Salary vs Lifestyle

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AUTHOR: kt2062 on 6/23/2024

What you give for $386,000? If you were 5 years from retirement, would you move 3 hours away from your home and friends to accept a job that pays about $60,000 more annually? Assume you won’t sell your house but would rent a small one-bedroom or studio that would cost maybe $1000 a month.

So, I tried following the decision-making process of David Gartland (link to Make That Choice) to help me with my decision. First, I stated my priorities: 1) To achieve a secure financial retirement. 2) To make the most of the time I have left and build on the relationships and connections I have where I am.

Pros of taking the new job:

  1. An increase in pay of about $60,000
  2. A possible increase in pension: an age factor of 2.5% instead of 2.3% as well as the pay increase
  3. Increased contributions to a 457 account
  4. This job does not pay into Social Security
  5. Intellectual stimulation?

Cons of taking the new job:

  1. Having to move to a new area and leave my home
  2. Paying about $1000-12000 in rent per month
  3. Being in a higher tax bracket
  4. The risks of a new job: will I like the bosses, my coworkers, the job itself?
  5. Being alone and having to start over making connections
  6. Supervising advanced professional practitioners (Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants) who may not always make the best decisions
  7. Having to be on-call
  8. This job does not pay into Social Security
  9. Increased stress

Now, what is the worst that could happen with each choice? If I opted for the new job, I could end up with terrible bosses, coworkers and hate the work I am doing. There is a 6-month probation period and if I do not satisfy my new employers and don’t pass probation, I could be out of a job. Whether there would be a position available for me at my old job is unknown.

If I don’t take the new job, I will have less money for retirement and may have to work longer or try to cut down on expenses. And of course, my current job is not perfect but right now I am happy there. I have great bosses and coworkers.

Yes, I am happy at my current job but the lure of a more secure retirement is almost irresistible. Do I trade my current job with less pay for a more secure retirement? This question about more money versus quality of life is not new.

But making this decision at the age of 21 versus 67 is different, isn’t it? Needing money to retire is more acutely felt at the age of 67, but so is strengthening personal connections. Since I plan to retire in 5 years I have no need for networking in my career.

What would you do?

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