Campagnolo wrote:This is outrageously helpful: thank you.
The tax issue is where things break down for me, because I just don't know that much about it. The SO has no debt and there won't be any chilluns for quite a while, so scenario 1 makes more sense. I'm going to call the schools now and figure this out with them. You've given me a great primer here from which to ask questions. It's wild to think the SO could work part time as a nurse and have us come out ahead with regards to take home pay.
All right, back to the regularly scheduled job hunt. Sorry to barge in here, but I figured if anyone could help, it would be you lot. Maybe I'll be joining you soon.
Keep in mind how complicated it can get. The formula is, I believe, you pay 10% of the amount by which your income exceeds 150% of the poverty line for your family size.
Therefore, the less money your wife makes, the less beneficial it is to utilize married filing separate. For example, if you make $50,000 and your wife makes $25,000, then your payment if filing jointly would be $440 (or so) a month, while married filing separate would be $280, a difference of about $1,900 over the course of the year. The loss of the student loan interest deduction by itself would be about $700.
My general conclusion from my rudimentary research is that, for many people, IBR would almost assuredly make it beneficial to file separately unless you have a couple kids. Could get tricky with itemization of deductions, though.