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Hi from Tennessee
Old 10-25-2016, 04:55 AM   #1
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Hi from Tennessee

Hey everybody. Im 20 years old from Brownsville Tennessee. Im currently living in Jackson Tennessee. Im married and have two step children. I went to welding school for a year and I have been working as a welder for about four months.

Im hoping to retire when I turn 50 in 2046. I have a couple reasons for wanting to retire early. The first is because I hate my job even after only four months. The second and most important reason is because my wife is twelve years older than me.

I feel like if I retire at 65 like most people my wife will be so old that we wont be able to enjoy our retirement as much as if she was younger.

We live below our means and we keep a budget. We also have a roth ira that we contribute money to that has about 4500 in it right now. Im worried that even if we save a large percentage of our income and continue living below our means we still just wont have enough money to retire early.

I only make 12 an hour right now, although with the amount of overtime I work I bring home about 600 a week after taxes. My wife currently stays at home with our youngest but she plans on finding work when he starts kindergarten.

So anyways, im excited to become a member of this forum and I have lots of questions to ask and I hope to learn alot. Maybe with your help I'll have a chance of reaching my goal of retiring at 50. Thanks
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:07 AM   #2
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First off, congratulations on making this a priority at such a young age.

Secondly, if you're willing to travel for work, I know that welders get paid better than that in many places for many jobs (often contract work on construction sites pay $20+/hour with per-diem and benefits often available) and something like that could be a big benefit.

Third, strongly consider what career paths you believe you'd like to take in the future, especially since you said you don't care for your job at the moment. Perhaps you like working on site but don't care for welding, then maybe moving into safety/safety management would be a career path you might be interested in yet entry/mid-level positions only require certifications and not 4-year degrees. Perhaps field work doesn't interest you and an investment in going to college at night/online/part-time to line up your next career would be more up your alley.

You're young enough that you can plan out your progression now and, even if you don't stick directly to the plan, set yourself up for the future. Remember that while investments of money are important, investing in yourself can make monetary investments much easier in the future.

I have 9 "financial rules" I try to live by and recommend for others. #7 can be modified to allow for earlier retirement, but I think they're pretty good "general rules" that will help people succeed financially. I posted them on my blog years ago but I'll just copy them here in case they might help you.

1. Always live “below” your means. Your "means" includes savings/investments! I say this because most people do not consider money spent on savings/investments as “living” though it surely is a necessity just like having a roof over your head.
2. Save a 9-12 months emergency fund (monthly expenses only) as soon as possible.
3. Expect to make more money as time progresses, most people do.
4. When you start earning more, make sure you increase your emergency fund to match.
5. As soon as you are earning money, invest some of it. Never say “it’s only $xxx.xx so it’s not worth investing yet” or “I’m too poor to invest anything“. If you can’t afford to invest then you can’t afford your current lifestyle, because investing is a bill you need to be paying yourself as soon as possible.
6. When you start making more, maintain your quality of living (i.e. allow some of that increase to cover inflation/increasing costs of living).
7. Take half of what is left over and put it in savings/investments, use the other half of what is left over to increase your quality of life. Repeat these steps every time you start earning more, whether it’s from a raise/promotion/new career/etc.
8. Set goals in life but don’t be blinded by them. Your goals will likely shift throughout your life and you shouldn’t ignore your new goals simply because you had other goals.
9. Never go a day without a budget. If you don’t know where your money is going then there is a strong chance that too much of it is being wasted.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:21 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum. We seldom see people as young as you on here. I'm very familiar with your turf after graduating college in Memphis and living in West Tennessee 18 years. Congratulations on your looking toward your future.

I'm sorry that you're in a position where you don't enjoy your job. I would certainly suggest you make a search for other welding jobs that pay better, as $12 an hour is simply not a living wage in this modern world. If you remain in the welding field, moving to another city might be required.

Other life options might be to go into an apprenticeship program for steamfitters or boilermakers. They make big money, but have to travel for work.

Another option would be to get your wife to now take full time employment and start taking courses at University of Memphis' new Jackson Campus even if part time. A degree would be an investment in your family's future.

Keep living below your means and continue saving. Who knows what the future holds for us all as we're all on our knees to inflation and future healthcare costs. A stock market at an all time high and zero percent interest rates is not kind to your generation trying to start saving for the future.

