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Old 12-21-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
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Howdy!

I spent some time lurking around various finance/retirement blogs, then came to this forum and felt right at home. It was the thread about conversing on FIRE topics with people IRL that convinced me to finally join. I'm passionate about goals once my mind's made up, but it feels uncomfortable broaching the subject to really anyone in my life. It really seems like you all understand each other here (for the most part). So to the author, thanks!

For a background, I'm an early 30's gal with schooling/a major career change staring me in the face. My history (in a nutshell) goes from getting off to a great start in my very early 20's before facing major hurdles and job changes with a dash of unemployment. To finish it off, I'm unhappily in a low-paying job WITH NO PAY RAISES for 3 years in a business sector that has a shaky future. Hence, the career change.

It took a while to get on my feet several years ago and I made some bad decisions with the money that had been saved. Luckily, I'm not in any kind of debt and am fully aware of all the blessings in my life!

It's exciting to know that even though I may be off to a later start than originally envisioned, there is always a way to get from point A to point B.

For the meat:
$4k+ in a Roth IRA with $100 contributed monthly (also saving for school and EF)
$0k in a company 401(k) with the first matched 3% coming out of the next paycheck (yup, I know)
$50 in a DRIP with $25 contributed monthly for the next 8 months, then the $25 diverted to one of the above funds
No debt
Good credit
<$25k annual income

School for me will commence next fall with a 5-year time horizon. The first two years of it will be paid with a combination of government funds, a small stipend, and scholarships for my academic history. I will graduate with a Master's in a specific healthcare field that requires face-to-face interaction with patients/clients. Job outlooks until 2020 are much faster than average, and I'm pretty excited about it! I've had an interest in this field since encountering it by accident, literally, a few years ago. Income prospects are very good, with median pay between $70k-73k annually. In the meantime, I am terrified to leave my path of underpaid mediocrity because it feels so safe (particularly because I'm a single parent). I'm hoping that some of you can empathize with that.

Thanks to any folks who read this, and good luck in your journeys.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to ER.org. It's odd, but the anonymity here can be very helpful. Most of us probably know more about each others finances than even close family & friends, and can therefore help each other along. Few have all the answers, but there are many here with considerable expertise in various aspects of investing, retirement planning and related, so collectively it's an outstanding resource.

Sorry about the hurdles you've faced so far. Many members here faced career and other challenges of all sorts, but you're still way ahead (age) of many who had/have no hurdles whatsoever.

There's still plenty of time to "get from point A to point B" as you've noted. Just dive right in as you wish...
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks Midpack!

I know everyone's story is different. If I could have a conversation with my 22-year-old self, well, I would have gone to school sooner! That's probably the only advice I'd give myself. As funny as it is, the people we are now developed from what we've done or refused to do.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midwest View Post
Thanks Midpack!

I know everyone's story is different. If I could have a conversation with my 22-year-old self, well, I would have gone to school sooner! That's probably the only advice I'd give myself. As funny as it is, the people we are now developed from what we've done or refused to do.
I think we would all like to have that conversation with our 22 year old self!

For what it is worth, and what I told my kids, is that your first and most important investment is in your education. Your later retirement savings will come from your income, and education (in an economically viable field) will certainly increase your potential there. It is a lot easier to save enough, when you start with enough coming in.

Sounds like you off to a really good start. I would just say focus on your education first, before anything else. Many good things will flow from that.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Go.
My experience is similar in a way. I worked full time in a dead end career. Went to school full time nights, to get into IT. When I got a job offer I made up every excuse not to take a new career at more money than I ever expected.

Change is hard, if you have the passion, go for it. You will know if it's right for you, but don't let fear of change get in the way.
Best wishes,
MRG
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #7
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Midwest, the best news I see is "no debt." Right there, you've made a huge accomplishment. There are so many others in your similar position saddle with $15k or more of CC debt. Congrats on not going there. And keep it up, live within or below your means.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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Midwest, the best news I see is "no debt." Right there, you've made a huge accomplishment. There are so many others in your similar position saddle with $15k or more of CC debt. Congrats on not going there. And keep it up, live within or below your means.
You beat me to it. Yes, that is hugely important. So many others have dug themselves a very deep hole that takes "forever" to climb out of if they ever do.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
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Welcome Midwest from a fellow Nebraskan.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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Welcome, the fact you are starting is going to make you successful, as you said getting that match money is your priority, good luck.
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