carcrazyguy

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My wife will start med-school in July! I was wondering if any husbands of med-students are on the website? I would like to know if you work(ed) while she went to school? I am sure most did. I currently work in retail appliance/electronic sales, and have been thinking of trying to find a 9-5 mon-fri job once my wife starts school. I know that I will take a large pay cut to do this. However, I feel that having the weekends off would give us the possibility to spend a little more time together. But I am worried that since we have no kids, we might not qualify for much in the way of student loans. So it might be a big risk taking a pay cut and only work a monday-friday job. Because I know most all appliance stores require a 6 day work week. I have sold appliances for about 8 years and I have never met a monday-friday salesman. Anyway maybe you guys can help me out here. THANKS IN ADVANCE
 

k's mom

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I'm a wife of a med student, but there are many, many med-spouse-husbands out there. Your situation is no different than most spouses, male or female. First of all, you will qualify (most likely) for more aid than you think. Based on age (starting at @25), the EFC formula ignores certain amounts of investment/savings. Likewise, EFC only takes into consideration spousal income over and above a certain threshold. Take a look at the financial aid forum and the thread on EFC; someone just posted a great link to the federal calculator/formula.
As for when to work, I think the 9-5 is a great idea. I also suggest taking up a hobby, classes, etc... to fill some of your evenings as well. It will keep the "feeling-neglected" blues at bay, while helping assuage your wife's guilt as well when she has to study. Essentially, for the first two years she will have very set class hours and can make up her own study hours.
We have kids, so the situation is a little different. I chose to forego a full-time-in-my-career-job (teaching), so that I can be more flexible to work around my husband's schedule. Essentially, I am home with the kids during the day, but I work 3-4 nights a week while my husband watches the kids. I like my job, but I'm not investing a lot of energy to "proove" myself or get tenure, promotion, etc.... When my husband has a break from classes, you can guarantee that I'm finding friends to cover my shifts. So, if you want to stay flexible, you might consider doing something a little different than your sales job, as long as it will be iteresting to you. Many spouses I know have taken the opportunity to try something different.
 

carcrazyguy

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Thanks. That is what I was looking for!! By the way, how did you know I was over 25 (30 for that matter)! :D

I am just afraid this first year, since I made about 50k we might not qualify for much. Even though I really wish the schools would take in the fact that we spent almost all of that to pay off everything except the house we live in. And we only have like 5k in the bank which we will spend when we have to move and buy another house that is more expensive than where we live now.

But back to the original topic. :)


I have really been thinking about going to work at a car dealership(not sales). Because I really enjoy cars as a hobby and I could get a real good idea about how a dealership works. I plan to open a small "specialty car" dealership in the next few years and I think that will give me insight to how it works. Over the past 15 years I have bought/sold about 70 cars already! I just enjoy it!!

Anyway thanks for the input k's mom!!:thumbup:
 
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k's mom

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Ah, yes. Being labeled "non-traditional" is so much fun. What is even more fun is meeting my husband's classmates who were born in the 1980's :eek:

Yeah, good luck with the house situation. My advice is that, unless the school is located in a nasty area, you should try to minimize commute time as much as possible. Finding a condo or townhouse near the medical center that you can rent/sell easily after 4th year is a great idea (banks will throw money at you guys when she starts her residency, often %100 financing w/ no PMI, so don't worry too much about post-school home ownership)

ALSO: since you will be changing jobs, make sure to CALL THE FIN. AID office where she will be going if her EFC is anything more than 0, so that they can adjust for your new/lack of employment. There are some students in my husband's class who made over $100,000 prior to starting school...so I'm sure their EFC's were huge. Obviously, the plunge from $100,00 to $0 is big and the fin. aid officers know this, but you still have to request the adjustment.

Good luck:D
 

carcrazyguy

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Thanks for the info. I will ask her to call the fin. aid office today! THANKS!!!
 

