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I'll have to fill in the blanks more later (because I'm leaving for church in about 1/2 an hour), but I want to start a thread for advice and support about a possible major life change that I haven't even mentioned to DH yet. ....So it's not like it's going to happen, but it may.

DH has been with his job for about 14 years and he's discouraged as to where he is in life; he just turned 34 years old. He's been talking off and on about going back to school, and I've always immediately thought of it as an impossibility. Until last night. A friend of mine told me that if we sold our house, bought a nice condo for about 1/2 the price or less, put a down payment on the new place to keep the mortgage low, pay off our line of credit with the equity from our house (the LofC is about $5,000 at this time), we'd still have plenty of money left over to send him to school.

In the past few months, DH has asked me a couple times to try to figure out what it would cost for him to go back to school, and I always get stumped because I thought we would need a budget for now and we would be able to keep the lifestyle we currently have. I now know we would have to temporarily downsize to make it possible.

My mind is swimming with ideas, questions and possibilities. I want to come up with some sort of a plan and approach DH with it when the time is right. Other than the fact that it's a big decision in life to make (and probably comes with stress and bumps along the road), I'm quite sure DH would like to do it. I actually believe that DH needs to do it. As far as I know, DH would go to university for about 4 years and make a complete career change.

What information do I need to figure this all out? I know that we could sell our house for about $270,000, and we have $117,462.11 left to pay off. Which would mean we'd have $152,537.89 before paying off our line of credit, our moving expenses and putting a down payment on a smaller place. A friend of mine told me that condos can range in price from $100,000 to $170,000 and up in our city.

I could continue to do home childcare and make approximately $27,000 per year. I think that could cover our new, smaller mortgage and still give us money for living expenses. DH could work a few hours a week while going to school full-time. Since school should be his main focus and he'd be going back to school after 16 years, I know he wouldn't be able to work much more than that and get good grades.

What do you think? What sort of things am I forgetting? How do I start making up a plan for DH to look at? I want to go to him confidently with this idea. Even if it doesn't happen, it'll give him security of mind if anything should happen to his current job.
 

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QM - since you are from Canada and I am too, there is a great program through Human Resources that he can access. I used it when I went back to university. It paid my mortgage and living expenses while I wasn't working. I cannot remember the name but they will know there at the unemployment office. The money does not have to be paid back either. You just have to show proof of employment (when you graduate). They give you 6 months to find a job. He also would qualify for some type of unemployment at least for the first year. Canada also offers a ton of grants for mature students that will help defray some of the costs. Look into it.

As far as selling the home, I never state my opinion on questions like that. It makes me uncomfortable. I leave those questions for the experts like Greebo. He knows how to crunch numbers.
 
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Well, since you said you're headed to church, I'm assuming you'll pray a lot about this decision.
Also, why don't the two of you brainstorm and work on the plan together? Start a notebook or a folder with all the notes, ideas and plans. Do it TOGETHER.
AND would the Canadian tax situation make it imperative for you to purchase another home, or could you rent? (Maybe your daycare business might prohibit this - just throwing out ideas for you) It's be really nice to have that wad of cash available if - when he graduates- you relocate for his new wonderful career!

PS I accidentally types 'brianstorm' - and laughed myself silly at the thought that your DH might be named Brian :)
 
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Sounds like you've been seriously thinking about this--keep on brainstorming ideas until you hit on the ones most likely in your situation. Good luck !
 
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QM, I have no advice to offer but wanted to thank you for sharing a post full of such love. In today's world, it is wonderful that you are willing to be so supportive of your DH and to do what it takes to not only secure your future but to work toward happiness and contentment. Sometimes dreams are tough to chase! Whatever the two of you eventually decide I wish you all the luck in the world.
 
