Author Topic: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement  (Read 27552 times)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2016, 12:34:43 PM »
Extroverts are energized by being with people.  Introverts need the quiet recharge time by themselves.  But an introvert can certainly go out into a group of people and teach.  An introvert just needs to make sure the recharge time is there. 

Introvert isn't the same as shy.  I know lots of shy people who are still shy on the inside, but have learned to get out there and deal with the world.  Teaching gives you a controlled situation and a receptive audience.

I say this as a shy introvert.  I found a lot of my fellow science teachers were similar, we were into the sciences because we loved them, and then ended up teaching.  I have done all sorts of things in my life because I could speak in public, a skill I learned by teaching.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2016, 12:44:47 PM »
You need a plan for higher income that can be executed immediately.  If you honest-to-goodness do not have the skills to do some of your ideas, then those cannot be your immediate plans.

It seems to me that your major problem is lacking confidence and overcoming inertia.  How do you have a masters yet not have the skills to do tutoring for money?  I don't believe you don't have the skills.  You are just doubting yourself.  How do you expect to get a job by telling the employer that you have bad communication skills?  I'd be surprised if anyone would hire you if you tell them that because they probably have many more applicants who act with confidence (even if inside they are feeling shaky).  There's a reason why "fake it till you make it" is such popular advice -- many people, including you, just need to follow it!

ETA:  You may be grappling with impostor syndrome, which is something a TON of us experience at one time or another.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-dowdhiggins/impostor-syndrome_b_1651762.html
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 12:46:31 PM by LeRainDrop »

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2016, 03:24:07 PM »
You need a plan for higher income that can be executed immediately.  If you honest-to-goodness do not have the skills to do some of your ideas, then those cannot be your immediate plans.

It seems to me that your major problem is lacking confidence and overcoming inertia.  How do you have a masters yet not have the skills to do tutoring for money?  I don't believe you don't have the skills.  You are just doubting yourself.  How do you expect to get a job by telling the employer that you have bad communication skills?  I'd be surprised if anyone would hire you if you tell them that because they probably have many more applicants who act with confidence (even if inside they are feeling shaky).  There's a reason why "fake it till you make it" is such popular advice -- many people, including you, just need to follow it!

ETA:  You may be grappling with impostor syndrome, which is something a TON of us experience at one time or another.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-dowdhiggins/impostor-syndrome_b_1651762.html

Yes, I have that, but with good reason, I guess. I've been diagnosed with ASD (a form of high functioning autism) as an adult, and social conventions have seldom been intuitive. Lately, they feel like they have been, but this is a new development. I usually spend large portions of my day ruminating about the things I can't do right. I guess I should stop it, but people do sometimes remind me. I have a tendency to make more mistakes than most people and often just don't use "common sense," because I'm looking at the situation from only my perspective. As a result, I often come off as much less competent than I really am.

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2016, 04:17:57 PM »
You are thinking that other people know what they are doing. They don't, many people are faking it too. Social conventions are not intuitive, they are learned. There isn't some secret you aren't in on. If there are some specific social conventions you are struggling with you could try googling "why do people do x?"
I've come off as less competant than I am many times, its no big deal.
If someone gives you a look for doing something stupid, so what?
You say you are doing a lot of ruminating. This is called disordered thinking, and there are exercises you can do to fix it.

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2016, 04:33:51 PM »
You are thinking that other people know what they are doing. They don't, many people are faking it too. Social conventions are not intuitive, they are learned. There isn't some secret you aren't in on. If there are some specific social conventions you are struggling with you could try googling "why do people do x?"
I've come off as less competant than I am many times, its no big deal.
If someone gives you a look for doing something stupid, so what?
You say you are doing a lot of ruminating. This is called disordered thinking, and there are exercises you can do to fix it.

The whole field of "CBT" (cognitive behavioral therapy) is focused around this and is extremely well supported by studies. I notice you don't address every time the suggestion of counseling comes up, but seriously, please consider it. There are actual skills you can learn specifically around managing disordered thinking. It's not some "uselessly talk about your feelings with no goal or end period in mind ever". There are goals, there are tools, there is progress that you can measure. It isn't some fluffy nonsense- it is a science, with techniques that work. PLEASE look into it.

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2016, 04:56:21 PM »


The whole field of "CBT" (cognitive behavioral therapy) is focused around this and is extremely well supported by studies. I notice you don't address every time the suggestion of counseling comes up, but seriously, please consider it. There are actual skills you can learn specifically around managing disordered thinking. It's not some "uselessly talk about your feelings with no goal or end period in mind ever". There are goals, there are tools, there is progress that you can measure. It isn't some fluffy nonsense- it is a science, with techniques that work. PLEASE look into it.

