Author Topic: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?  (Read 4051 times)

FuckRx

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How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« on: August 20, 2014, 06:11:46 PM »

I have a coworker who is a nurse. She is 21 years old. About to move to a new place where rent is 550/mo. She has a car, a truck, a common plan cell phone and commutes 10 minutes to work each day. She makes 36,000/year. She is a medical assistant. She has no savings.
She is planning later on to go and become an RN and would go from her current 20/hr probably closer to 45/hr.

So what would the math looks like for her to be able to be FIRE?

missj

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 11:57:37 PM »
If she works as  medical assistant through nursing school and is frugal she could MAYBE come out with zero debt and basically you would just figure starting with net worth of 0 and begin calculations with a future wage of $45.  Most likely she'd come out with at least $10-15k in student loan debt though (and that's if she goes to community college)

The situation is so vague but I'll give it a quick shot, since i may have an idea of what is reasonable.
 
I make a little less than $45 an hour and came out of school with $13,000 in debt. I graduated at 23 years old and immediately started working in my field.  I bought a house pretty quickly and saved  little bit in my first few years.  Right now I'm looking at being ABLE to retire at 47, however I will probably stick it out until age 51 because I get a whole bunch of extra perks from my company if I can make it that long (to my earliest official retirement date.)

If she's lucky and starts working full time right away she'll make $90,000 a year.  if she stays smart and frugal she can have her student loans paid off in 1 year. (It took me 3 because I bought a house and paid for a wedding in the meantime.  she might do the same)

either way, let's put her at 1 year post graduation with no debt and zero net worth earning 90,000 a year.

If she stays frugal and saves 50% of her take home pay, and the market beats inflation by 5% she can retire in 16.6 years
if she only saves 40% using the same conditions she'll retire in 21.6 years
if she only saves 30%, using the same conditions she can retire in 28 years
if she only saves 25% using the same conditions she can retire in 32 years.

all those "years" quoted above are added to whatever age she is when she achieves net worth of zero.  so if she is 28 before she has her loans from nursing school paid off and saves 50% then 28 + 16.6 = 44.6 years old

If she saves less than 25% she is basically looking at regular retirement, not early retirement. (assuming it takes her 5-6 years from right now to achieve a net worth of zero).
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 12:04:30 AM by missj »

MicroRN

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 04:11:19 PM »
Can she actually make $45 as a new grad RN in your area?  California is the only place I know of that new grads can make that much - and they have almost a 50% unemployment rate for new nurses.  Most areas, it's closer to $22-$30.  Seattle is about $25, D.C. about $35.  You can bump it up with shift differentials and overtime.  It's still usually decent wage for the area, but you need to look at realistic numbers.

FuckRx

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 04:14:52 PM »
I'm gonna ask her and find out, you're right, that might not be what she would start out at.

meadow lark

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 11:32:16 PM »
Wow - they have a 50% unemployment rate for new grads?  That sucks!

missj

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 11:48:21 PM »
I'm in the nurse's union in Portland Oregon (though I am not a nurse, we are just affiliated) but as such I can look up our pay scales which are transparent and available.

step 1 RNs (new grads) get $32.46 an hour
the highest step is $63.31 (which would be RN with advanced degree and 20+ years of service).

I know LPNs earn significantly less than RNs, so maybe that is what the poster was talking about who said $22 an hour.  Around here LPNs make $22 or more per hour and medical assistants and CNA IIs make $18-22 an hour.

I cannot remark as to the unemployment rate though.

FuckRx

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 12:16:39 AM »

So here are the details as far as pay. She would start making $38 which is what the new grad RN jobs are listed at in this particular medical group in Cali and it would be about $30/hr if it was other programs. In the first 9 months she would go up to $42. I know one of my old coworkers finished at $73/hr as an RN with 25 years under her belt.

But I don't know if the RN degree is as big of a deal because she would be making her current salary for a long time.

MicroRN

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 12:24:44 AM »
I was talking RN at $22/hr.  I started in a nursing home at $22.30, then moved to a hospital where the scale starts at $26.50, though I bump it to $35 with shift diff and pay-in-lieu of benefits.  I have friends in VA who started at $21 in a large hospital system.  One moved to rural SC, and made $18 as an RN (very LCOL area though, and she qualified for tuition payback for working in an underserved area).   

Oregon pays pretty decently compared to many areas.     

MicroRN

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 12:40:58 AM »
Wow - they have a 50% unemployment rate for new grads?  That sucks!

Oops, my number was exaggerated - it's 43% as of 2011.  I can't find any updated info on that. 

missj

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 01:24:47 PM »
I was talking RN at $22/hr.  I started in a nursing home at $22.30, then moved to a hospital where the scale starts at $26.50, though I bump it to $35 with shift diff and pay-in-lieu of benefits.  I have friends in VA who started at $21 in a large hospital system.  One moved to rural SC, and made $18 as an RN (very LCOL area though, and she qualified for tuition payback for working in an underserved area).   

Oregon pays pretty decently compared to many areas.   

I wonder how long ago you were paid $22 an hour starting out though- have you adjusted that for inflation?  When I came out of school I was paid $30 an hour and now 10 years later I make $43.31 with no additional certifications or degrees.

It may be that oregon pays higher than the national average. I am a dental hygienist with 10 years experience and I make $43.31 per hour and I think the national average is about $32 (And in Alabama they make like $20).  However, I also know that California and Alaska hygienists make the most coming in at about $50 an hour. 

It seems that the west coast in general pays higher for RN/RDH type careers.  We also have the highest competition for getting accepted to these programs (which makes sense since the wage is so high). So a lot of folks move to Texas or Oklahoma to attend RN/RDH school where it is less competitive and then move back to the west coast to earn the higher wage.

MicroRN

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Re: How/when could this nurse become FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 01:45:34 PM »
That was a little over a year ago for the nursing home, about 7 months for the hospital, so I'm pretty sure my numbers are current ;-)  Same goes for my classmates numbers.  I'm in WA, most of them are east coast. 

The national median wage for an RN is less than $32/hour, and that's going to include everyone from the new grads to the ones who've been nurses as long as I've been alive.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 01:51:05 PM by MicroRN »