Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

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Wellfleet
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Wellfleet »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:36 pm
From the few friends and soccer parents who are teachers in town, several have talked about this. I thought this was pretty universal. I know some with Masters working on their PhD. We've had teacher meetings at school (when our kids were younger) where the teacher had a drop dead time because they had to get over to the college for a class.

I do know that State Colleges in Mass are free to those (like me) over 60. The catch is that class sign up is after all fee paying students have completed their sign ups. My retired father in law, who never went to college has been taking one class a semester for a couple years now at Worcester State. He never knows for sure what class he'll be taking until he sees what's still available. It's been completely free for him.
Interesting and thank you! There is no free universal masters that I'm aware of in MA..contrary I think its a bit of a racket because all the state schools make $ off teachers who are required to have masters to teach or change discipline but regardless there are a few caveats for free education for teachers in disadvantaged communities or specific programs like special ed. There are a few VHCOL towns that have pool of funds that they selectively contribute towards professional development annually.
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celia
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by celia »

02nz wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:17 am Many teachers have access to both a 403b and 457b plan, so potentially 38K/year of tax-advantaged space. If the plans are low-cost (many are not), that space can be very valuable, e.g., for a high earner married to a teacher.

But surely this isn't the way people decide on a spouse ...
After my mom died and my dad was ready to get into dating again (in his 60s), he wanted to find women who were more educated, so joined the local college alumni association, even though he had never attended college. If something is important to you in a spouse, why not start by looking in a group of people who tend to have the attributes you are looking for?

Advantages
* "Official" work hours tend to be shorter than other full-time jobs.
* Raises are pretty automatic if you are paid on a salary schedule of "post-grad units/degree" vs "years taught". It pretty much doesn't matter how good or bad you are as a teacher (as long as you don't get fired), since everyone with the same experience (educational and years taught) is paid the same.
* Usually the teacher has a guaranteed parking space.

Disadvantages
* Teachers need to use "unofficial" time in lesson planning, grading papers, attending back-to-school (or parent) nights, and chaperoning school events. This may start during the summer.
* They may have to pay significant dues to a union and use their personal time to help them campaign when elections are coming, even though they may disagree with the union's positions. Theoretically, they can't be forced to join a union, but might have to pay the same "dues" to another fund, since the union helped get the raise and benefits. (I'm no longer current on this topic.)
* The annuity salespeople may hang around the teacher's lounge and then your teacher spouse will start talking to you about annuities. I've found other conversations in the teacher's lounge do not have diversified views as the teachers tend to think like each other.
* If they didn't pay into SS, they can't collect from it.

dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:28 am It is also very common that retired public school employees receive health insurance benefits - even after they become Medicare eligible. A very large neighboring county, for example, provides school system retirees with a Medicare Advantage plan (with a great network) at no fees - and, unlike regular MA plans, covers just about all care - no copays. Over time, especially for those with medical/health issues, this is a very large financial benefit.
That's a disadvantage, in my book. Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans are often "free" or close to it for everyone. But being in such a plan limits who you can see for medical care. For the best care, I think having a supplemental (Medigap) plan is better so you are free to see specialists whom the HMO may not want to refer you to.
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A440
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by A440 »

123 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:55 am Many of them are quite attractive/handsome.
:mrgreen: Thanks for the laugh!

I'll add that when we had our first child I was able to be home as early as 2:30 if I really had to be. There were many days when my wife (with tears in her eyes) handed off the baby to me at the door- Your turn!! :shock:
Later in life, it is nice to be home early to get kids of the bus and be available and involved with the family. Likewise, summer's "off" together is a bonus, if you can manage the financial deficit between July and start of school in September. We also get to "practice" retirement for two months a year so our spouse gets a taste of having us around each summer for 30 years or more.
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sport
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by sport »

