Master's at spouse's institution). There was only one post-Master's student (of literally dozens in the various cohorts we knew) that completed on-campus work in 3 years. Per my point above, if she doesn't take summer courses, it's going to be even more difficult to expect to get through in 3 years. Also, some courses are only offered every other year, so you will want to be on top of understanding course scheduling before she signs up for classes. Me and my spouse learning course scheduling easily shaved a year off spouse's time in the program.

3. She will still be required to do a predoctoral internship for a year, which could be anywhere. There is a match process for this, so maybe she could match to one in the town you're currently in - regardless, she has to take whatever she matches to. This can be competitive for good internships, though has gotten a lot better over the past several years to where there are now more accredited sites than applicants. The pay for these is low (i.e. I'd estimate they average $25K/less for the year), for reference.

4. The majority of students we knew also do a postdoctoral internship, which again, could be anywhere. These can be 1-2 years in length, and are often done somewhere different from where the predoctoral internship is done. There is another competitive application process for these positions, though it currently is less structured than the predoctoral internship application process (but is becoming more so).

5. Check this on your taxes, but you should be able to take the Lifetime Learning Credit for education expenses.

6. We still made IRA contributions for the spouse in school, because their funding was paid as W-2 wages (in excess of the IRA contribution limit) in addition to the tuition waiver. You might want to consider this to keep her retirement accounts growing, depending on how the funding is structured.

Feel free to ask or PM me with any specific questions as well.

Best,
ICM

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby guitarguy » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:50 am

Minot wrote:
guitarguy wrote:OP - your situation mirrors my own in almost every aspect. From our income levels and that of our spouses, to your situation regarding having kids, to your wife leaving a job she doesn't like and going back to school full time to expectedly double her income in the end doing something she enjoys, to the expected costs of the schooling. Even the selectiveness of the program she joined...not the same % of people accepted but close. It's actually quite remarkable how alike our stories are.

There are however a couple key differences that are making it easier for us...she didn't have to move and her program is only 2 years. Also my wife scored an internship in her field so she's able to work part time 15 hrs a week in her new field as an assistant...learning a ton and still picking up a paltry $10/hr on the side. Your journey will be a little more difficult for those reasons.

All that said, I've never seen my wife happier. She is finally out there doing something she absolutely loves to do. After nearly 7 years of emotional misery trying to have children and going thru multiple miscarriages and a still birth, she is out there doing something she loves and it shows in her face every time I see her come home from work or school. For someone that wanted to be a SAHM to find her other calling in life is a beautiful thing to see.

If it will make her happy to do this, then do everything you can to help make it work. Others have already chimed in on most of the financial aspects.


Lovely post, Guitarguy. Thanks for sharing.


Funny story. Last night my wife informed me that she wants to do the first of her 2 mandatory 5-week internships in another state, working with her mom who is in the same field. She will have the opportunity to work with clients that she wouldn't be able to in our current location, and get the once in a lifetime chance to work with her mom while getting this broad exposure and experience. So now our spouses traveling is another thing we have in common.

OP - I'm pretty sure we're in some kind of weird Boglehead parallel universe. Still waiting on our $1000 stipend though!! :mrgreen:

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby ICMoney » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:12 am

Two more things I thought of as an addendum to my prior post:

7. She will likely need to do a practicum two full days per week for the next 3 years (this is where they work in a local mental health facility/university counseling center/VA/hospital to get counseling experience). She could talk to her program about the possibility of doing a practicum in Your Town instead of College Town. She would likely need to arrange the practicum herself though, but this could allow you to be together more during these 3 years.

8. Her last year "on campus" will be her dissertation year. She may not need to be present on campus much during this year though, you may consider having her live in Your Town so that you can be together, and traveling over to College Town on an as-needed basis to consult with her adviser on the dissertation, etc. Her research will likely be able to be done online and she could probably structure her dissertation so that her study could be conducted in Your Town.

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Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby Natsdoc » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:16 am

Congrats to your wife on her acceptance to a top program!

I'm currently taking a year off for a master's program, and I find that going to grad school after working for a few years is very different than going straight out of college. It's much easier to treat it like a job, and to be much more efficient with your time, and realize that what you are learning is much more important than the grades you get.

There may be many opportunities for financial assistance/funding on top of what she's getting - paid research projects, etc. I'm at a big research institution right now and it's astonishing how many paid opportunities there are, some of which are shorter term projects which are great experience too.

Have you looked into graduate student housing options on campus? This may be more affordable than off campus housing, and furnished, and if your wife is off campus for the summer no need to pay for an empty apartment. It might also be worth looking into finding a roommate, room-rental situation, etc.

Is there a 529 state plan you can contribute to that doesn't have a time limit on when you can make the withdrawals? If so, you can contribute the amount for the fees in order to get the state tax deduction?

Also, FWIW - my husband and I have done cross country long distance - he's military, and we made the choice for me to not move across country when he transferred as it would have been really hard for me to relocate for 2 years. We made the decision together, and yes, it was hard, but knowing that he was just as supportive of my career and happiness as I was of his makes all the difference. It sounds like you've decided together that this is the best decision for your family, wishing you both the best of luck!

bbqguru
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:31 pm

Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

Postby bbqguru » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:44 am

Congratulations and best of luck in the new adventure.

A not so similar story, but enough that I can relate. Like yourself and others, my wife and I are unable to have children and she was feeling constrained in her career. She had always talked about becoming a nurse, but nothing ever came of the discussion. Oh, how a bad day at work can change things! I came home from work one evening and my wife told me she'd quit her job and was going to nursing school.

However, like guitarguy, I have never seen my wife happier. She's now a trauma surgery nurse and every day she comes home with a smile on her face. She still struggles to understand why she's paid to have that much fun at work.

Natsdoc wrote:Is there a 529 state plan you can contribute to that doesn't have a time limit on when you can make the withdrawals? If so, you can contribute the amount for the fees in order to get the state tax deduction?


Our accountant suggested this to us as well. If you have the option to use one and your state doesn't have minimum length for deposits (ours didn't), use it as a pass through account. We kept everything in a money market account with minimal fees.


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