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Old 06-29-2016, 06:14 AM   #21
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We'll need a bit more info, specifically:
* Nationality, type of job experience and career track
* Area of useless degree and level
* Options: flexibility in geography, time
* Type of debt
* Motivation for retiring early

Military is probably off-limits now due to age (I guess). Since you are single there is a big potential upside and downside there. Financially speaking, make sure a (potential) significant other is an asset, not a liability. Might be 'flippant' but no argument from anyone that a life partner can seriously change any career and/or financial plan.

Outside that, options may be: working off-shore or irregular hours, going back to school, getting paid to learn a new skill, downgrading expenses , ..

If you don't have a financially useful degree, why is that? If there is no aptitude for engineering or business, no point in trying to study that. You'll end up deeper 'in the hole'.

Early 30s is usually a time to start building on your strengths, unless your weaknesses seriously get in the way.

anywho: more detail = more on point advice
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:23 AM   #22
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Too much unknown:

What degree does the OP already have? Non-specialized starter jobs usually aren't too picky if you have a degree your resume is on the right pile.
What does the OP want to do for work? What talents, experience (10 years is 10 years of something).
What mobility do you have - have you looked at markets for jobs that you want to go for? I don't know South Louisiana but I'm gonna guess a move is in order for a significant change.

All that aside, if you're in your early 30's and have yet to start a family, ER seems a bit cart-before-the-horse. Assuming you meet the right woman today, by the time you're married with kids that's late 30's and a whole bunch of unknown expenses there.

I do think it's smart to figure out lifestyle, career, home, etc., before the kids, then once all that is straight, the long term (FIRE) plan.

BTW, I had no degree and started entry level in a Mega, they would have paid for it any time, masters too. At OP's age I would not endorse stopping work for a school do-over, but as a supplement to a new career. 30 year old member on my (former) team just did his MBA in one year while working full time for me, so it can be done.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:51 AM   #23
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Some good, some flippant. Marrying for money seems to be the latter.
It's just as easy to love a rich person as a poor one. So why not pursue a rich woman? I tried that for a few years. I ended up marrying a beautiful, sweet girl who laughs at all my jokes, so no regrets. But I certainly don't regret trying to find a successful, professional type to love.

I definitely advise to marry for love and companionship. But money is a huge bonus.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:08 AM   #24
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Start a business for yourself.

Throw a dart at the yellow pages and investigate how to start that type business. Then throw the dart again, and investigate that type of business. Pretty soon you will find that all businesses start the same, and people are successful because of the same traits.

Hard work, determination and a never give up attitude. Anyone in the USA can be a millionaire if they have the desire, perseverance and drive to make it happen.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:45 AM   #25
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surprised no one has mentioned law school...
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:46 AM   #26
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Once again OP, we need more info about you and your "useless" degree. Can you use that degree to find a job with some tuition assistance? You say "jobs" have you never found a job in a company that gave you an opportunity to move up the ladder based on your job performance?

We can't wave our magic wands and give you any good advice unless you are willing to share more of your story.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:43 AM   #27
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TGive the OP a break--he just posted the question yesterday afternoon. Maybe he doesn't hang out here all the time--he's got that job to go to (dead-end or not, it is paying the bills).

Some very big picture advice that may not necessarily by PC:
-- Getting qualified to do well-paying work may take some hard work, but it doesn't necessarily require more college.
-- If you've been satisfied to do low-paying, dead-end work for 10 years, ask yourself why. The future won't be different unless something within you changes.
- Dating/family, etc: A guy who is in a job/his own business with an upward track and with a skill that is well compensated is likely to meet women there with the same attributes. And they may be interested in seeing him socially. A guy with few material prospects is less attractive to women, especially if a) they are over the age of about 22 and b) have career ambitions of their own.
- Retiring early: In your early working years the best "investment" you can make is in developing your earning potential. Between now and age 55, you'll spend about 64,000 hours working, so if you can improve your hourly pay by just a few dollars it will make a huge difference in what you can put into investments. Your college degree is not worthless--even if you didn't get "hard" skill an employer will pay for, you did show that you could stick with something and that you can probably read and write acceptably. So, if you want to retire early, the best things you can do are a) build and execute a plan that leads to higher pay b) keep your living expenses low. If you get used to living large, you'll easily be able to outstrip your increases in pay, and you'll have very little in savings after a couple of decades of work.