celia wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:45 pm That's a disadvantage, in my book. Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans are often "free" or close to it for everyone. But being in such a plan limits who you can see for medical care. For the best care, I think having a supplemental (Medigap) plan is better so you are free to see specialists whom the HMO may not want to refer you to.
This must vary by location. DW is a retired teacher and we have an MA plan through the State Teachers Retirement System. It is not free by any means. I pay the full rate, about $350/month and DW pays a discounted rate based on years of service, in addition to Medicare premiums. We have $15 copay for our primary Dr. and $25 copay for any other Dr. However, we have only a $150 deductible and only a $1500 OOP maximum. We have a very large network of Drs. that are "in network" and have never found the need for out-of-network providers. There is still coverage of out-of-network, but the copays and deductibles are higher. So far, it seems that almost all Drs. and hospitals in our area are part of the network. The plan is an Aetna Medicare plan.
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dm200
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by dm200 »

dm200 wrote: ↑Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:28 am
It is also very common that retired public school employees receive health insurance benefits - even after they become Medicare eligible. A very large neighboring county, for example, provides school system retirees with a Medicare Advantage plan (with a great network) at no fees - and, unlike regular MA plans, covers just about all care - no copays. Over time, especially for those with medical/health issues, this is a very large financial benefit.
That's a disadvantage, in my book. Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans are often "free" or close to it for everyone. But being in such a plan limits who you can see for medical care. For the best care, I think having a supplemental (Medigap) plan is better so you are free to see specialists whom the HMO may not want to refer you to.
I believe you have not read this correctly.

This plan is much better than what individuals can buy (even if the MA plan has no monthly premium).

Most MA plans individuals can buy do have some kind of premium. This is ZERO.
The MA plans that individuals can buy have copays and shred cost. This plan has zero. You go to the doctor or have a procedure - no charge to you
MA plans have annual out of pocket expense limits of up to $6.700. This plan has zero - since it pays everything

According to one retiree I know, who has decades of health and medical problems - and retired on disability - she regards this coverage as excellent.

My describing this as an benefit is comparing it to having no retiree health/medical benefit.
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dm200
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by dm200 »

sport wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:29 pm
celia wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:45 pm That's a disadvantage, in my book. Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans are often "free" or close to it for everyone. But being in such a plan limits who you can see for medical care. For the best care, I think having a supplemental (Medigap) plan is better so you are free to see specialists whom the HMO may not want to refer you to.
This must vary by location. DW is a retired teacher and we have an MA plan through the State Teachers Retirement System. It is not free by any means. I pay the full rate, about $350/month and DW pays a discounted rate based on years of service, in addition to Medicare premiums. We have $15 copay for our primary Dr. and $25 copay for any other Dr. However, we have only a $150 deductible and only a $1500 OOP maximum. We have a very large network of Drs. that are "in network" and have never found the need for out-of-network providers. There is still coverage of out-of-network, but the copays and deductibles are higher. So far, it seems that almost all Drs. and hospitals in our area are part of the network. The plan is an Aetna Medicare plan.
Yes - I believe this is something local to that very large school district (County). That same County's 'regular' retirees (not school system retirees) have a similar MA plan from the same MA provider - but with some slight differences in detail.
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Timeforchange
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Timeforchange »

I know quite a few teachers in NYC and the surrounding suburbs who are happily retired with great pensions, benefits, etc. These people happened to have been music teachers (choral, band and orchestra). An added benefit is that they touched many, many lives with creative, meaningful and fun areas of schooling. The number of former students who comment about how singing in the chorus, or being in the school musical, or band or orchestra was the highlight of their high school years is astounding. Many of these students are still performing because of these positive experiences. And recently, one of my friends went on a vacation and saw three of her former students (again, now adults with kids of their own), one of them working for a summer opera company. I can't think of another profession that can give back so much. And since many of these teachers were performers in their own right, they still contribute by playing with musical groups after retirement.
sport
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by sport »

dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:35 pm
sport wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:29 pm
celia wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:45 pm That's a disadvantage, in my book. Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans are often "free" or close to it for everyone. But being in such a plan limits who you can see for medical care. For the best care, I think having a supplemental (Medigap) plan is better so you are free to see specialists whom the HMO may not want to refer you to.
This must vary by location. DW is a retired teacher and we have an MA plan through the State Teachers Retirement System. It is not free by any means. I pay the full rate, about $350/month and DW pays a discounted rate based on years of service, in addition to Medicare premiums. We have $15 copay for our primary Dr. and $25 copay for any other Dr. However, we have only a $150 deductible and only a $1500 OOP maximum. We have a very large network of Drs. that are "in network" and have never found the need for out-of-network providers. There is still coverage of out-of-network, but the copays and deductibles are higher. So far, it seems that almost all Drs. and hospitals in our area are part of the network. The plan is an Aetna Medicare plan.
Yes - I believe this is something local to that very large school district (County). That same County's 'regular' retirees (not school system retirees) have a similar MA plan from the same MA provider - but with some slight differences in detail.
All public school teacher retiree benefits in Ohio are part the State Teachers Retirement System. The local school district has nothing to do with retirement benefits.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by rj342 »