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I'm the husband of a 4th year and it has been a fun ride. There were times when I didn't think that she could possibly study any more, but then there were times when I forgot that she was in Medical School.
As far as your weekends question goes, I wouldn't expect too much. If your wife is anything like mine she will have to study on the weekends, at night, while sleeping... :D Not really all the time, but I had to learn quick that her studying was the top priority. It takes some time to adjust to, but eventually you get into your own interests and adapt.
You should also be prepared for the at least monthly, and during anatomy, weekly crying sessions and threats to quit. One of the upperclassmen at the time told me that the only thing that keeps most people in it during the hard times is the debt.
Definitely talk to the Financial Aid Office about your situation. Mine was similar and they just had me write a letter of explanation.
Good luck it's a tough road, but worth it just to get to fourth year. :clap:
 

carcrazyguy

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Thanks for the info! I know what you mean already on the studying. She already studies all the time. In fact, I go to the bedroom when I get home from work so she doesn't hear the TV while she is studying. And most weekends we stay home because she is studying. And most the nights we get to bed early, :D , she wants to get up early the next morning to study. But hey, she could be doing worse things with her time. I know it is going to be a BIG adjustment. But I can live with that. I remember when she was working full time in the ER and going to school full time also! :eek: I think we just passed each other coming and going! But we did what we had to do to get our goals completed!

As far as debt.:scared: I can't wait:rolleyes: I have heard all the, "we don't hardly have enough money to go eat on" med-student stories that now I'm:scared: But others that we talk to said it was not near that bad? They say that some student just like to make other incoming students feel that it is going to be harder to make ends meet than it really is.
 

k's mom

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Yeah, if it (the studying) drives you crazy, you can always come to an agreement about when and where she can break out the books. Again, it is easier for us because of the kids: my husband could not study at home if he wanted to. When he is home, he is dad/husband. When he is at school, he is student. It keeps things neat and tidy (for the most part)

As for financial angst, let me put it into perspective for you: we have $30,000 in consumer debt (car loan, my student loans, credit cards), two small children, a three-bedroom apartment and I only work part-time. We receive THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF FINANCIAL AID as my husband's 23 year old, single classmates who share an apartment. WE MANAGE JUST FINE! Sure, things are a little tight, but it's just part of the fun:p

I also wanted to mention that pursuing your hobby as a job is A REALLY GOOD IDEA. Your wife will be doing REALLY COOL THINGS on an almost daily basis. It is nice to have the same kind of excitement in what you are doing as well.
 

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I didn't want to make you think that things would be too tight financially while in school. What I meant was that when things get really hard on rotations sometimes the only thing that will keep your wife going is the fact that you will need her MD salary to pay off her MD education. In that sense, debt is not such a bad thing.
My wife went to a really competitive undergrad and studied all the time then, but be prepared. Med school takes things to another level. You just have to find ways to cope and it sounds like you are already trying to do that.
I wish that I could pass on some great words of wisdom that would help you get through the uncertainty of the next four years, but really if you are committed to your wife and if you both communicate then you'll be fine.
 

carcrazyguy

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Thats the thing k's mom, her studying does not bother me at all. I understand it completely! I do the same thing. Except instead of studying med-school "things", I study the car market. I look to see how many of a certain car were built (with certain color combinations) and what they sell for!!! I know it is strange, but it has been something that I have enjoyed with my father since I was in junior high school. It is my hobby but more important, it is my passion (PLUS my wife really enjoys going to car shows and cruise nights!)! So it gives me something to do and my wife something to escape her stress/studies from time to time!


