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Old 05-04-2008, 12:45 PM   #21
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I'd also add that in the current, and predicted, recessionary economy, the first things to get cut are the non-core expenses. I think planning a future based on income from entirely discretionary spending is a bad idea. This would include basing your healthcare funding on PT employment from Starbucks. Most everyone I know has cut down or given up their Starbucks jones. I don't think Starbucks is particularly well-placed in the current economy, with the double whammy of rising food ( milk, coffee, baked goods) and heavy competition.

Others have given some nice dreamy answers to your wishful thinking, but this is also a board for those who plan financially.

I think you should look at your past 15 jobs and ask youself how likely this new endeavor is to provide some realistic security, based on your prior history. Personal history has a strange way of repeating itself.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:34 PM   #22
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Sounds great! I hope you're in good physical shape, because massage therapy is physically demanding.

This is a real concern. I've done a lot of manual therapy as a physical therapist (lots of deep tissue work, etc. which uses the hands/arms). I did this for 10 years, and I started to see the effects on my body - severe thumb tendonitis, beginnings of elbow tendonitis, and also my wrists are sensitive to any weightbearing (if I do too many pushups my wrists hurt for several days). I've had to change what I do in my career so that I use my hands less intensely. Thankfully, I caught it in time, and I am currently painfree, but I have to be careful with what activities I do (no frisbee throwing for me anymore).

I think it's great that you want to work with helping others - just be sure you choose something that won't tear you down in the process - it's easy to overlook that!
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:38 PM   #23
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This is a real concern. I've done a lot of manual therapy as a physical therapist (lots of deep tissue work, etc. which uses the hands/arms). I did this for 10 years, and I started to see the effects on my body - severe thumb tendonitis, beginnings of elbow tendonitis, and also my wrists are sensitive to any weightbearing (if I do too many pushups my wrists hurt for several days). I've had to change what I do in my career so that I use my hands less intensely. Thankfully, I caught it in time, and I am currently painfree, but I have to be careful with what activities I do (no frisbee throwing for me anymore).

I think it's great that you want to work with helping others - just be sure you choose something that won't tear you down in the process - it's easy to overlook that!
Interesting what your lifes work can do to you physically. My father was a tool and die maker. Standing on concrete floors all day. Really took a toll on him along with others in the industry. I noticed it myself being a machinist that it just wears on you day in and day out. Im extremely grateful I got out of the industry.

We need to pay attention to our bodies during our careers.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:47 PM   #24
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Interesting what your lifes work can do to you physically. My father was a tool and die maker. Standing on concrete floors all day. Really took a toll on him along with others in the industry. I notice it myself being a machinist that it just wears on you day in and day out.

We need to pay attention to our bodies during our careers.
Absolutely agree. It sneaks up on you slowly! Ergonomic changes help, but only so far. So it's a real consideration when looking at a career. When you are young, though, you don't always think these things through, since you haven't had those aches and pains start yet
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:24 PM   #25
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Absolutely agree. It sneaks up on you slowly! Ergonomic changes help, but only so far. So it's a real consideration when looking at a career. When you are young, though, you don't always think these things through, since you haven't had those aches and pains start yet
The sad part is the people who cant afford to get out. It catches up thats for sure.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:14 PM   #26
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I love this board.....thank you for all of your advice and different perspectives!
I think that there are physical problems that go with every job....the office environment can cause stress, carpal tunnel, and weight gain. Working a physical job can cause problems as well. As for the recession....it will impact every area of the economy, even the corporate world.
It basically boils down to these few things for me---I need to have a working environment where I feel good. I need to do things that recharge me and make me want to get up in the morning. I need to feel that what I do is helping people. I am not getting that in my current job and no amount of money or benefits is worth the stress level or the anxiety I feel when I go there.
I have also been doing a lot of reading....I am not the type of person that can do 1 job for 40 years and then retire......I would go crazy only doing one thing. I want to do two or three different jobs at the same time. I can make my hours and create the work life that I want. I am reading a couple of great books right now that deal with this....."One person/Multiple Jobs" and "Midlife Crisis at 30".
As for Reiki being a gift.....I think that being a good doctor is a gift, but there are not that many good doctors because they want to make the money rather than help people....being a good teacher is a gift as well.....but there are some that just want the pension and the benefits. I guess it all depends on your internal motives and what you want out of your vocation.
As for the medical insurance....there are many options....COBRA, short term, catastrophic, clinics, or making payment arrangements with doctors.
I really think that we as a culture are going to move towards a more holistic way of taking care of our bodies rather than just pop a pill for every health problem that we have. Yoga, Reiki, Massage therapy, Accupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, and Meditation have been around a lot longer than the present healthcare system.