A440 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:02 pm ...
Likewise, summer's "off" together is a bonus, if you can manage the financial deficit between July and start of school in September.
...
???
Around here, both public and private, the school year's pay is paid out over 12 months. I believe Sep-Aug.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by brandy »

I do not know if this is still true, but way back when, teachers who do not work at something during the summer months have smaller SS incomes. I did not know that until it was too late for me. I knew a lot of male teachers who took summer jobs. I thought it was to help with the family. It was of course, but those extra months working also meant increased SS benefits. Something you might want to look into.
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Misenplace
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Misenplace »

Several off topic posts have been removed. Please keep the discussion focused on the financial advantages of a spouse teacher.
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Bob Sacamano »

rj342 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:13 pm
A440 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:02 pm ...
Likewise, summer's "off" together is a bonus, if you can manage the financial deficit between July and start of school in September.
...
???
Around here, both public and private, the school year's pay is paid out over 12 months. I believe Sep-Aug.
my wife has the choice. larger checks for 9-months or smaller checks spread over the entire year.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
You can retire early. Have you asked your wife what the advantages are?
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Arlington2019
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Arlington2019 »

My wife has been a teacher for over 25 years with two undergrad degrees in business and teaching. As such, she has excellent pay, health insurance and a pension and with the recent McCleary decision in Washington, is now paid more than me. I have been in healthcare for 35 years, have two graduate degrees, have a worse benefit plan, have never had a pension, will not have any retiree medical benefits and I am paid less than her. I guess the real advantage comes when she retires, insofar as she will have a good retirement medical plan and can add me onto it for a reasonable monthly premium.

PS: I laughed at the 'attractive/handsome' statement. I have been working in healthcare facilities since I was 16 years old, and I can say with confidence that the average staff does not resemble what you see on the medical TV shows. The average school is much the same.
Last edited by Arlington2019 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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dm200
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by dm200 »

Arlington2019 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:37 pm My wife has been a teacher for over 25 years with two undergrad degrees in business and teaching. As such, she has excellent pay, health insurance and a pension and with the recent McCleary decision in Washington, is now paid more than me. I have been in healthcare for 35 years, have two graduate degrees, have a worse benefit plan, have never had a pension and I am paid less than her. I guess the real advantage comes when she retires, insofar as she will have a good retirement medical plan and can add me onto it for a reasonable monthly premium.
Well stated...
SueG5123
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by SueG5123 »

Just wanted to mention the WEP and the toll it can take on your planned pension!
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Bob Sacamano »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:10 pm
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
You can retire early. Have you asked your wife what the advantages are?
i am being generous when i say she is completely clueless about anything finance related (salary, pension, insurance, etc.). i try to impart some of the knowledge that you fine folks pass along to me :)
Johnny Thinwallet
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Johnny Thinwallet »

My wife is a public school teacher here in Ohio, and I would say there are plenty of advantages. She has a good pension through STRS Ohio, which under current law (caveat: subject to change) would provide a good pension at age 60 and 35 years.

She also has very good healthcare. Our total premiums for the year are $2,500 for family coverage. My wife carries our whole family on her plan at that rate. It's an HSA plan, and they also kick in $2,400 each year in HSA contributions.

I've made more in salary than her each year so far for a decade, but her raises due to the salary schedule and step increases have enabled her to quickly catch me in salary the last few years. Her salary jumped 12 percent last year and then another 9 percent again this year. I have to get promoted to get those type of annual increases.

In my opinion, the vast majority of dual income households that have one spouse being a teacher is probably going to be living pretty comfortably.
Big Dog
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Big Dog »

dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:24 am
The pay is not great so you really have to work smartly to not find yourself making effectively minimum wage
.

