I am currently a contractor and I have been offered a position as a federal employee doing essentially the same thing working with the same people with the essentially the same tasks/responsibilities. I would be taking the number 2 spot after the lead retires and the current number 2 becomes the lead.
For personal reasons I wish to remain a contractor. Our contract has several years of work remaining so there is no immediate need for me to change positions. The person who is looking to retire soon is advocating that I take the offer which puts additional pressure on the situation, but I currently would feel more comfortable remaining where I am; the reasons being flexibility (I may want to move locations and employment in less than a year) slightly better salary and annual raises. I am aware that I am giving up job security and benefits but feel at the time the pros outweigh the cons.
How can I politely decline while keeping a good working relationship?