Good luck to you and your young family.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:57 AM   #4
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Welcome!

If either you or your wife is interested in a 4-year degree, consider going to a community college first for 2 years. The community colleges in my state is set up for seemless transfer of credits to a state university. This path saves you a lot of money.

Also, it is not always necessary to have a 4-year degree. Sometimes a 2-year Associates degree is enough.

Good luck.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:03 AM   #5
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20 years old, only 4 months in your job, and you hate it? If that's the case, time is now to explore other career/job options. You're young enough where this is the perfect time to find the career path you would enjoy.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
20 years old, only 4 months in your job, and you hate it? If that's the case, time is now to explore other career/job options. You're young enough where this is the perfect time to find the career path you would enjoy.
+1

Thirty years is a long time to be doing something you hate.

Of course, if j*bs were always fun, they wouldn't have to pay people to do them. But if you genuinely hate your j*b, then make a change now. Specify what you dislike about it: the hours, the smell, the physical demands, the location, the danger, your co-workers, your boss. Actually writing these things down will help you decide which aspects are of major importance vs which are just irritants. Then look for alternative employment that avoids those major hardships.

OTOH, at 20 you are already getting serious about FIRE. That's awesome. The earlier you start, the more your ability to leverage your decisions over many years. Bravo!
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:07 AM   #7
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Thanks everybody for your kind responses and helpful information. Im thinking what im going to do as far as my career goes is to attend community college while im still working. Maybe I can earn an Associates degree and find another job. From there hopefully I could get my bachelor's and then move on to a higher paying job
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 20inTN View Post
Thanks everybody for your kind responses and helpful information. Im thinking what im going to do as far as my career goes is to attend community college while im still working. Maybe I can earn an Associates degree and find another job. From there hopefully I could get my bachelor's and then move on to a higher paying job
Fantastic plan!!

Starting thinking about retiring this early is SUPER and pretty much guarantees you will make it happen!
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 20inTN View Post
Thanks everybody for your kind responses and helpful information. Im thinking what im going to do as far as my career goes is to attend community college while im still working. Maybe I can earn an Associates degree and find another job. From there hopefully I could get my bachelor's and then move on to a higher paying job
Agreed this is a great plan!

If you don't already have an idea of what career path you want (and that's normal for a 20-year-old) a good book on the subject is "What Color is Your Parachute?". It has exercises in it that you help you determine your primary interests and how those can translate into a job that you would like.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:36 PM   #10
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Welcome, there is market for welders of exotic metals which pays very well but travel is involved. With that said, if you know the welding trade is not for you, get a business degree at a minimum and find your way from there. In this life, it is largely what you make of it. A college degree or a journeyman's card is only as good as what you work your ass off to make it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:06 AM   #11
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Agreed this is a great plan!

If you don't already have an idea of what career path you want (and that's normal for a 20-year-old) a good book on the subject is "What Color is Your Parachute?". It has exercises in it that you help you determine your primary interests and how those can translate into a job that you would like.
Thanks, I'll be sure to check it out.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:19 AM   #12
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Welcome, there is market for welders of exotic metals which pays very well but travel is involved. With that said, if you know the welding trade is not for you, get a business degree at a minimum and find your way from there. In this life, it is largely what you make of it. A college degree or a journeyman's card is only as good as what you work your ass off to make it.
Im pretty sure welding isnt for me, at least not as a career, although I might still do it as a hobby in my free time. But who knows, I plan on staying at this job while I go to college so i may end up loving it.

I've heard from alot of people that you have to travel to make the big money in welding. Thats something I wouldnt want to do. Im leaning towards getting a business degree like you said though I havnt made up my mind yet.

Thanks for your reply
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:20 AM   #13
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Whichever career you choose, it will involve computers in some form.
It will be helpful if you can learn to touch type and be comfortable using PCs.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:17 PM   #14
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Whichever career you choose, it will involve computers in some form.
It will be helpful if you can learn to touch type and be comfortable using PCs.
Amen to that!

One of the most practically useful classes that I took in high school was typing. I've used that skill in every job I've ever had past the gas station job in HS. So yes, even if it is a non-credit course, take a class in keyboarding. It is a skill that will almost certainly serve you well for the rest of your life.
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