Author Topic: Can anybody retire early, or do you have to get a head start in life for that?  (Read 9981 times)

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
EDIT: I cannot and am not moving anywhere, I'm stuck right here in CO for the foreseeable future.

Right now I'm making $11 an hour working full time. I like this job even though it pays very little because I get great benefits. I can rise in the ranks but I don't know how fast (probably not very) and the raises will be minimal. I live in Colorado and plan to move out of my family's house soon (I'm 25), while I don't technically NEED to move out, I simply want to in order to have more privacy and dignity. The thing with Colorado is that everything is really expensive, especially the rent so most of my money is going to have to go to that and other bills for the foreseeable future. I definitely cannot afford college.

Given these circumstances, assuming I maintain good mistacheian habits (and I will not be perfect with those habits at all) is FIRE really a realistic goal for me? I read over and over throughout the blog that the real target audience are people who are already established which is very discouraging.

Thanks so much!

~KittenJoe
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 03:52:54 PM by KittenJoe »

Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2513
Lots of folks here in your age bracket . . . you could start a thread for people in their 20's (if there's not one already.)

How much are you kicking into your retirement account per month right now?

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Honestly my employer takes it out of my check automatically and I looked over everything and I found where they took out the health benefits but I couldn't find the retirement, but everything is an acronym and I really can't tell what most of them mean, it isn't very much though. I get about $15 per check (bi-weekly) taken out for health insurance.

YoungInvestor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Honestly, you don't have a huge chance while making 11$ per hour. Certainly not within a very short timeframe.

That being said, you should focus on increasing your income at this point. Making double that should be within reach with any kind of training.

Indexer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1430
Quote
Can anybody retire early, or do you have to get a head start in life for that?

I don't think you need a headstart. I do think you need to make more than $11/hour.

When I was your age I was making about $15/hour plus great benefits. At that level of income, saving 10% of my pay felt like a stretch, especially in a city with expensive rent. It took a lot of budgeting. I have a degree and as soon as I got into a career that fully used my degree/talents my income jumped each year to the point that I'm making enough now that my current annual savings exceed my old income. I'm on track to fire in <10 years.

As it's been said, you need to increase your income!

Here is a link to MMM's blogposts on 50 jobs that pay over 50k/yr without a degree. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3542
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Yeah, pretty much anybody can do it who wants to make the lifestyle choices. I started around 25 with only a slightly higher income than you (I think I made around $13/hour), but I was paying rent out of that as well. I never bothered with getting credentials, and moved up to my current ~$20/hour by polishing up a bit and moving into basic office like clerk and receptionist roles. My current salary is enough to easily save 60-70% so I don't bother putting in much effort to increase it anymore.

If you can't afford to live where you are now, moving somewhere else is always an option. You should be able to save up enough money to pay for that pretty easily if you live with your parents.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1568
To understand if you can RE you need to know what your RE expenses will be. You then multiply that number by 25. You then need to save and invest that amount. For you, you’re going to need to increase your income and that means a higher paying job or multiple jobs. The other way that I’ve seen people in your position get more income is through property investment.  Typically people will live at home and save for a deposit, then buy a cheap place that you put your sweat into making nicer, then rent it out for more than the costs. You might need to get 3-6 properties to generate real cash flow. Once you’ve got the money flowing, invest it. All the while, keep your expenses to a minimum, your credit good and don’t build CC debt or car debt. You might have to decide if freedom is more important than your “dignity”and stay at home until you’ve got more cash?

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
What field is your work in, and do you currently have a degree?

I agree with the others, that you need to earn more than $11/hr, especially in CO.

life_travel

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
  • Location: Australia
Yeah, pretty much anybody can do it who wants to make the lifestyle choices. I started around 25 with only a slightly higher income than you (I think I made around $13/hour), but I was paying rent out of that as well. I never bothered with getting credentials, and moved up to my current ~$20/hour by polishing up a bit and moving into basic office like clerk and receptionist roles. My current salary is enough to easily save 60-70% so I don't bother putting in much effort to increase it anymore.

If you can't afford to live where you are now, moving somewhere else is always an option. You should be able to save up enough money to pay for that pretty easily if you live with your parents.
Sorry , off topic!
Zikoris I've read your posts for a couple years and somehow thought that you are one of high- earning people here , its interesting to know that you are similar to me , just little bit younger :) off to read the journal . I love travel too ;)

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2634
Is the situation at home bad? Or a little inconvenient? If it is Bad (as in you are unsafe), get the fuck out of there and deal with FIRE later. I'm going to assume is only inconvenient for now:

FIRE is possible for nearly everyone living legally in Colorado who wants it enough. Some people want other things more, and that is okay.

There are very few reasons to be living in a HCOL area and earning $11/h. Free housing is one of them. These great benefits might be, or might not be a reason to stay where you are ($100k/y in stock - great reason; hanging out with your friends - lots of fun but won't get you closer to FIRE). HCOL areas have so many opportunities to make some extra money by providing services to high earners. If you are going to be continuing to earn modest wages, to achieve FIRE you need to think about living on a small budget. At home will be great while it lasts (assuming your parents / carers are on board with it), but you may need to relocate after that.

Right now I'm making $11 an hour working full time. I like this job even though it pays very little because I get great benefits. I can rise in the ranks but I don't know how fast (probably not very) and the raises will be minimal.

What did your manager / supervisor* say when you asked them what you can do to rise to the next level more quickly and how long it is likely to take?

*Depending on the job, your direct shift-supervisor may not be the right person, it might be the owner or a higher level manager.

Think about the skills that you have and how you can use these in either regular employment or a side hustle. Be brave, try something.

Herbert Derp

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
  • Age: 29
  • Location: United States
If you really want to get ahead, I recommend staying with your family. Being able to save and invest the money which would otherwise have gone to rent will give you a massive leg up.

radram

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 956
We do not know enough about you to answer your questions. More importantly, YOU need to know more about you.

Nobody can just fall into FIRE. If you can not tell yourself how much you are saving, you have ZERO chance of FIRE. The phrase "my employer takes it out of my check automatically" is not good enough.

On this forum, we have a thing called a face punch. It is when someone (lovingly) calls out someone for doing something in a attempt to get them to wake up and change their approach to some aspect of life that is getting in their way but they are too close to see it. Other times it is just a wake up call that the current path won't get it done.

You desperately need a face punch, so here goes. 
It is great that you are interested in FIRE, but it never "just happens". You have work to do. Start with the following:

1. Calculate your total expenses.
2. Calculate your net worth.
3. Calculate your annual earnings.
4. Return and post this information for more advice.

1-3 could really be done in any order. Start TODAY. Find out how much you are saving. Do it TODAY. Ask your HR department to explain all of those abbreviations to you. Ask your direct supervisor if you do not have an HR department.

Your plan starts the day you decide to make one. Get to work to find out more about yourself and come back for more advice.

Don't get discouraged. It is quite possible you have saved nothing. Retirement accounts require quarterly statements. Since you did not say you have this statement you do not know how to read, you probably do not have retirement savings automatically deducted.

If you have a net worth of $0, you are in better shape than 26.8% of 25 year olds. Many people started their path to FIRE owing hundreds of thousands.

The numbers are not nearly as important as what you choose to do about them.

Welcome to the forum.



Beach_Stache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
    • This Frugal Father
Agree that you need to be making more than $11/hour.  You said you get good benefits in your job, will they do tuition reimbursement, or spend money on additional training for you?  I think this forum has a high number of people in the IT industry, is there a reason why you can't do a bunch of free training online and look for a career change, or more training within your field? 

Really if you think about it, you do have a head start in life if you are living at home and get a reduced rent (or free rent).  I don't think there is shame in that.  When I graduated from college I lived at home for 2.5 years, then moved into a nice townhouse but with 5 other people.  I shared a room with my GF (now DW) and the split of our rent in the DC area was $750/month between the 2 of  us (plus utilities).  I had a decent job to start, making around $20/hour, but with staying at home and then reduced rent I was able to start maxing out 401k and Roth immediately at 23.  I still had a lot of student loans to pay off, but living at home and with roommates certainly was the head start that I needed.

