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May need "Class of 2013" status revoked (partially)
Old 02-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #1
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May need "Class of 2013" status revoked (partially)

I just (possibly foollishly, we'll see) accepted an offer to become the next postmaster of our tiny little town. I've been working a day or two a week in small town post offices (including the one in our town occasionally) since the beginning of last July. I've enjoyed it for the most part since I never really felt much pressure and have a lot of autonomy to do things as I see fit as long as I don't screw things up (and everything gets scanned).

Well, I didn't really plan it but the regular postmaster in our town gave notice two days ago, finding a full-time j*b with benefits as a mail clerk in a prison not far from here. So I got a call from the larger town postmaster (who has oversight over these smaller part-time offices) and was offered the position. I slept on it, wavered over it, but I decided the upside to taking it was greater than the downside.

It's part-time -- maybe 25-26 hours a week, and the station is only open 8-12 Monday through Friday. My biggest concern is actually keeping our MAGI low enough that we stay under the $46K threshold that allows me, as an American Indian, to get any policy off the exchange without having any copays or deductibles at all. It looks like we can still do that if I max out our IRAs and contribute the $11K maximum or close to it, combined with DW's 403B contributions from her church employment. (Normally it would be silly to use a TIRA instead of a Roth in the 15% bracket, but I think the combination of ACA and my Indian status is a game-changer.)

We really don't need the extra money, but it's gravy and makes things a little less tight. And if it sucks doing this every day, I won't hesitate to ask to go back to "relief" status, basically the substitute teacher of the small-town postmaster world, once a replacement has been hired. But I also think it's a good thing for my wife's ministry and getting visibility. Someone in our congregation joked this morning that we are the rare couple in a small town that has some status and visibility despite only living here for a year -- being the only preacher in town and the postmaster. We'll see.

I am just reminding myself that we don't *need* this and I don't plan to open up our budget to more "stuff" (apart from a vacation, perhaps) at all. And as long as we keep to that I can easily bail out of this if it's not right.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:32 PM   #2
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Next step: mayor.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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Next step: mail clerk in a prison.

I think you and the reverend are on your way to a reality show.

Seriously, it sounds like you'll enjoy it. Congrats!
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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If you enjoy it, why not? Heck, go for "Ruler of the World"!!!!!
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:45 PM   #5
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Sounds like a good part-time j*b!
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:48 PM   #6
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If you enjoy it, why not? Heck, go for "Ruler of the World"!!!!!
Hey that's the Job I wanted ! And if you get it I may just go Postal !
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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Next step: mayor.
Riiiight. Our church council president is the mayor, and she's been DW's greatest cheerleader and was instrumental in bringing her here. Plus, we lost the water for a couple hours yesterday, and I don't want to deal with that grief from citizens for a job that pays $150 a year.

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Next step: mail clerk in a prison.

I think you and the reverend are on your way to a reality show.

Seriously, it sounds like you'll enjoy it. Congrats!
Heh. No, I really don't see myself doing full-time work again. I drew that line in the sand last April when I was whacked, and while I know to never say never.... I'm pretty sure that's not in the cards!

And my better half isn't a reverend yet. She's the "vicar" here, which is a term sometimes used for a seminary student and pastoral candidate who is not yet ordained. She's still in seminary and hopes to be ordained by late 2015.

A lot has messed up my ACA planning in the last couple months. Not only did DW get a new contract (effective March) with a nearly $10K raise, now I get this as well so we need some more massive salary dump to keep my sweet ACA deal. We'll lose most of the subsidy I thought we'd get, but I'm OK with that -- I just don't want to lose the lack of cost sharing. But with TIRA contributions and (if need be) cranking up her 403B contributions, we can do it. And yeah, these are "first world problems" that aren't bad to have. We continue to feel very blessed.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #8
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Good luck with the new job. I hope you enjoy it. I like the extra money from working part time, yet still having time for hobbies and fun.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:06 PM   #9
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Excellent! - Postmaster in a small town is not a job, it's an adventure!
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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Lark Rise to Candleford

2008-2011
NR
Seasons 1-4 DVD
Country girl Laura Timmins leaves her home of Lark Rise to join her cousin, Dorcas Lane, in bustling Candleford, where her position at the post office plants her in the thick of town activity.

Genres: Television, British TV Dramas, TV Dramas, British TV, United Kingdom This show is: Feel-good

Rented from Nexflix. Actually, a pretty good episodic show in which not much happens--just small-town people getting through life. We watched the complete series. Dorcus is the one you want to keep on eye on as she is the postmaster(OK, OK, postmistress in a small town). Maybe you could learn something from her).
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #11
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"May need "Class of 2013" status revoked (partially)"

No Way! You're stuck with Class of 2013.

