Teacher salary is ridiculous

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Amy42886, Dec 22, 2021.

  1. Amy42886

    Amy42886 Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2021

    Even if you live in a relatively high paying state (I'm from NJ) your take home pay is only half of your gross income. It's insane that I "make" 62k but only take home around 33k. How are we supposed to live? I can barely live as a single person with no kids on a 62k salary.

    Are other jobs like this??? Between taxes, health insurance, union, pension, 403b, disability...wtf?? I'm thinking of ending my 403b and disability because retirement is 30 years away anyway and disability seems like a waste. Paying for the slight chance I get sick or injured.

    What do you all think? Just tired after 10 years of teaching and no money! If you go by the rule that your rent or mortgage shouldn't be more than 25% of take home, technically I'd only be able to "pay" 800...no mortgages exist for 800 ..not even any apartments for 800..unless I want to rent a room! Unbelievable. I think I'll just live w my parent forever lol.
     
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Connoisseur

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    Dec 22, 2021

    It's not your salary so much as it seems that it's other factors that dig into your salary.

    I wouldn't get rid of the disability insurance.
     
  4. Guitart

    Guitart Comrade

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    Dec 22, 2021

    None of us got into teaching to be rich BUT we should be able to live without struggling. In 10 years, I can hear my wife saying, "Well.. you only make $50K so it's not like we have any extra money."

    What REALLY gets me upset is health insurance. Grrrrr!
    My health ins is free for just ME. To insure my wife, it's crazy expensive - almost $700 per month! We can't afford that, so she has been going without health ins for over 10 years. Not good when now she's in her 50's and can't remember her last mammogram. This so-called "affordable" Obamacare is a joke. She tried for 2 years to get signed up and it was phone call after phone call, on hold forever, transfer calls, only to repeat why you called. In the end, she was told we make too much money. WTF??

    One day she spoke to the right person and finally got signed up. She was paying $290 a month. She went to the doctor this year for some ailment. We just got the bill AFTER insurance paid: over $5K in bills! She cried. She called "Obamacare", told them their insurance sucks, and cancelled it.

    So now, we had to submit our lives on paperwork to the hospital, and see if we qualify for monthly payments OR they may write it off. It's a sick feeling.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Dec 22, 2021

    The only thing that I would say is that the bite out of take home pay is steep in any profession. I wish I could say that I see positive changes coming, but sadly, I don't. My salary has always made sure that our family had good health insurance for all family members. That was job one. My parents grew up without insurance, and they knew that meant you could be denied care because you couldn't pay. I can't help what insurance costs, but I can provide it - I've used it enough to know how much the benefit is worth.
     
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  6. Caballo21

    Caballo21 Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2021

    I can relate. I was in a private school making way less for many years. I had LOTS of side jobs, and I got by ok with my main job and those combined. That's my best suggestion for you. Can you tutor?

    It also varies from state to state. I'm in another (union) state, cost of living here is much lower than NJ.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 22, 2021

    Now is the time to think about retirement. If you wait closer to time to retire, it is too late. Also, disability insurance is important. I only dropped mine this last year, and that is because I had more sick days that I had days left to work. I never did have short term disability, but I did have long term disability.

    Fortunately I live in a place with a lower cost of living.
     
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  8. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Dec 23, 2021

    It all depends on where you are and what plans are available. I've been on "Obamacare" for a year and a half since I lost my coverage from my job when I got COVID- RIF'd and I'm currently in a 3/5ths position until next school year. It was relatively easy to sign up online. It would have cost me $700+ to COBRA my health insurance, and almost $600 to get my own independent of the exchange. The plans available weren't amazing, but acceptable. My current max out-of-pocket is 5k with like a $500 deductible. The premium is $345. Not great, but way cheaper than my other options and it covers what I need the most and wouldn't leave me bankrupt at the max OoP. I will say some states only offer some pretty bad plans.

    Health insurance on the whole is ridiculously expensive and the system is revoltingly convoluted. We should not be a society where people who are relatively well-off are one health emergency from losing everything. "Surprise" billing should be illegal as well. If you go for emergency surgery after an accident to a facility that is in-network, to a doc that is in-network, you shouldn't be billed thousands for the out-of-network anesthesiologist that you had no say in.


    Inflation is up 7% this year, the most in 30 years. If you're/we're not getting a 7% raise, teachers are effectively taking a pay cut. It'd be nice to have COLA built into our contracts, but it'd take a miracle for it to happen.
     