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1. You know where I stand on faith matters. So pray incessentlly and deliberately, asking for God to give you a sign about what to do. He knows the plans He has for you: plans for hope. (Jeremiah).
2. Begin serious research on the housing situation. Talk to a realtor about the realistic worth of your home and the prices of a condo. Remember: some condos have a monthly fee, in addition to the mortgage. Check out renting, especially if you might have to move in 4 years to take that new position. Become aware of every fee that might come along, relative to the real estate.
3. Check with the university about possible sources of help. Do you need a 4 year school, or would a 2 year vocational school do the job?
4. DH will be 37 when he completes the degree. And if he doesn't go to school, he will still be 37 in 4 years. It's better to be 37 with the degree....
5. Check the gov. program that Debbie mentioned. It could be that the university will have that info for you.
6. Check about the legality of home day care in the new place. Do you have to jump any hoops here?
7. Will your DH be able to have a part time job while going to school? For example, I carried a full load in college, plus had a job. I found my jobs through the college.
8. Need to remember that it is more difficult to be an older student. It's harder to study. It takes more time. And he has to keep on being hubby and daddy while also being student. He's going to need your support for that. Can you dedicate a private quiet place for him to study?
9. This can be a wonderful experience for your children, as they see him modeling the values you have in education.
10. I personally think that no one will ever regret getting more education. Just check things carefully before plunging in. And actually, you are still very young (accordng to me!). You have done impressively so far; just look how much you have paid on your home!! Just put that sort of will power to work for the education.
 
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QM sounds as if you have the frugal spirit going!! When all seems impossible an idea comes along that gets you thinking that there really are possibilities out there.

I think it is an idea that the two of you should plan for. Also, once both of you decide university is the next step, go to the university and discuss with them what life is like for the returning adult student, what the prospects are for his profession, what unexpected costs may be anticipated during his schooling. This will help give you a better idea of what to expect in the future.

Making a complete career change almost in mid-life can be challenging. It sounds as if your husband will be just fine since it takes a great deal of confidence in his self to know he can go back to school and knows what he wants to major in. When all is said and done not many people can say they love going to work because they are doing exactly what they always wanted to do.

Let us know what your plans are.
 

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Questions to consider:
1. Is the university in the same town where you currently live? If not, your moving expenses will be tax deductible if you move more than 40kms closer to attend school.

2. If you bought a condo, would you want to stay in it forever? Or are you looking for a place to stay just while your husband is attending school. Condos are notoriously difficult to sell, you might get stuck with it or take a loss getting rid of it. Plus, the fees could go up with little or no warning while you are living there. Would your family be comfortable in a condo (I can't remember how many children you have). If you are planning to stay in the area, why not look at buying a smaller freehold townhouse, which will retain its value and may be more suitable long-term.

3. Are there jobs in the field that he is planning to study and is a 4 year degree enough to break into one? Has he looked at the number of job postings for the job he wants and the qualifications they are looking for? There could be a long period of low-paying entry-level work after school that you would need to plan for.

4. Will you be staying in the same area after he finishes school? If not, rent instead of buying.

5. Apply for student loans. There are all kinds of federal and provincial grants and supplements that you can only get through a loan application. Last time I went back to school I got a $10000 loan and only had to pay back about half. I just put it in the bank and paid it off when I finished school. You will probably do better applying before you sell your house, as the lower living costs and giant chunk of money in your account afterwards may disqualify you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the input, guys! I really appreciate it.

1. Is the university in the same town where you currently live? If not, your moving expenses will be tax deductible if you move more than 40kms closer to attend school.
There is a university in the city we live, so I can't see us moving to another area.

2. If you bought a condo, would you want to stay in it forever? Or are you looking for a place to stay just while your husband is attending school. Condos are notoriously difficult to sell, you might get stuck with it or take a loss getting rid of it. Plus, the fees could go up with little or no warning while you are living there. Would your family be comfortable in a condo (I can't remember how many children you have). If you are planning to stay in the area, why not look at buying a smaller freehold townhouse, which will retain its value and may be more suitable long-term.
I talked to DH when I got home from church, and at first he seemed receptive when I started talking but when I mentioned selling our house he completely shut down and didn't want to hear any more. He wants us to keep the house (which we possibly could, I guess), refinance the mortgage to a 25 year to lower our mortgage payment and figure it out from there. The 'figure it out from there' is the hard part.:lol: That's where I need all your help.

A friend of mine talked about going to a Christian financial place that helps you with your finances. Whatever you pay them for their services, you get a tax receipt for. I could justify the expense in my mind as using it as a charity deduction while we benefit from it.

