Help with job decision

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Stacks20
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Help with job decision

Post by Stacks20 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:31 pm

Hello all- I have a work decison I could use some guidance with. I currently work as a strength coach in the private sector making about 80-90k a year, which for my profession is pretty good. The issue is I travel 90 minutes each way to take advantage of higher pay, without too steep a cost of living.As 1099 I have no benefits, b
ut I max out all retirement accounts, and our home is paid off.I have been offered a government job across the country in the same field making much less (65k starting), but as a W2 with pension and thrift savings account matching. My wifes job (100k), likely wouldnt be affected, as she could work remotely from new location. Besides the obvious issue of moving, does it make any sense from a financial standpoint to take a 20-25k pay cut for the stability and benefits of government job? It would also cheaper to live. (New Mexico vs. CT). Thanks

P.S we also have a 6 month old so schools and daycare would be part of that consideration.

Thegame14
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:35 pm

the younger you are the more it makes sense, govt pensions are a big value, they also tend to give lots of vacation and sick days and great work life balance. Id prob do it if no family or other considerations for staying put.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:40 pm

20 years from now, you will be glad for the benefits and pension.
10 years from now, you'll be glad for the benefits and perks.
1 year from now, you'll be glad you did it.
It will be a new life for your family as well.
Huge immediate and long term advantage by moving from HCOL to LCOL area.
This is one of those things where it might seem like "one" step backward for a moment to gain 10 steps forward over time.
j
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Trader Joe
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Trader Joe » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:44 pm

Stacks20 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:31 pm
Hello all- I have a work decison I could use some guidance with. I currently work as a strength coach in the private sector making about 80-90k a year, which for my profession is pretty good. The issue is I travel 90 minutes each way to take advantage of higher pay, without too steep a cost of living.As 1099 I have no benefits, b
ut I max out all retirement accounts, and our home is paid off.I have been offered a government job across the country in the same field making much less (65k starting), but as a W2 with pension and thrift savings account matching. My wifes job (100k), likely wouldnt be affected, as she could work remotely from new location. Besides the obvious issue of moving, does it make any sense from a financial standpoint to take a 20-25k pay cut for the stability and benefits of government job? It would also cheaper to live. (New Mexico vs. CT). Thanks

P.S we also have a 6 month old so schools and daycare would be part of that consideration.
Welcome to the forum. No, I would not accept this offer. I only accept job offers that increase my total compensation.

veindoc
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by veindoc » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:45 pm

90 minutes is tough with a little one. That for me at least would be worth the paycut.

What are your annual expenses currently?

Colorado13
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Colorado13 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:47 pm

What is the cost of living difference in the new location vs. your current location? I am just guessing, but depending on your location, housing in NM is likely to be cheaper than in CT, so the trade off maybe well worth it in exchange for better benefits. A shorter commuute would certainly be a plus. NM is not known for fabulous schools, so do your due diligence.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by HawkeyePierce » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:49 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:44 pm
Welcome to the forum. No, I would not accept this offer. I only accept job offers that increase my total compensation.
I expect that $65k W2 + government benefits is probably a higher total compensation than $90k 1099 with no benefits.

Considering OP is already paying about $12k in self-employment tax we're really comparing $65k to $78k. I can easily imagine the benefits being worth more than that $13k gap.

I would take it, depending on where in NM we're talking about. Lower cost of living and no 90 minute commute would clinch it for me.

(Also, I dislike the east coast but love the southwest. Personal preference though)

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Misenplace
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Misenplace » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 pm

It sounds as if the pay would be the same once you factor in the self-employment tax savings and the retirement matching. Maybe the gov job is even better pay if you take into account the pension and guaranteed vacation days. Add in better job stability, no need to hustle for clients, and lower cost of living- it starts to sound like a no-brainer. Even if you don't like it after a few years, often the fed job on your resume is a good entry back into the private sector.

random_walker_77
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by random_walker_77 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 pm

Misenplace wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 pm
It sounds as if the pay would be the same once you factor in the self-employment tax savings and the retirement matching. Maybe the gov job is even better pay if you take into account the pension and guaranteed vacation days. Add in better job stability, no need to hustle for clients, and lower cost of living- it starts to sound like a no-brainer. Even if you don't like it after a few years, often the fed job on your resume is a good entry back into the private sector.
I think it gets even better than that, when you consider the equivalent hourly wage given that OP has a 3 hr round trip commute. Assuming an 8 hr day, and counting those 3 hrs as equivalent to "overtime", his current job at ~85K * 8/11 is equivalent to a $62K job that pays overtime. The new job is more stable, pays $65K, but has a pension, benefits, and the reduced payroll taxes. Misenplace's point about "no need to hustle for clients" will be a big plus when the next recession rolls around. No overtime, but if OP really wanted to, perhaps a 2nd gig freelancing for 2 hours each day?

