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Thread: Teacher relocation - advice and anecdotes appreciated!

  1. Old Newbie
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    #1

    Teacher relocation - advice and anecdotes appreciated!

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    My Marine and I are a committed couple in our late 20s. After almost 15 years of friendship, going to college in different states, slogging through several bad relationships and one divorce, and being separated by over 1,000 miles, we finally realized we loved each other. We're getting old(ish) and we've been weathering a long-distance situation for almost two years, but we're steadily building a life together.

    My SO is nearing the end of his first contract, and we're not weighing our options lightly.

    Option 1: He exits the USMC, comes home, and looks for a law enforcement job. I stay in my current career.
    Option 2: He reenlists, tries to get stationed as close to home as possible (about 4 hours from where I currently am, and in a different state), and I move there with him when I can.

    There are serious benefits and drawbacks to both options. Some insight on what could happen with my own job would be helpful. I've been a public school teacher for 7 years (5 in my current position), and I love my career. I've never left our home state, so I'm apprehensive, but a fresh start in a new place might be good for both of us.

    Are there any teachers on this forum who have moved with their SO and maintained their teaching careers? Has anyone given up their teaching career? Has anyone moved away from the only place they've ever known and started all over, only to be left alone during a deployment? Did the military benefits outweigh losing or re-starting your pension contributions?

    I'd love to hear your advice and stories.

    Thank you!
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    #2
    I'm not a teacher but I moved with my DH from my homestate. I had lived in the same area for 33 years. It's an adjustment but it's worth it to be with him when he's home and be with his stuff when he's gone. I do have a veterinary technician license that I maintain with 12 hours of online CE each year. I'm not currently working, we made the decision for me to stay home and do family stuff versus working and not being around as much.
    There was another post on here a few weeks back about a SO "giving up her career" and my advice to her was the same as it is to you: Don't look at what you're "giving up". Don't even label it as such. It can put a bad taste in your mouth from the very beginning. Think of it as a family change. If the man is worth the change you won't even notice
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    #3
    Thank you!
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    #4
    Lots of states have teacher credential reciprocity agreements so you can easily switch over without having to take many classes, if any. Google it for your state.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by somebodypeople View Post
    My Marine and I are a committed couple in our late 20s. After almost 15 years of friendship, going to college in different states, slogging through several bad relationships and one divorce, and being separated by over 1,000 miles, we finally realized we loved each other. We're getting old(ish) and we've been weathering a long-distance situation for almost two years, but we're steadily building a life together.

    My SO is nearing the end of his first contract, and we're not weighing our options lightly.

    Option 1: He exits the USMC, comes home, and looks for a law enforcement job. I stay in my current career.
    Option 2: He reenlists, tries to get stationed as close to home as possible (about 4 hours from where I currently am, and in a different state), and I move there with him when I can.

    There are serious benefits and drawbacks to both options. Some insight on what could happen with my own job would be helpful. I've been a public school teacher for 7 years (5 in my current position), and I love my career. I've never left our home state, so I'm apprehensive, but a fresh start in a new place might be good for both of us.

    Are there any teachers on this forum who have moved with their SO and maintained their teaching careers? Has anyone given up their teaching career? Has anyone moved away from the only place they've ever known and started all over, only to be left alone during a deployment? Did the military benefits outweigh losing or re-starting your pension contributions?

    I'd love to hear your advice and stories.

    Thank you!
    My situation's a littttle different but hopefully it will help.

    I got my teaching certificate in Illinois and after I graduated, due to a lot of stuff going on in my personal life, I decided to move overseas and teach there. I met my DH and after we got married we eventually ended up PCSing to Texas. Getting licensed in Texas was pretty easy; I had to take a few exams again but it wasn't bad. The problem was that we moved to Texas amidst the state making huge cuts to its education programs. My certification was for teaching English and that's not as marketable as some degrees (I'm sure you know math/science teachers are always in high demand) so I ended up subbing for 2 years before finally deciding to do something else. I work in a totally different field now and I don't regret it, but I wasn't an established teacher either. The career I'm in now has more stability, better pay, and a better work/life balance so I'm pretty happy.