3. Are there jobs in the field that he is planning to study and is a 4 year degree enough to break into one? Has he looked at the number of job postings for the job he wants and the qualifications they are looking for? There could be a long period of low-paying entry-level work after school that you would need to plan for.
Honestly, I don't know exactly what he wants to take. In the past, he's talked about wanting to be a teacher, but I've heard that that field is hard to get into these days because people aren't having as many kids and school are shutting down because of it. I think he'd be good in engineering, but I know (because I mentioned it to him about 15 minutes ago) that he doesn't think he's smart enough. I have confidence in him, however.

5. Apply for student loans. There are all kinds of federal and provincial grants and supplements that you can only get through a loan application. Last time I went back to school I got a $10000 loan and only had to pay back about half. I just put it in the bank and paid it off when I finished school. You will probably do better applying before you sell your house, as the lower living costs and giant chunk of money in your account afterwards may disqualify you.
I'm going to do some phoning around this week. A friend of mine told me that there are some programs that the government will pay for you because there is a need in that field. I'm not so sure about this. I'm going to have to get more information.
 

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If he doesn't even know what he wants to do he needs to figure that out first. There aren't many jobs that just require a university degree, because it generally does not train you for anything specific. University is usually a stepping stone towards something else. He is more likely to get a job by going to college and learning a trade. Most college programs involve a work placement at the end with real experience and an opportunity to make contacts with people working in the field. Get a program calendar from your local college and have him look through it for programs that interest him, then research the number of positions available in the field.

College is a lot cheaper than university and more likely to get him a job at this stage in his life.

Teaching is next to impossible to break into, but if he learns a trade and works in the field for a while he could get work teaching in a college. If you think he would be good at engineering maybe he would enjoy one of the building trades.

What does he do now? What does he dislike about it and what does he like about it? Call HRDC and ask if they offer career counselling, they used to.
 

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WOW, lots of great advice for your here....

I don't have too much to add except to say if he wants to "teach", he can get into a field that he loves, work full time and teach part time in a career college in that particular field. Are there any career counselors in your area that you could contact so he could do some assessment tests? That would help him at least know what he is interested in instead of wasting money on something he ends up hating in the end.

Also, DH and I made the exact same decision as you are thinking of doing right now. Three years ago DH was laid off from his job and we sent him back to college full time. He will be finished with his Bachelor's degree next Spring and then in the Fall he is going to go to law school. After those 3 years are up, he will be back in the workforce. It hasn't been easy, but it has been doable. Our income dropped by more than half, so it was also a lifestyle change.

I wish you and DH the BEST on your new possible journey!

Andrea
 
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My standard advice to anyone who says he/she wants to be a teacher is to do anything else that you can. And if that doesn't seem to be enough, then consider teaching. One who goes into teaching must be passionate about it. Too many schools are filled with too many teachers who have no passion; it is just a job.

Be prepared, if you go into education, for half the salary and twice the hours of other professionals. Be prepared to have your heart stolen and broken by what you encounter in the classroom. Be prepared for those who cannot and will not ever understand your schedule, your methods, and who will tell you with a smirk: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Or "Must be nice to have all those vacations and summers off." Or other idiodic things. Be prepared for personal attacks on your character, your abilities, and your motives from not only students, but parents, fellow educators, and the community. It seems that everyone knows the best way to teach, and it isn't your way.

Teaching has been my passion. I've goofed up so many times, and then stood up and went back to it. It has been hard to retire from this career. I began teaching in 1971 and now, going into 2011, I still teach a class or two. Those decades have taught me much. So I pass this on: don't go into teaching, expecting an easy 9-5 job and big bucks. But do go in expecting a lifetime of changing lives and knowing that you have made your piece of the world a better place.

My best to your husband, QM.
 

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If he doesn't even know what he wants to do he needs to figure that out first. There aren't many jobs that just require a university degree, because it generally does not train you for anything specific. University is usually a stepping stone towards something else. He is more likely to get a job by going to college and learning a trade. Most college programs involve a work placement at the end with real experience and an opportunity to make contacts with people working in the field. Get a program calendar from your local college and have him look through it for programs that interest him, then research the number of positions available in the field.