The level of public school teacher compensation, in my opinion, varies greatly in different jurisdictions.

One measure, in my opinion, of such teacher compensation, is how many applicants there are for teacher positions vs. the number of openings.
Indeed. Rookie Teachers in our SoCal district start at $59k. Heck, Interns (working on credential) start at $49k. However, family health benefits aren't as great as they used to be. Great benie for the employee, but adding dependents is a lot more expensive.

Our district also offers the teachers a choice of pay timing: the same amount payable over nine months or 12 months (for easier budgeting?).
Last edited by Big Dog on Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Trader Joe
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Trader Joe »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
No, honestly, I cannot think of one advantage.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

Trader Joe wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:49 pm
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
No, honestly, I cannot think of one advantage.

Maybe they can teach you a thing or two??
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

Big Dog wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:43 pm
dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:24 am
The pay is not great so you really have to work smartly to not find yourself making effectively minimum wage
.

The level of public school teacher compensation, in my opinion, varies greatly in different jurisdictions.

One measure, in my opinion, of such teacher compensation, is how many applicants there are for teacher positions vs. the number of openings.
Indeed. Rookie Teachers in our SoCal district start at $59k. Heck, Interns (working on credential) start at $49k. However, family health benefits aren't as great as they used to be. Great benie for the employee, but adding dependents is a lot more expensive.

Our district also offers the teachers a choice of pay timing: the same amount payable over nine months or 12 months (for easier budgeting?).
SoCal teachers are paid pretty well!!!
rj342
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by rj342 »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:09 pm
rj342 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:13 pm
A440 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:02 pm ...
Likewise, summer's "off" together is a bonus, if you can manage the financial deficit between July and start of school in September.
...
???
Around here, both public and private, the school year's pay is paid out over 12 months. I believe Sep-Aug.
my wife has the choice. larger checks for 9-months or smaller checks spread over the entire year.
I think it used to be that way here, but went to only the 12 month option. Simp!er in terms of accounting and benefits month to month, and also prevented the spectacle of teachers choosing 9 months and not managing money properly for the summer. Never heard of 9 month as the only option.
jibantik
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by jibantik »

roleplay :D
mikeyzito22
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by mikeyzito22 »

Carefreeap wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:58 am
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:45 am the only true negative i have found is that it makes it very difficult to move regionally. as in, it makes it more difficult for the non-teaching spouse to career climb and sort of narrows the job search radius.
I think that's true with almost any trailing spouse.
Wait, what? What is a "trailing spouse?"
sport
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by sport »

Teachers used to be paid here for 9 months. Some of them filed for unemployment benefits for the other 3 months. That ended when all the districts went to 12 month paychecks.
thankyouverymuch
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by thankyouverymuch »

tesuzuki2002 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:25 pm SoCal teachers are paid pretty well!!!
"The median salary for a full-time teacher in LAUSD — the midpoint at which half of all salaries are higher and half are lower — is $80,420, compared to $83,635 in Chicago. Teachers in Long Beach had a median salary of $94,285 that same year. [...] Full-time teachers in Los Angeles received roughly $24,000 in health and retirement benefits in 2017. Chicago paid about $4,000 more toward benefits that same year. LAUSD, however, also offers another incentive — lifetime medical, dental and vision benefits for retirees. Two years ago, the unfunded liability for those benefits was calculated at more than $15 billion by a risk-management firm."

Source:
https://www.dailynews.com/2019/01/12/la ... em-closer/
Small Savanna
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Small Savanna »

It was great when our children were young. My wife taught at their school, which was five minutes from our house, so all of the before and after school logistics were easy, and they had the same vacations. Also, I had to travel a lot, so it was good that her job didn't require travel.
wubdemil
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by wubdemil »

02nz wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:17 am Many teachers have access to both a 403b and 457b plan, so potentially 38K/year of tax-advantaged space. If the plans are low-cost (many are not), that space can be very valuable, e.g., for a high earner married to a teacher.

But surely this isn't the way people decide on a spouse ...
Some might even have access to 403b and 457, on top of a defined benefit or defined contribution e.g. 401k plan.
A440
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by A440 »

wubdemil wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:07 am
02nz wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:17 am Many teachers have access to both a 403b and 457b plan, so potentially 38K/year of tax-advantaged space. If the plans are low-cost (many are not), that space can be very valuable, e.g., for a high earner married to a teacher.

