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Would you take a high-paying job in Iraq?

Most readers say 'don't do it.'

By Karen Datko Sep 28, 2009 3:18AM

Hank's friend, a father of three, faces a difficult decision: He's been offered a job in Iraq that will pay $290,000 for a year's commitment.


Like most big decisions, it's very complicated. But we'll tell you right now that most readers who commented on Hank's post said, "Don't do it."


There are financial considerations. The company the friend had been working for went belly up and he lost more than $100,000 in retirement savings. "He is 38 years old and has nothing to show for it," Hank wrote in a post at MiB Smarter Money. "He's squeaking by on $60,000 a year in Seattle with a wife who isn't working and three growing kids, and doesn't see a light at the end of any tunnels."


There are personal considerations as well. Long distances can strain relationships, Hank noted. The man's family needs him, and "there really isn't a dollar value you can put on his replacement."

He'd be helping his country if he took the job, but what it really comes down to is risk. Hank said that "money can make you do some very risky things, including putting your life on the line. What is your break point?"


Some readers said that if they were single, they'd go, but having a family changes that. "My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I would never intentionally put myself in danger for money (or anything else for that matter)," Dusty wrote.


Some said the man's current financial situation isn't dire. "Can't survive on $60,000 a year? I'm sorry. I raised four kids on a lot less than that," "danandmarsh" said.


A few described friends' experiences working in Iraq -- great income, safe environment, and lots of opportunity to communicate daily with loved ones. But overall the sentiments matched the opinion of Writer Dad: "It wouldn't be worth it to me. I can make more money, not more time."


Published Sept. 11, 2008

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