I'm going to counseling now, but the counselor doesn't follow me home, so she has no way of knowing what's really going on. Even though CBT is supposed to be a series of logical steps to help me improve my thinking, it feels like the talk-about-your-feelings-with-me stuff that I feel like is unproductive. I think really good CBT would have the therapist mimicking the situations I'm likely to encounter in the real world and then walking me through the proper responses to them. Of course, that WILL NOT happen.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 04:58:17 PM by kmb501 »

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2016, 06:17:28 PM »
Nope, that's not going to happen, because there is no proper response to anything. You can imagine yourself in a situation so you can practice. But no one is going to reach in your brain and fix it for you.
The therapist might not be good for other reasons, that's why I recommended the book. I used to lose hours and days to ruminating, so I know what its like.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2016, 06:42:19 PM »
Admittedly I didn't read this whole thread and it sounds like you aren't keen on moving too far away. But if you have ASD and are interested in teaching ASD students, I'd suggest getting your special education endorsement. It's not a full masters and I think it takes a year at most. Up here in Alaska, the Anchorage school district is looking for 18 special education teachers including specifically as "Structured Learning (Autism) Teacher" at the high school level. I'm pretty sure starting salary for a resource room/special ed teacher is $52k, which, even with the high cost of living, is more than enough to make it as a single person. I know for a fact they recruit from out of state.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2016, 06:44:44 PM »
Exactly.  It's not like 2+2, where the only right answer is 4.  Lots of what all of us do every day is just making the best judgment call that we can at the time.  Sometimes it turns out to be great, sometimes just good, and other times we wish we could go back and change it.  Anyway, I agree with the others that CBT should be very helpful to you, and if you find that your counselor is not helping you to make progress, then perhaps it's time to find another therapist.

zephyr911

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2016, 07:48:25 PM »
This isn't midlife, but it's never too early to start.
Reinvesting in yourself is good at this point, if it means higher income later.
My NW didn't go positive for the last time until I was a few years older than you, and I'm still looking at mostly retiring by 39, but technical skills put my income a lot higher by 35. Still, you're in the driver's seat to a greater degree than you think. Just cut costs, work out some kind of housing hack and drive less, etc... it will all start to add up. Then when you learn/work your way to higher income, just keep saving the raises. Your current low income becomes an asset since you're used to living on less. Your savings rate goes thru the roof and you're free long before the lifetime high earners with their lifestyle creep. Win.

MayDay

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #60 on: October 05, 2016, 07:16:51 AM »
You are thinking that other people know what they are doing. They don't, many people are faking it too. Social conventions are not intuitive, they are learned. There isn't some secret you aren't in on. If there are some specific social conventions you are struggling with you could try googling "why do people do x?"
I've come off as less competant than I am many times, its no big deal.
If someone gives you a look for doing something stupid, so what?
You say you are doing a lot of ruminating. This is called disordered thinking, and there are exercises you can do to fix it.

This is a little tone deaf.  People without autism learn social conventions easily, just by experiencing and observing.  People with autism need much more direct instruction, it is considerably harder for them than for the general population.  It is exactly as though there is some secret that she isn't in on.

I think the thing you need to remember is that an ASD diagnosis with normal to above normal intelligence (which I assume you have due to college degrees, etc) still have about a 30% development delay that they need to catch up on.  For the typical person with ASD, this means they might spend their early to mid 20"s finishing the "teenager" process, and getting ready to launch into adulthood.  Sounds like you are just getting to that point- you are starting to feel more confident in your job!  That is great!  Its ok that it is taking you longer.

However, I do want to add to the chorus that you don't need to be and SHOULDN'T be doing this alone!  CBT is a great tool for people with autism, and it is likely that your teacher's insurance covers some visits to a therapist. 

I will ditto the advice to put yourself out there in some way- be that local tutoring, applying to neighboring districts, etc.  DO NOT qualify your phone call or application with negative things about yourself- every candidate has negative things.  You don't share those with potential employers!  But pick something to do this week to get you closer towards your goal.  And if you can't figure out what, make your thing be calling a therapist and setting up an appointment.

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #61 on: October 05, 2016, 12:58:40 PM »
I can see how I came off as tone deaf, and its true that I don't have asd. But I have struggled with all of the same things that the OP has struggled with.

For example, when coming across a stranger, a woman is supposed to smile. But I don't, I never will. It's just a convention, and I realized that the reason I looked away is because I felt insecure. I understand that being aware of a social conventions and not doing them are different than not knowing them at all.
But I want the OP to know that social conventions aren't that big of a deal, and I've said in a previous post that the American south puts a really big focus on social conventions where if you don't do them you are less of a woman, which in other parts of the country whether a woman smiles or not is not a big deal.

