employment during anesthesia school? - page 2

Can anyone tell me how much I can really work during anesthesia school (if I am accepted)? I understand that the majority of my time must be dedicated to studying, but I'm a little concerned about... Read More

  1. by   u-r-sleeepy
    A heavy round of applause is heard for CRNA wife...! Congrats on doing things the way you are - especially with regard to the kids. We are doing a similar thing except... that we are accumulating a bit of debt since the 9/11/01 killed our investments.

    I say -

    1 - save as much $$$ as possible before starting school -
    2 - work out loans to match your expenses while in school so you don't have to work - if you don't want to
    3 - you may feel like working 1 - 2 shifts per week AFTER classes are finished - I wouldn't advice working during academics - my opinion
    4 - try to AVOID making a "deal-with-the-devil" if u can - that is to say - I would STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU NOT to make a pre-arranged commitement to some Anesthesia Group for say - $1k/month during school and they pay the school bill in exchange for a 3 year commitment to that Anes Group after graduation at a fixed rate of pay. I can't tell you how many classmates here have done that and are so very... very... very sorry they did as they will probably forfeit $20-40k/yr minimum for the next 3 years they are out of school. That's a pretty sad thing to contemplate... (I was offered the same contract last year before school began and turned it down)
    5 Did I say, "Don't be afraid of taking out loans"? Seriously, I wouldn't encourage you to go overboard, but WHAT IF u piled up $100k in school loans to get thru the program?!? You have 10 years after school to pay them back. The tax law was just changed in the last year to allow deducting your school loan interest past the 60month cutoff. At current % rates - that's about $1k/mo pymt on $100k of loans.

    Let's see - your pay just went up anywhere from $50-80k per year - do you think you can afford that $1/mo sch ln pymt?!? Plus - like I said - u can deduct much if not all of the interest off your taxes in the future - which by the looks of rising income for CRNAs you're going to appreciate.

    Now you do the math - do u think it's worth it?!???
  2. by   MK2002
    Regretfully, you will be unable to deduct any of that student loan interest. I can confirm this because H&R Block has been doing my taxes for years.

    The problem is that you will be earning too much to be allowed the deduction. At $40,000 earnings the tax deduction begins to be reduced, and at $55,000 it is phased out completely. The limits are increased for married couples. However, it still won't make any difference--you will be earning too much to qualify.

    Here is a link to the IRS web page that explains the details:

  3. by   u-r-sleeepy
    Re: "Regretfully...."

    Try again Dragon-Breath - ;-)

    The IRS has changed the tax law regarding deducting student loan interest. You can bring yourself up to speed by going here --> http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/fs-02-06.pdf and reading down on page 3.

    The new limit is $130k annual income for couples filing jointly and... this is a deduction which LOWERS your Adjusted Gross Income! (page 1 on IRS Form 1040 line 24) Thus if you have "significant deductions" elsewhere (legitimate, of course!) that lowers your overall such as and IRA, med-savings acct, self employed med ins deduction, etc. - you're well on your way to "keeping" more of YOUR money!

    There are some other GREAT ways to lower your tax burden to the federal govt., but I'll leave you with this for now.

    PS - Going to H & R... was your FIRST (and probably biggest) mistake.... seriously -
  4. by   MK2002
    Unless you are married and your spouse earns little or nothing, this still will not work.

    According to the link you sent the new phaseout range begins at $50,000 and ends at $65,000 ($100,000 - $130,000 for married couples). If your first year salary is ONLY (ahem) $100,000 and your spouse earns a meager $30,000 then you have no deduction. If you are single, then you get no deduction.

    Admittedly, there are rare situations where the spouse will earn little or nothing, but these are extremely rare, especially in light of the high expense of school. Salaries increase over time, and one might start at $125,000 or more. That effectively nullifies the tax deduction to almost nothing. And you will be in a higher tax bracket than you are now.

    Another item is the allowed full amount that can be deducted. From the link you sent it looks like the quantity has been upgraded to $3,000 annually. It was $1,500 in past years, if I remember correctly. The document did not specifically state the amount that can be deducted so this issue remains unclear.