THANKS AGAIN FOR THE INFO!! This is helping me cope with the BIG change that is fixing to take place in our lives!
 

carcrazyguy

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OKAY....let the nerves begin:( My wife called the fin aid office today. They said that students will not find out about fin aid packages until late July or August. The person stated that there is emergency funds for students in case the new system is not up and running before classes begin.:eek: My wife explained our situation and the person responded "the money is for the student only". Which I understand that, I wasn't planning to run out and buy a......plazma tv or anything with her loan money. But are they saying that it is up to me to pay for everything except school and books? I know that it is not likely that I will find a job that pays that kind of money (mortgage, utility bills, health insurance for her at least, car insurance, food, gas, and everthing like that)? I think that PANIC is starting today :eek: The fin aid office also told her that they only go off last years tax returns. And do not take in account that a spouse might not have the same paying job as before? Well how do they expect me to make the same money right away? I am not afraid that I won't find a job. But I think to find the same pay might take me a little time. So from what my wife understood from the fin aid office we are going to have to pay a lot of her first year out of pocket. Which is going to be almost impossible. We only have like $5K in the bank and most of that will get spent when I am looking for work and the moving expenses. :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared:
 

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Wait until you get your package, then you can go back and work with them. When they computed our package they took into account not only my income but my wife's parents as well. There would have been no way that she could have gone to school. She talked to them and we signed a letter of hardship explaining why we couldn't pay our portion. They make up the difference in unsubsidized student loans usually.
They will only give her money for her needs, but that includes what they call room and board. Usually the student budget is on the med schools web site. This is why things are usually tight for med students, especially married ones. I would definitely get that budget before you start planning your move.
Don't worry too much, I am sure that things will work out.
 

k's mom

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Okay, don't panic. What they mean, is that the buget is for the student only, and includes her housing, tuition, books, other living expenses and, often, transportation costs. Every student has the same budget...the ONLY exception I know of is for single, custodial parents who can get a higher amount for daycare expenses, or a slightly higher amount for students who chose to live off campus..I think that "bonus" equals about $20.00 a month here! CHeck on the school's website and they should have a breakdown of the student budget the provide. (Just because a certain amount goes to, say, housing costs does not mean you have to spend exactly that amount on housing) For example, my husband gets @375.00/mo for rent and $1,500/year for books/supplies. We pay $854.00 (on campus) for rent, but only spent about $450.00 last year for books.

NOw, onto the whole "we only go by the tax forms" saga....
1. make sure you know who you are talking to. Was it the financial aid office for the entire school? The graduate school? the medical school? Medical school funding is a bit different (thus, the need for parental information on the FAFSA)
2..remember that this is the height of interview season and everyone is freaked about money...so they are getting a lot of calls and even the most patient of Fin. aid officers has limits
3. Do you have your wife's EFC from her FAFSA? That is what will determine how much aid she will qualify for. For example, if the EFC is "0", the school will approve you for federal loans/grants meeting the student buget for attendance. THus, they will subtract her EFC from the total package. If you don't have this number yet, hang tight and wait to hear from the FAFSA people. THEN you request an adjustment. I guarantee there will be people in your wife's class who are accepted off of the wait list a week or so before classes start...and they get an aid package too! It all works out.
4. A few caveats: she must be eligible for federal loans, and if tuition increases over the summer, the federal aid package WILL NOT CHANGE. My husband pays out-of-state-tuition, and it has increased %10 the past two years. We have just had to eat that cost. Private loans are available, too...although I don't recommend them.
5. A few things to think about while belt-tightening now...your wife will have medical costs associated with the start of school, such as a physical and immunizations/titers (this cost us @$500.00...our school DOES NOT ACCEPT an immunization record on its own merit...titers had to be done for everything!!!), as well as medical insurance. Check the plan her school offers very carefully..they are geared for healthy, young people. If your wife is over/near 30 or there is even the slightest chance she might become pregnant, be careful and choose a plan accordingly.
 

k's mom

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In that case, have your wife call on Monday and say the following:
"I need an adjustment made to my EFC. Can you please send me the forms necessary to request a review?" No need to explain anything beyond that.

Again, make sure you are calling the financial aid office FOR THE MEDICAL SCHOOL, or, if the office is combined with the undergraduate aid office, add in "FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL". EFC adjustments are a main part of their job...it is what the federal government REQUIRES of a school that accepts federal dollars. This is not to say that they will want to spend the time on your wife's file until they KNOW she will be attending
:rolleyes:
ALso, did she include her parent's information on the FAFSA? As a health graduate student you are required to submit this information on the FAFSA, and not doing so can mess up your aid package.

Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean:D
 

carcrazyguy

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THANKS -- k's mom

No she did not put in her parents info. Because we have been married for over 5 years and I work full time now (making pretty decent money). But I WISH that these schools would take into consideration that I have worked very hard to be "debt-free" until my wife got into med-school. We bought her a new truck (paid for no lien) so it would be dependable transportation. We have paid off all credit cards:eek: and everything like that. But trust me we have little to no savings once we did that and now everything we have saved up will go towards moving and getting another place to live. Anyway it will all work out. EVEN if I have to go work a full time and 2 part time jobs! +pity+ :)
 

k's mom

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FYI: having to put parents information on your FAFSA has NOTHING to do with your age, status, etc... My husband is 34, hasn't lived at home in 16 years, and has two kids...they still want the numbers. Not sure, but it could change your package, such as your ELIGIBILITY FOR FEDERAL LOANS (YOU DON"T WANT TO BE STUCK WITH JUST PRIVATE/INSTITUTIONAL LOANS!!!). THis could be a biggie, so don't assume, ask. She can still adjust her FAFSA.

Oh, and no car payment or credit cards? You are my heroes!!!:love: Someday..............someday..........
 

carcrazyguy

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Her parents are retired (rv'ers). I am not sure about their income but I know traveling the US is an RV is not cheap. So I don't think that is going to help us out any. However, when my wife and I got married, her parents were quick to point out that they where not going "to foot the bill for her schooling since we were getting married". Maybe that is why they retired just before we did get married? :laugh: Anyway, I think that they really thought I was going to stand in her way of "bettering herself". But they know now that I am not going to stand in her way of anything. I support her on anything, because she would do the same for me. Well, I wil just be glad when we get moved, she starts class, and all this financing CRAP :) gets work out!!!

Talk to you later
Mike

P.S. - My wife just asked me if I was writing to my therapist again. :D Of course I said "as a matter of fact, yes I am"
 

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My parents wouldn't provide their financial information to the school for me. Since I was 28, married, and they had paid for the majority of my undergraduate school, they felt that their obligation was complete. I wrote a letter to the financial aid office, and never had any problems after that.

As far as loan amounts go, we were in pretty much the same shape as the OP. We had made about $70 K in the year prior to starting school. Since I stopped working and my husband took a huge pay cut to move to the town my school is in, we were terrified about what the loan amount would be. However, once it was all said and done, we received plenty to get by for the semester. Remember, private loans are also an option if you need a little more to get through.

It's a bit of a rough road sometimes, and I know that my husband would like to have more time to do "our thing". However, I keep reminding him that it will be a lot more fun to do our thing 5 years from now on a physician's salary!!!
 

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It is NOT true that it is a requirement for federal loans to put your parent's info on the FAFSA. This is a requirement for many INSTITUTIONAL aid and other private aid. I know because I am an MSII and my school does NOT require my parents' info, I have never included it, and I always get the full amount of aid. It totally depends on the school--for the federal government, you are independent if you are in a graduate or professional program.

Now, that being said, most schools DO require the info--I just wanted to clear up the fact that this is not a federal mandate.
 

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Just backing up prior post about it not being a federal requirement to have your parents info for FAFSA. We are MSIIs and live only off the federal loans and never gave parent info.

Also, most schools will really work with you to try and keep you. They don't want people dropping out because of money.....it looks bad for thier numbers and they lose out on some money.

It will work out......and become less stressful.....kind of. :)

Rebecca
 

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However, I keep reminding him that it will be a lot more fun to do our thing 5 years from now on a physician's salary!!!

As long as retiring baby boomers don't all vote to go Socialized Health Care :laugh: Physicians in Europe are liv'in the high life on 40-60K. :smuggrin:


Seriously though, I was worried about financial aid also, but it worked. Believe me the acceptance process isn't so shortsighted as to overlook this aspect. They don't winow a few hundred from a few thousand applicants only to be blindsided by financial issues.
 
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