Ep. 154: Steven’s wife wants to make a career change, can their finances accommodate it?

M$D: May 1, 2045

Meet Steven.

Steven’s main concerns, in his own words: 

I am a teacher and my wife is a medical assistant. We have two kids aged 3 and 1 and we make 85k a year and take home $5,800 a month. We have no debt (just aggressively paid off last car loan) and owe 130k on a mortgage for a house worth about 150k. We save $1,000 a month into 2 Roth IRAs and my wife puts 6% in a Roth 401k with a 3% match. As a teacher, we get a mortgage certificate that gives us a credit of $2,000 a year in taxes.

Main concern is my wife wants to go back to school to become an RN. We are looking at different options but it looks between $20-30k to get the degree. However, she will make at least that much extra once she gets her degree. It will be around a year before she can apply, but would not be able to work full-time while in school. We are trying to live just on my teacher income so we can get used to doing that while wife is in school.

What should we do with my wife’s current paycheck, stay maxing out both Roth’s or just leave in savings? Also, any suggestions on how to pay for school in a year or two?


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