    Keep in mind interest rates. Right now the economy is in a very unusual situation. Nothing lasts forever, especially low rates! You should not expect a 4% loan a few years from now. This is especially important since eventually you will want to consolidate these loans or you will have multiple student loan payments--one payment for every year you took a single loan. If you had multiple loans in a single year, then the problem is worse. You need not pay back the loan in 10 years. Consolidation will give you up to 25 years, though I don't recommend it.

    Not that I am against student loans. I have a significant amount of debt and a long way to go yet. Without this financial assistance it would be impossible to get through everything. I fully agree with you about not working while in school. I used that strategy for my first bachelors degree, and I am going to use it for this next one and beyond. The experience was good because it taught me not to fear student loan debt. As long as you earn enough after graduation things take care of themselves.

    H&R Block has been terrific for me. I swear by them. Their corporate office does my return at no extra charge. I have saved thousands of dollars over the years. I tried those silly applications like TaxCut and others. They never arrived at the larger amount of relief calculated by H&R Block. And if you make a mistake, then you pay. With H&R they will pay everything and more. (That happened to me recently, and the company paid everything plus a few hundred extra, which I kept!)
  5. by   Brenna's Dad
    I am planning to work very little and send my wife out to work full-time. I have been advised not to work during the first three months, and I am planning on heeding this advice. After that, perhaps one or two shifts per month.

    I will max out my yearly Stafford loan amount and have apprx $40000 worth of debt at the end of the program.
  6. by   Roland
    You could get a divorce and still live together as husband and wife (assuming you live in a state such as Indiana that does NOT recognize common law marriages). This will save you from the "marriage penalty" embedded within current tax law. Some people have decided to get married without a license (but by a preacher) for this reason. They believe that marriage is between themselves and God, and that the STATE has no business intervening. Of course such an arrangement has liabilities. You will not qualify for your spouse being covered by health insurence, and certain types of title such as tenancy by the entirety are not availible. In addition, care must be taken to structure your estate to ensure a smooth passage to your "spouce" in the event of your demise.

    While this step won't get you the full student loan deduction, it should increase your subsidized student loan eligability (and other financial aid) since you won't have to list your "spouces" income on the FAFSA.
    Last edit by Roland on Sep 23, '02
  7. by   u-r-sleeepy
    I couldn't disagree more heartily MK2002
    - try going here --> http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf except... that the IRS hasn't updated the form (instructions for 2001 year filing 1040) to coincide with the new limits. Page 27-29 gives some discernment, but given typical IRS publications it becomes confusing.

    Please refer to my earlier posting re: the new limits/regulations and that should get you STARTED. My best advice it to either take several hours to aquaint yourself with the new provisions in the tax law, or else find/hire someone who does know.

    I repeat my disdain for H & R Block - I'd rather take my chances at Vegas than to believe they would get it right the first time around. Also, I haven't touched the surface for other methods to reduce your overall tax burden - LEGALLY! I will tell you our school had a special class devoted simply to teaching us about 2 things:

    1 - Protecting your privacy
    2 - Protecting your assets - both from law suits plus from unnessesary taxes. I doubt every school offers such a course, but I'd be curious to find out who else does.

    My $.015 (adjusted for inflation)
  8. by   MK2002
    And I could not disagree more heartily with you, u-r-sleeepy.

    I have no idea what you are trying to communicate above with the 122-page (!) publication. But it brings up an important point: I have neither the time nor the interest in spending my life drowning in tax forms or tax preparation classes. School and work are enough for anyone to handle, let alone the idea of spending numerous hours on these things. I have a good general idea of the way things work, and I have never regretted my methodology.

    While you must repeat your disdain for H&R Block, I must repeat my praise for them. Not everything works for everyone. The company does a fine job for most Americans, and it has had good earnings performance. They just did not work for you. It is wrong to issue a blanket statement that the company is doing an injustice to taxpayers, which is implied by your Las Vegas gambling reference. As I pointed out in my earlier post, for a mere $20 H&R takes the risk and pay your penalties if they occur.

    We will never agree, so enough said, OK?

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