Of course, you can join another later if necessary. Nothing wrong with retiring more than once.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:01 PM   #12
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Sounds like it will be a good fit and as you say you can always quit. Congrats!
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:11 PM   #13
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Lark Rise to Candleford

2008-2011
NR
Seasons 1-4 DVD
Country girl Laura Timmins leaves her home of Lark Rise to join her cousin, Dorcas Lane, in bustling Candleford, where her position at the post office plants her in the thick of town activity.

Genres: Television, British TV Dramas, TV Dramas, British TV, United Kingdom This show is: Feel-good

Rented from Nexflix. Actually, a pretty good episodic show in which not much happens--just small-town people getting through life. We watched the complete series. Dorcus is the one you want to keep on eye on as she is the postmaster(OK, OK, postmistress in a small town). Maybe you could learn something from her).
This is definitely a feel good series. It is also available on the BBC iPlayer.

Congratulations on the new adventure!
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:44 PM   #14
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Go for it
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:04 PM   #15
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If you enjoy it, why not?
+1. If you enjoy it, and get paid, what's the downside? I hope it works out for you...
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:16 AM   #16
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Hope you don't too much trouble managing the extra hours and unexpected income.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:19 AM   #17
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Good way to ensure you do not miss any critical mail deliveries. Nevertheless, sounds good to me, best of luck!
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:06 AM   #18
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Just consider it a 'sabbatical from retirement'.

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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
It's part-time -- maybe 25-26 hours a week, and the station is only open 8-12 Monday through Friday. My biggest concern is actually keeping our MAGI low enough that we stay under the $46K threshold that allows me, as an American Indian, to get any policy off the exchange without having any copays or deductibles at all. It looks like we can still do that if I max out our IRAs and contribute the $11K maximum or close to it, combined with DW's 403B contributions from her church employment. (Normally it would be silly to use a TIRA instead of a Roth in the 15% bracket, but I think the combination of ACA and my Indian status is a game-changer.)
Are you going to be working for the gov't, or as an independent contractor? Can you have anything deducted into a 401k with the gov't to really reduce your income? Or, if you're an independent contractor, you can set up a SEP IRA to put away 20% of your income, PLUS write off expenses (mileage, home office deduction, etc.). And you can roll over a SEP IRA into your traditional IRA after you leave the position.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:19 PM   #19
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Congrats, sounds like a good gig.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:52 PM   #20
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Are you going to be working for the gov't, or as an independent contractor? Can you have anything deducted into a 401k with the gov't to really reduce your income? Or, if you're an independent contractor, you can set up a SEP IRA to put away 20% of your income, PLUS write off expenses (mileage, home office deduction, etc.). And you can roll over a SEP IRA into your traditional IRA after you leave the position.
No, it is direct employment, I'm not a contractor. But it seems like a pretty low-stress gig from what I can tell so far, though some Monday mornings can be rather busy.

But yes, this makes managing MAGI for my ACA health insurance purposes even trickier.

When I first started the signup fiasco process last October, it looked like we'd have a MAGI around $32-35K. And even with DW being covered by her employer with what is basically Gold level coverage (making clear I was not eligible also), I could still get a decent subsidy of about half my premium. But really, that wasn't the important thing. The important thing was keeping MAGI below about $46,500 because of the "cliff" I mentioned above. Earn one dollar above the 300% of FPL limit, and my $0 deductible and copay becomes $6000!!!

But when DW got a hefty raise this year (effective March 1) and I'll be working a lot more hours again (effective March 3), instead of earning at a $32-35K annual rate it will be closer to $55K. I don't mind losing the premium subsidy, but we need to get under that $46.5K (300% threshold) for me. But we have MAGI dumps -- we can put up to $11K into a TIRA and DW has a 403B. So right now I have set it up to max out two TIRAs (this gives us something to do with that oversized, nuclear-level "emergency fund" we built when it was hitting the fan) this year, and if we need DW to contribute more than 6% to her 403B, we can do that, too. The net effect is that we can still easily get MAGI down to $40K or less, and while my subsidy won't be as big as originally expected, we'll be well under the 300% level that is the main concern.

It is odd that in this post-ACA world, someone in the 15% bracket would choose a TIRA instead of a Roth, but my circumstances pretty much make that a pretty easy choice -- pay ourselves $11K a year in order to avoid paying "the doctor" up to $6K. Everything we *thought* we knew about money management and financial planning has really changed......
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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