And if for some reason.....it does not work out......then at least I tried it and would not regret it on my death bed!
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #27
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You have answers for everything. However, you need to understand that is highly unlikley any of the above payment means are going to succeed. COBRA is not an insurance. Short term, catastrophic- what are you talking about? These are just health insurance terms of payment. They are not any specific type of coverage and no insurance I have looked at covers massage therapy or reiki. Making payment arrangements with doctors? Huh? Only if they can get paid.

I really think you need to get some concrete data on reimbursement. It would also help if you understood the medical insurance terms you used.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:04 PM   #28
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Do a lot of research.

SIL gave up a stable job with benefits and a 401K, and became a licensed massage therapist 3 or 4 years ago and has no 401K and crappy benefits. Plus, she's started to hate work because she has to constantly "touch people"....a job requirement unfortunately

She now wants to find a job in an office environment and work for a Dermatologist.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:17 PM   #29
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Citrine,

I can definitely understand where you are coming from---both the move to Asheville and practicing holistic health care. I wish you the best of luck.

Do take good care of yourself and be careful as a massage therapist. Some articles say the burnout rate for massage therapists is about four years! The American Massage Therapy Association says it's seven years.

Avoiding Overwork Stress Burnout: Staying Physically and Emotionally Healthy as a Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy Career Statistics

Poll Results - April 2004 | massagetoday.com

Massage Therapist Forum - Short Lived RMT's | Indeed.com

I envy you in your determination to get out of a job that isn't suiting you (that maybe mind- and soul-numbing). I didn't have the courage to switch careers and retrain, so I stayed in a field I didn't enjoy for the most part for almost thirty years. The money I savd by not going back to school, continuing to work, and not cutting my income to nothing or even lower than it already was allowed me to retired at 52. I love being FIREd at an early age, but wonder if it would have untimately been better to work longer as long as I really loved the job. In the best of all posisble worlds, I guess so. But then again, I think it's rare for someone to totally love their job for the entire length of the career. So it could be that you may like holistic health care more than you like your admin work, but would still prefer to not be working at all....It's definitely a tradeoff.

This is cynical me talking, but be careful about where you work. Places like Omega and Deepak Chopra's Institutes sound enticing, but mostly as a guest. It may be that workers at these places aren't treated all that well (in terms of salary and stress) because ultimately they are money-making businesses, with the same hassles as any other work place....
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:36 PM   #30
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A854321: I think there is a misunderstanding on your part....the insurance options are for myself because I will not have insurance through the school. I do understand the insurance terms.
I understand fully that i might not be able to exist solely as a massage therapist.....I plan on having a couple of careers simultaneously.

Calgary girl: I don't plan on going full time as a massage therapist....I plan on doing freelance work. My ultimate goal is to be an independent contracter at a hospital/hospice center and also have a substitute teaching job. I will roll over my 401K into a Vanguard Target fund and have automatic deductions from my account. I will also be getting my own health insurance once I receive my certificate.....unless I get coverage through the state as a substitute teacher.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:42 PM   #31
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tangomonster.....thank you for the links....I will definitely be checking it out.
I guess the part that I have a problem with is to do the same thing all the time for a long period of time.....there has to be more to life than that....at least for me.
I don't plan on doing massage therapy for the next twenty years.....I plan on doing three or four different things (reiki, massage therapy, substitute teacher) and I also plan on becoming a yoga teacher. All of these professions will provide me with enough income to live and save.....plus I will be doing what I love.

I have not thought of retiring as being an end to working.....rather I want to still be doing yoga, reiki, painting, volunteering, helping others, and doing side jobs on my terms for all of my life. I have a lot of passions and a lot of interests......I need to do lots of jobs.....it makes sense for me.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:51 PM   #32
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Citrine,

Just ran across this housesitting opportunity near Asheville and thought you might want to take a look: House Sitter wanted housesit for MisterD in Hendersonville North Carolina United States house sitting

Not sure if you were planning on moving that soon, though (it starts in June). Most housesits don't allow you to bring your own pets, but it doesn't hurt to ask. You'd save a few months of rent.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:03 PM   #33
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I used that same site, Housecarers, to find the nice older couple that is staying in our house during our trip to Mongolia later this summer. It is a great site and I got some excellent applicants to our ad.

