When I first launched this website a few people noted the name and commented, “Teacher Wealth… isn’t that an oxymoron?”
I understand the sentiment. I was a teacher for many years. I may have even complained about the low pay before.
But, from my viewpoint, it is far from an oxymoron. Here are four reasons:
A steady paycheck can be taken for granted. Many in the private sector have jobs where income can be dependent on the state of the economy. One year, income is great when things are going strong. The next year, not so much.
Others have seasonal challenges based on a market cycle. They might get 75% of their income in a few months. Some months they have zero money coming in. Try budgeting your bills and lifestyle if this is the case. Not so easy.
Sure, income growth potential might be limited compared to some careers out there. But budgeting is easier. Long-term planning can take place. The worry of bills not being paid is limited. The likelihood of a sudden income crisis is less.
Most Americans don’t save enough. The national statistics are scary and most people are WAY behind in putting away enough for retirement. Part of the issue is that people have to take action to save for the long-term, whether it be signing up for their 401k or actively investing in some other way.
Teachers don’t have this problem. If you have IPERS, you are forced to put part of your paycheck toward your retirement. Being forced might look like a negative thing… and maybe it is. But, someone with a long teaching career WILL have retirement income. IPERS alone probably won’t get them entirely where they want to be, but they will have more than just Social Security to keep them from being in poverty.
Most teachers I talk to don’t completely understand how great IPERS is.
Numerous private sector employees are jealous of the opportunity we have to get a stream of income at retirement for the rest of our lives. This retirement security is a big deal!
How many people do you know that hate their dead end job? How many punch the clock, put in their time, and get absolutely nothing out of their career? Many dream of being able to make a difference in their career.
Most of us got into teaching because we enjoyed kids and/or wanted to make a difference. Our profession allows us to do just that.
If you ask someone to name the 4-5 people that had the largest influence in their life in becoming who they are today, most would list at least one of their former teachers.
Teachers change lives. Simple as that.
How lucky we are to be in a career with the ability to influence a person for the rest of their lives.
You know how the joke goes. What is the best thing about teaching?
...June, July, and August!
We all know that teachers don’t just sit around for 3 months doing nothing. But, how nice it is to have time in the summer to be with your kids.
Now that I am out of teaching, I will tell you that spring break, Christmas break, and summers don’t mean quite the same as they used to. I also took for granted that it was guaranteed that I had every major holiday off.
Having summers to recharge your batteries, get better as a teacher, stay home with kids, or earn extra income is definitely a plus.
Wealth is more than just having a high income. In fact, having a high income may not result in wealth at all. Additionally, monetary wealth is only one type of wealth.
Security is wealth.
Time with family is wealth.
Strong relationships is wealth.
Good health is wealth.
Making an impact is wealth.
Teachers DO have unique opportunities to move toward monetary wealth if they plan right.
No, teacher wealth is not an oxymoron. The words “teacher” and “wealth” go together quite nicely.
We would love to help you with taking advantage of the unique opportunities a career in education allows you for wealth building. Reach out if you want to talk.