But surely this isn't the way people decide on a spouse ...
Some might even have access to 403b and 457, on top of a defined benefit or defined contribution e.g. 401k plan.
Yes, I suppose this is an advantage if the other spouse is working.
If the teacher is the only earner there isn't a ton left over after paying for mandatory healthcare/prescription premiums, pension contributions, and professional dues (although now they are no longer mandatory, but strongly encouraged).
With a MA+30 and 27 years in the profession my gross pay last year was $99,000, however, my take home pay was $55,000 after all the deductions, including contributing $8,000 to my self-directed 403(b)(7).
To be fair $55,000 in take home pay is a lot of money for many families with earners with advanced degrees and close to 30 years in a profession. There are plenty of families that make do with less. However, it is below the average of $72,337 for NJ according to this link:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/much-rea ... 00412.html
IMHO, the advantages of the profession still outweigh the disadvantages. One can (and usually will) get a side hustle (or two) if needed to support a family.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.
Nutmeg
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Nutmeg »

mikeyzito22 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:06 pm
Carefreeap wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:58 am
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:45 am the only true negative i have found is that it makes it very difficult to move regionally. as in, it makes it more difficult for the non-teaching spouse to career climb and sort of narrows the job search radius.
I think that's true with almost any trailing spouse.
Wait, what? What is a "trailing spouse?"
“Trailing spouse” is a term for a someone who follows his or her spouse to a new location because of that spouse’s job change. I have seen it used in the case of expats, where the term is relevant because in some cases, the laws of the new country don’t permit the trailing spouse to have paid employment.
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

Are there advantages? Absolutely.

Teachers are such nice people. Much more compassionate and sociable than I am. Also more attractive.

And better educated! My wife is an endless source of stimulating conversation in general, and unlimited information regarding her field of expertise! My brother once asked "Why did you marry a woman who is so much smarter than you are?"

Also, as others have pointed out, once you have emptied your bank account for infant and pre-school day care, your spouse can often come home from work at the same time your children get home from school.
tibbitts
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by tibbitts »

Nobody asked, but... advantages compared to what? Someone who doesn't work outside the home? There are so many other possibilities.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by jharkin »

I am married to a public elementary school employee (non-teacher) and have elementary age kids so I have some insight..

Pro's
1- Yes there is access to both 403b and 457b... but currently we dont have the income to max both and my own plan. We are using the 457 first.
2 - There is also a pension, which is a valuable retirement income diversifier. The pension is completely state tax free if we retire in-state.
3 - In addition to the pension, the school system also has a retiree health insurance plan we can opt into if we want to retire early (but it looks like its more expensive than ACA care)
4 - Summers off and all school vacations off + same time schedule as kids = we dont spend a dime on daycare and rarely have to worry about finding babysitters/etc.
5 - As mentioned above most school employees are union and depending on the contract between step increases and COL adjustments the increase in some years can be significant (5-10%)

Con's
1 - Public school starting pay is very low (50%+) compared to what my spouse could earn in her profession outside the school system.Extremely low compared to what I make in tech. Would be a rounding error for somebody in finance/medicine/law. So even with those big bumps it could take her a decade to catch up to what she used to make outside the school system.
2 - Flip side of having school vacations off is that time off at other times is nearly impossible. So you have to plan family travel in the busy/high season times when everyone else does.
3- Flip side of the pension is that she doesn't contribute to FICA/SS or earn any SS credits, and SS credits she had from prior employment get reduced by the WEP/GPO rules.
4- Other benefits, like health insurance - are very expensive as the town doesn't subsidize anything. We use my private employer plan.
5- There are ongoing licensing requirements that require continuing education credits, testing, etc to stay eligible for employment. In MA for example the first 5 years are a probationary period then you have to reapply for 'permanent' status which requires either a Masters degree or for some non-teaching roles a specific professional certification.
fasteddie911
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by fasteddie911 »

One perk if you teach at a private school, at least in my area, is your kids can get free or greatly reduced tuition and possibly preferential treatment for admission.
deikel
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by deikel »

since no one mentioned it before:

A little depending on grade, your teacher will bring home any and all bugs that go around the grade for the next couple of years and until your immune system is build quite solidly. I consider that a benefit now, but YMMW

Not trying to glide into politics, but by definition and necessity, teachers tend progressive relative to the community they serve, you pick if that's a plus or not.