I worked my butt off, picked up extra shifts, took on a 2nd job coaching and kept furthering my education and picked up promotions along the way.  If you are hard working and show that you are hard working then you will advance no matter what field you are in.  There are a lot of screw ups out there, and if you are willing to go the extra mile in your career early on it will make a huge difference, whether you stay in that field or change careers.

But getting ahead at $11/hour and not living in your parents place for free is going to be challenging.  I think you would have to go full MMM if you wanted to get ahead at your current hourly wage.  We go about half MMM (at best) and still do pretty well, we won't retire at 40, but 50 isn't a huge stretch.  Good luck!

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
Is your family actively doing something that robs you of your dignity? (Ie, walking into your rooms and going through you stuff; making comments about good for nothing adults; abusing you)

Or are you buying into some neo American BS that you shouldn't live with your parents?

If the latter, one of the keys to early retirement at all but the highest income levels is to ignore the noise. Don't do things just because that is how they are done. Do things because they align with your own goals and priorities.

Along those lines, is your goal to retire early and just lay around your parents' house? What do you picture yourself as doing in retirement?

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
  • Location: Seattle
Honestly, if I were young and under-employed, and no money (or aspirations?) for college I wouldn't worry about FIRE at this point.

Colorado is not that expensive unless you live in Boulder or downtown Denver.

You are still figuring out who you are and what you want out of life. You have a lot to learn about your paycheck and the world in general. I would save up some money and go around backpacking to different places. Figure out the things that make you happy. Come back with fresh focus and a plan.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8493
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
No, not everyone can retiree early.  YOU can retiree early though.

You already have a huge head start.  You are a natural born American citizen.  You received an adequate education that gave you literacy and curiosity and a desire to better yourself.  You are technologically savvy enough to ask the right question in the right place.  You appear to be free from the handicaps of abuse, hunger, inclement weather, or robbery of your personal assets.  You live and work in a society that values and rewards hard work and initiative.  Most of the world is not in such an enviable position, so I think the head start you already have is pretty great.  Just don't waste your golden ticket.

You have youth and health, and the fortunate position of having some secure time to come up with a plan.  The Forbes 400 list is full of people who started out in a worse position than you are in right now and still managed to become billionaires through hard work and calculated risks.  None of them did it on $11/hour, though.  You can read their stories, decide if that's what you want in life, and emulate the blueprint they have followed.  Or pick a different goal, identify the path to get there, and start putting in the hard work required to make it happen.  But whatever it is you want, someone else has already done it and shown you how.  Don't complain about your current circumstances, focus on finding the right path forward.  In your case that could involve a year of reading biographies, introspection, goal setting, and writing a coherent life plan. 

Impoverished people suffer for a variety of reasons, not least of which is a dearth of imagination.  Expand your horizons a little, then figure out if you're willing to work harder and smarter than 99% of people in order to have more success than 99% of people.  You already have a huge head start.

skeptic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
sol, that was an epic response. I wish everyone who visited MMM could read it. Thank you for putting things in perspective.

KittenJoe, I look forward to reading your answers to some of the questions people have already asked. If you would like help on your journey we are more than willing to provide it, but we definitely need more information to provide meaningful guidance (if you want it) and not just encouragement.


Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2406
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Well of course you can.

Start here:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/.  How long it will take you to FIRE depends not on how much you make but how much you save.  So if you can save 50% of your $11/hr and are happy living at home forever, you can FIRE in about 17 years. 

Of course, unless you're my great-aunt, you won't want to live at home forever.  So the next step is realizing that even though many people here are "established" now, many of us -- I'd dare say the majority -- didn't start out that way.  I know all of one poster who admits to starting out with a silver spoon in his mouth; while I'm sure there are more, most of us ranged from poor to middle class (personally, I was on food stamps for several years as a kid, and I still had it better than a lot of folks whose stories I've read here).  In fact, many here say that it was growing up poor that drove them to earn and save so they'd never have to go back and live that way again.  Most of us who went to college worked our asses off for scholarships and/or took out loans and/or worked our way through college; others are self-taught, or went to school at night using their employer's tuition reimbursement, or went into the military, or built their own business and worked 60+ hrs a week to pay the rent and get new customers, or or or . . . . 

The unifying theme here is the desire to be financially independent.  Not in a standard, "gee, I'd really like to win the lottery" way, but wanting it so much that we are willing to live significantly below our income and work hard at sometimes-unpleasant things to achieve that goal.  We want "better" -- not in terms of bigger/fancier things, but in terms of freedom and financial security -- and we are willing to do what it takes to get there.

You can, too -- you just have to put in the effort and sacrifice the standard "stuff."  Work your ass off in your job, get a side gig to allow you to save more, suck it up and stay at home for the free rent, look for better opportunities in your industry, look for MOOCs and online training options to give you marketable skills, take classes at your local community college, learn a trade with the goal of starting your own business in 10 years or so and running the shop, etc. etc. etc.  Just hustle.  Don't float through a 40-hr/wk job at $11/hr, hoping that something better will magically appear; take charge of your budget, track your spending, research your career options, develop a plan, and go work your ass off to make it happen.

Metta

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 663
I grew up in Denver and while there are advantages to living there, being able to amass money quickly is not one of them. Our careers and our savings took off when we left for the Midwest and then to Memphis. The reasons are pretty simple.

Denver is a place that people with strong credentials want to immigrate to and they take jobs away from people who do not have as good of credentials. This depresses relative wages and increases property values. We called it the "Mountain Tax" when we lived there because if you could see the mountains, you knew you would get paid less for the same work and would pay more for the house/apartment.

When we moved to Ohio and then later to Memphis, we discovered that our degrees were more valuable because fewer people with degrees were clamoring to move to Columbus than to Denver. Even fewer still wanted to move to Memphis. So Memphis has to pay educated or skilled people much higher compared to the cost of living than Denver does. That differential can be invested and produce more money for you. Alternatively, you can do as we see many people in Memphis do and buy or build a 5,000 sf mansion on a property with a pond and stables for your horses and pay a maid. But then you will not be able to FIRE.

My advice to my family and friends is always, move! Leave Colorado behind for greener pastures. Once you have your first million dollars, decide if you want to return. If you can't bear to leave the mountains behind, Casper, WY and Albuquerque, NM are both much more reasonable in terms of cost of living.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 11:34:52 AM by Metta »

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3542
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Yeah, pretty much anybody can do it who wants to make the lifestyle choices. I started around 25 with only a slightly higher income than you (I think I made around $13/hour), but I was paying rent out of that as well. I never bothered with getting credentials, and moved up to my current ~$20/hour by polishing up a bit and moving into basic office like clerk and receptionist roles. My current salary is enough to easily save 60-70% so I don't bother putting in much effort to increase it anymore.

If you can't afford to live where you are now, moving somewhere else is always an option. You should be able to save up enough money to pay for that pretty easily if you live with your parents.
Sorry , off topic!
Zikoris I've read your posts for a couple years and somehow thought that you are one of high- earning people here , its interesting to know that you are similar to me , just little bit younger :) off to read the journal . I love travel too ;)

Oh cool, I come off as rich! We are definitely a 100% average income couple. 2016 was my highest earning year ever due to a shit ton of OT, at 44K, which I'll likely never beat.

Metta

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 663
Honestly, if I were young and under-employed, and no money (or aspirations?) for college I wouldn't worry about FIRE at this point.

Colorado is not that expensive unless you live in Boulder or downtown Denver.

Since I know that Coloradans never believe me when I say that the cost of living in Colorado is high relative to other places, here is a cost of living comparison taken from http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/denver-co/memphis-tn/100000  I have used a salary of $100,000 because it makes the math easy. Obviously at $11 an hour, the OP has a much lower yearly income.

Cost of Living Comparison:
Denver, Colorado - Memphis, Tennessee

A salary of $100,000 in Denver, Colorado could decrease to $58,039 and buy the same things in Memphis, Tennessee. Note that the Cost of Living Index is 100 for the national average.

Cost of Living Indexes   

                              Denver   Memphis

Overall                      127.5          74

Food                                     98.3            90.2
Housing                           184.8            40.3
Utilities                             93.8            84.5
Transportation                     96.5            89.8
Health                           106.5            95.4
Miscellaneous                      104            89.3

100=national average

  COMPARISON HIGHLIGHTS
Memphis is 42% cheaper than Denver.

Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
Housing is 78% cheaper in Memphis.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 11:56:29 AM by Metta »

MustachioedPistachio

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Location: Memphis, TN
...So Memphis has to pay educated or skilled people much higher compared to the cost of living than Denver does. That differential can be invested and produce more money for you. Alternatively, you can do as we see many people in Memphis do and buy or build a 5,000 sf mansion on a property with a pond and stables for your horses and pay a maid. But then you will not be able to FIRE.

My advice to my family and friends is always, move!
+1! And I can also attest to this peculiar Memphian profligacy, ha.

But seriously, moving can seriously impact your bottom line.

lifeanon269

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
You're young and you're looking to retire early, so the answer to your question is that you absolutely can retire early.

Can you retire early on 11/hr? Sure. It all just depends upon what you want your standard of living to be. Retiring early just depends upon increasing your savings rate significantly enough to the point where you develop a nest egg substantial enough to support your standard of living for the rest of your life.

Whether or not retiring "early" is feasible for you or not then comes down to the question about what you consider "early". Do you want to retire in 10 years at age 35? Do you want to retire in 20 years at age 45? Or maybe in 30 years at age 55? All of these options (and many more) are all considered early retirement compared with typical retirement paths in the world and are all achievable for you, but depending on the path you choose will determine various steps that will need to be taken in order to achieve them.

If you're living on $11/hr now, could you live on $5.50/hr? If so, that'd give you a savings rate of 50% and thus would allow you to retire in about 17 years. That'd put you at age 42 for a very early retirement! If living on 5.50/hr would be impossible or unimaginable, then maybe shoot for living on an $8/hr wage and look to get an earnings boost to $16/hr wage. That'd again put you at a 50% savings rate and retirement at age 42 again. If earning $16/hr is unimaginable or impossible for you, then maybe instead of retiring at age 42, you could retire at age 50. That's still pretty early compared to most in the world. Doing that would require a savings rate of about 34% for you. So you could then look to earn about $14/hr and only live on about $9/hr of that.

Obviously these aren't exact numbers, but the point is you have a lot of flexibility in how you want to meet your goals and those possibilities don't rule out early retirement for you so long as you go in with certain expectations. If cutting your expenses is impossible, then you're going to have to earn more. If earning more is impossible, then you're going to have to cut expenses. The fact that you're able to live on low wages already is actually a huge benefit however since even just a modest amount of savings can go a long way toward replacing your total income for retirement.

You see, there are an infinite number of possibilities for you and you can play with the numbers to your hearts content to see what will work for you. The most important part of early retirement however is dedication and flexibility. If you don't put your plan into action and keep it in action, then your goals won't be reached. Also, if you aren't flexible and you hold your plan to rigid extremes, it will be very hard for you to meet your goals over the long term. Anything over a long period of time is likely to meet an innumerable amount of unforeseen hurdles.

Metta

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 663
...So Memphis has to pay educated or skilled people much higher compared to the cost of living than Denver does. That differential can be invested and produce more money for you. Alternatively, you can do as we see many people in Memphis do and buy or build a 5,000 sf mansion on a property with a pond and stables for your horses and pay a maid. But then you will not be able to FIRE.

My advice to my family and friends is always, move!
+1! And I can also attest to this peculiar Memphian profligacy, ha.

But seriously, moving can seriously impact your bottom line.

Yeah, what's up with the crazy Memphians? The same ones who spend on an extravagant lifestyle get pouty when they can't retire. We should create a board in the Anti-Mustachian area called something like "Overheard in the Midsouth". :)

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
  • Location: Seattle
Memphis is a very LCOLA. Denver is average though the housing market is picking up a lot. Compared to the coast, Denver is cheap. But Denver, Chicago, and a few other cities in fly over country are picking up in price. Colorado in general, is not expensive. The midwest is of course cheaper.

Here you'll find data that CO is actually lower than many other states(a standard of 100).

https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/

Personally, I'd wither up and die if I had to live in Tennessee compared to Colorado. So whatever it costs, it'd be worth it to me.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 01:03:02 PM by honeybbq »

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11239
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Posting to find this later. Thanks to Laura33 for pinning Sol's awesome reply on the "Best post..." thread. There are so many things I wish I'd known at the very beginning. I'll be back later to share some things I wish I'd known earlier. Spoiler Alert: I got there and you can, too.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1614
If you moved to a place like Memphis or Kansas City or Des Moines or OKC, it would definitely be easier to maintain an apartment on your current wages. However, retiring by 40 will require a career plan. It's time to look beyond your current salary and ask what would cause it to grow.

There is a college path and a non-college path.

College path:
1) Identify 3-4 LCOL areas with favorable community colleges and pay/rent ratios.
2) Snipe for higher paying positions in those locations while developing new skills from free resources like freecodecamp.com or the library. Talk to recruiters. You never know when some oddball job comes along where someone needs your skillset and is willing to pay twice your former pay rate. Keep some money and PTO on hand so you can do day-trip interviews.
3) Once established in a new LCOL area - with roommates, take transferrable core classes for a couple of years at a community college. You may have to accept some debt.
4) After about a year in most states, you qualify for in-state tuition. In year 2, transfer your credits to the local affordable state or technical college. You might take on more debt, but keep it small and never pay lifestyle expenses with a student loan. You might also have to switch to an evening job.
5) Pick a major where you can immediately get a good-paying job. These include healthcare, tech, engineering, or accounting. Use the campus counseling center to help identify your strengths and personality. You will find their tools to be eerily accurate over the years.
6) Graduate at about age 30 with about $30-40k in debt and an income 2-4X what you had been earning. Kill the debt in 2-3 years by simply resisting lifestyle creep.
7) Save 2/3rd of your salary for 8 years.
8) Retire at 40.

Non-college path:
1) Pursue one of several potential options, such as:
     -the military
     -truck or equipment driving
     -construction trades
     -oil rigs
     -fire/police
     -union apprenticeships
     -factory work
2) Save half to 2/3rd of your income for 10-12 years.
3) Retire at 40.

My bio:
2000, graduated debt-free from a state U thanks to scholarships but with an almost useless psych degree.
2002, age 24, pay: $9/hour. Most went to my apartment, bars, and a very old car.
2003, obtain factory logistics job, pay: 30-40k, buy a $122k house. Switched to lower paying job due to OT requirements.
2005, married to a good earner
2008, pay: $28k. Realize I should upgrade my education.
2009, pay: 35k. Leave a horrible job to focus on school.
2010, pay: 45k. Graduate with MBA
2013, pay: 50k. Laid off for 5 months but got a raise with the new job.
2017, age 39. pay: 60k plus fat benefits, Savings rate 50%. Net worth around 600k. About to downsize my lifestyle to retire sooner - hopefully in 5 years.

As you can see, I've never been great at making moolah, even given great advantages. There were also some setbacks and major mistakes on the road. I am where I am due to my savings rate. I am still to this day held back by low expectations from my $9/hour days and the stubborn idea that lifestyle is what makes a person rich. For example, had I gone for the MBA in 2003 instead of spending the same $25k (yes, $25k is what it cost) on a house downpayment, I would definately already be a millionaire. Play your game accordingly.

frugaldrummer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
If you WANT to go to college and have a plan for a degree that would actually get you a job, go. You can afford it if you do your first two years at a community college (even if it takes a bit longer while working) and then grants/scholarships/ loans for two years at a state university should get you out with little debt. Nursing is in high demand btw.

If you DONT want to get a four year degree, free online tech education is a plan if you're so inclined. Or my local community college has a special program (not sure if it will be funded much longer by the Feds) where they train you to be a machinist in a few months and it's FREE. Perhaps there is something similar where you are?

But - let's just assume you stay in low wage jobs. When I was your age, I was in medical school, working 80-100 hours a week for 7 years.

I've often thought, if I'd just been working all those hours, I would have been ahead of the curve for a long time (before med school me caught up financially).

So, imagine if you worked 30 hrs a week at a second job and brought in $1000 a month after taxes. If you did that for five years you could save $60k plus interest. If you also lived at home and saved another $750 a month from your regular job, you'd have a total of $105k plus interest after 5 years. With that you might be able to buy a home where income from roommates could pay off the mortgage. If you gradually advanced at your work you could save even more.

Another approach might be to save up $12k from a second job for a year, then use that as seed money to start a side business.