Lastly I want the OP to do the hard work of healing the root of the issue, which is low self esteem.

dkaid

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #62 on: October 05, 2016, 01:04:03 PM »
There was a great thread not so long ago about overcoming shyness.  Maybe I can track it down later.  The gist of it was that it can be done, but takes practice. 

Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2016, 07:30:39 AM »
If you don't feel like you are making progress in therapy, find a new therapist.  Ask your insurance for a list of local providers, call around, and ask how much experience they have with working with ASD clients.  Also ask questions about their approach, what sort of exercises they might do to help you deal with your anxiety about social cues, etc.  When you find someone that you thin "gets you", make an appointment.  You don't need to formally "break up" with your current therapist if that's too uncomfortable.  Just don't make another appointment.  It's okay to "ghost" a therapist, if that's what it takes to get you effective help.

hops

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2016, 10:09:18 AM »
OP, you might find this recent Washington Post article about autism and employment interesting:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/youre-autistic-you-know-you-can-do-a-good-job-but-will-employers-listen/2016/09/22/412956bc-4dca-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html

ASD complicates things (it certainly has for me) but doesn't make them impossible.

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #65 on: October 06, 2016, 10:12:11 AM »
I just wanted to add that I didn't start working on my emotional issues until I was 31.

zephyr911

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2016, 11:43:15 AM »
I just wanted to add that I didn't start working on my emotional issues until I was 31.
I went to Iraq, voluntarily, at 31, and in the process I dealt with a bunch of issues but came back with others. That lasted a year, and I didn't even really stabilize for a couple more. Here I am 38 and still taking stock of issues. If I know anything about issues and dealing with them, it's just this... don't give up. :)

MrsPete

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2016, 05:33:17 PM »
Today, I turned thirty. I've been working full-time for about $20,000 per year for one full year, and I've been finding a way to spend most of what I make.
How's this possible?  Here's a link that gives the starting pay for every state, and the lowest starting salary is 27K in Montana:  http://www.nea.org/home/2012-2013-average-starting-teacher-salary.html .  And that'd be for teaching a full day -- you say you're teaching a regular class schedule PLUS a night class.  Perhaps you're not in the public sector?  Private schools pay much less than public schools. 

The TPT idea is good, but I can't really think of a completely original idea yet. Most of the stuff I use is free from the internet.
I could have stood up and told my cooperating teacher point-blank, "No, I don't know this. Is anyone willing to teach it to me?" Instead, though, I accepted that I "should have known how to teach" (even though no one taught me) and floundered during student teaching.
Okay, I'm going to sound horrible here, but these two things are huge red flags, and as a fellow teacher, these statements make me wonder whether you're for teaching.  I say it because I've seen it personally over the years in some of my younger co-workers (3 out of 5 teachers leave within their first 5 years).  I definitely learned "how to teach" in college, and I left student teaching still inexperienced but solidly ready for my own classroom.  People who "floundered" in student teaching often aren't cut out for this job. 

Similarly, if you're taking all your ideas from the internet and don't know how to write your own lesson plans /your own curriculum, you missed some big concepts in college classes.  I've known a couple teachers who couldn't plan their own classes -- yes, they piece together this and that from the internet and beg lessons from other teachers ('til they catch on and start saying no), and those are people who are poorly suited for the job -- they don't stay long. 

If my assessment is wrong, I apologize; however, if you recognize yourself in these statements, get out now and put your efforts into something else. 

If you're determined to stay in teaching, I have a couple suggestions for honing your craft:

- Ask permission to observe your fellow teachers' classes.  Take note of how they teach and manage their classes.  Use what you learn to perfect your own teaching style. 
- Take time to evaluate your lessons each day.  What worked well for you and why?  Only by evaluating what worked well can you improve yourself.

People are often stuck because they are under the illusion that if they think of an idea they can become unstuck. The ideas are there, in this thread and any previous one you may have put out there. The ideas aren't the problem. The action is. Act on the idea. Don't think about the hurdles. Act and if you encounter a hurdle act to move past it.
Totally agree -- but waiting for an idea isn't the only thing that holds people back.  It can be, Things'll be better after I'm married.  Things'll be better after I move.  Things'll be better once I'm out of this apartment and in my own house.  Things'll be better once the kids are out of diapers.  Things'll be better once the kids are all in school. 

You can't wait for a perfect moment.  Make something happen now.  And I think that's a new and different job.

