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    Say something or keep my mouth shut?

    I'm in a bit of a tough spot.

    I'm going to try to not make this too long but quick background: As some of you know, DH is a full-time student. He's in year 2 of a 6.5 year program. I work 2 jobs and am working 55-65 hours a week to keep us afloat. DH works 2-3 days a week between 2 pt jobs. I've been very supportive of him going back to school all along. His previous job was not conducive to a school schedule at all so it was actually me that suggested he quit and put all his focus into school. I ran the numbers and we could get by on my income with a little supplement from him working pt during school and ft in summer to keep our savings up. When we decided he would go back, he was planning for a 2.5 year program. Thus far, we've been paying for his schooling out of pocket. Come fall, he was planning on transferring to a university for the last 2 years of his bachelors program before applying to grad school. I've been pretty stressed over the money factor and his long commute. I'm afraid the scheuduing isn't going to work out and we're going to have to start taking out loans because tuiton will be considerably more expensive.

    Question:
    I found out last night DH hasn't been doing well in his classes this semester. He thinks he may have to retake some (to his credit, it's been a *really* rough 6 months or so and he, understandably, lost focus for a while. He did really great his first year and I think he's back on track so i'm not questioning his ability to complete the program he's just going to need to get his grades up if he wants to make it). I literally broke out in hives as he was telling me this because I really can't fathom doing this for another 5 years. I feel so torn because on the one hand I want to be his biggest cheerleader and encourage him to follow his dreams and know when he finishes it was because he had the support he needed to do so. On the other hand, I'm really tempted to ask him to slow things down, go back to work and maybe just take a class or two a semester until we can rebuild our savings.

    If we keep going at this pace, I estimate he will graduate with right around $100k in student loans. If he spreads out his next two semesters over a couple years, we could save up 20-30k and keep paying out of pocket at least for his undergrad and then have him only graduate with 1/2 the debt. On top of that, that gives me some time to work on builing my income to better support us when he's in grad school. I know if I mention this, he's going to be upset and tell me that its always about money with me. We already sort of fought about it last night becuase he could tell I was really upset about this semester.

    I dont' know what to do. Advice? WWYD?

    #2
    Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
    He's in year 2 of a 6.5 year program.

    When we decided he would go back, he was planning for a 2.5 year program.

    If we keep going at this pace, I estimate he will graduate with right around $100k in student loans.
    It sounds like there was some communication failure here. How did a planned 2.5 year program turn into a 6 year program?

    I think you are absolutely right to be concerned about the money. If you sat down together and figured out you could manage for 2 years, that doesn't mean you could manage for 6 years, especially if he needs to stop working along the way.

    I don't know how old you both are or what field he is training for, but I doubt that going 100K into debt is a good idea in any case. That isn't being "always about money". That's just being a reasonable and responsible adult. What is his opinion about taking on 6-figure debt to complete his education? Does he see any problem with that?
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
      It sounds like there was some communication failure here. How did a planned 2.5 year program turn into a 6 year program?

      I think you are absolutely right to be concerned about the money. If you sat down together and figured out you could manage for 2 years, that doesn't mean you could manage for 6 years, especially if he needs to stop working along the way.

      I don't know how old you both are or what field he is training for, but I doubt that going 100K into debt is a good idea in any case. That isn't being "always about money". That's just being a reasonable and responsible adult. What is his opinion about taking on 6-figure debt to complete his education? Does he see any problem with that?
      Not communication failure, he just changed his path. He was planning to go for his physical therapy assisting certificate. After he started working in a PT office as a rehab aide, he saw that the PTAs do nearly the exact same work as the PTs for half the pay and he decided he wanted to go for his DPT.

      As someone who put themselves through college and graduated with $12k in debt, graduating with more debt than his likely salary seems insane to me. I don't want to see him lose his drive or to not go because he feels like money is an obsticle, I just want to make sure we do it in the most sensible way possible. He gets frustrated when I ask him to pick up extra hours and tells me it's not as easy for him as it was for me. I get that, I really do and part of me feels thats just one more reason for him to step back and take his time.

      Regarding ages, I'm 25, he's 31. He is already struggling with the idea of just starting his career at 36 so I worry how that will play into suggesting he slow down as well.

      Comment


        #4
        What is the average starting salary for a DPT? $100K in SL's sounds overwhelming. That's maybe a $700 monthly payment for 20 years. I would be inclined to stretch out the program to avoid student loans even if it took a few extra years. I don't think starting a new career later in life is as big of a deal as it once was. The population of the country as a whole is aging, and older people are starting or restarting new careers all the time.
        Brian

        Comment


          #5
          Starting is $55-65k. Not really that great considering the masters program has been phased out and its now a doctorate only program... but better than the $35k salary of a PTA.