On the other hand, the wife's 6 figure job might be fine right now, but working remotely can be tough on both career growth, and job stability. Would she be able to find another job if laid off during the next recession? It's not unheard-of for the remote folks to be at a higher risk during layoffs... but even so, the low cost of living might make up for it. Once you're well-established in the government job, do you have any geographic flexibility if you need to move in support of your wife's career?

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:55 pm

Stacks20 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:31 pm
... the private sector making about 80-90k a year, which for my profession is pretty good. ...As 1099 I have no benefits... a government job across the country in the same field making much less (65k starting), but as a W2 with pension and thrift savings account matching...
A contractor job paying (pretty good) 80-90k with no benefits in a private sector vs. a government job of 65k starting and all the benefits (pension, health insurance even in retirement, TSP, paid time off,...). You should take the government job even if the starting salary were 50k.
Last edited by MathIsMyWayr on Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Watty » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:11 am

Stacks20 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:31 pm
Besides the obvious issue of moving, does it make any sense from a financial standpoint to take a 20-25k pay cut for the stability and benefits of government job? It would also cheaper to live. (New Mexico vs. CT).
Be sure to make a spreadsheet and figure out the after tax difference in your pay.

for starters I would assume that you are now paying around a 15% self employment tax so with a w2 job your employer would pay half of that and pay about 7.5%.

Between the tax savings and the lower cost of living I would suspect that financially it would be fine or you might even come out ahead.

The big question is if you would like living in New Mexico or not. I would assume that you have visited recently to interview which would be the middle of summer so you may have seen it at the worst time of year.

A lot of people choose to retire in Arizona so if the area of New Mexico you are looking at is similar then than may be a good sign.

Topic Author
Stacks20
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Stacks20 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:26 am

random_walker_77 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 pm
Misenplace wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 pm
It sounds as if the pay would be the same once you factor in the self-employment tax savings and the retirement matching. Maybe the gov job is even better pay if you take into account the pension and guaranteed vacation days. Add in better job stability, no need to hustle for clients, and lower cost of living- it starts to sound like a no-brainer. Even if you don't like it after a few years, often the fed job on your resume is a good entry back into the private sector.

I think it gets even better than that, when you consider the equivalent hourly wage given that OP has a 3 hr round trip commute. Assuming an 8 hr day, and counting those 3 hrs as equivalent to "overtime", his current job at ~85K * 8/11 is equivalent to a $62K job that pays overtime. The new job is more stable, pays $65K, but has a pension, benefits, and the reduced payroll taxes. Misenplace's point about "no need to hustle for clients" will be a big plus when the next recession rolls around. No overtime, but if OP really wanted to, perhaps a 2nd gig freelancing for 2 hours each day?

On the other hand, the wife's 6 figure job might be fine right now, but working remotely can be tough on both career growth, and job stability. Would she be able to find another job if laid off during the next recession? It's not unheard-of for the remote folks to be at a higher risk during layoffs... but even so, the low cost of living might make up for it. Once you're well-established in the government job, do you have any geographic flexibility if you need to move in support of your wife's career?
I should add that most weeks I am only working 4 days per week, but with very sporadic hours some days(4:30 am wakeup, home at 8pm). I make $58 per hour or session, but with the ebb and flow of busy and down times throughout the year it brings my average hours worked down a bit. There is potential to make more money but I worry about burning out by driving down additional days. The new position would be Monday- Friday 40 hours per week.

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Stacks20
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Stacks20 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:44 am

veindoc wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:45 pm
90 minutes is tough with a little one. That for me at least would be worth the paycut.

What are your annual expenses currently?
Annual expenses around 30k, so we are able to save a good amount

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Stinky
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Stinky » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:28 am

veindoc wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:45 pm
90 minutes is tough with a little one. That for me at least would be worth the paycut.
+1

I would never want to have that much time commuting, especially with a little one in the house. Life is too short.