    Anyway, we moved to Texas at the end of 2010 and DH ended up deploying to Afghanistan in mid-2011, so it felt like he left and I was alone right after we arrived (our families are in IL/MO and FL/GA so I didn't have anyone nearby). That part didn't bother me too much - after all I moved to Korea all by myself so I'm used to being pretty self-sufficient. Plus I could always visit my family when things got overwhelming.

    Because I wasn't established in the school system, I didn't have a pension that I was missing out on. Aside from if the military benefits equal out or not, the big difference to me is that the pension is your money in your name. Counting on someone else's benefits for your future/retirement/etc. is a whole other kettle of fish IMO. Personally, I would not be comfortable giving up my career if I wasn't married and had that commitment there. I can't tell from your OP how long you have actually been together; but that's a big thing I would think about.
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    Thanks. My home state's teaching license requirements are relatively rigorous, and from what I've seen, it should just take some applications, time, a few online training modules, and shelling out $75-100 to the government. My fears are leaving the career and retirement savings I've established for myself, and the growing pains of easing into our new situation.
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    I wonder if you could roll the teacher retirement savings into another type of IRA or retirement plan. I rolled mine from my employer into another account with Edward Jones when I left their employment with no taxes or issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    My situation's a littttle different but hopefully it will help.

    I got my teaching certificate in Illinois and after I graduated, due to a lot of stuff going on in my personal life, I decided to move overseas and teach there. I met my DH and after we got married we eventually ended up PCSing to Texas. Getting licensed in Texas was pretty easy; I had to take a few exams again but it wasn't bad. The problem was that we moved to Texas amidst the state making huge cuts to its education programs. My certification was for teaching English and that's not as marketable as some degrees (I'm sure you know math/science teachers are always in high demand) so I ended up subbing for 2 years before finally deciding to do something else. I work in a totally different field now and I don't regret it, but I wasn't an established teacher either. The career I'm in now has more stability, better pay, and a better work/life balance so I'm pretty happy.

    Anyway, we moved to Texas at the end of 2010 and DH ended up deploying to Afghanistan in mid-2011, so it felt like he left and I was alone right after we arrived (our families are in IL/MO and FL/GA so I didn't have anyone nearby). That part didn't bother me too much - after all I moved to Korea all by myself so I'm used to being pretty self-sufficient. Plus I could always visit my family when things got overwhelming.

    Because I wasn't established in the school system, I didn't have a pension that I was missing out on. Aside from if the military benefits equal out or not, the big difference to me is that the pension is your money in your name. Counting on someone else's benefits for your future/retirement/etc. is a whole other kettle of fish IMO. Personally, I would not be comfortable giving up my career if I wasn't married and had that commitment there. I can't tell from your OP how long you have actually been together; but that's a big thing I would think about.
    We've been a couple almost two years, and we've known each other about 15. We aren't engaged yet, but we've discussed marriage at length, and intend to do it when geography and finances allow it. My real concerns are the logistics of the transition, like moving, finding a job, and how long we wait to get married. My own divorce and the rigorous therapy that followed have helped me to navigate the emotional considerations. (I now have a finely tuned BS detector.)

    I agree that it's best to maintain some financial independence. I do have a 403(b), which I could keep, and I would be able to enroll in a new pension contribution plan upon finding new employment, provided I find a position in a public school. The drawback is that I am not vested in my current pension system (it takes 10 years in my home state), and I would be forced to withdraw my contributions and start all over again in the new state. On one hand, it's only five years' worth of contributions. On the other hand, it's five whole years' worth of contributions.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ThumperJane View Post
    I wonder if you could roll the teacher retirement savings into another type of IRA or retirement plan. I rolled mine from my employer into another account with Edward Jones when I left their employment with no taxes or issues.
    Oh, yes. The retirement plan is separate from the pension system. My 403(b), the non-profit equivalent to a 401(k), is managed by a private company, and can follow me anywhere. The teacher's pension is funded via my own contributions, contributions by my employer, and contributions by the state. If I leave my home state, I am eligible to withdraw the contributions I have personally made, but I lose the contributions my employer and state matched.
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    #10
    Sounds like highway robbery by the government!
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