Oh, THIS is Why People Like “Real” Jobs

by Miranda Marquit · 10 comments

My husband finally has a “real” job. He’s no longer an adjunct; he has a full-time job at a school that seems to like that he prioritizes students and learning. With that full-time job comes benefits — and it’s amazing how much they’re affecting our financial life.

As we enjoy the benefits of having benefits, it really brings home the reasons that many people choose to stick with “real” jobs, even though they hate them. (Luckily, my husband enjoys the college professor lifestyle, and teaching, so we get to have benefits and a job he likes.)

Here have been the biggest perks so far:

Cheaper Health Insurance

We’ve been paying for health insurance on a family basis for years. Though it helped to get a high-deductible plan and open a Health Savings Account a few years ago, it was amazing when my husband’s health benefits kicked in.

We now get health, dental, and vision, and our monthly premium on the high-deductible plan we chose is half of what we were paying before. It’s a very exciting development, especially since we didn’t have vision and dental on our old plan.

Automatic Retirement Account Deductions

We’re also enjoying the retirement account deductions. Yes, we already had money transferring automatically from our checking account to a Roth IRA each month. But that’s a little different than having the money come right out of your paycheck. With an automatic transfer, I can see that the money is in my account — and, while I’ve gotten used to it, there’s something a little psychologically different about not ever seeing the money to begin with. It just goes right into the retirement account.

Not to mention, it comes with a match. We’re contributing what we can to get the maximum match; so we aren’t including the money in the monthly spending plan and are getting free money to boot.

This makes it easy to see why someone with good retirement benefits might be reluctant to quit a job and be forced to take care of that entirely on their own.

Other Benefits

Other benefits of working for “the man,” in some cases, include paid vacation, access to certain health services, and reduced-cost child care. My husband has a flexible schedule because of the nature of his work, and that’s nice, too.

My husband’s “real” job is making it easier for me to feel good about my own business, and it’s also been great for his mental well-being. Yes, we can “make it” without the need for more traditional employment. But the benefits and extra financial security that have come with my husband’s job make it difficult to fault those who never will feel comfortable leaving the rat race behind.

Do you have a “real” job? Which benefits do you like the most?

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  • fredjohnson says:

    Glad you like your “real jobs”. I had one of those once a couple decades ago. I barely remember it. That’s about the time I started my own small business. To be honest, I have all the same “fringe benefits” as you real job folks, it’s just my own business paying for them. Same tax deductions if not even a few better ones, etc. But….I NEVER cared about “fringe benefits”. I didn’t give them a thought in starting a business. I wanted independence and freedom first and I figured a salary and fringes would come later. They did. So, this year my “wages” are about $1 million(they’ve been $500k-$900k each yr last 13 yrs). So, now you see why I could care less about a few thousand dollars of fringes. They are only a rounding error these days. I’m happy for all you folks with the “real jobs”, but for you younger ones thinking about breaking tradition and starting out on your own? Do it now while you are young, so if you fail you can try again and still have time. If you give up, there’s always time for a “real job”.

    • dan says:

      excellent advice; after 26 years of depending on a future pension in the public sector that may not happen, and watching my wife get hosed in the private sector, I would advise people to try and make living on their own if they can. That means going into healthcare for a lot of folks. Even for me, I have the counseling license am exploring going private. Of course not everyone can, and that is why I am a strong advocate for fairness in the workplace and reasonable checks on corporate shenanigans ( which are largely unenforced these days ) and for holding all politicians to high standards, even if that means voting independent to send a message ( but ALWAYS vote ).

  • Yep, that’s kind of why I’ll never be an entrepreneur.

    My husband and I both have “real” jobs. I pay very little in health care costs. I added our kids to my insurance for a fee, and he added all of us to his (for free, but his coverage isn’t as good).

    The result is, our son had a $20k surgery that cost $125. (Well, it would have anyway, except they didn’t bill it right, and we are still figuring that out 1.5 years later.) I don’t have a copay. I have vision, dental.

    Of course, I’d prefer a system where everyone had access to good health insurance, not just people who have the “right” kind of “real” job. Because there are real jobs without these benefits.

    • David Ning says:

      Your health plans are awesome. I’m an entrepreneur and though I wouldn’t trade it for any job, I envy your no co-pay insurance policy!

    • dan says:

      Public employees used to have these kinds of plans. No more. Mine costs about 1000 a month now. It’s not like we were living the high life before those cuts ( judges ruled the pen/ben reforms in NJ a pay cut, but that didn’t sound so appealing, so it was marketed as a cut in Cadillac style benefits ) my advice is to make your own money if you can, cause you can’t trust an employer, not even the govt.

  • My husband has a cushy government job, and it’s great for all the perks. But it makes it difficult to look for other work that would suit him better when there’d be a big pay/benefit cut. Glad to hear your husband is enjoying his new real job!

    • David Ning says:

      You are describing the government version of golden handcuffs. At least he gets a generous retirement package via a pension or generous limits on a defined contribution plan.

      • dan says:

        provided some idiot politician hasn’t stolen the funds to give away to his criminal friends on Wall St, so that the claim can be made that we can’t pay the pensions….( see NJ Detroit, CA )

  • I love the benefits at my “real job” but the one I like the most is the company match for the retirement account. It’s free money, which you won’t get working for yourself. A lot of people figured they could quit their job if they make the same amount of money on the side, but soon realize that they actually need MORE money because they didn’t take into consideration all the benefits that they were getting, like discounted health plan.

    • David Ning says:

      That’s true. In addition to the match and discount health plans, there are others like self employment taxes, the need to pay more to prepare the taxes since it’s now more complicated, etc. Even the extra A/C that you’ll consume and coffee that you now have to pay should be counted!

      On the flip side though, you save a ton of money in other ways, like gas or work clothes. Pick your poison!

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