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Pending possibilities

March 10th, 2017 at 06:43 am

I've made an effort to apply to more jobs, not just those I feel I'm very well qualified for. And it seems to have borne fruit.

Everyone's been telling me to lower my compensation expectations, but I'm really not finding I need to.

Spoke to a recruiter yesterday about a contract job at a well-known health insurer up in the Hartford area. It's a hike, but it's a short-term contract position with the possibility of sporadic ongoing work if they like me. It pays $50/hr.

I would grab it, for numerous reasons, one being that getting that healthcare experience under my belt could make it easier to get into healthcare copywriting in the future. (They usually want someone with experience in that field.)

Today I got a call from a recruiter in India (I wonder what time it was over there when he called) about an IBM 14-month contract job. It would start in a town 15 minutes away from me, but just for one month, after which I'd have to work out of a different location about 50 minutes from me. This one is a bit of a stretch as it's more technical writing than marketing, but nothing I couldn't handle. It pays $45/hour.

My preference is a full-time perm job with benefits, but after that the next best thing would be a contract job found through a recruiter. That's becus most big headhunter agencies now offer full benefits including health insurance and a 401(k). Some don't offer the health plan unless the contract is for at least 6 months, so it can still be a challenge to get on a health plan if you have a shorter term contract.

That's what happened with the recruiter who found me the bank job in 2013. The recruiter had a 6-month wait before you could get on their health plan, but luckily for me, the contract with the bank was for 8 months, so I got on the recruiter plan at month 6 becus it would lock in my ability to stay on that plan for 18 months (albeit at a much higher price) when the contract ended 2 months later. As it turned out, the bank then hired me as a perm employee.

If I were to get one of the 2 contract jobs mentioned above, my strategy would be to MAX out my 401k contributions in just a few months (or for as long as my contract was for) so my monthly net would be quite small, likely under $1,000. I have plenty of taxable money in a money market I could draw on if I needed it to pay the bills, but if I knew my contract job was finite, I would plow a huge amount into tax-deferred status while I could.

Why would I do this? Because aside from the fairly limited amount you can put into an IRA each year, there's no other ways to put your money in tax-deferred status, which is so valuable for growing assets. I don't make enough as a freelancer to put much $$ into a SIMPLE IRA.

There are huge advantages to having more money in Roth and/or traditional IRAs (ideally, you want some of both for greater flexibility when withdrawing in retirement so you can minimize your taxes) than in taxable accounts. Right now I have roughly $166,000 in taxable accounts, which hurts me at tax time. The more I can shift into tax-deferred status, the better off I am.

Also, most contract jobs deduct your taxes for you and issue a W2, which is advantageous when it comes to becoming eligible for future unemployment benefits. I can't recall specifics now, but working at least 3 months f/t would, I believe, make me eligible for a new round of unemployment, giving me more breathing room until I found a perm position.

If I was able to hop onto a health plan offered by the recruiter, then I would dump the COBRA plan I'm on now becus when the contract ended, I would then get on COBRA again, but the 18-month clock would be reset at the beginning, giving me another 18 months of at least some kind of health coverage, instead of the 8 or 9 months I have left now.

7 Responses to “Pending possibilities”

  1. Carol Says:

    Fingers still crossed for you.

  2. Dido Says:

    Glad to hear some new possibilities and hope are pending! SOmetimes it's a long drought, as you know. My last round of unemployment wasn't bad, but it was a very long 7 months in 2014 between jobs. Praying for you that something works out!

  3. My English Castle Says:

    Good luck! I know you're always careful, but some of my husband's colleagues have had issues with several Indian recruiting firms and hidden fees. Just a heads up.

  4. alice4now Says:

    Sounds like some promising leads, best of luck!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Hope one works out!

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Best of luck!

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Hope this works out!

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