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Nurse from Pittsburgh looking to be FI by 35!
Old 09-02-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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Nurse from Pittsburgh looking to be FI by 35!

Hi everyone, a 4 year lurker here & first time poster!

My name is Andrew a 28 yr old RN almost 29 and my wife is Veronica. We hold solid jobs in stable fields. I am a RN and she is a RPH. We spent the last 3 years paying off debt and maxing out her 401k and picking up some stocks on the side in our Vanguard account. I had the unfortunate pleasure of beginning my investment career right around Aug of 2008 . So having been born through the fire I feel I am un fazed by market moves up and down anymore or so I think I hope that those early lessons learned will help me to successfully invest from here on out.

As I said we spend the last 3 years paying off debt, over 5K in credit card debt, 96.5K in student loan debt and over half of our mortgage 76K so far and counting. Ideally id like to have no mortgage by early age 30. We supplement our income with our garage sale, estate sale, and auction finds and resell our finds for profit on Ebay and Amazon.

Over the past year we have been just destroying our mortgage, only because I felt the market was way over bought and I wasn't interested in buying other than Veronica's 401k. Now that the market has dropped over 2k points I will be starting to obtain some more stocks hopefully at a nice discount.. I know wouldn't we all I prefer dividend stocks and blue chips.

I am interested in being a regular contributor here and just wanted to introduce myself to the community. Please feel free to ask any questions!

Excited to be part of the forum!

Andrew
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:37 PM   #2
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Welcome and congrats!
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thanks! I don't know if a congrats are in order just yet :-) I always feel as if more can be done, and my financial goals always seem to mount!
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:19 PM   #4
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From the very limited info you posted I doubt very seriously you can be FI by 35 unless your meaning is no debt...

Congrats on joining and also of working on paying off the debts....


I will throw out one thought.... do not pursue FI so doggedly that you forget to live in the present.... life can be short.... my DW's first husband died in his early 40s from cancer... he was not pursuing FIRE... I am only using him as an example of bad things can happen early in life...
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:31 PM   #5
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You might want to post a case study here and on the Mr. Money Mustache forums for suggestions on how to maximize your savings.
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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From the very limited info you posted I doubt very seriously you can be FI by 35 unless your meaning is no debt...
They don't specify but I would guess their income is $170-200K/yr. If they keep their spending down to $30K/yr or less other than their mortgage and income taxes then it could be possible. RNs can get part time work anywhere so they could retire at 35 and he could work part time as needed. If they hit the million dollar mark and are willing to live on $30K/yr then they'll be good to go.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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Welcome from a fellow yinzer.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:14 PM   #8
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Hmm let me try and provide some numbers here.. the first thing that makes this difficult is we don't budget, we save first and pay ourselves first and try our best to make what is left over work.

Ages 28 for both my wife and I.

Credit Card Debt - 0 balances are paid in full each month
Student loan debt - 0 paid in full
Car Loan debt- 0
Mortgage Loan left 66,540.05 @ 3.625% year 1.3 of 15

Investments

Vanguard -16K
401k- 55K maxing out every year with 4.5% match
Cash -10K
My HSA 11K maxing out yearly
Hard Assets 80K give or take 5K obtained over years of garage sales and estate sales and auctions
Wife HSA 3K
Home Value 155K-160K


Annual Income
Wife 115-120K bonuses OT and such
Me 38-45K Working weekends only
Secondary Income eBay & Amazon- 8-10K a year my weekly hobby / job.

My guess is we live on less than 35K a year, I would have to sit down and really figure it out, but thats a fair ballpark figure.

We try and live frugally, for instance we don't have cable and a lot of the things we do have were obtained second hand from garage sales. A lot of our furniture, clothing, tools, home decor, you name it.

As of 6 months ago my wife and I decided to stop drinking pop and coffee, and switched to water and protein drinks total savings 15 lbs of fat between the two of us! I am sure we saved some money there!

One place we don't really bother cutting back is food, I wont go cheap on the fuel I put in my body.


We are no strangers to tragedy and that only makes me want to work towards FI that much harder. But we do our best to enjoy each and every day and certainly do not feel burdened by the constraints we place on ourselves. In fact.. Owning less, buying less and living on less makes me feel more free!

Thanks for the replies!
Andrew
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:25 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum and you're well on your way to FIRE. I do think that trying to do it by age 35 might be a bit optimistic but it might work. You're well ahead of where I was at your age.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:45 PM   #10
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Don't forget the negative impact on social security with part time and ER. Also, account for inflation and taxes.

However, if your spouse has no ER plans then you're not exactly retired, but a stay at home spouse with a non-traditional income source (ebay, etc.) kind of like my musician DH has been since 1992. It worked for us.

Now that I'm retired it is different for both of us. He's busier than me.

Welcome to the forum, BTW!


