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Out of debt and on to the next step
Old 01-24-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Out of debt and on to the next step

Hi, I'm FireandEarth. I'm 30, a single woman renting in the Washington DC area, and I just paid off my last penny of debt! I've been working for the last 5 years on paying off student loans and building up savings, and it's finally time to start working toward the next big goals - Adventures and FIRE. My savings rate for the last 2 years is 18% of gross and that's about to go up! My major disadvantage for FIRE is not being particularly interested in climbing the career ladder. For fun I sew, knit, dance, and teach my friends how to budget. Thanks for letting me watch and learn from all of your journeys.

-FaE
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board. You will find a friendly and supportive community here.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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Congratulations on being debt free.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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Congratulations on being debt free....and welcome.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:36 PM   #5
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Welcome. You don't need to climb the ladder any more than you want to. The important thing is to spend less than you earn and invest the rest. We can help you with that part.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fireandearth View Post
My major disadvantage for FIRE is not being particularly interested in climbing the career ladder.
There's nothing wrong with not wanting to go as high as you can go on the corporate ladder....better to try and make your portfolio go as high as it can go on the FIRE ladder.

I'm in the consulting engineering field - I could go for my Professional Engineering license and/or another design certification (LOTS of study time, some cash outlays), if I wanted to then have the annual obligation of the 12+ continuing education credit units each year (more hours and spending some additional money with minimal tax write-off), and theoretically position myself for more raises (let's see, everyone had a 15% pay cut 2 years ago, with no raises since).

Nah, I'd rather chug along below the radar, collecting my paycheck and take the easy way to get ever closer to the job finish line.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:54 PM   #7
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Congrats! The next step should be staying out of debt (some people don't seem to understand that part)!
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:58 AM   #8
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I've got "spend less than you earn" down, it's the investing side that I'm still trying to wrap my head around.

I'm hoping that by living modestly and saving a high percentage of my income I'll be able to retire early from low-stress, no overtime positions doing things I actually enjoy. And have plenty of time and energy left all along the way to enjoy living.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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I'm 30, a single woman renting in the Washington DC area...
Welcome to the forum...

So what are your desires for the future? While you paid off your current debt (good), your future needs may force you into debt (bad) and impact your plans for retrement.

Not to go "Dear Abby" on you, but since I'm an old phart (63), I know that life has a way of messing up your plans, regardless of your good intentions.

If you have been hanging here for any length of time, you will find that we will not only tell you how to run your financial life, but also your personal one ...

Of course, in most cases they are tightly coupled (and we do care about you )- that why we ask (well, at least me - I'll admit that I'm nosy...)
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:45 AM   #10
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I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. Even while paying off debt I've been saving 18% of my income. I've got a 6-month emergency fund. I've got money saved up for my next car when I need it, as well as for an adventure this summer. I'm not interested in kids or an endless progression of high-tech expensive gadgets. I expect that I'll need to buy a house eventually so that I can reduce my monthly retirement expenses, but I have no interest in doing so any time soon. I don't want to be tied down to a house or a specific location just yet. So in addition to saving for retirement income, I also need to save for a house.

I'd like to have more adventures - going places and doing things (seeing is less interesting than doing) and I'm happy to do so on the cheap. I've lived in Virginia my whole life and been a homebody mostly until the last few years. I'm a basically happy person having a lovely life that doesn't need to change any time soon.

Yes, life will mess with my plans - it certainly has before - but I'm trying to be prepared for whatever happens so that I have as many choices as possible.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
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I've got "spend less than you earn" down, it's the investing side that I'm still trying to wrap my head around.
You might want to hang out on the Bogleheads forum for awhile -- lots of good investment advice there --

Bogleheads Investing Advice and Info


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