It can be tough breaking out of your comfort zone.  Before you were scared of teaching overseas, now you didn't mention that.  Did you get over that?
Something to consider about teaching overseas:  If you leave the US teaching system, you lose years working towards your pension, and if you leave/return later, it's quite possible that the pension system may have ended ... and you'll come back in as a "new hire" ineligible for a pension. 

I'm not saying this should be your #1 consideration, but the pension is one of the biggest positives of teaching. 

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #68 on: October 06, 2016, 06:00:27 PM »


I'm not saying this should be your #1 consideration, but the pension is one of the biggest positives of teaching.

It has a lot smaller impact for the early retiree than for 99% of teachers.

For many early retirees it seems more like golden handcuffs than anything.  Seems like a lot of teachers on here hit FI but keep teaching (despite wanting to FIRE) cause it's only X (usually about five, plus or minus a few) years to the pension and they just "can't leave that much money on the table."

OP is a single year in, and possibly not even being vested in a pension based on the info given. Messing up their pension shouldn't be a major consideration at this time.

For someone with a decade in, it's a good consideration though. :)

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MrsPete

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #69 on: October 06, 2016, 06:06:17 PM »


I'm not saying this should be your #1 consideration, but the pension is one of the biggest positives of teaching.

It has a lot smaller impact for the early retiree than for 99% of teachers.

For many early retirees it seems more like golden handcuffs than anything.  Seems like a lot of teachers on here hit FI but keep teaching (despite wanting to FIRE) cause it's only X (usually about five, plus or minus a few) years to the pension and they just "can't leave that much money on the table."

OP is a single year in, and possibly not even being vested in a pension based on the info given. Messing up their pension shouldn't be a major consideration at this time.

For someone with a decade in, it's a good consideration though. :)
I totally agree it'd be reasonable to walk away with so little "time put in", but I also think it's wise to consider every aspect of your career choice -- and I find that many of my teacher co-workers don't think too much about their pension /retirement.  I'm thinking of one who told me, as if it were a great secret, that our pension is LESS THAN our paychecks.  Um, yeah.  I knew that; the formula is easy to find on the internet. And I've known several teachers who've moved to another state without realizing that this means starting all over again in a new system as far as pensions are concerned. 

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #70 on: October 06, 2016, 06:08:21 PM »


I'm not saying this should be your #1 consideration, but the pension is one of the biggest positives of teaching.

It has a lot smaller impact for the early retiree than for 99% of teachers.

For many early retirees it seems more like golden handcuffs than anything.  Seems like a lot of teachers on here hit FI but keep teaching (despite wanting to FIRE) cause it's only X (usually about five, plus or minus a few) years to the pension and they just "can't leave that much money on the table."

OP is a single year in, and possibly not even being vested in a pension based on the info given. Messing up their pension shouldn't be a major consideration at this time.

For someone with a decade in, it's a good consideration though. :)
I totally agree it'd be reasonable to walk away with so little "time put in", but I also think it's wise to consider every aspect of your career choice -- and I find that many of my teacher co-workers don't think too much about their pension /retirement.  I'm thinking of one who told me, as if it were a great secret, that our pension is LESS THAN our paychecks.  Um, yeah.  I knew that; the formula is easy to find on the internet. And I've known several teachers who've moved to another state without realizing that this means starting all over again in a new system as far as pensions are concerned.

Yeah, teachers seem to be bad with money, in general.

Or at least no better than the average American (who is bad), which you'd expect or hope they would be.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #71 on: October 06, 2016, 08:12:51 PM »
Here's more information:

I work as a teacher for a private company that works with the state. Yes, the pay is lower than you might expect.
There's a 401K plan, but I don't know if that's the same as a pension.
I mentioned already that, perhaps until very recently, I was plagued with a social communication disorder that made everyday tasks a bit difficult.
Just recently, upon turning thirty, I've noticed marked improvement in both my communication and organization skills. I didn't have these sharp skills when I started out.
I know how to plan lessons, but I often find myself short on materials. Internet resources are a life-saver!

pbkmaine

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Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #72 on: October 06, 2016, 08:18:00 PM »
A 401(k) is a pretax savings plan for retirement. It is called a 401(k) because that's the section of the Internal Revenue Code where the rules governing it occur. Does your company match any part of your contribution?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 08:19:32 PM by pbkmaine »

Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2016, 12:15:23 AM »
Here's more information:

I work as a teacher for a private company that works with the state. Yes, the pay is lower than you might expect.
There's a 401K plan, but I don't know if that's the same as a pension.
I mentioned already that, perhaps until very recently, I was plagued with a social communication disorder that made everyday tasks a bit difficult.
Just recently, upon turning thirty, I've noticed marked improvement in both my communication and organization skills. I didn't have these sharp skills when I started out.
I know how to plan lessons, but I often find myself short on materials. Internet resources are a life-saver!