Another thing: Instead of thinking "how can I increase my pay", try thinking "how can I increase what I am worth per hour?" An employer isn't motivated to pay people more, he is interested in getting someone who will improve his bottom line by doing something that adds to that bottom line. It's just an unfortunate (to him) byproduct that he may have to pay extra to get that person, but it is worth it. Be worth it.

Additional advice young people don't hear:
"Do what you love--and starve"
A great article from a career advisor. Tidbits:
Quote:
Fact is, if you do what you love, you’ll probably starve. Yes, some people do what they love and the money follows. But millions of people have followed their passion and still haven’t earned enough to even pay back their student loans, let alone make even a bare middle-class living doing what they love.
The problem is that too many people crave the same few careers, for example, the arts, environmental, and non-profit work. Employers in these fields get dozens if not hundreds of applications for each job. So, you have to be a star or extremely well connected to get the job.
In other cases, salaries tend to be low or non-existent. Do what you love and volunteer work may well follow.

. . . . In contrast, if your job is mundane, for example, marketing manager for the Western Widget Company, the employer knows there aren’t hundreds of competent people champing at the bit for your job. So, to keep you, the employer is more likely to offer decent working conditions, reasonable work hours, kind treatment, opportunities for learning, and pay you well. Those are the things that—much more than being in a “cool” career-- lead to career contentment.
. . . .
If you’re entrepreneurial, I recommend starting your own business. Yes, I know, only 20 percent of new businesses are still in business after five years, but you can beat the odds. Just remember is this one rule: Don't innovate. Replicate. Copy a successful simple business.
A short presentation with career advice from Mike Rowe ("Dirty Jobs").
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:51 AM   #28
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surprised no one has mentioned law school...
I hope that's a joke. NO jobs except for the top of the class.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:19 AM   #29
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OMG you're in your 30s. Get a Paralegal or RN certificate at a Junior College & start earning above 80k yr (SF Bay Area figures) for roughly ($4560units) or another certificate at a JC in something you love ... it's not just about the end game / it's also about the journey
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:27 AM   #30
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Yes he did just post the question yesterday, but it's gotten 30 replies and except for the ones who suggested he marry rich, most of us have just said, we can't really offer any advice without some more info.

If he's really interested, he'll check in sooner rather then later, it takes seconds to write a post that says Thanks, I'm working on some of your questions.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:34 AM   #31
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I agree with the join the military or get a federal government job with a pension. (I would avoid the state and city kinds of jobs as many of those are in a pension crisis). Utilities may also be an option as their rates are usually set by a commission and not market dependent.

My career goals were always to learn something new in IT where there was not a lot of competition and that worked out well. I didn't really care what it was. I just tried to get jobs or take classes in whatever was in high demand. You wouldn't have to have a 4 year IT or CS degree to do that. One of the smartest people where I worked last had a zoology degree supplemented with IT classes post college. My IT classes from my degree were all out of date not too long after graduation anyway. I took classes in bleeding edge technology from community colleges, self study or places like the Berkeley Extension. Berkeley Extension has a lot of online classes and certificates these days as do other schools of the same caliber so you can live anywhere and take classes from them.

Some of the 2 year or less tech school degrees also pay pretty well like the skilled trades, IT certificates or medical certificates.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:58 AM   #32
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I agree with the join the military or get a federal government job with a pension. Utilities may also be an option as their rates are usually set by a commission and not market dependent.

Some of the 2 year or less tech school degrees also pay pretty well like the skilled trades, IT certificates or medical certificates.

Re: DLDS's suggestion about utilities, I've tried to interest young people in my family to become certified operators in water/wastewater treatment. Often those cert. classes are offered online, and if you can get certified and then hired as an operator in training, your employer often pays for continuing education to get you to subsequent levels, promotions, and pay raises.

And the pensions and benefits can be excellent.