You'll love New Mexico.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

Reamus294
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Reamus294 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:43 am

Based on the facts you provided it sounds like it could be a good opportunity and echo what others have said about it not being as big as a financial hit as it would seem in the long run. It also sounds like you could pick up work on the side if you needed or wanted to, especially if you could get back 2+ hours for 4 days out of the week. Give some thought to planning if your spouse needs to find new work so you wouldn't have to move again.

There are also a lot of other things to think about, like can you be successful in the new position, is the job something you can get excited about, do you have a pretty good feel for the area you'll be living in, are you and your family looking for some change, what does advancement look like in the government job vs the private sector? I personally like new mexico a lot and would enjoy all of the outdoor activities and lower COL. Good luck!

themesrob
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by themesrob » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:47 am

that's a no-brainer for me -- TSP + pension + government medical/dental for your family + better commute will make up for the initial disparity in salary. congrats on the new job, and enjoy New Mexico!

stoptothink
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by stoptothink » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 am

Stacks20 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:26 am
random_walker_77 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 pm
Misenplace wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 pm
It sounds as if the pay would be the same once you factor in the self-employment tax savings and the retirement matching. Maybe the gov job is even better pay if you take into account the pension and guaranteed vacation days. Add in better job stability, no need to hustle for clients, and lower cost of living- it starts to sound like a no-brainer. Even if you don't like it after a few years, often the fed job on your resume is a good entry back into the private sector.

I think it gets even better than that, when you consider the equivalent hourly wage given that OP has a 3 hr round trip commute. Assuming an 8 hr day, and counting those 3 hrs as equivalent to "overtime", his current job at ~85K * 8/11 is equivalent to a $62K job that pays overtime. The new job is more stable, pays $65K, but has a pension, benefits, and the reduced payroll taxes. Misenplace's point about "no need to hustle for clients" will be a big plus when the next recession rolls around. No overtime, but if OP really wanted to, perhaps a 2nd gig freelancing for 2 hours each day?

On the other hand, the wife's 6 figure job might be fine right now, but working remotely can be tough on both career growth, and job stability. Would she be able to find another job if laid off during the next recession? It's not unheard-of for the remote folks to be at a higher risk during layoffs... but even so, the low cost of living might make up for it. Once you're well-established in the government job, do you have any geographic flexibility if you need to move in support of your wife's career?
I should add that most weeks I am only working 4 days per week, but with very sporadic hours some days(4:30 am wakeup, home at 8pm). I make $58 per hour or session, but with the ebb and flow of busy and down times throughout the year it brings my average hours worked down a bit. There is potential to make more money but I worry about burning out by driving down additional days. The new position would be Monday- Friday 40 hours per week.
What government opportunities are there for a strength coach? Just curious as another (former) strength coach.

FWIW, I'd take that opportunity in a heartbeat. That commute and work schedule is a nightmare.

Topic Author
Stacks20
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Stacks20 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 am
Stacks20 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:26 am
random_walker_77 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 pm
Misenplace wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 pm
It sounds as if the pay would be the same once you factor in the self-employment tax savings and the retirement matching. Maybe the gov job is even better pay if you take into account the pension and guaranteed vacation days. Add in better job stability, no need to hustle for clients, and lower cost of living- it starts to sound like a no-brainer. Even if you don't like it after a few years, often the fed job on your resume is a good entry back into the private sector.

I think it gets even better than that, when you consider the equivalent hourly wage given that OP has a 3 hr round trip commute. Assuming an 8 hr day, and counting those 3 hrs as equivalent to "overtime", his current job at ~85K * 8/11 is equivalent to a $62K job that pays overtime. The new job is more stable, pays $65K, but has a pension, benefits, and the reduced payroll taxes. Misenplace's point about "no need to hustle for clients" will be a big plus when the next recession rolls around. No overtime, but if OP really wanted to, perhaps a 2nd gig freelancing for 2 hours each day?

On the other hand, the wife's 6 figure job might be fine right now, but working remotely can be tough on both career growth, and job stability. Would she be able to find another job if laid off during the next recession? It's not unheard-of for the remote folks to be at a higher risk during layoffs... but even so, the low cost of living might make up for it. Once you're well-established in the government job, do you have any geographic flexibility if you need to move in support of your wife's career?
I should add that most weeks I am only working 4 days per week, but with very sporadic hours some days(4:30 am wakeup, home at 8pm). I make $58 per hour or session, but with the ebb and flow of busy and down times throughout the year it brings my average hours worked down a bit. There is potential to make more money but I worry about burning out by driving down additional days. The new position would be Monday- Friday 40 hours per week.
What government opportunities are there for a strength coach? Just curious as another (former) strength coach.