          Comment


            #6
            I would say something. That is an awful lot of money to spend on an education at this point in his life.
            If it were me, I would rather have the money you've spent on school and are going to spend in loans in cash in the bank.
            If he wasn't going to school and working, you would be in a much better position than somebody that's 36 with $100k in student loan debt and a $50k/year job. His education is costing the family a lot of money and a lot of lost earning time.

            I'm sorry, I'll never understand someone taking on $100k in debt unless they're going to be a lawyer, engineer, etc.

            I feel for you, and if I were in your situation I would have to say something.

            Comment


              #7
              [QUOTE=riverwed070707;310484]Not communication fai
              lure, he just changed his path.
              A change of path requires a change of plan regarding how to pay for it. That isn't good or bad on its own - just a necessity. You need to step back and reevaluate what is and isn't going to work.

              I don't want to see him lose his drive or to not go because he feels like money is an obsticle
              But like it or not, money IS an obstacle. You can't do it if you can't afford it.

              I'm 25, he's 31. He is already struggling with the idea of just starting his career at 36 so I worry how that will play into suggesting he slow down as well.
              What is a reasonable expectation for his income once he finishes school? Somewhere around 75-80K perhaps. That means his loan payment will be in the neighborhood of 15% of his take home pay for the next 20 years. Is that worth it? Only the two of you can answer that question.

              In the interest of full disclosure, I graduated med school with just over 100K in debt. We lived pretty frugally and poured extra money at that debt and had it paid off in 12 years but it was still a long haul.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                Just a few things to think about

                Your post gives me the willies

                What if he made "only" $35K but you were NOT paying off $100K? And what if you banked that money not spent on phd program?
                Lots of people are "going back to school" because the job market stinks. But then their expectations are squashed when they get out because the job market stinks -
                Realistically - when would he actually be able to earn a higher salary? Two, three year after graduating?
                What if we have a double dip recession, or worse, in the next 2-3 years? And you have nothing saved, because you are acquiring debt and ALL of your money is going to pay for school?

                Can you look at it as though you would look at a stock investment? Invest $100 (+interest) and the return is what, over how many years?

                IMHO you are taking a big big risk. The economy is not what it was, and going into debt, even for an admirable reason, is really not a good idea. if he could graduate with no debt and make $35, you will be way, way ahead of the game - the go back nights for grad program or do it somehow.

                Don't forget that paying off $100K in loans means you'll pay $300K over 20 years!! Not $100!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by smileybear View Post
                  Your post gives me the willies

                  What if he made "only" $35K but you were NOT paying off $100K? And what if you banked that money not spent on phd program?
                  Lots of people are "going back to school" because the job market stinks. But then their expectations are squashed when they get out because the job market stinks -
                  Realistically - when would he actually be able to earn a higher salary? Two, three year after graduating?
                  What if we have a double dip recession, or worse, in the next 2-3 years? And you have nothing saved, because you are acquiring debt and ALL of your money is going to pay for school?

                  Can you look at it as though you would look at a stock investment? Invest $100 (+interest) and the return is what, over how many years?

                  IMHO you are taking a big big risk. The economy is not what it was, and going into debt, even for an admirable reason, is really not a good idea. if he could graduate with no debt and make $35, you will be way, way ahead of the game - the go back nights for grad program or do it somehow.

                  Don't forget that paying off $100K in loans means you'll pay $300K over 20 years!! Not $100!
                  I like your analogy, and it might be a way to get through to him. Thanks! Regarding the PTA, I do feel like that's kind of off the table at this point. For one, it's not even a degree earning program (it's a certificate) so it doesn't lend itself to being able to just go back for the grad program later -- he would have to at least choose a BS and get a 4 year degree to make that an option. I suppose the most frustraing part is that he was earning $40-50k/year *before* he went back to school, so to spend 4 years in school and then take a $35k/year job is kind of a slap in the face. Then again, the reason he went back is because he didn't like his job and the schedule was awful for our family; it was not for the money so I guess we need to keep that in mind.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
                    Starting is $55-65k. Not really that great considering the masters program has been phased out and its now a doctorate only program... but better than the $35k salary of a PTA.
                    Originally posted by smileybear View Post
                    What if he made "only" $35K but you were NOT paying off $100K?
                    Exactly. The extra income potential needs to be weighed against the cost of reaching that higher income. That 100K will actually cost closer to 200K with interest. Is it worth spending $200,000 to earn an extra $20,000/year? That means the first 10 years are really a break even. You don't see any real gain until year 11 (when he will be 47 years old).
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by smileybear View Post
                      Your post gives me the willies

                      What if he made "only" $35K but you were NOT paying off $100K? And what if you banked that money not spent on phd program?
                      Lots of people are "going back to school" because the job market stinks. But then their expectations are squashed when they get out because the job market stinks -
                      Realistically - when would he actually be able to earn a higher salary? Two, three year after graduating?
                      What if we have a double dip recession, or worse, in the next 2-3 years? And you have nothing saved, because you are acquiring debt and ALL of your money is going to pay for school?