So what/where are you teaching?  In a private school?  Kids or adults?  Is it typical workweek hours? (M-F, during the day?)

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2016, 02:53:09 AM »

So what/where are you teaching?  In a private school?  Kids or adults?  Is it typical workweek hours? (M-F, during the day?)


Let's call it a private school. I work at a youth center, but the teachers are hired and paid by a separate company; they are not working for the state. I'm working with teenagers. It's 7-3 during the day five days a week.

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #75 on: October 07, 2016, 03:19:47 AM »

So what/where are you teaching?  In a private school?  Kids or adults?  Is it typical workweek hours? (M-F, during the day?)


Let's call it a private school. I work at a youth center, but the teachers are hired and paid by a separate company; they are not working for the state. I'm working with teenagers. It's 7-3 during the day five days a week.

Why don't you get a full teaching job?  You have the background and degrees for it.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #76 on: October 07, 2016, 03:46:57 AM »

Why don't you get a full teaching job?  You have the background and degrees for it.

I haven't been able to find one. I think this particular area has more qualified teachers than it has positions.

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #77 on: October 07, 2016, 04:11:04 AM »

Why don't you get a full teaching job?  You have the background and degrees for it.

I haven't been able to find one. I think this particular area has more qualified teachers than it has positions.

Did you make those calls to the nearby states?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Pigeon

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #78 on: October 07, 2016, 07:28:39 AM »
I will echo what many others  have said.  You are ludicrously underpaid.  I would bet you wouldn't have to move far (if at all) to find a better paid teaching job.   You shouldn't need to move to an entirely different country or start your own business.  Both of those things are much more complex that finding a different, better paid job relatively locally.  While the job market for teachers and most other professions is regional, I suspect that it will be more fruitful to hone your job search skills and aim for a full time job in a real public school.

I have a nephew with ASD, so I know a little bit about it.

I think you also need a new therapist, particularly if your insurance will cover it.  CBT should be helpful to someone in your situation, and it's not vague, endless talk therapy.  It should provide you with different and concrete ways of thinking about problems which would be very helpful to you.  It is also possible that you might benefit from anti-anxiety medication and a good doctor should help evaluate that.  While it is natural to want to avoid unnecessary medication, sometimes it is needed.

You should also start reading about how to successfully job hunt.  It is true that you have a disability and that may need to be discussed with a potential employer.  However, it is not a good strategy to start contacting people and off the bat telling them that you have difficulty in communicating and highlighting your areas of weakness.  People hiring teachers are going to be disinclined to employ teachers with a self-proclaimed problem with communication, since communication is such a vital part of teaching.  Employers tend not to want to hire people who wave red flags about their shortcomings, since that means the employer will feel they need to spend a lot of time and effort dealing with the shortcomings.  You will need to learn to put your best foot forward in the job search process.

rubybeth

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #79 on: October 07, 2016, 07:59:08 AM »


The whole field of "CBT" (cognitive behavioral therapy) is focused around this and is extremely well supported by studies. I notice you don't address every time the suggestion of counseling comes up, but seriously, please consider it. There are actual skills you can learn specifically around managing disordered thinking. It's not some "uselessly talk about your feelings with no goal or end period in mind ever". There are goals, there are tools, there is progress that you can measure. It isn't some fluffy nonsense- it is a science, with techniques that work. PLEASE look into it.

I'm going to counseling now, but the counselor doesn't follow me home, so she has no way of knowing what's really going on. Even though CBT is supposed to be a series of logical steps to help me improve my thinking, it feels like the talk-about-your-feelings-with-me stuff that I feel like is unproductive. I think really good CBT would have the therapist mimicking the situations I'm likely to encounter in the real world and then walking me through the proper responses to them. Of course, that WILL NOT happen.

I haven't read this whole thread, but you're wrong, and I think you need a new therapist. Find someone who specializes in ASD or communication. I would also suggest looking into working with speech language pathologist, not for speech, but for communication. My sister is a speech language pathologist and many of her students (she works in a high school) have ASD and she works with them on scenarios just like you describe. She once helped a kid become better at small talk. Literally, he said he had problems with making small talk, and she devised strategies to help him practice (she acted like the worst conversation partner ever, so he had to compensate). He became a pretty popular kid to talk to after she worked with him. He reported having many new friends who told him he was easy to talk to!

I also definitely understand not wanting to move far from your support system. If you aren't willing to do that, at least work on brushing up your resume and applying for better paying jobs in your area. If the market is saturated, you'll need to really stand out--write an amazing cover letter, make your resume is perfect, and keep applying.