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  9. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Dec 25, 2021

    Wow. I thought the system you had over there meant that you kept most of your money then chose what to spend it on. In the UK before I retired I was on about £3500 per month gross. After taxes and deductions I would be putting about £2200 in the bank. We have socialised healthcare (I paid about 6% of my salary for that but the whole family would be covered, we call that National Insurance). Income tax was 20% but the first £12k pa was tax free . My pension was around 8% of salary deducted. Now I am retired (I do a bit of subbing) my pensions cover all my bills and also pays for holidays, cars etc I have a long term health problem which means 6 different daily drugs. All are free as I am over age 60. I still have to pay some tax on my subbing pay and also a little National insurance. My pension puts me over the tax threshold so I pay a little tax on that too. when I am 66 (another 15 months) I shall get my Government pension of around £4.5k pa which is also paid out of the National insurance I paid over the years I worked. My wife will also get the Government pension when she is 66. Hers will be around £5K pa. (Teachers get a slightly reduced Government pension). Thank heavens for 'socialism'! Problem is we currently have a right wing Government who are convinced that a US style system is somehow better and wants to sell off our healthcare to US companies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
  10. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Dec 25, 2021

    Pretty scary! I don't understand why insanity rises to the top in government.
     
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  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Dec 28, 2021

    50% being taken out seems high to me. That also seems like a low salary for NJ and 10 years in. I've always heard they pay well. Do you not have your MA degree and that's impacting it? Or this isn't a public school? I make the same salary in one of the lowest paying states for teachers. I actually take home about $48k, though.

    I've never heard that housing should be 25%. The thing I've always heard is 1/3 of your income, but I think that's outdated advice, honestly. I don't think that's possible in many, many places in the country. For a long time my rent was at least 50% of my income, and similar for most people I knew. I'm just now reaching a point where my mortgage is just under 40%.

    As far as other careers, there are plenty that pay significantly more than teaching, and those that pay less as well. Real estate seems to be an extremely popular career in my area, I guess because the housing market is insane. When I was buying my place, I felt sorry for my realtor when I realized she is truly "on call" 24/7 and never was really "off work." I felt less sorry for her when I realized she made at least $9K just from me buying my place- generously, maybe 30 hours total of work for her? But, there are trade offs, of course. In teaching I have a regular schedule and tons of time off. Also more job security than most higher paying corporate-type jobs have.

    The costs of healthcare are ridiculous and scary, that that applies to everyone in any job. I've been so fortunate (huge knock on wood here) to never have any major medical issues, and thus no medical bills. The truth is, the vast majority of us, unless you're a Bezos type, are one accident/major illness/medical emergency from financial ruin. Even with insurance. That's completely ridiculous.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    We all got $1000 bonuses and ended up not even taking home $600 of that. Oh well.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I don't take home a huge paycheck but I guess I'm lucky that I only pay around $120 biweekly for health insurance for my husband and me. Dental is only $30 more biweekly. I guess it just depends where you work. It's worth it for us to put my husband on my insurance because he's self-employed and it would cost mega bucks to get insurance for himself.
     
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  14. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    If it weren't for medicare, that would've happened to my family. A couple of years ago, both of my parents had strokes in the same week. My dad was life-flight'd via helicopter to a bigger hospital. The bill for the helicopter alone was over 10k. He was 74 at the time, so medicare covered it. Mom was two weeks into her medicare coverage when all of this happened. Between ambulances, ER services, specialist services, rehab and therapies, medications, and dad's eventual surgery, it would have taken almost everything built up in two generations to pay the bills. . . with insurance.

    When I was a kid, I was friends with a girl who was briefly at my school from a private academy. Her twin baby brothers were born with identical baby heart defects that both needed surgery. This was back in the pre-existing conditions days. Her family had to sell their house and move into a trailer on top of taking her out of private school to pay for the surgeries their newborn sons needed to live.
     
  15. CynthiiaNelson

    CynthiiaNelson New Member

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    Aug 4, 2022

    Yes, indeed, the salary after all taxes and other check-off is not that high. But of course, everything depends on the city you live in, the school, etc. But in general, it's not high. And if you have kids, then the situation is even more complicated. Almost all teachers I know have extra jobs, like tutoring, translations, etc. When it comes to me, I'm pretty okay with the salary I have. But of course, there are situations, for example, when I want to go on a trip or buy something more expensive when I need some extra money. In such situations, I take small loans. The last time I needed it, I researched all the information I could find to choose the best lender. And from one article by Fit My Money, I found out about the best lenders, what they offer, pros and cons, and it provided me with all the info to choose one. I know that many people think taking a loan is not the best idea, or it's even dangerous, but from my experience can say that if you choose a reliable lender, everything will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  16. whizkid

    whizkid Connoisseur

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    Aug 6, 2022

    That's the equivalent of "hey, love ya".
     

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