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Old 06-29-2016, 01:23 PM   #33
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Hi, I'm a single male in my early 30s with no family. I graduated college 10 years ago. The degree turned out to be useless, and I've been working for the last decade in low-paying jobs. I want to retire early. I would need a much higher income to achieve this goal, so I'm thinking about going back to school. I've considered various career scenarios, and in each case, going back to school would wipe out most of my limited life savings.



Most early retirement advice recommends against additional education. Under what circumstances would going back to school be advisable?



I'm 10 years behind others my age in savings and investments, so how do I catch up? Outside of improving my career, what other things should I be doing if I want to retire early? What investments should I be thinking about?



I'd like to start a family one day. How do I reconcile this goal with my goal of early retirement?

What does going back to school have to do with getting a higher paying job? Didn't work the first time, and you couldn't get a refund. Maybe you should target a future job you want, and work backwards from there what you need to do. They may or may not involve paying people to tell you what books to read.


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Old 06-29-2016, 01:28 PM   #34
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Going off limited info but I would suggest you not go back to get another undergrad degree. I say this because I think most degrees are not very useful. I would instead suggest you simply self-teach yourself the new field you want to get into by doing it for free. Do some volunteer work to get experience on your resume, then find a job in the new field.

I have a practical degree (computer science) and I would have to admit that my education was pretty useless in regards to what I do for a living. I work as a systems administrator, i.e. supporting very expensive servers, storage, networks, etc. My education was all focused towards programming and lots of math classes. While I was in college I worked as a junior systems administrator for the college. That's where I actually learned valuable info, and what helped me get a job after graduating.

I think college should be overhauled. I'd focus it on apprenticeships so people will actually learn something.
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Old 06-29-2016, 03:38 PM   #35
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I recently took a vocational test.

They said I should be a very good asset recovery/auto repossession agent.

And that I was for awhile--but a really good one.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:32 PM   #36
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Get certified in heating and plumbing. I know a number of HVAC technicians they make a lot of money with not much formal education.


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Old 06-29-2016, 06:16 PM   #37
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Military is probably off-limits now due to age (I guess).
Only certain lines of work would be off limits based on age, but an Officer program could be a good option if for nothing more than the GI bill to apply to an advanced degree.

I used my GI bill to transfer to my wife for her MBA. I paid for my Masters via Tuition Assistance where I incurred (essentially) three additional years of obligation and paid around $2500 out of pocket for the degree. That's all after the Navy paid a full-ride for my Bachelors. Throw in the fact that the retirement program can't really be beaten and dirt-cheap health/dental care for life, and there you go!
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:54 PM   #38
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Since someone mentioned military and age.... I thought I would look it up... so, Army and Navy are still open...
Active Duty None-Prior Service
  • Army - 35 (must ship to basic training prior to 35th birthday. The Army experimented with raising the age limit to age 42 for a brief period of time, but effective April 1st, 2011, the Army has reverted to the lower age limit.
  • Air Force - 27
  • Navy - 34
  • Marines - 28
  • Coast Guard - Age 27. Note: up to age 32 for those selected to attend A-school directly upon enlistment (this is mostly for prior service).




OK... maybe it has changed... not sure which is correct....


http://www.stripes.com/news/air-forc...to-39-1.290578

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Old 06-29-2016, 06:55 PM   #39
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Military might be the way to go. For the AF Officer:

Be between 18 and 34 years of age.
Be a U.S. citizen.
Have at least a bachelor’s degree.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:34 PM   #40
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Since someone mentioned military and age.... I thought I would look it up... so, Army and Navy are still open...
Active Duty None-Prior Service
  • Army - 35 (must ship to basic training prior to 35th birthday. The Army experimented with raising the age limit to age 42 for a brief period of time, but effective April 1st, 2011, the Army has reverted to the lower age limit.
  • Air Force - 27
  • Navy - 34
  • Marines - 28
  • Coast Guard - Age 27. Note: up to age 32 for those selected to attend A-school directly upon enlistment (this is mostly for prior service).

OK... maybe it has changed... not sure which is correct....


Air Force raises enlistee age limit from 27 to 39 - Air Force - Stripes

So, even with a greatly shrinking military and lower recruiting goals they still have to resort to hiring these old guys? Sounds like something scary is happening out there
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