MrsPete

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #80 on: October 07, 2016, 08:29:45 AM »
Here's more information:

I work as a teacher for a private company that works with the state. Yes, the pay is lower than you might expect.
There's a 401K plan, but I don't know if that's the same as a pension.
I mentioned already that, perhaps until very recently, I was plagued with a social communication disorder that made everyday tasks a bit difficult.
Just recently, upon turning thirty, I've noticed marked improvement in both my communication and organization skills. I didn't have these sharp skills when I started out.
I know how to plan lessons, but I often find myself short on materials. Internet resources are a life-saver!
In a nutshell -- glossing over details, but 401K and pension are not the same thing:
- 401k:  Deposit pre-tax money into an account ... you cannot touch it 'til you're 59 1/2 (right age?) ... the amount is up to you, but the more you deposit, the more you have for your retirement
- Pension:  Your employer takes X amount from your check, invests it ... after working X number of years, you get a reduced paycheck for the rest of your life

I've always been moderately shy (I know, not the same thing you're describing), and that's become easier for me as I've grown older.  I think this is normal. 

As you talk about lesson plans, that red flag is growing larger and is waving more furiously.  I always have more materials than I can possibly fit into a day, a week, a semester. 


I haven't been able to find one. I think this particular area has more qualified teachers than it has positions.
I clearly remember my college professor saying to our student teaching group and saying point-blank:  "If you don't make an A+ in student teaching, you will not get a job in the public school system."  The OP says she -- was floundered the word? -- in student teaching, and after searching, she's found this private teaching gig.  In my area anyway, there is a feeling of, "Oh, private school was all you could get?  Hmmm, I need to read this application very thoroughly."   I think it's time to look at other strengths and other options. 

I haven't been able to find one. I think this particular area has more qualified teachers than it has positions.
But this isn't true all over the US.  We have a definite shortage in the South.  Of course, we also have considerably lower wages. 

Off-topic:  You know now that your area is flooded with teachers.  If you change to a new career, look into the availability of jobs before you spend time/money on training. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #81 on: October 07, 2016, 02:03:19 PM »
It may help the other commenters with some context to know that kmb501 has started many other threads here, over time, asking for job advice.  Here are the links to those threads from 2016:

-- Started August 14, 2016: Is this a good idea? re idea to get a van, make it into a five-star camper, and rent it out to people who want to enjoy the local beaches and recreational parks on the weekend

-- Started June 5, 2016: P2P investing on a teacher's salary

-- Started May 4, 2016: Can you legitimately make money with a blog?  If so, how could I get started?  She also tells us, "I work at a detention center, and before this I worked as a substitute teacher in sometimes pretty rough schools. . . . I also work as an ESL teacher part-time."

-- Started April 1, 2016: Probably about to Lose My Job...  She tells us, "I've been working at a detention center and making a decent teacher's salary. I've been there for about a year, but I've recently found out that my boss may not be renewing my contract. I might need to start looking for another job. I have a master's degree in Education and ESL and a bachelor's in ELA, but I have a personality that most kids can't stand. I'm picky to a fault, and it's difficult for me to converse freely and show my emotions. I'm a nice person, but it either doesn't translate at all or the kids know it and take advantage of it. I haven't figured out which yet, but I know sometimes I deal with ridiculous behavior problems, and I don't really know what to do about it. The aspects of the job I love are the creativity, freedom, and flexibility teachers have with lesson planning and delivery. The aspects of the job I hate are having to deal with the whims of children and adults all day and getting so frustrated that I can't even communicate my feelings. . . . What works for me are one-on-one sessions with older mature teens and adults with good manners who want to learn."

-- Started February 27, 2016: What else could I do with these degrees?  She says, "Teaching is actually pretty difficult, and I feel like I don't do a very good job. I feel like my bosses know it but just don't say anything. I want to move on and find my calling."

-- Started February 27, 2016: Considering going carless...  She raises the idea of leasing a new car and becoming an Uber driver.

-- Started January 30, 2016: Tips for mastering a foreign language with self study?  She says, "I want to become fluent in French or Spanish so that I can become a French or Spanish instructor."

-- Started January 13, 2016: Attacking Debt--suggestions?  She says, "I do want to go back to school, though. I really wanted to try to get into law or vet school."

-- Started January 2, 2016: Why can't I save more money?  She tells us that she "dreams of becomming a reality TV star."