In general community connection is significantly improved with a teacher spouse - you will hear and know all there is going in, this can be good or bad. If your job is community oriented (lawyer, doctor, real estate) this might work out quite well as a hidden marketing tool
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donaldfair71
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by donaldfair71 »

dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:13 am
Goal33 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am The good benefits (health, vision, dental) are mostly a myth. When my wife was a public school teacher we waived all her benefits and just elected for mine (publicly traded tech company)
Probably varies greatly by jurisdiction.
Nailed it.

It's not even just from state to state, but district to district/county to county. Salaries, and benefits, can vary wildly between neighboring school systems.
Texanbybirth
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Texanbybirth »

fasteddie911 wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:24 am One perk if you teach at a private school, at least in my area, is your kids can get free or greatly reduced tuition and possibly preferential treatment for admission.
That was one of the most difficult decisions for us when my wife became a SAHM. The tuition at the Catholic HS she taught at is currently $15k/yr, and she would have easily been tenured for free tuition for our 3 kids by the time they started in 10 years. It'll probably be >$20k/yr by then. (They also matched her 403b more generously than my private employer. :happy )

Holistically, I still think we made the right choice. :D
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dm200
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by dm200 »

donaldfair71 wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:48 am
dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:13 am
Goal33 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am The good benefits (health, vision, dental) are mostly a myth. When my wife was a public school teacher we waived all her benefits and just elected for mine (publicly traded tech company)
Probably varies greatly by jurisdiction.
Nailed it.
It's not even just from state to state, but district to district/county to county. Salaries, and benefits, can vary wildly between neighboring school systems.
And, unlike some other professions and salaries, public school teacher compensation may not be as related to the cost of living. I believe that in some low or modest cost of living localities, teacher compensation is high.

One common, in my opinion, public school teacher compensation issue is whether (and if done, how much) public school teachers in very in demand specialties and, perhaps, with more strenuous educational requirements are better compensated than those specialties that are not in high demand and there are many qualified candidates. I believe strongly in paying such in demand specialties considerably more. That opinion of mine is very unpopular with most teachers that are not in high demand specialties.

Another one of my "hot buttons" is the common very large disparity of spending in different public school districts. The poor areas of my state (Virginia) have much lower per pupil expenditure than more affluent areas. This difference is much greater than the difference in cost of living. Often, these school districts are spending and taxing residents a lot (based on the incomes of the residents) - so it is not just that the residents do not care about school quality.

Back on the original topic - it seems to me that parents who are teachers tend to do a more effective job of instilling the importance of education to their children. I certainly notice that among my relatives - many of whom are teachers.
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Bob Sacamano »

as a follow up - is anyone aware of a list of states that share reciprocity of some sort? i am sure there are very few, but my Google fu wasn't been yielding much.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by bengal22 »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
Free apples.
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goodenyou
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by goodenyou »

bengal22 wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:04 pm
Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
Free apples.
If they are good teachers, they can correct your grammar too.
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celia
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by celia »

dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:33 pm
celia wrote:
dm200 wrote: ↑Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:28 am
It is also very common that retired public school employees receive health insurance benefits - even after they become Medicare eligible. A very large neighboring county, for example, provides school system retirees with a Medicare Advantage plan (with a great network) at no fees - and, unlike regular MA plans, covers just about all care - no copays. Over time, especially for those with medical/health issues, this is a very large financial benefit.
That's a disadvantage, in my book. Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans are often "free" or close to it for everyone. But being in such a plan limits who you can see for medical care. For the best care, I think having a supplemental (Medigap) plan is better so you are free to see specialists whom the HMO may not want to refer you to.
I believe you have not read this correctly.

This plan is much better than what individuals can buy (even if the MA plan has no monthly premium).

Most MA plans individuals can buy do have some kind of premium. This is ZERO.
The MA plans that individuals can buy have copays and shred cost. This plan has zero. You go to the doctor or have a procedure - no charge to you
MA plans have annual out of pocket expense limits of up to $6.700. This plan has zero - since it pays everything
No. I read your original post several times to be sure I understood you.