And don't tell me you can't work all those hours. My sister, in her mid 50's, works a full time day job as a school secretary, then a second job at Sees Candies nights and weekends for another 20-30 hours. She's trying to pay off debts before her older husband retires. She's overweight, hypothyroid and has asthma. If she can do it, a young person like you definitely could.

How much do you think you could be making at your current job if you advanced? What type of job is it? If it's retail, have you considered other employers who pay better? (Costco comes to mind. Sees is another pretty good employer. ) 

Do you have any special skills, hobbies that could be turned into money? What are your interests?

 

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5702

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1595
Some good posts.

I'll just confirm you do not need a 'head start'.
I dropped out of HS and worked for about 20 yrs. I worked hard, sometimes very long hours.  I was dependable and learned what I could / had to for gradual (but slow) promotions (sometimes by changing jobs).
During that time I got married and had 3 girls.
I realized I had pretty much maxed out my career w/o a diploma or degree when I was offered to start a roofing and siding business with my brother in law - he was working at that for someone for about 5 yrs.
I took him up on the offer, after reading a LOT on starting a business and contacting SCORE - I  found out he just wanted me to work for him.  There was some tension... I started looking for another job which grew to tension between my wife and I.  She left me and filed for divorce.   I went from about $10K in savings and investments to $9K in debt.  And no job.
I delivered pizzas and flipped burgers.  I was interested in computers; I had built my own and learned a bit about networking.  I did a bunch of self study (lots of used books) and applied for computer jobs.   I got hired by someone that didn't know as much about computers as I did.  After a bunch more self study (no social life), the Co. trained me to fix laser printers.  But my pay didn't rise to laser printer tech level, so I go another job.   That job trained me on networking.  But my pay didn't rise to networking tech level, sooo...
I got a job at a small mfg'g Co. that was quite technical.   The IT dept. was 5 people that were very diverse.  We helped ea other out as needed and I learned a lot.  One guy let/had me do more and more of his work.  The boss found out and he was fired.   Then I had to do all of his job, and mine.  I scrambled to learn asset management,  budgeting and VoIP admin.  The boss was impressed, and didn't hire a replacement.   Over the years I learned technical writing, ERP admin. and (basic) project management. Some with actual training. The Co. and boss let me take on more responsibility and rewarded me when I proved what I could do.
A cpl yrs ago, the Co. was bought by a BIG Corp.  After I helped integrate our network systems, they laid me off because I don't have the industry certificates they require for all the things I was doing.

I lived very frugally to pay of the debt ASAP.  After that, I resumed saving and investing.
I was thinking of retiring in a few yrs when I got laid off.  I'm not as 'comfortable' as I would have liked, but I'm confident I can make it until SS and medicare kick in.

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
What field is your work in, and do you currently have a degree?

I agree with the others, that you need to earn more than $11/hr, especially in CO.

I work in a marijuana dispensary, it's really just a retail job lol.

If you moved to a place like Memphis or Kansas City or Des Moines or OKC, it would definitely be easier to maintain an apartment on your current wages. However, retiring by 40 will require a career plan. It's time to look beyond your current salary and ask what would cause it to grow.

There is a college path and a non-college path.

College path:
1) Identify 3-4 LCOL areas with favorable community colleges and pay/rent ratios.
2) Snipe for higher paying positions in those locations while developing new skills from free resources like freecodecamp.com or the library. Talk to recruiters. You never know when some oddball job comes along where someone needs your skillset and is willing to pay twice your former pay rate. Keep some money and PTO on hand so you can do day-trip interviews.
3) Once established in a new LCOL area - with roommates, take transferrable core classes for a couple of years at a community college. You may have to accept some debt.
4) After about a year in most states, you qualify for in-state tuition. In year 2, transfer your credits to the local affordable state or technical college. You might take on more debt, but keep it small and never pay lifestyle expenses with a student loan. You might also have to switch to an evening job.
5) Pick a major where you can immediately get a good-paying job. These include healthcare, tech, engineering, or accounting. Use the campus counseling center to help identify your strengths and personality. You will find their tools to be eerily accurate over the years.
6) Graduate at about age 30 with about $30-40k in debt and an income 2-4X what you had been earning. Kill the debt in 2-3 years by simply resisting lifestyle creep.
7) Save 2/3rd of your salary for 8 years.
8) Retire at 40.

Non-college path:
1) Pursue one of several potential options, such as:
     -the military
     -truck or equipment driving
     -construction trades
     -oil rigs
     -fire/police
     -union apprenticeships
     -factory work
2) Save half to 2/3rd of your income for 10-12 years.
3) Retire at 40.

My bio:
2000, graduated debt-free from a state U thanks to scholarships but with an almost useless psych degree.
2002, age 24, pay: $9/hour. Most went to my apartment, bars, and a very old car.
2003, obtain factory logistics job, pay: 30-40k, buy a $122k house. Switched to lower paying job due to OT requirements.
2005, married to a good earner
2008, pay: $28k. Realize I should upgrade my education.
2009, pay: 35k. Leave a horrible job to focus on school.
2010, pay: 45k. Graduate with MBA
2013, pay: 50k. Laid off for 5 months but got a raise with the new job.
2017, age 39. pay: 60k plus fat benefits, Savings rate 50%. Net worth around 600k. About to downsize my lifestyle to retire sooner - hopefully in 5 years.

As you can see, I've never been great at making moolah, even given great advantages. There were also some setbacks and major mistakes on the road. I am where I am due to my savings rate. I am still to this day held back by low expectations from my $9/hour days and the stubborn idea that lifestyle is what makes a person rich. For example, had I gone for the MBA in 2003 instead of spending the same $25k (yes, $25k is what it cost) on a house downpayment, I would definately already be a millionaire. Play your game accordingly.

Wow, thank you for taking the time to write out this detailed reply. Honestly, both scenarios are terrifying. The first one seems a lot more fun and interesting and rewarding, but also 10X more work and a lot more room for error. Like, A LOT of room for errors that will set me even further back from my goal or undermine it completely. The second path is a lot less stressful and definitely much safer but it's sad to think that the next 20 years of my life would have to be spent in some grueling job I'll probably hate, and physical labor isn't very practical for me so that limits my options even more.

I don't know what to do.... but I started a journal on this forum so at some point you can find out what happens if you want lol.

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Yeah, pretty much anybody can do it who wants to make the lifestyle choices. I started around 25 with only a slightly higher income than you (I think I made around $13/hour), but I was paying rent out of that as well. I never bothered with getting credentials, and moved up to my current ~$20/hour by polishing up a bit and moving into basic office like clerk and receptionist roles. My current salary is enough to easily save 60-70% so I don't bother putting in much effort to increase it anymore.

If you can't afford to live where you are now, moving somewhere else is always an option. You should be able to save up enough money to pay for that pretty easily if you live with your parents.

Your story gives me hope, because it doesn't tell me that I need to do something crazy like get into debt or build a house. Clerical work is definitely much more up my ally, and it may end up ultimately being the path I go down. Thanks so much!


KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Is the situation at home bad? Or a little inconvenient? If it is Bad (as in you are unsafe), get the fuck out of there and deal with FIRE later. I'm going to assume is only inconvenient for now:

FIRE is possible for nearly everyone living legally in Colorado who wants it enough. Some people want other things more, and that is okay.

There are very few reasons to be living in a HCOL area and earning $11/h. Free housing is one of them. These great benefits might be, or might not be a reason to stay where you are ($100k/y in stock - great reason; hanging out with your friends - lots of fun but won't get you closer to FIRE). HCOL areas have so many opportunities to make some extra money by providing services to high earners. If you are going to be continuing to earn modest wages, to achieve FIRE you need to think about living on a small budget. At home will be great while it lasts (assuming your parents / carers are on board with it), but you may need to relocate after that.

Right now I'm making $11 an hour working full time. I like this job even though it pays very little because I get great benefits. I can rise in the ranks but I don't know how fast (probably not very) and the raises will be minimal.

What did your manager / supervisor* say when you asked them what you can do to rise to the next level more quickly and how long it is likely to take?

*Depending on the job, your direct shift-supervisor may not be the right person, it might be the owner or a higher level manager.

Think about the skills that you have and how you can use these in either regular employment or a side hustle. Be brave, try something.