College is a lot cheaper than university and more likely to get him a job at this stage in his life.

Teaching is next to impossible to break into, but if he learns a trade and works in the field for a while he could get work teaching in a college. If you think he would be good at engineering maybe he would enjoy one of the building trades.

What does he do now? What does he dislike about it and what does he like about it? Call HRDC and ask if they offer career counselling, they used to.
OK, so I've noticed that those of you from Canada use 'university' and 'college' as if they are two different things. Here in the States, the terms are somewhat interchangeable.
A college refers to an institution of higher learning, while a university is a similar institution but larger, with many divisions and possibly a post-graduate school - can you enlighten us Yankees?
 

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If he doesn't even know what he wants to do he needs to figure that out first. There aren't many jobs that just require a university degree, because it generally does not train you for anything specific. University is usually a stepping stone towards something else. He is more likely to get a job by going to college and learning a trade. Most college programs involve a work placement at the end with real experience and an opportunity to make contacts with people working in the field. Get a program calendar from your local college and have him look through it for programs that interest him, then research the number of positions available in the field.

College is a lot cheaper than university and more likely to get him a job at this stage in his life.

Teaching is next to impossible to break into, but if he learns a trade and works in the field for a while he could get work teaching in a college. If you think he would be good at engineering maybe he would enjoy one of the building trades.

What does he do now? What does he dislike about it and what does he like about it? Call HRDC and ask if they offer career counselling, they used to.
OK, so I've noticed that those of you from Canada use 'university' and 'college' as if they are two different things. Here in the States, the terms are somewhat interchangeable.
A college refers to an institution of higher learning, while a university is a similar institution but larger, with many divisions and possibly a post-graduate school - can you enlighten us Yankees?:scratch:
 

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Condos

:fyi:
I would insist on review the by-laws of any condo you are seriously thinking about purchasing.

Most condo group have a board of directors, by-laws, rules & regs.

The condo building I live in does NOT allow any sort of business being conducted in an owners condo. You can do a little ebaying, etc. But my building would never allow a child care business, however casual.
 
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OK, so I've noticed that those of you from Canada use 'university' and 'college' as if they are two different things. Here in the States, the terms are somewhat interchangeable.
A college refers to an institution of higher learning, while a university is a similar institution but larger, with many divisions and possibly a post-graduate school - can you enlighten us Yankees?:scratch:
Yes, they are two different things. A university issues degrees, a college issues diplomas and certificates. There is a bit of overlap now, some college credits are starting to be accepted at universities. Depending on what you want to do it could require a bachelor's (or higher) degree from university, or a 2 yr diploma from college, or sometimes (frequently) both.
 

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Yes, they are two different things. A university issues degrees, a college issues diplomas and certificates. There is a bit of overlap now, some college credits are starting to be accepted at universities. Depending on what you want to do it could require a bachelor's (or higher) degree from university, or a 2 yr diploma from college, or sometimes (frequently) both.
Ahhhh- thanks! We in the States would most likely call your 'college' a 'junior college' and possibly a 'trade school'.
 
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I think it is a great idea, BUT really research what having this degree will do for your husband financially- for example, are their JOBS available in his desired area? What is the pay? If one job doesn't work out, are there other options? My husband went to law school right out of college. In hindsight we never would have made that decision again. The job market for attorneys is way oversaturated and unless you graduate right at the top of your class from an excellent school and have some great connections it is hard to get a decent job. It is the kind of degree that may not be worth the investment. I really wish that we would have had better guidance throughout college as to what our degree really prepared us for job wise and what the job market really would look like. I will guide our children much differently than we were guided. Anyways, good luck!
 

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What a wonderful opportunity to wrap your minds about the endless possibilities ahead. QM - I feel your energy bounding ahead, while your DH seems to be trailing behind. As has been suggested, it would be best for all angles if he was an active participant in this discussion and search for ideas.

Of course it can be done - I have no doubt that you will find the best way for both of you!! Good luck and please keep us informed and updated on your progress!!
 
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