This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase products or services linked from this page, Summit of Coin may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Greetings from the sea! As I mentioned in my last article, my wife and I were preparing for a cruise! Well, the preparing is over and we are cruising! All I can see is the ocean. It is beautiful and breathtaking. Something that I have never experienced in my life.
Sure, I like to travel, but I have never taken the opportunity to go on a cruise. Well, here I am and it gave me an idea. I am pretty lucky to be a teacher. I may not make as much as the next guy and I may work long hours every week, but there are times that the teacher life is pretty cool.
I was reminded of this as I was listening to the Choose FI podcast approximately two weeks ago. During this one podcast, the guest was talking about the realization of only getting two weeks off in a year. Sure, I knew the business world worked all twelve months, but I didn’t realize that some people only get two weeks off in a year.
That’s crazy! I couldn’t imagine only being allowed two weeks vacation in a year. Growing up in a household of entrepreneurs, I was relatively lucky that my parents could take off time when they wanted. Now, my mom works at the hospital and she has built up so many hours that she can basically take off any time that she would like.
With my wife being a nurse, she builds up hours each paycheck, like my mom. We are lucky that she can pretty much get time off to spend time with me on my days off. We calculated that my wife can earn up to 7 weeks off in a year. She doesn’t have as many this year, due to her maternity leave last summer, but she had enough for this one week retreat on the sea.
So, what’s the big perk of being a teacher? I get 11 weeks off in a year. Technically, I don’t get paid for those days off, because I get paid for the days worked. Luckily, my school district spreads the payments over 12 months, this way I can enjoy my 11 weeks of no work each year.
Over the course of my nine years of teaching, I have used my 11 weeks to their fullest for the most part. I have done many things from visiting my family for an entire summer to going on a month long road trip with three of my teacher friends to even working summer school.
With me living a 14 hour car ride from my family, teaching was the perfect position. It allowed me work and earn a full time salary the entire year. Thus, allowing me to travel and spend extended vacations with my family and giving me other weeks of the year to spend on myself.
The guest in the Choose FI podcast talked about this struggle of having 2 weeks vacation and struggling to find time to travel and visit family. The eleven weeks every year, allows me the opportunity to travel and spend time with family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my eleven weeks, but don’t think this means that I have always loved my job.
It has it downsides from a lower income to weeks of working 60 plus hours. I know that people in the business world deal with this also, but teaching is a profession that requires more than 40 hours of work to be good. You can be mediocre and work 40 hours, but to have a great lesson planned and be prepared for your kids each day, it requires more than 40 hours.
Two years ago at this time, I was letting the 60 hour weeks bog me down. It is not sustainable to constantly work 60 hours every week. That’s why we teachers need the time off.
That’s why two years ago at this very time, I was looking at making my blog a full time business and trying to convince my wife to let me leave my work to pursue my blog as a full time gig. I was tired of teaching and the lack of the freedom. I wanted the freedom to set my own schedule and the time to workout.
Thankfully, we decided not to take that leap. I still am pushing for financial independence, but it wasn’t the right move two years ago. Now, that I have gotten out of my teaching rut, I am really enjoying teaching and I am back to putting 100% into my days.
Sure, I don’t got a lot of control over my schedule, but 11 weeks of vacation each year is a pretty good trade off for the lack of control the rest of the time. In the meantime, I have discovered the 457B and the immense benefits of investing in a 457B.
The major benefit of the 457B is that once I leave my position as a teacher, I can use that money right away. I don’t have to wait for retirement age to use that money, therefore, it is a great vehicle to ramp up contributions with the idea of retiring before age 59 and a half.
Therefore, my wife and I are digging deep into monthly paychecks and putting as much as we can into our 457B accounts. This allows us to prepare for a future of freedom, while working at our jobs that allow us more free weeks each year than most jobs. It’s a life we have designed now that we can enjoy. You gotta enjoy your life at all times and you can’t let your pursuit for financial independence stop you from having fun today!
Until I reach financial independence, I’ll keep being the best teacher that I can be, while enjoying eleven weeks of freedom!
REACHING THE FINANCIAL SUMMIT, STARTS WITH YOU!
Note: I wanted to dig more into teaching salaries, but the Millionaire Educator did a better job than me in one of his recent posts. Give it a look, if you are a teacher complaining about salaries or anything else. Our pay really is not that bad. Sure, it could be better, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t live on the salary that we make. Check out the article; “How to FIRE on Two Teaching in 7 Years or Less.”