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When to start the goals?
Old 08-03-2011, 04:17 AM   #1
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When to start the goals?

I am 24, and I am not able to start the saving aspect of my retirement goals.

I just work at a fast food job and only make $10 an hour.

I am going through school, and to save money I am taking classes at a community college.

Due to various family obligations, and other things, I have had to take a very slow approach towards school.

I am fairly ok with this, as it allows me to not have any debt from school.

I just want to be out of this cycle, but I have to go within this slow time-frame.


But at this point, my goals towards the future, are now adjusting to me being able to start up these savings at around the age of 30.

I do not see social security being around when I am 65, so this gives me only 35 years to work with.

I know that I want to get married so this can help speed up the process with having enough to hopefully retire before I am 65.

Also, as morbid as it sounds, my grandparents and some day even my parents will die.

A portion of their estates will pass to me, well my grandparents will pass a portion of their estate to my parents, not to me, so I will get it indirectly through my parents really.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:14 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have a long-term FIRE plan. Stick with it!

You can look at your education as the investment... an investment in improving your ability to earn more. Getting through the education will hopefully enable you to get the return on your investment.

Investing in yourself is a good thing.

Part-time vs full-time school. While you might not be in a situation to go full-time now.... your situation may change sometime in the future. Getting loans to go full-time and work part-time might make sense. It all depends on how much your earning potential will increase.

IMO - as you go through this... reevaluate your situation from time to time to see if certain adjustments might be to your advantage (longer-term). Do not rule out options today and consider them as bad ideas for the future. Reevaluate from time to time, crunch the numbers, look at it conservatively and realistically.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:13 AM   #3
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You're doing well to even be thinking about retirement and further education at 24. Stay the course!

Even just being in school opens doors. That alone may expose you to people who know of job opportunities. Someone may offer you a job contingent on your staying in school, and many companies/government agencies will pay for continuing education. A smart employer will look at you and think "This is a guy willing to do the grunt work of bootstrapping himself and that kind of perseverance is worth something".

Besides, if you don't stay in school where do you think you'll be in ten or twenty years?
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:59 AM   #4
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I didn't go back to college until I was 24 and I graduated at age 28. Once I got a decent job, I saved and invested and had a 7 figure portfolio by the time I was 45. I tell you this to let you know that you are not as far from your goals as you might think you are. Tough it out and get a degree in a field that has a future (hint : not art history). You'll do fine.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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Do what it takes to replace that fast food job with work in the field you want to be in, even if it's fielding support phone calls or making copies.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dawkins View Post
I know that I want to get married so this can help speed up the process with having enough to hopefully retire before I am 65.
You HIT the nail on the head right there! Marry rich. Man, I wish I would have thought of that when I got married at 24.

Good luck. It's never too early to start saving. Oh, and get the best education you can.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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If you simply stay out of debt you have a lot more assets than so many others, both your own age and those close to traditional retirement age

Even more than that, your age is one of your biggest assets. It's so basic, but so important not to lose focus on: Any income you can manage to save now is worth so much more than what you save after you turn 30

It really isn't that morbid to look at possible inheritances. Talk openly with your family about it. I have the opposite view as most people here, but if your family truly values being able to pass something along, than you should expect to receive something ... just don't let it replace anything else you could do to help with financial security/independence
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #8
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Start saving something on a periodic basis. You will form a new habit which you will soon see the results. Time has a way of passing quickly. You will accumulate a few dollars and then start to get interested in investing it.

Don't feel overwhelmed. You have time on your side right now and a desire to start while you are young.

When you have enough schooling in a particular area start to look for a job in your field of study. Many small companies require people with certain skills but can't afford to pay for someone with a degree. They might even help pay for your schooling if you would accept a lower salary. You will also be getting career experience which will help in getting the next job.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:39 PM   #9
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Welcome to the boards. There are several young members here, including AaronC, who are working their way to ER. I hope they'll post here.

Can you get any of your tuition paid for by your employer?
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:35 PM   #10
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You can't focus on asset goals, only savings goals.

Goal #1: Save up $3500 (might sound huge but there's a reason)
Goal #2: Peel off $2500 and open a Roth into T Rowe Price Growth Allocation Fund TRSGX
T Rowe is great fumd manager to start with and grow with. They have a small enough number of funds to deliver great research and management unlike a bloated fund company *cough*fidelity* or an index mgrs whose active funds consistently lose talent to competitiors *vanguard*
(both are still good options)

Goal #3 Start dollar cost averaging into your fund. Most will start with as little as $50/mo. At some point you won't notice it going out, then bump it up another $50.

