I am really thinking hard about switching careers. I think I have a decent plan for making it happen and my wife is on board but some of my friends think the plan is way too risky. If you have a minute, I could use a fresh set of eyes to make sure I am not just blinded by the prospect of it all and that I am actually following a good plan. Thanks.
I am 25 years old, married, and have our first child on the way. I am a police officer in a medium sized city and have been on for 4 years. I make very respectable(for our area and field) $70k which will likely top out at around 90k with a few promotions and 25 years on. The job offers good benefits and pension too, BUT…I don’t really like it anymore. I’ll bet you can correctly assume the downsides, they all have to do with dealing with the worst people and the most messed up situations you can think of and I find my self coming home upset, angry, or dejected at night pretty regularly lately, on top of being just completely wiped almost every night . I just have a hard time seeing how the very occasional exciting incident and moderate satisfaction of catching a bad guy could make this doable for the next 30 years.
As a kid, I wanted to fly but assumed it was only for Active duty military types and I decided against active duty although I did do the National Guard after high school (not flying).
I have just started lessons at my local flight school. I cannot go full time at ATP right now because with a baby on the way, there is no way I’m letting go of our good health insurance with a delivery looming on the horizon. I plan to get my private license locally, flying 2-3 times a week and was told I could get it done in 9 months maybe less depending on other external factors. However, baby is due in 6 so that will slow my progress considerably I would imagine. We had been saving quite a bit for a baby already so I can spend my overtime duty pay to pay for my PPL and saving for living expenses when I go full time.
After the baby is born healthy (God willing) on my good health insurance, then I can quit my job, sell my house and enroll at ATP although an expensive private health insurance policy is going to be a good chunk of change to save up first But I will hopfully put a good dent in it over the next 9-10 months. Coming in with my PPL turns the 9 month 80k ATP program into a 6 month 60k program. There is a school in Indianapolis where my sister in law and her family live…That would help tremendously with cost of living…I know, I know, who wants to invite a family with a young baby to live with them for 6 months? My wife is VERY close with her family and I have no doubt they would say yes. I actually think our dogs will be more of a deal breaker than a new baby. Otherwise, then I will have to spring for an apartment.
I do have about 55k in positive equity in my house after only living there for 2 years (we pay extra to principal with the intention of paying off in 15 years vs 30). I COULD use some of that 55k to make ends meet (cost of living, insurance, etc) until I land an airline job after CFI. I would rather pretend that money doesn’t exist, and then pay off my ATP debt in one fell swoop once I have an airline job. This is one aspect that my friend’s hate about the plan. They say I am “established” in my life and if I do go through with this, they think I should take the 55k from this house to put towards a new one. I see eliminating the debt as more important than “starting over” on a new mortgage. After all, I’m only two years in to the mortgage I have now so I don’t see that as much of a loss in time.
The other things they think are risky are not major concerns for me. One is the job prospects, though I’m not so concerned about that. They also say the pay cut is risky, but I see that I will make my money back. I also feel even if I made a little less but had a better job then I am ahead. They mentioned the family life but I already have the “advantage” of already working weekends, holidays, going to court on my days off, etc. So my kids will have to get used to me missing some things anyway. So family time seems to be an even trade for me.
Does anything in this plan throw red flags for you guys? Specifically, quitting and doing school with a baby, using my equity from the last two years to pay off my debt vs putting towards another house vs using it to cover living expenses for a worst case? My friends think I should go the "slow and steady’ route and not quit/sell the house etc. I’d rather get it done all at once.
Additionally, There is also the possibility my wife could work part time from home with the baby but I am the primary income earner now and we plan on homeschooling so I will for sure be the breadwinner when the kid gets to school age.
Thanks for any one who took the time to read this, I know it’s wordy. Any advise, in favor or against my ideas, are appreciated.