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #82 on: October 07, 2016, 03:43:20 PM »
It may help the other commenters with some context to know that kmb501 has started many other threads here, over time, asking for job advice.  Here are the links to those threads from 2016:

-- Started August 14, 2016: Is this a good idea? re idea to get a van, make it into a five-star camper, and rent it out to people who want to enjoy the local beaches and recreational parks on the weekend

-- Started June 5, 2016: P2P investing on a teacher's salary

-- Started May 4, 2016: Can you legitimately make money with a blog?  If so, how could I get started?  She also tells us, "I work at a detention center, and before this I worked as a substitute teacher in sometimes pretty rough schools. . . . I also work as an ESL teacher part-time."

-- Started April 1, 2016: Probably about to Lose My Job...  She tells us, "I've been working at a detention center and making a decent teacher's salary. I've been there for about a year, but I've recently found out that my boss may not be renewing my contract. I might need to start looking for another job. I have a master's degree in Education and ESL and a bachelor's in ELA, but I have a personality that most kids can't stand. I'm picky to a fault, and it's difficult for me to converse freely and show my emotions. I'm a nice person, but it either doesn't translate at all or the kids know it and take advantage of it. I haven't figured out which yet, but I know sometimes I deal with ridiculous behavior problems, and I don't really know what to do about it. The aspects of the job I love are the creativity, freedom, and flexibility teachers have with lesson planning and delivery. The aspects of the job I hate are having to deal with the whims of children and adults all day and getting so frustrated that I can't even communicate my feelings. . . . What works for me are one-on-one sessions with older mature teens and adults with good manners who want to learn."

-- Started February 27, 2016: What else could I do with these degrees?  She says, "Teaching is actually pretty difficult, and I feel like I don't do a very good job. I feel like my bosses know it but just don't say anything. I want to move on and find my calling."

-- Started February 27, 2016: Considering going carless...  She raises the idea of leasing a new car and becoming an Uber driver.

-- Started January 30, 2016: Tips for mastering a foreign language with self study?  She says, "I want to become fluent in French or Spanish so that I can become a French or Spanish instructor."

-- Started January 13, 2016: Attacking Debt--suggestions?  She says, "I do want to go back to school, though. I really wanted to try to get into law or vet school."

-- Started January 2, 2016: Why can't I save more money?  She tells us that she "dreams of becomming a reality TV star."

Yeah, I've been all over the place with these threads. I just feel so stuck here. If I didn't feel like it could turn out to be such a disaster, I would have left this area to look for fresh opportunities years ago. At this point, though, I just feel like I'm running out of time to make my mark on the world or even set myself up for a good life later on.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #83 on: October 07, 2016, 03:48:14 PM »
Yeah, I've been all over the place with these threads. I just feel so stuck here. If I didn't feel like it could turn out to be such a disaster, I would have left this area to look for fresh opportunities years ago. At this point, though, I just feel like I'm running out of time to make my mark on the world or even set myself up for a good life later on.

You are still just 30 years old, so there's plenty of time for you to restructure, make your mark, and have a very good life!  You just need to figure out what your next action will be and then follow through on it.  Combine that with a good CBT therapist, and you will be well on track for advancement.

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #84 on: October 07, 2016, 04:01:18 PM »
Look at how far you've come since your posts in January OP! I can see in your writing that you've gotten a lot more focused. And its never too late for anything. There was once a post here about a guy who was 50 who was just starting to get his finances together.

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #85 on: October 07, 2016, 05:39:29 PM »
Yeah, I've been all over the place with these threads. I just feel so stuck here. If I didn't feel like it could turn out to be such a disaster, I would have left this area to look for fresh opportunities years ago.

You're clearly struggling where you're at though, so moving seems like the reasonable thing to try.  Could it go poorly? Sure. 

But you seem to have bought into the idea that failure is a bad thing.  Trying, and failing, is the best way to get to eventually success.  Sitting doing nothing, like you currently are, is a guaranteed losing strategy.

Go take a job a state over, and move with the idea that if you fail, you'll have learned something, grown as a person, and will be ready to try again; that "failing" would be no big deal.

Get the idea that "it could go poorly, and that's the worst thing in the world" out of your head.

Quote
At this point, though, I just feel like I'm running out of time to make my mark on the world or even set myself up for a good life later on.

At this point in life, you shouldn't wory about "making your mark."  You're struggling to merely stay afloat.  You should work on setting yourself up into a stable, and happy, situation.

You can worry about a legacy later.  You have plenty of time.  Google for information on people who succeeded when they were older.

I'm not just saying this as an example of something you could do, I think you should go spend twenty minutes right now reading a few of these articles: https://www.google.com/search?q=people+who+succeeded+older&pws=0&gl=us&gws_rd=cr

Use that to help get the idea that you must "succeed" by 35 (or whatever) out of your head.