When you graduate school max out your 401/403 to the match, then hit the Roth, when that's done come back to your employer sponsered plan. Afterwards setup direct dividend investment plans in high quality blue chips.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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I intend to get a degree in Finance, and ideally would love to get hired by Raymond James, as I live in Florida.

Over the years since graduating HS, I have kinda switched around from what exactly I would want to do within the financial sector.

I am torn between going towards being a personal financial advisor
and that of a financial analyst.

Lately I have swung back towards the financial analyst area, as not having to cultivate an eventual client base(by being a advisor), and better general job security, being that I would just work for a company, as some of the main benefits.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:24 AM   #12
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Approach someone at the local Raymond James office about an internship or a job as an admin assistant. You're only making $10/hr, so your cost to them isn't a concern to match or exceed what you're making, and you will learn a lot more working there, even doing something menial. Also, they get to see your work ethic and try before buying, and may be able to pick up some of the tuition as a benefit. I interned in financial analysis after HS, and it made a number of my college econ courses a breeze, as I'd already learned the material in application.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:41 AM   #13
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Seabourne is right. In my professional life internships have been extremely valuable.

Do not underestimate the effect of small savings on a regular basis. Even saving little by little builds up valuable habits.
For me tracking expenses in writing on a daily basis and setting up my monthly net worth balance sheet has been helpful, too.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #14
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You are learning life skills of living well with while keeping in budget. At some point, you will be stepping up your earnings, presumably after you graduate. Delaying stepping up spending until you have savings goals in place and let compounding start working its miracle for your benefit.

(A dollar saved is fifteen dollars earned. RuleOfSeventyTwo)
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dawkins View Post
I am going through school, and to save money I am taking classes at a community college.
Make sure and include a solid writing class in your coursework, and practice outside of class. In fact, ask around at the college who is considered to be the best teacher. That's what I did.

I'm a straight-shooter and not trying to be rude at all. You'll need effective writing skills (such as paragraphs ) in almost every field you'll end up choosing.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:40 AM   #16
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You'll need effective writing skills (such as paragraphs ) in almost every field you'll end up choosing.
As an "old phart", I'll agree.

You will need to present your ideas, and argue against any preconceived idea based upon your ability to present a concise, pertinent case.

I know that in today's world (with a lot of "language" based upon a quick text message) language may not seem to be of value, but proper use (in the proper environment) may lead you to be above all others in the same venue.

As far as your original question? It's never too early to define goals. Sure, they will change as time advances, but that's not an excuse to at least jot down what you see as your possible future.

BTW, while those before you (parents/grandparents) will pass, you are forgetting that you may be the person that ensures your generation via your own childern and grandchildern some day. Don't dwell on the past - but look to the future.

Good luck to you....
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:08 AM   #17
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I was only typing in short responses to not go into details that were really just derivatives of my 3am train of thought Something I find myself doing again.

I can elaborate more on any points, if anyone so desires. At this point I guess I am really using this forum and others as a sounding board.

My friends and peers cannot relate to my interests in a lot of these areas, and I have been involved in this subject matter for a while now. But they have finally understood the future value of what I have told them. Most will at the very least seek me out as they move into their various careers, and new job opportunities, to just give them some insight.


Saving and setting aside money is generally not a problem for me. I just tend to have expenses come around that I use much of it for.

I pay all of my bills, and payoff what money I do put onto my credit card every month (first cc, 1k limit, around a 700-730 credit score, or close to that)

Life skills is something that I try to gleam from everything I read, and interactions with friends and families. Many of my decisions and choices have been tempered by advice and counsel from them, and seeing my own, and past mistakes of others as well.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:08 PM   #18
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Seabourne is right. In my professional life internships have been extremely valuable.
Agreed. Even if it's an unpaid internship. If they see and like your strengths, they will seek you out for a paid position within the company. Give 110% (especially in this kind of economy).
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:17 PM   #19
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Hello dawkins - I hope there are other reasons why you want to get married
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawkins View Post
I know that I want to get married so this can help speed up the process with having enough to hopefully retire before I am 65.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:01 PM   #20
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It's always nice to have goals. I call that a plan. It can change, modify, reverse, as time goes on, but if you don't have one, you'll be lost.

I have a lot of plans or strategies. Some worked, a few failed, and I kept on saying to myself, that's part of life.

Failures are steppingstones to success.
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