I agree with others that this must be locality dependent. In my zip code, there are 10 MA plans with $0 premium, $0 co-pays. Some even pay part of the Medicare Part B premium. The max annual out-pf-pocket ranges from $999 to $3400. These plans also include drug coverage which can then make your expenses increase depending on what you take. But these plans are for anyone who lives around here.

Our medical group takes both HMO and PPO patients. Although we are PPO (Medicare with Medigap), I've noticed that if the doctor doesn't look at my chart properly, (s)he might send me to a surgeon in another practice, who has a big backlog. When I needed surgery and the outside surgeon referred me for an MRI, the people there and at another place, suggested I use another surgeon who specialized in the surgery I needed and had done a lot more of them. So I changed surgeons on my own and later talked to my referring Primary Care Physician about not being limited to HMO doctors. I've also seen that some of the specialists in our medical group don't appear to be as good as others who are not affiliated with our group. (You can only figure that out if you go to both or know someone who does.) We're now working with our second specialist who has referred us to another more specialized specialist for something they can't do. If we didn't have Medicare and a Medigap plan, they wouldn't have referred us. So, not having these options available, to me, makes me think that the HMO services are fine for 90% of the people, but if you want something the HMO won't cover, you are out of luck, unless you pay for it completely. Even the specialized specialist says they don't accept HMO referrals since the HMO takes too long to pay.
Last edited by celia on Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by CyclingDuo »

Bob Sacamano wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:12 am just curious if anyone knows of any advantages to having a teacher for a spouse.

i would say the insurance, time off and pension are benefits. any others that i am missing.

i've read some folks were able to take more risks in their career knowing their spouse had a steady and, depending on region, relatively well-paying career.
I will speak only about the financial advantages.

Much like Thomas Stanley's book The Millionaire Next Door, Chris Hogan's recent book entitled Everyday Millionaires discovered that teachers actually appear near the top of the list in becoming millionaires. Hogan's book discovered that teachers are one of the most common four professions for making it to the two comma club.

That being said, many have pointed out some of the advantages of being married to a teacher. Our household, as a result of having Summers off and usually a 3 - 4 week holiday break, plus 10 days for a Spring Break have already experienced "mini-retirement" for a grand total of 11.x years to date over our careers. Usually averages about 115-125 days off per year. That's a lot of time off!!!!

:sharebeer

The pre-tax deductions from salary that go into the mandatory pension plan, plus the option for maxing out a 403b and a 457b plan helps build up two legs of the traditional three legged income stream in retirement. For those who work in states that also have teachers paying into Social Security, that provides the third leg of the stool for the traditional three legged income stream in retirement.

Image

Whether one is reading Larry Swedroe, or Michael Kitces - both authors bring up the idea that being a teacher is an income stream during the career that is more bond like than those working in more cyclical industries where their income is more stock like. Teachers work for the 9 months, but their paychecks are distributed over the full 12 months which helps the household cash flow. The option for taking on a side job in the summer is also available, although most data I read shows that has only resulted in about 14% or so of teachers taking advantage of that to make extra income in the past. Not sure about current data or going forward into the future in our "gig economy". I know a group of teachers that banded together (4 of them) and paint houses every Summer with each of them netting around $15-20K after expenses and taxes. I usually did singing gigs many Summers for about the same amount. Either way, the time off during the Summer and holidays in our household certainly has led to good family time, travel, vacations and pursuing other hobbies. Lots of Little League baseball, AAU baseball, AAU soccer, and high school baseball/soccer during those years.

Our household has two of us that work in education (although my career prior to the past 16 years of teaching at the college level was in the performing arts, not in education). Obviously, we have socialized with many colleagues over the past 16 years both within the profession of being public school teachers as well as college/university teachers to see and know how the advantages have played out over the years - especially if a household is frugal, and spends less than they make over their decades in the career.

Outside of the above, having a dual income household whether it includes one teacher or two teachers is a productive way to build up retirement funds. We would not be where we are in our accumulation had we been a single income family on our individual salaries all these years, but when combined, the household cash flow for two has allowed for plenty.