                      Can you look at it as though you would look at a stock investment? Invest $100 (+interest) and the return is what, over how many years?

                      IMHO you are taking a big big risk. The economy is not what it was, and going into debt, even for an admirable reason, is really not a good idea. if he could graduate with no debt and make $35, you will be way, way ahead of the game - the go back nights for grad program or do it somehow.

                      Don't forget that paying off $100K in loans means you'll pay $300K over 20 years!! Not $100!
                      This is kind of exaggurated. At even a 5% interest rate (sl rates are well below that right now) the interest over 20 years would be about $60k...not $200k.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                        Exactly. The extra income potential needs to be weighed against the cost of reaching that higher income. That 100K will actually cost closer to 200K with interest. Is it worth spending $200,000 to earn an extra $20,000/year? That means the first 10 years are really a break even. You don't see any real gain until year 11 (when he will be 47 years old).
                        Sure but as a PTA his income potential maxes out around $45-50k. As a PT, he has the potential to make 6 figures. A lot more room for growth. It also offers better benefits and employment flexibility and it's more in demand so the job prospects are better.

                        Not to mention that if he were to apply now (and get in -- they only take 24 a year), it would still be 2.5 years before he would graduate so 4.5 years of school. Albeit a cheaper school, it's not an immediate fix. Whereas if he were to go back to work, take two classes a semester and we save up the majority of his income, he could still get the DPT, just with fewer loans.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Cassius King View Post
                          I would say something. That is an awful lot of money to spend on an education at this point in his life.
                          If it were me, I would rather have the money you've spent on school and are going to spend in loans in cash in the bank.
                          If he wasn't going to school and working, you would be in a much better position than somebody that's 36 with $100k in student loan debt and a $50k/year job. His education is costing the family a lot of money and a lot of lost earning time.

                          I'm sorry, I'll never understand someone taking on $100k in debt unless they're going to be a lawyer, engineer, etc.

                          I feel for you, and if I were in your situation I would have to say something.
                          I see your point but its not that easy. He has to have a job. He doesn't currently have a degree. Without the schooling, what's he going to do? I would rather be doomed to a lifetime of debt than see him go back to a career in retail. Money is a factor but its not the only factor.

                          I think I will talk to him tonight though about taking his time getting his bachelors so we can save up for his masters program in the meantime, and who knows, maybe he'll decide he can settle for a job that doesn't require grad school, or better yet, find an employer who will pay for it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had this discussion with my brother 15 years ago, when his fiance wanted him to become a lawyer instead of a cop. When he got his BA, he was 27.

                            Take the GRE/apply for law school...Age 28 at the start.

                            Three year program. When he finished, he'd be 31.

                            Three years of not working - loss of ~ $120K in income.
                            Three years of school loans - $120K in debt.

                            Net loss - nearly $250K, not including interest.

                            Since he didn't qualify for a top tier school, he's probably be a public prosecutor, with a starting salary of $50K. So an increase of $10K, maybe $20K, in the new career. Best case scenario, about 12 years to break even (not calculating income tax loss) - when he'd be 43.

                            In the meantime - 70 hour work weeks, no money for a house, no time for kids, huge stress, etc.

                            He'd never done the calcs. After our conversation, he told his fiance he wasn't going to law school.

                            He's now a financial consultant, making very good money. He had to pass his Series 5 and 7 exams, and is now a CFP too. But way less student loans/debt, and way less stress.

                            Oh, and he's now 45, married, with three kids.

                            I'd seriously lay out the math for your DH, and tell him it's not only about the money - it's about YOUR ability to do this for 6 years, and the stress and toll that will take on you. Ask him to set his sights on the BA, and then re-discuss priorities and trajectory. After 4 years of college, he may not WANT to go back to school for a grad degree. Burnout is real, and you're trying to plan for too long a time horizon as if the outcomes are guaranteed.

                            Sandi

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Of course say something! It is eating you up inside, and that is not healthy for a marriage.

                              Now, I don't know what exactly you need to say but I think others on this thread are giving good advice.

                              Comment

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