FWIW, I'd take that opportunity in a heartbeat. That commute and work schedule is
Last edited by Stacks20 on Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by stoptothink » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:36 am

Stacks20 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 am
Stacks20 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:26 am
random_walker_77 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 pm
Misenplace wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 pm
It sounds as if the pay would be the same once you factor in the self-employment tax savings and the retirement matching. Maybe the gov job is even better pay if you take into account the pension and guaranteed vacation days. Add in better job stability, no need to hustle for clients, and lower cost of living- it starts to sound like a no-brainer. Even if you don't like it after a few years, often the fed job on your resume is a good entry back into the private sector.

I think it gets even better than that, when you consider the equivalent hourly wage given that OP has a 3 hr round trip commute. Assuming an 8 hr day, and counting those 3 hrs as equivalent to "overtime", his current job at ~85K * 8/11 is equivalent to a $62K job that pays overtime. The new job is more stable, pays $65K, but has a pension, benefits, and the reduced payroll taxes. Misenplace's point about "no need to hustle for clients" will be a big plus when the next recession rolls around. No overtime, but if OP really wanted to, perhaps a 2nd gig freelancing for 2 hours each day?

On the other hand, the wife's 6 figure job might be fine right now, but working remotely can be tough on both career growth, and job stability. Would she be able to find another job if laid off during the next recession? It's not unheard-of for the remote folks to be at a higher risk during layoffs... but even so, the low cost of living might make up for it. Once you're well-established in the government job, do you have any geographic flexibility if you need to move in support of your wife's career?
I should add that most weeks I am only working 4 days per week, but with very sporadic hours some days(4:30 am wakeup, home at 8pm). I make $58 per hour or session, but with the ebb and flow of busy and down times throughout the year it brings my average hours worked down a bit. There is potential to make more money but I worry about burning out by driving down additional days. The new position would be Monday- Friday 40 hours per week.
What government opportunities are there for a strength coach? Just curious as another (former) strength coach.

FWIW, I'd take that opportunity in a heartbeat. That commute and work schedule is a nightmare.
I would be working training military special ops
That sounds like a blast

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Stinky
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Stinky » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:03 am

Stacks20 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am

I would be working training military special ops
If I were a strength coach, this would be my dream job ....
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

random_walker_77
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:12 pm

Stacks20 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am
I would be working training military [servicemembers]
That sounds like a dream job.

But you might want to edit your post, both to avoid including too many details to become personally identifiable, and because if you're going to be working w/ that part of the government, discretion is really important.

delamer
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by delamer » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:20 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:49 pm
Trader Joe wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:44 pm
Welcome to the forum. No, I would not accept this offer. I only accept job offers that increase my total compensation.
I expect that $65k W2 + government benefits is probably a higher total compensation than $90k 1099 with no benefits.

Considering OP is already paying about $12k in self-employment tax we're really comparing $65k to $78k. I can easily imagine the benefits being worth more than that $13k gap.

I would take it, depending on where in NM we're talking about. Lower cost of living and no 90 minute commute would clinch it for me.

(Also, I dislike the east coast but love the southwest. Personal preference though)
In addition, given that you are already making out your retirement accounts, you’ll receive a 5% employer match to your TSP which is another $3250 in compensation.

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TxAg
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by TxAg » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:45 pm

I'd move in a heartbeat

umfan11244
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by umfan11244 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:52 pm

Based on what you've said above regarding how you're currently paid, your commute, and HCOL area, I think it's a no-brainer that you should take it.

NOW - add in the blurb about who you'll actually be working for and it's really a no-brainer. That niche of military guys is as laid back yet effective as they come. No better group. I can't encourage you enough. Good luck!

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TxAg
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by TxAg » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:59 pm

You have a great opportunity to do something like this:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=287947

TSR
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by TSR » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:13 pm

Having taken a significant pay cut to work in the federal government, I'd take that in a heartbeat. I think the more relevant concern is whether your wife is really going to be able to keep up her job, but even if she were to end up transitioning, her salary would go so much father in NM than CT. Just make sure it'd really be what she wants.

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Watty
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Re: Help with job decision

Post by Watty » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:41 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that after you have done that new job for a while you might me in a position to do thing like write a book or develope a business where you could "train the trainers" by teaching classes at professional seminars.

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