CyclingDuo
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dm200
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by dm200 »

In our jurisdiction, the "Spring break" week off always is the week BEFORE Easter. The much larger neighboring jurisdiction, where many who teach in our jurisdiction also has the week before Easter off. They do that so public school teachers that work in one jurisdiction have the same spring break as their children who attend public school in the other jurisdiction.

HOWEVER, all the local Parochial (Catholic) schools have the Spring break the week AFTER Easter. So, public school teachers with children in Catholic school - have a conflict - as do Catholic School teachers with children in public school.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Weston »

I've been married to a teacher for many a decade.

The advantages we found...

Job stability... it was very helpful to have a steady income while I tried to get my practice off the ground. We had some lean times in the early years but always knew that we could pay the mortgage and feed the kids because of my wife's job.

Long summer vacations.

Her work hours roughly matched the kid's school schedules so we rarely had to figure out child care once they were in school.

Pension... now that the kids are grown we could live quite comfortably just on just her pension and social security. Even if I wasn't still working we probably would not have to touch our savings/holdings for any necessities and most luxuries.

Easily available jobs. Once my wife had a few years of teaching under her belt she never had much difficulty finding good, safe schools to work in within a short commute from our home.
Aku09
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by Aku09 »

My wife is an elementary teacher in a very rural school district. Salary (35k) and benefits are terrible, but she wanted to go back to teacher after being a SAHM for years and that was the only opening she could find. She commutes about 45 minutes each way to work out of state which is a toll on her but she enjoys her work. Local schools don’t pay any more either.

It does provide a little bit of income to our household and we were able to move our youngest to pre-K there for free this year so that saves money on daycare (had to pay OOP at a local church last year). We will move our older two children back to the local school system when they are older as there are many more opportunities available in the local system.

My job schedule is unpredictable so her being able to have the same schedule as the kids and pick them up is paramount as I have many late/all nighters and weekends.
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NORDO
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by NORDO »

stoptothink wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:44 am
dm200 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:13 am
Goal33 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am The good benefits (health, vision, dental) are mostly a myth. When my wife was a public school teacher we waived all her benefits and just elected for mine (publicly traded tech company)
Probably varies greatly by jurisdiction.
My stepfather's benefits are significantly better than those offered by any employer I or my wife has ever had.
That's 100% our situation. My reasonably large corporation's benefits don't come close to my spouse's school district's benefits for family coverage. Both are high deductible plans.

Minimum annual out of pocket cost (premiums)
Me = $4,851 / Spouse = $3,399

Maximum annual out of pocket cost (premiums + deductible - employer HSA contributions)
Me = $14,851 / Spouse = $4,399

So we're ahead no matter what, and way ahead if there are any significant medical expenses.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by sman »

I didn't see any discussion of what I'm about to add, but my apologies if it's already been discussed.

If a teacher (cop, fire fighter, or paramedic as well) lives in a HUD "revitalized area" they're eligible to participate in the 'Good Neighbor Next Door' (GNND) program. Basically, you get first opportunity at a HUD auction (turns into lottery for the multiple people who qualify for GNND). HUD then takes out a silent second mortgage for 50% of the listed home price. If you stay in the home for 3-years while living in it, and working in the same area you're 50% silent mortgage is completely forgiven. In short, you get 50% off the listed price. The only requirement being you can't own a home/land a year prior to purchasing a GNND home. You could buy a HUD GNND home, live in it for 3-years, sell it, live in an apartment for a year, then buy another one.

You're probably thinking, "HUD repo home ewww" You'd be surprised how many very nice, large, newer $250K-$450K homes there are listed in revitalized areas if you pay attention long enough. Look at the current Texas and Georgia listings, and there are lots of $250,000+ 3000+ sq. ft homes at the moment.

It's definitely something worth considering if you're teacher, cop, fire fighter, or paramedic.
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Re: Are there advantages to being married to a teacher?

Post by LilyFleur »

Good teachers make good parents. They understand children's brains, motivations, and emotions. As a former teacher, I cringe when I see non-teachers disciplining children in ways that are not age appropriate and thus, counter-productive. Often I see this on airplanes. My best friend is an excellent teacher and she has given me valuable parenting advice over the years.
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