I have the best parents a person could ever ask for (except that they support trump and watch fox news but eh, they're 70). I already know what the path in this company is, honestly it's super easy compared to other jobs but of course ease comes with lower pay and it will become dead end before too many raises, although I think it will be a "comfortable" dead end, it's hard to work for what you know is a dead end you know? Of course with a fancy business degree I can go higher, but ugh, sitting in a cubical all day? If I can avoid that I'd like to.

Well, I really don't have any marketable skills. Or non marketable skills for that matter, I'm very lazy and don't do shit lol. I am working on that though, I've made progress in the last couple years and I'm proud of that.

And THANK YOU for telling me I can do this in CO, honestly leaving my 70 year old dad and 77 year old mom and 94 year old grandma (I was adopted) behind seems really shitty, and all my friends are here too. So yes, staying here has A LOT to do with fear, but it's also the fear that I'll come back one day my parents will be close to their death beds and I have to continue this later
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 09:46:14 PM by KittenJoe »

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4665
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Sitting in a cubicle can be miserable, or it can be fucking great, or anything in between. Where someone works doesn't tell you anything in 2017.

Find what you want, find what you can reasonably achieve, and go from there. Nobody can do it for you.


Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2634
You say the retail work is easy. Do you have time to read while you are working and there are no customers around? Could you have a laptop? Could you learn another language?

Don't do anything to jeopardise your employment, but if you can use the quiet time to either up-skill yourself or make some extra cash, you could accelerate your savings. You'll need to be absolutely meticulous about dropping whatever else you're doing the second someone else comes in. The skill could be work related to some degree.

You mentioned that you don't think physical labour is practical for you, do you have a disability? If not, could you use work time to build up those skills (volunteer to move stock, learn how to lift properly, practice walking carrying a weight)?

Well, I really don't have any marketable skills. Or non marketable skills for that matter, I'm very lazy and don't do shit lol. I am working on that though, I've made progress in the last couple years and I'm proud of that.

Good for you for working on it. What were the things that helped you or motivated you to make progress? FIRE is difficult to achieve if you can't overcome the temptation of taking the easier path. [We've all been there, to one extent or another].

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Memphis is a very LCOLA. Denver is average though the housing market is picking up a lot. Compared to the coast, Denver is cheap. But Denver, Chicago, and a few other cities in fly over country are picking up in price. Colorado in general, is not expensive. The midwest is of course cheaper.

Here you'll find data that CO is actually lower than many other states(a standard of 100).

https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/

Personally, I'd wither up and die if I had to live in Tennessee compared to Colorado. So whatever it costs, it'd be worth it to me.

Not sure if that link is very informative because it averages out across an entire state.  One would get a false impression that they could move right into Seattle/Bellevue area based on looking at that alone.  Just imagine your shock and surprise upon receiving a job offer in DC, you check the map you provided and say well DC is crazy so I'll just move to NOVA (Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, etc) because Virginia is only 102.2 on the cost of living index. Someone, using that link, would also get the false impression that moving from Vegas to Denver would be a wise money saving move - which it wouldn't since housing in Vegas is almost 1/2 the price of Denver.

I think it would be best to use a link which is more targeted to the metro and/or city.
http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/

I honestly can't move anyway, my parents are in their 70s (I was adopted) and if I were to move I'd miss most of the last bit of their life which I don't want to do. Also my grandmother is 94 and living with us and I would miss the entire rest of her life. Even with all that, I'm not in any rush to leave behind my entire support network and family and friends lol. Maybe we'll work up to that some day. Thank you so much

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Some good posts.

I'll just confirm you do not need a 'head start'.
I dropped out of HS and worked for about 20 yrs. I worked hard, sometimes very long hours.  I was dependable and learned what I could / had to for gradual (but slow) promotions (sometimes by changing jobs).
During that time I got married and had 3 girls.
I realized I had pretty much maxed out my career w/o a diploma or degree when I was offered to start a roofing and siding business with my brother in law - he was working at that for someone for about 5 yrs.
I took him up on the offer, after reading a LOT on starting a business and contacting SCORE - I  found out he just wanted me to work for him.  There was some tension... I started looking for another job which grew to tension between my wife and I.  She left me and filed for divorce.   I went from about $10K in savings and investments to $9K in debt.  And no job.
I delivered pizzas and flipped burgers.  I was interested in computers; I had built my own and learned a bit about networking.  I did a bunch of self study (lots of used books) and applied for computer jobs.   I got hired by someone that didn't know as much about computers as I did.  After a bunch more self study (no social life), the Co. trained me to fix laser printers.  But my pay didn't rise to laser printer tech level, so I go another job.   That job trained me on networking.  But my pay didn't rise to networking tech level, sooo...
I got a job at a small mfg'g Co. that was quite technical.   The IT dept. was 5 people that were very diverse.  We helped ea other out as needed and I learned a lot.  One guy let/had me do more and more of his work.  The boss found out and he was fired.   Then I had to do all of his job, and mine.  I scrambled to learn asset management,  budgeting and VoIP admin.  The boss was impressed, and didn't hire a replacement.   Over the years I learned technical writing, ERP admin. and (basic) project management. Some with actual training. The Co. and boss let me take on more responsibility and rewarded me when I proved what I could do.
A cpl yrs ago, the Co. was bought by a BIG Corp.  After I helped integrate our network systems, they laid me off because I don't have the industry certificates they require for all the things I was doing.

I lived very frugally to pay of the debt ASAP.  After that, I resumed saving and investing.
I was thinking of retiring in a few yrs when I got laid off.  I'm not as 'comfortable' as I would have liked, but I'm confident I can make it until SS and medicare kick in.

WOW that's quite a story. I'm not sure medicare is going to be there much longer but I hope it is. It seems like you should have been able to negotiate a higher salary or some education or something it sounds like people were just trying to screw you over left and right. Your story both scares me and gives me hope lol Thank you! So much more to think about

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Sitting in a cubicle can be miserable, or it can be fucking great, or anything in between. Where someone works doesn't tell you anything in 2017.

Find what you want, find what you can reasonably achieve, and go from there. Nobody can do it for you.

That's the plan, and working a cubical would be fine if I can brows the internet but honestly I really don't understand why cubicals exist when people can just work from home lol. Like what's the difference other than fewer call outs from being sick or having bad weather or not being able to find day care. It just seems to me to make so much more sense.

You say the retail work is easy. Do you have time to read while you are working and there are no customers around? Could you have a laptop? Could you learn another language?

Don't do anything to jeopardise your employment, but if you can use the quiet time to either up-skill yourself or make some extra cash, you could accelerate your savings. You'll need to be absolutely meticulous about dropping whatever else you're doing the second someone else comes in. The skill could be work related to some degree.

You mentioned that you don't think physical labour is practical for you, do you have a disability? If not, could you use work time to build up those skills (volunteer to move stock, learn how to lift properly, practice walking carrying a weight)?

Well, I really don't have any marketable skills. Or non marketable skills for that matter, I'm very lazy and don't do shit lol. I am working on that though, I've made progress in the last couple years and I'm proud of that.

Good for you for working on it. What were the things that helped you or motivated you to make progress? FIRE is difficult to achieve if you can't overcome the temptation of taking the easier path. [We've all been there, to one extent or another].

I don't have a disability, I'm just a 5'2 105 pound person, and I did facilities maintenance at job corps and it I was not good at it at all and I hated it, although it might have just been job corps. Either way, I did give the physical labor thing a fair 2 year shot and it's just not for me. I kinda think I would be fine doing plumping but, this I have no excuse for except I really hate poop and I don't want to be near it. I was thinking of a way that I could make money on the computer, I have plenty of free time at home that I wouldn't need to worry about it having to do it at work I just don't know what I could do. I might figure something out. And thanks! I'm talking more things like doing laundry regularly, not building a real skill or doing anything more useful than that. What motivated me was most fear and embarrassment and wanting my days to be more convenient without a bunch of cloths every where or the other problems that arise from the other things. Thank you very much 

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
If you WANT to go to college and have a plan for a degree that would actually get you a job, go. You can afford it if you do your first two years at a community college (even if it takes a bit longer while working) and then grants/scholarships/ loans for two years at a state university should get you out with little debt. Nursing is in high demand btw.