This ad sounds like a nice opportunity as well, although I'm not sure about the guy coming and going during the housestay. That may or may not be creepy.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:11 PM   #34
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Sarah and Simplegirl.....you both are awesome! I am actually going to Asheville for a visit from June 3-6 with a friend of mine.....on a back of a Harley touring bike!
I have made appointments to see the school, a few apartment complexes, and check out various businesses for jobs.
I am also working on a substitute teaching certification so that will help me out too.
For the health insurance, I checked out HRSA and found a clinic in downtown Asheville that will be able to do routine medical exams. I also found a high deductible plan for 6 months and my doctor will supply me with a year's world of my medicine in samples.
I have decided to just show up and see what happens.....thusfar, the Universe has been helping me out quite a bit with things related to this move. If nothing else....I have definitely identified that I will not work in corporate america.
I am a bit leery about the house sitting thing.....and I definitely will not be leaving Casanova behind....he will go with me.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:29 PM   #35
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Yeah, I thought twice about the guy coming and going during the housestay, too. And I would never in a million years suggest leaving Casanova behind!

Citrine have fun on your Harley adventure! You go girl!

Sarah that is so cool you are getting housesitters from that site. I surf it often when I need to get inspired. DH and I think we would really enjoy doing some housesitting when FIRED someday.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:44 PM   #36
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Citrine,
Pardon my practical orientation, but if your motivation is to help people why not think about becoming a "medical assistant." It couldn't cost more than masseuse training at a two year state college. There are a lot more jobs and they almost always have medical insurance attached to them. You're still young enough that you could make it a go. Also, you can travel to different areas of the country and still find a job as a med assistant.

Really, I have to say that your plan to have a lot of different jobs going at once sounds like a recipe for a quick and painful financial and emotional burnout. I understand your need for variety in life, because I share it. But think about other ways than having several jobs to satisfy your need for variety. There are many many hobbies and interests that you could pursue as well.

Sorry to be so negative, but someone's got to do it.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:04 AM   #37
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I agree with OldBabe--there are a lot of jobs in the medical field that require the same amount of schooling as massage therapy. I looked up health services at an Asheville community college (Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College): Allied Health and Public Service
As OldBabe said and as this one source shows, there are a lot of areas where you could be helping others just as much as in massage therapy, and it would probably cost you a lot less to get the training. And we need people like you to help us in our golden years!

I have a friend who became a massage therapist several years ago, who does not need to support herself, and it's a good thing. I believe the majority of people who get regular massages are other massage therapists (including my friend, who is the only person I have ever known who gets massages).
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:17 AM   #38
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SG, when y'all get ready to housesit, let me know--as long as you don't bring cat-eating dogs along, we'd love to have you and yours stay in the South Carolina Lowcountry when we take a trip! You would not believe some of the awesome homestays we learned about in interviewing our potential housesitters--two girls were wrapping up a stay for 3 months in a French chateau by some fabulous lake, taking care of a poodle and some plants. Lots of teachers, too--they take the summers and line up housesits for vacation.

Citrine, that should be a lot of fun--be careful on the motorcycle, though! And give some thought to these practical souls about other medical training; it is pretty valid and I know with all the old folks up there, there is certainly a need. I've often thought that a good job for someone who likes older folks would be a private duty nurse or home health aide. I've met a few, and they are happier than the hospital nurses and medical folks I know.
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:24 PM   #39
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Well, I checked out the Caregivers site and have contacted a place in Asheville to see if I can get an interview with them. I would be willing to work during the day and go to massage therapy school in the evening.
I absolutely love working with children and older people.....you can learn so much from them both. I am also working on getting a part time position here in NJ as a caregiver so I have some experience.
As for the medical assistant.....I don't like blood or dealing with insurance companies at all.....(didn't a brief stint a while back).

And I love your practical comments.....that way I am forced to ensure that my plan is going to be a great one!
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:44 PM   #40
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Much of this has already been covered, but a few more things to consider.

My wife graduated top of her class from Boulder College of Massage Therapy, one of the top programs in the country. She left HR for the careerer change. So some pointers from her experience:

1. Massage is NOT a portable skill. Like being a hair stylist or therapist it takes 2-3 years to build a clientele, and once you do you can't take more than a couple of weeks off at a time - ever - without suffering attrition. If you want portable, get a skill you can do online from anywhere.

2. It is physically demanding, and few people are able to stick with it for much more than a decade unless they're very careful, stout of build (leverage is a good thing!), and take great care of themselves. Most longer term CMTs we know have moved on - to nursing, medical school, Rolfing, Chinese medicine, you name it.

It is a great skill to have and a wonderful offering to others, but a difficult and perhaps unsustainable way to make a living. But your idea of doing it as one of several income streams makes sense.

K.
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