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Old 09-03-2015, 05:57 PM   #11
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Another welcome from a fellow Yinzer!
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:25 PM   #12
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But we do our best to enjoy each and every day and certainly do not feel burdened by the constraints we place on ourselves. In fact.. Owning less, buying less and living on less makes me feel more free!
I think those are smart choices. If I had life to do over again I would have put more priority on lower overhead and more leisure time. My hobby lately has been trying to increase the quality of our lives while lowering our overhead and increasing easy / non-portfolio passive / hobby job type income.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:12 PM   #13
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:32 AM   #14
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I too have been paying off a lot of student debt this past year because I thought the market was getting pricey, and my student loans have a 5% interest rate. That has all changed this past month though. Now I am only paying the minimum again, and the extra money I had went into the market on a Fri, Mon, & Tue recently. I will still contribute $10K into my 457 plan this year though, so I didn't cut back completely. Now my student loans are finally low enough that I could pay them off completely if I decided to semi-retire in 2016 or 2017. Yay!

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Old 09-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #15
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Wow a lot of black and gold support here, nice to see that! Thanks for the kind words everybody!




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Old 09-04-2015, 08:25 PM   #16
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Your wife is full time and earns OT and you work weekends and do ebay and stuff? What is your hourly return on the ebay income?

When do you have time together as a couple and is there a particular reason you aren't doing a full 40 hour week? It seems as though late 20's, no kids. is prime income earning, debt reduction, investment territory. If you went full time for 2 years that money alone would knock out your mortgage balance. How does your DW feel about this arrangement? Would she enjoy life a little more if she didn't have to work overtime?

In some couples with earnings disparities the lower earning spouse is full time and just has a lower paying job, I don't think you'd find many young couples with your job dynamics.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:25 PM   #17
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Great questions! When I say she works OT I mean like one hour a month extra or so, by having to stay 30min late a day here and there to finish up paper work. She normally only works 40 hours a week.

With only four years of experience as an RN my hourly rate for working the weekend program at my job is 31% higher than if I were to work the weekday program. The weekend program is 24 hours a weekend and full time benefits vs working 36 hours a week with full time benefits. 24hr weekend pay = 36 hr weekday pay. Also freeing up my week allows me to attend auctions throughout the week and do housework so my DW doesn't have to do as much . So with my side job / hobby of eBay plus my weekend shifts I make more than I would working 40 hours as an RN & we have a clean house.

Thanks
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:10 AM   #18
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Great questions! When I say she works OT I mean like one hour a month extra or so, by having to stay 30min late a day here and there to finish up paper work. She normally only works 40 hours a week.

With only four years of experience as an RN my hourly rate for working the weekend program at my job is 31% higher than if I were to work the weekday program. The weekend program is 24 hours a weekend and full time benefits vs working 36 hours a week with full time benefits. 24hr weekend pay = 36 hr weekday pay. Also freeing up my week allows me to attend auctions throughout the week and do housework so my DW doesn't have to do as much . So with my side job / hobby of eBay plus my weekend shifts I make more than I would working 40 hours as an RN & we have a clean house.

Thanks
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Does you wife work weekends too, if not with 2 12 hour workdays on weekends when do the two of you spend time together? Interesting insight into nursing pay scales. Listening to mainstream media I would have thought that nursing was a better paying job. You a doing a public service and it's hard work.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:59 AM   #19
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I had the unfortunate pleasure of beginning my investment career right around Aug of 2008 . So having been born through the fire I feel I am un fazed by market moves up and down anymore or so I think I hope that those early lessons learned will help me to successfully invest from here on out.

Welcome, and it sounds like you're off to a great start! Just one comment on the above - it's one thing to have maybe $20k in the market when you see it drop 50%, and you are in your early 20s and have a whole earnings career ahead of you. It's another when you are FIRE, and see your entire portfolio that you must live on for 20-40 more years drop by 50%! It's good that you didn't react negatively in 2008/2009...but realize that it's a hugely different mindset you might be in when older and retired.


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Originally Posted by Secondhandmillionaires View Post
As I said we spend the last 3 years paying off debt, over 5K in credit card debt, 96.5K in student loan debt and over half of our mortgage 76K so far and counting. Ideally id like to have no mortgage by early age 30. We supplement our income with our garage sale, estate sale, and auction finds and resell our finds for profit on Ebay and Amazon.
Everyone has a different opinion, but personally, I'd look at what that mortgage rate is, and think twice about paying it off so fast. Your incomes will hopefully rise with inflation. I'd rather invest more money in the market and pay just your minimum mortgage amount, assuming the rate is low. Same with your student loan (if tax-deductible, and a low rate). But, to each their own, and your balance isn't a huge amount that it would tip the scales one way or the other.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:08 PM   #20
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How do I quote someone? We see each other everyday and I think we get to spend more quality time together then some of our peers who both work 40 hour weeks and both come home tired and don't want to cook or clean. In our case, one person always has some energy- usually the one who didn't go to work- and motivates the other to not be lazy and waste time when they get home.


"it's one thing to have maybe $20k in the market when you see it drop 50%, and you are in your early 20s and have a whole earnings career ahead of you." I can see your point of view there, but I think its a matter of perspective 20k to me in my early 20s meant everything, and seemed like a ton of money.

My parents struggled with their mortgage and it caused a lot of stress on me growing up as a kid with bill collectors always calling the house 2-3 times a day, so it is more of me conquering a demon of my past. I know it may not be the most financially wise move, but I have come to terms with that. I think at this point it won't make or break me either way. However I think the mental freedom and accomplishment I will feel after is well worth a few % that I might be able to eek out in the market.
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