If you DONT want to get a four year degree, free online tech education is a plan if you're so inclined. Or my local community college has a special program (not sure if it will be funded much longer by the Feds) where they train you to be a machinist in a few months and it's FREE. Perhaps there is something similar where you are?

But - let's just assume you stay in low wage jobs. When I was your age, I was in medical school, working 80-100 hours a week for 7 years.

I've often thought, if I'd just been working all those hours, I would have been ahead of the curve for a long time (before med school me caught up financially).

So, imagine if you worked 30 hrs a week at a second job and brought in $1000 a month after taxes. If you did that for five years you could save $60k plus interest. If you also lived at home and saved another $750 a month from your regular job, you'd have a total of $105k plus interest after 5 years. With that you might be able to buy a home where income from roommates could pay off the mortgage. If you gradually advanced at your work you could save even more.

Another approach might be to save up $12k from a second job for a year, then use that as seed money to start a side business.

And don't tell me you can't work all those hours. My sister, in her mid 50's, works a full time day job as a school secretary, then a second job at Sees Candies nights and weekends for another 20-30 hours. She's trying to pay off debts before her older husband retires. She's overweight, hypothyroid and has asthma. If she can do it, a young person like you definitely could.

How much do you think you could be making at your current job if you advanced? What type of job is it? If it's retail, have you considered other employers who pay better? (Costco comes to mind. Sees is another pretty good employer. ) 

Do you have any special skills, hobbies that could be turned into money? What are your interests?

Working two jobs would be physically no problem, but mentally and emotionally it would be absolutely miserable and I have never wanted to do that unless I absolutely had to. Maybe this is that time though, I hope I wouldn't have to do it for more than a couple months. (I know I'm a spoiled brat, sorry.) I could advance my job here from $11 an hour to $12 an hour. After that I'd have to look into a much longer road of getting an upgraded badge ($250) and probably moving stores and competing with all those people up for that position. I don't know what the pay raise would be but I'm very certain that it's the absolutely minimum. That's what I don't like about this job. Thank you so much!

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5688
  • Age: 1
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Honestly, if I were young and under-employed, and no money (or aspirations?) for college I wouldn't worry about FIRE at this point.

Colorado is not that expensive unless you live in Boulder or downtown Denver.

Since I know that Coloradans never believe me when I say that the cost of living in Colorado is high relative to other places, here is a cost of living comparison taken from http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/denver-co/memphis-tn/100000  I have used a salary of $100,000 because it makes the math easy. Obviously at $11 an hour, the OP has a much lower yearly income.

Cost of Living Comparison:
Denver, Colorado - Memphis, Tennessee

A salary of $100,000 in Denver, Colorado could decrease to $58,039 and buy the same things in Memphis, Tennessee. Note that the Cost of Living Index is 100 for the national average.

Cost of Living Indexes   

                              Denver   Memphis

Overall                      127.5          74

Food                                     98.3            90.2
Housing                           184.8            40.3
Utilities                             93.8            84.5
Transportation                     96.5            89.8
Health                           106.5            95.4
Miscellaneous                      104            89.3

100=national average

  COMPARISON HIGHLIGHTS
Memphis is 42% cheaper than Denver.

Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
Housing is 78% cheaper in Memphis.

As someone above you pointed out, Denver and Boulder are the exceptions.....you just cherry picked a comparison between a HCOL metropolis and a LCOl city like Memphis near the armpit of America.

I have a LOT of friends and family all over CO, it is MUCH cheaper in 99% of the state.

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Agree that you need to be making more than $11/hour.  You said you get good benefits in your job, will they do tuition reimbursement, or spend money on additional training for you?  I think this forum has a high number of people in the IT industry, is there a reason why you can't do a bunch of free training online and look for a career change, or more training within your field? 

Really if you think about it, you do have a head start in life if you are living at home and get a reduced rent (or free rent).  I don't think there is shame in that.  When I graduated from college I lived at home for 2.5 years, then moved into a nice townhouse but with 5 other people.  I shared a room with my GF (now DW) and the split of our rent in the DC area was $750/month between the 2 of  us (plus utilities).  I had a decent job to start, making around $20/hour, but with staying at home and then reduced rent I was able to start maxing out 401k and Roth immediately at 23.  I still had a lot of student loans to pay off, but living at home and with roommates certainly was the head start that I needed.

I worked my butt off, picked up extra shifts, took on a 2nd job coaching and kept furthering my education and picked up promotions along the way.  If you are hard working and show that you are hard working then you will advance no matter what field you are in.  There are a lot of screw ups out there, and if you are willing to go the extra mile in your career early on it will make a huge difference, whether you stay in that field or change careers.

But getting ahead at $11/hour and not living in your parents place for free is going to be challenging.  I think you would have to go full MMM if you wanted to get ahead at your current hourly wage.  We go about half MMM (at best) and still do pretty well, we won't retire at 40, but 50 isn't a huge stretch.  Good luck!

Well thank you very much, right now I'm just inching along trying not to waste my money on coffee, weed, pizza, games, and other nonsense. I have thought about doing some kind of coding but I know that EVERYBODY is doing that, to be it seems like there is a "digital rush" and if I jump in I'll just be in a pool of other people who jumped in and so those skills really won't be worth much. Maybe I am wrong about that though. Currently, if I'm being honest, I am not hard working at all. I do the above minimum (most of the time) but any more than that and I feel like they're getting $15 effort for $11 pay, and I hate that thought so I try to just give them $11 worth of effort because that's what they're paying for. I still have so much to learn about 401ks too! Thank you so much

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Honestly, if I were young and under-employed, and no money (or aspirations?) for college I wouldn't worry about FIRE at this point.

Colorado is not that expensive unless you live in Boulder or downtown Denver.

Since I know that Coloradans never believe me when I say that the cost of living in Colorado is high relative to other places, here is a cost of living comparison taken from http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/denver-co/memphis-tn/100000  I have used a salary of $100,000 because it makes the math easy. Obviously at $11 an hour, the OP has a much lower yearly income.

Cost of Living Comparison:
Denver, Colorado - Memphis, Tennessee

A salary of $100,000 in Denver, Colorado could decrease to $58,039 and buy the same things in Memphis, Tennessee. Note that the Cost of Living Index is 100 for the national average.

Cost of Living Indexes   

                              Denver   Memphis

Overall                      127.5          74

Food                                     98.3            90.2
Housing                           184.8            40.3
Utilities                             93.8            84.5
Transportation                     96.5            89.8
Health                           106.5            95.4
Miscellaneous                      104            89.3

100=national average

  COMPARISON HIGHLIGHTS
Memphis is 42% cheaper than Denver.

Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
Housing is 78% cheaper in Memphis.

As someone above you pointed out, Denver and Boulder are the exceptions.....you just cherry picked a comparison between a HCOL metropolis and a LCOl city like Memphis near the armpit of America.

I have a LOT of friends and family all over CO, it is MUCH cheaper in 99% of the state.

Moving isn't really an option for me at this point, I am going inch by inch and that's miles down the road lol. I'd probably honestly be happy living in CO my entire life though, who knows. Sorry I should have said that!

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1614

Wow, thank you for taking the time to write out this detailed reply. Honestly, both scenarios are terrifying. The first one seems a lot more fun and interesting and rewarding, but also 10X more work and a lot more room for error. Like, A LOT of room for errors that will set me even further back from my goal or undermine it completely. The second path is a lot less stressful and definitely much safer but it's sad to think that the next 20 years of my life would have to be spent in some grueling job I'll probably hate, and physical labor isn't very practical for me so that limits my options even more.

I don't know what to do....
[/quote]

Be extremely careful with thoughts that include "it's risky", "I can't", "what if...", "I'm afraid" etc. They can be dangerous if overused.

The #1 risk is that you might never choose to take a chance. A focus on what might go wrong will inevitably highlight tons of hard-to-quantify risks and unknowns with any plan to do anything substantial, and it will seem like the sensible thing to do is wait for more clarity or better conditions. Next thing you know, 20 years have passed and you're still waiting on that retail promotion.

