White Coat Investor wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:32 am
I married a teacher, but we never seemed to get this lifestyle. Seriously though, I would LOVE to figure out a way to get the summers completely off but still have a job come Fall. That sounds like a dream.
I would like to say - "It is!"
However, that may not apply to everyone who is in a career with Summers off. Both of us are on the same schedule (academic calendar) as we both work in education now even though that is not how we began our careers three decades ago.
There is, of course a trade off for those of us that work in education.
Teachers are paid for 9 months work (even though our paychecks are spread out over 12 months). So the lower salaries in the profession are what they are. Obviously, some in department chair positions are required to work the full 12 months due to administrative duties. Some faculty are also in research which expands beyond the 9 month time frame. Some write books, attend conferences, present papers, or other academic endeavors which eat into their Summers. Regardless, it is difficult for us to find fault with the 4 months on, three weeks to one month off for the December/January holidays, 4 months on - and then Summertime!
It may be a wild ride with regard to the 12 hour days, 6-7 days per week of non-stop work during the semester, but recharging one's batteries during the Summer always seems to provide a clean slate for the next year.
Currently in my 15th year of college teaching (it is my second career). My first career (pro singer) also allowed me to have Summers off (some years I would take contracts for a month - six weeks of Summer work), so I am not complaining about the past 32 years of having at least 2-3 months off every Summer throughout my career. Work related, I have over 50+ overseas round trips as well under my belt. Since morphing into the teaching career, we usually average one big trip a year (international or domestic) every Summer. This career choice allowed us to front end load our lives with world travel as a couple and as a family where we enjoyed all of the experiences. Not to mention living and working overseas for over a decade. We have been very fortunate in that regard, and looking at it in retrospect at this vantage point - we now realize how much of a benefit it has been. We were young, mobile, and had endless energy for all of that. For us, it was just the norm. We knew no other way as it was our reality. (Aside: We have never flown anything but economy/coach over the past 32 years - be it on a 16 hour flight, or a 2 hour flight. And I'm 6'4"!)
So it colors our answer to the OP's question of "Why NOT make more money?" Our answer would be: "Exactly! Why not?"
Since we have been able to practice a miniature retirement on some level every Summer for the past 32 years, neither of us feel the rush to retire early as a result. 56/59 at the moment with plans to carry on in the workplace for many more years. We are positive that if we hadn't experienced the previous 32 years as we did (travel, Summers off, etc.) we would have a different view more akin to the FI/RE crowd who are on a 12 month work schedule with less vacation time.
One set of our parents retired at age 62 (and the father then worked part-time for another 20+ years or so because he was bored stiff and had no hobbies), the other set worked into their 70's and 80's. Not because they had to, but because they still enjoyed it and wanted to work that long. We also have colleagues in our profession who work well into their 60's and 70's and are happy.
Our answer to the OP's question in support of working and making more money for us include (listed in no certain order)...
1. To continue to build the nest egg to include a more comfortable cushion.
2. To pass wealth on to our heirs.
3. To give to charity/philanthropy.
4. To be prepared for the unknown (health, pension, SS, relocating).
5. To account for all of the upcoming recessions during the remainder of our lifetime.
Personally, due to our previous 32 years of Summers off and travel/world experiences, we have no fears of missing out on anything by working longer. So we read a few less books. See a few less movies. Join a few less organizations. Volunteer a few less hours. Are viewed as gray haired senior citizens by our students.
All one needs to travel internationally is a passport and a plane ticket. One week vacation. Two week vacation. 4-5 day weekend. No need for anyone to retire, or wait until retirement for that.