Interestingly, people are most risk-averse when they have the least to lose. It's one reason the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

What if you quit your job to try something new and didn't like the new gig? What if this all went outrageously bad and you failed in this exact way five more times in a row? You might lose $5k in earnings over the next 2 years in downtime and lost wages. Your resume would be Swiss cheese and you'd definitely miss out on that hypothetical promotion from Drug Dealer I to Drug Dealer II (hehe.. sorry, had to). But look what happened on try #6 - you just landed a job with growth potential and a $2/hour or $4k/year raise! You learned more about what you're good at along the way and narrowed your focus. Two and a half years later, you break even on your gamble. Then you take your 2.5y experience to a new employer for another $4k raise. In less than 5 years, you could be making $30k, or 36% more than you do now. More importantly, you'll be on a professional roll, with a direction for your ambition. This is the way it works, unless you play it safe and tell yourself "I can't".

If you are dissatisfied with where you are, you are not lazy. In fact, you're already motivated. What's holding you back? Check your own thoughts for negativity or excess risk-aversion. It's just a hypothesis, but it's worth considering.

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
Quote

Wow, thank you for taking the time to write out this detailed reply. Honestly, both scenarios are terrifying. The first one seems a lot more fun and interesting and rewarding, but also 10X more work and a lot more room for error. Like, A LOT of room for errors that will set me even further back from my goal or undermine it completely. The second path is a lot less stressful and definitely much safer but it's sad to think that the next 20 years of my life would have to be spent in some grueling job I'll probably hate, and physical labor isn't very practical for me so that limits my options even more.

I don't know what to do....



Be extremely careful with thoughts that include "it's risky", "I can't", "what if...", "I'm afraid" etc. They can be dangerous if overused.

The #1 risk is that you might never choose to take a chance. A focus on what might go wrong will inevitably highlight tons of hard-to-quantify risks and unknowns with any plan to do anything substantial, and it will seem like the sensible thing to do is wait for more clarity or better conditions. Next thing you know, 20 years have passed and you're still waiting on that retail promotion.

Interestingly, people are most risk-averse when they have the least to lose. It's one reason the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

What if you quit your job to try something new and didn't like the new gig? What if this all went outrageously bad and you failed in this exact way five more times in a row? You might lose $5k in earnings over the next 2 years in downtime and lost wages. Your resume would be Swiss cheese and you'd definitely miss out on that hypothetical promotion from Drug Dealer I to Drug Dealer II (hehe.. sorry, had to). But look what happened on try #6 - you just landed a job with growth potential and a $2/hour or $4k/year raise! You learned more about what you're good at along the way and narrowed your focus. Two and a half years later, you break even on your gamble. Then you take your 2.5y experience to a new employer for another $4k raise. In less than 5 years, you could be making $30k, or 36% more than you do now. More importantly, you'll be on a professional roll, with a direction for your ambition. This is the way it works, unless you play it safe and tell yourself "I can't".

If you are dissatisfied with where you are, you are not lazy. In fact, you're already motivated. What's holding you back? Check your own thoughts for negativity or excess risk-aversion. It's just a hypothesis, but it's worth considering.

That is SO interesting and also makes complete sense. Haha, that's OK at least I'm not dealing drugs as bad as pharmacists do some times. In fact, people sometimes use my drugs to get OFF pharmacy drugs lol (that's one thing I LOVE about this job, seeing how much marijuana actually helps people and seeing them come back pain free with no addictive weird side effect drugs). Anyway, back on topic, I guess I should really start seriously thinking about what my next risk should be. I just got done working at ross and traveling every year and I've been at my new job for 6 months this month actually, I wanted to give it another 6 months at least even if I downgrade to part time status maybe but then I lose the health insurance, I'm really scared to not have health insurance lol.

Anyway, your reply is awesome, really. Thank you. I sort of want to do this business management program at this tech college (a legit one) because I'd love to start a cat cafe some time but I don't know anything about running a business. In fact now that I think about it it might be something worth doing even if I fail, or if it's only successful for a little while maybe. And some cats would get some homes! That always makes everything worth it. Thank you so much
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 05:49:40 PM by KittenJoe »

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2634
That is SO interesting and also makes complete sense. Haha, that's OK at least I'm not dealing drugs as bad as pharmacists do some times. In fact, people sometimes use my drugs to get OFF pharmacy drugs lol (that's one thing I LOVE about this job, seeing how much marijuana actually helps people and seeing them come back pain free with no addictive weird side effect drugs). Anyway, back on topic, I guess I should really start seriously thinking about what my next risk should be. I just got done working at ross and traveling every year and I've been at my new job for 6 months this month actually, I wanted to give it another 6 months at least even if I downgrade to part time status maybe but then I lose the health insurance, I'm really scared to not have health insurance lol.

Your love for a part of your job IS THE TOPIC. This is exciting and important information. Do your colleagues know about this interest? Can you learn even more? Could you set up a website (be super-careful about the legalities - you are not a medic and your product is illegal in many areas) to help more people? Does your dispensary have a website? Should it? Could you run the "getting off pharmacy drugs" page?

Health insurance is a PITA, I don't suppose your parents could add you to theirs (guessing not, but worth a try).

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2634
I don't have a disability, I'm just a 5'2 105 pound person, and I did facilities maintenance at job corps and it I was not good at it at all and I hated it, although it might have just been job corps. Either way, I did give the physical labor thing a fair 2 year shot and it's just not for me. I kinda think I would be fine doing plumping but, this I have no excuse for except I really hate poop and I don't want to be near it. I was thinking of a way that I could make money on the computer, I have plenty of free time at home that I wouldn't need to worry about it having to do it at work I just don't know what I could do. I might figure something out. And thanks! I'm talking more things like doing laundry regularly, not building a real skill or doing anything more useful than that. What motivated me was most fear and embarrassment and wanting my days to be more convenient without a bunch of cloths every where or the other problems that arise from the other things. Thank you very much

If physical work isn't for you, and you have another way of making enough money, then fair enough. I'm a similar height to you and have done and enjoyed physical work, so don't believe that you can't do it. You will find it more difficult if you don't condition your body, and you'll need to use steps more than a taller person, but you'll also be able to do more work in a confined space than a taller person - and there are no set of steps that make you shorter! Troubleshooting plumbing might not be for you, but how about bathroom fitting / kitchen fitting? You get to do plumbing but there is little or no poop involved.

Bullshit to the "not building a real skill". You recognised something that you wanted to change and you changed it by yourself. That is a skill that many people fail to work on as they reach adulthood. The fact that you've done this means that you CAN choose another goal and work towards that and achieve it. I agree with ChpBstrd: it sounds like your belief in your own abilities is holding you back. Maybe try something small this week - update your resume, ask one other store if they're hiring and what the wage is, read something about pharmacy drug dependency. Tell us how you get on.

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
That is SO interesting and also makes complete sense. Haha, that's OK at least I'm not dealing drugs as bad as pharmacists do some times. In fact, people sometimes use my drugs to get OFF pharmacy drugs lol (that's one thing I LOVE about this job, seeing how much marijuana actually helps people and seeing them come back pain free with no addictive weird side effect drugs). Anyway, back on topic, I guess I should really start seriously thinking about what my next risk should be. I just got done working at ross and traveling every year and I've been at my new job for 6 months this month actually, I wanted to give it another 6 months at least even if I downgrade to part time status maybe but then I lose the health insurance, I'm really scared to not have health insurance lol.

Your love for a part of your job IS THE TOPIC. This is exciting and important information. Do your colleagues know about this interest? Can you learn even more? Could you set up a website (be super-careful about the legalities - you are not a medic and your product is illegal in many areas) to help more people? Does your dispensary have a website? Should it? Could you run the "getting off pharmacy drugs" page?

Health insurance is a PITA, I don't suppose your parents could add you to theirs (guessing not, but worth a try).

You better believe I love the topic! It's what keeps me going through all the mundane retail work and human drama. It's basically my job to make people's day better lol. My company is The Green Solution they don't need me for anything than just being a salesfloor person, but I was thinking of starting a blog but I was thinking of making it about why change is so hard and include some things I'm doing to accomplish it. My parents are retired, but I get better health insurance through my company than I did with my dad anyway lol. What does PITA stand for?

KittenJoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Colorado
  • Start small and don't feel bad about it
I don't have a disability, I'm just a 5'2 105 pound person, and I did facilities maintenance at job corps and it I was not good at it at all and I hated it, although it might have just been job corps. Either way, I did give the physical labor thing a fair 2 year shot and it's just not for me. I kinda think I would be fine doing plumping but, this I have no excuse for except I really hate poop and I don't want to be near it. I was thinking of a way that I could make money on the computer, I have plenty of free time at home that I wouldn't need to worry about it having to do it at work I just don't know what I could do. I might figure something out. And thanks! I'm talking more things like doing laundry regularly, not building a real skill or doing anything more useful than that. What motivated me was most fear and embarrassment and wanting my days to be more convenient without a bunch of cloths every where or the other problems that arise from the other things. Thank you very much

If physical work isn't for you, and you have another way of making enough money, then fair enough. I'm a similar height to you and have done and enjoyed physical work, so don't believe that you can't do it. You will find it more difficult if you don't condition your body, and you'll need to use steps more than a taller person, but you'll also be able to do more work in a confined space than a taller person - and there are no set of steps that make you shorter! Troubleshooting plumbing might not be for you, but how about bathroom fitting / kitchen fitting? You get to do plumbing but there is little or no poop involved.

Bullshit to the "not building a real skill". You recognised something that you wanted to change and you changed it by yourself. That is a skill that many people fail to work on as they reach adulthood. The fact that you've done this means that you CAN choose another goal and work towards that and achieve it. I agree with ChpBstrd: it sounds like your belief in your own abilities is holding you back. Maybe try something small this week - update your resume, ask one other store if they're hiring and what the wage is, read something about pharmacy drug dependency. Tell us how you get on.

Thank you for taking the time to type out this reply, I suppose you're right that recognizing something that needs to change and changing it is a type of skill. I never thought of it that way before but it makes sense. I do have a journal in the journal section here with some goals outlined. I knew there some plumping related jobs that didn't involve sewage but I knew they would be way harder to get and it seems lame to want to work with pipes but not the iky stuff so i just decided it wasn't for me, and I've been out of job corps for 4 or 5 years now so it's been a long time since I've learned about that stuff.

Thanks again!

Fire2025

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
  • Location: LA LA Land
That is SO interesting and also makes complete sense. Haha, that's OK at least I'm not dealing drugs as bad as pharmacists do some times. In fact, people sometimes use my drugs to get OFF pharmacy drugs lol (that's one thing I LOVE about this job, seeing how much marijuana actually helps people and seeing them come back pain free with no addictive weird side effect drugs). Anyway, back on topic, I guess I should really start seriously thinking about what my next risk should be. I just got done working at ross and traveling every year and I've been at my new job for 6 months this month actually, I wanted to give it another 6 months at least even if I downgrade to part time status maybe but then I lose the health insurance, I'm really scared to not have health insurance lol.

Your love for a part of your job IS THE TOPIC. This is exciting and important information. Do your colleagues know about this interest? Can you learn even more? Could you set up a website (be super-careful about the legalities - you are not a medic and your product is illegal in many areas) to help more people? Does your dispensary have a website? Should it? Could you run the "getting off pharmacy drugs" page?

Health insurance is a PITA, I don't suppose your parents could add you to theirs (guessing not, but worth a try).

You better believe I love the topic! It's what keeps me going through all the mundane retail work and human drama. It's basically my job to make people's day better lol. My company is The Green Solution they don't need me for anything than just being a salesfloor person, but I was thinking of starting a blog but I was thinking of making it about why change is so hard and include some things I'm doing to accomplish it. My parents are retired, but I get better health insurance through my company than I did with my dad anyway lol. What does PITA stand for?

Just wanted to chime in with a couple of simple thoughts. 

1.  I don't make a crazy income either, but I'm getting there, you can totally do this.  And I live in an extremely HCOL area (LA).  It can be done by anyone, anywhere.

2.  If you like the industry you are already working in, stick to it!  This is an emerging market, well in the legal world anyway, and there maybe opportunities that you don't even know about yet or don't even exist yet that you can tap into if you stick with something you're already interested in and engaged by. 

3.  In retail; being honest, on time, and dependable can be a lucrative set of skills.  Don't underestimate yourself, just because you don't like hard labor or cubicles. 

4.  First rule of retail, don't spend all your money on the product you're selling.  Spend it on the things that have real meaning in your life.  This is true if you sell clothes, ice cream, or Marijuana. 

Good luck, I wish you nothing but the best.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2406
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Agree that you need to be making more than $11/hour.  You said you get good benefits in your job, will they do tuition reimbursement, or spend money on additional training for you?  I think this forum has a high number of people in the IT industry, is there a reason why you can't do a bunch of free training online and look for a career change, or more training within your field? 

Really if you think about it, you do have a head start in life if you are living at home and get a reduced rent (or free rent).  I don't think there is shame in that.  When I graduated from college I lived at home for 2.5 years, then moved into a nice townhouse but with 5 other people.  I shared a room with my GF (now DW) and the split of our rent in the DC area was $750/month between the 2 of  us (plus utilities).  I had a decent job to start, making around $20/hour, but with staying at home and then reduced rent I was able to start maxing out 401k and Roth immediately at 23.  I still had a lot of student loans to pay off, but living at home and with roommates certainly was the head start that I needed.

I worked my butt off, picked up extra shifts, took on a 2nd job coaching and kept furthering my education and picked up promotions along the way.  If you are hard working and show that you are hard working then you will advance no matter what field you are in.  There are a lot of screw ups out there, and if you are willing to go the extra mile in your career early on it will make a huge difference, whether you stay in that field or change careers.

But getting ahead at $11/hour and not living in your parents place for free is going to be challenging.  I think you would have to go full MMM if you wanted to get ahead at your current hourly wage.  We go about half MMM (at best) and still do pretty well, we won't retire at 40, but 50 isn't a huge stretch.  Good luck!

Well thank you very much, right now I'm just inching along trying not to waste my money on coffee, weed, pizza, games, and other nonsense. I have thought about doing some kind of coding but I know that EVERYBODY is doing that, to be it seems like there is a "digital rush" and if I jump in I'll just be in a pool of other people who jumped in and so those skills really won't be worth much. Maybe I am wrong about that though. Currently, if I'm being honest, I am not hard working at all. I do the above minimum (most of the time) but any more than that and I feel like they're getting $15 effort for $11 pay, and I hate that thought so I try to just give them $11 worth of effort because that's what they're paying for. I still have so much to learn about 401ks too! Thank you so much

Don't do that.  The people who get raises and promotions are the ones who provide more than the bare minimum they are paid for.  That kind of effort comes across as desire and energy and a good work ethic, which is what employers are looking for. 

To put it another way, say your company has an entry-level management role available that pays $15/hr.  Therefore, they will look for someone who has demonstrated that s/he is worth at least $15/hr.  You have shown them that you are worth $11/hr.  So why should they even consider you?  You have already worked yourself out of a potential promotion before you even knew that opportunity existed!  If all you show your employer is that you are worth $11/hr, that is all they will ever pay you, because that is all they can see that your work is worth.*

Honestly, my impression from some of your responses -- and I really do mean this to try to be helpful -- is that your mindset is your own worst enemy.  You seem to have had any number of ideas, but you have talked yourself out of them.  It seems like you don't want to try unless you can be sure you'll succeed -- that you'll be the one who gets the job instead of losing it to all of the perceived competition; that the field will still exist and pay reasonably by the time you have the credentials you need to get hired; that you won't hate the work or feel like you went into debt for nothing; etc. etc. etc.  It's like there is part of your brain that wants more, but the other part of your brain keeps drowning it out with excuses to give up and stay put.**

The problem is that life is never certain.  Giving it your best shot doesn't mean you'll succeed, but not even trying means that failure is guaranteed.  You need to develop a little more confidence in yourself.  Not confidence that your first attempts will work -- confidence that you are strong enough to get back up and try again if they don't.  And the way you do that is just by trying something.  Because either it works, and your prove to yourself that you can do it; or it doesn't, and you see first-hand that the world didn't end and you are still ok.

*I don't know if your company does have any upward mobility.  Then again, neither do you; you have just assumed that it doesn't, or that if it does the pay will still suck.  But even if this company doesn't offer great opportunities, what I have described here is exactly how every other company you will ever interview with will think.

**Along these lines, I am not in any way an expert, but one of the known side effects of pot is a lack of motivation.  If you have been sampling the wares, could that be contributing to the way you are thinking about your opportunities?