Don't worry about "making your mark," for now.  Work on getting a steady job that pays at least commensurate to your qualifications.  That's enough, for now.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

pbkmaine

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #86 on: October 07, 2016, 05:54:08 PM »
I think the point all of us are trying to make is that you need to DO SOMETHING. Sitting and ruminating until you figure out the perfect path won't work. No path is perfect. There's a line from Goethe's Faust, translated by John Anster:

"What you can do or dream you can, begin it
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it..."


Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #87 on: October 08, 2016, 03:50:43 AM »
If you go to school for 4 years, you'll be 34 when you graduate.  If you don't go to school, you'll still be 34 in that time, and instead of having training for a new job, you'll be more or less where you are now.  That said, just blindly going back to school because you want something different is not a smart plan.  It can be a good idea if you have a vision and a focus and school is part of the path to get you there.  I'm hesitant to suggest yet another thing for you to consider, but maybe looking at job options where you don't really have to deal with people might be worth some brain time, since that seems to be your primary struggle.

It seems like teaching isn't for you.  You struggled to graduate, struggled to find a mainstream teaching job, and then struggled to keep the non-mainstream job you did find.  Is there a good reason to think that a different teaching job will be different for you?  That some fresh start doing more or less the same thing (and thus, not really a fresh start) is going to magically make you a great teacher who feels comfortable and confident at the front of a classroom and building lessons?

The more I read your old threads, the more I think that the "something" you need to do involves finding something other than teaching.  Yes, you might eat up some time training for and then finding a new job and working your way up.  But it doesn't seem terribly likely that you are going to flourish as a teacher, so you might still eat up that time.  And frankly, it doesn't seem like you enjoy teaching, either.  So what's keeping you in the field?  The time and money you've dedicated to breaking in to it?  Those are sunk costs. 

 

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #88 on: October 08, 2016, 06:36:01 AM »
If you go to school for 4 years, you'll be 34 when you graduate.  If you don't go to school, you'll still be 34 in that time, and instead of having training for a new job, you'll be more or less where you are now.  That said, just blindly going back to school because you want something different is not a smart plan.  It can be a good idea if you have a vision and a focus and school is part of the path to get you there.  I'm hesitant to suggest yet another thing for you to consider, but maybe looking at job options where you don't really have to deal with people might be worth some brain time, since that seems to be your primary struggle.

It seems like teaching isn't for you.  You struggled to graduate, struggled to find a mainstream teaching job, and then struggled to keep the non-mainstream job you did find.  Is there a good reason to think that a different teaching job will be different for you?  That some fresh start doing more or less the same thing (and thus, not really a fresh start) is going to magically make you a great teacher who feels comfortable and confident at the front of a classroom and building lessons?

The more I read your old threads, the more I think that the "something" you need to do involves finding something other than teaching.  Yes, you might eat up some time training for and then finding a new job and working your way up.  But it doesn't seem terribly likely that you are going to flourish as a teacher, so you might still eat up that time.  And frankly, it doesn't seem like you enjoy teaching, either.  So what's keeping you in the field?  The time and money you've dedicated to breaking in to it?  Those are sunk costs.

Mainly, at this point, I just need money, and it's the highest paying job I'm specifically qualified for, despite the downsides.

I'm planning to retrain, but paying out of pocket for more school is expensive, and I can only afford one or two courses per semester. At that rate, I'll probably be closer to 40 before I finish.

Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #89 on: October 08, 2016, 06:53:13 AM »
If you go to school for 4 years, you'll be 34 when you graduate.  If you don't go to school, you'll still be 34 in that time, and instead of having training for a new job, you'll be more or less where you are now.  That said, just blindly going back to school because you want something different is not a smart plan.  It can be a good idea if you have a vision and a focus and school is part of the path to get you there.  I'm hesitant to suggest yet another thing for you to consider, but maybe looking at job options where you don't really have to deal with people might be worth some brain time, since that seems to be your primary struggle.

It seems like teaching isn't for you.  You struggled to graduate, struggled to find a mainstream teaching job, and then struggled to keep the non-mainstream job you did find.  Is there a good reason to think that a different teaching job will be different for you?  That some fresh start doing more or less the same thing (and thus, not really a fresh start) is going to magically make you a great teacher who feels comfortable and confident at the front of a classroom and building lessons?

The more I read your old threads, the more I think that the "something" you need to do involves finding something other than teaching.  Yes, you might eat up some time training for and then finding a new job and working your way up.  But it doesn't seem terribly likely that you are going to flourish as a teacher, so you might still eat up that time.  And frankly, it doesn't seem like you enjoy teaching, either.  So what's keeping you in the field?  The time and money you've dedicated to breaking in to it?  Those are sunk costs.

Mainly, at this point, I just need money, and it's the highest paying job I'm specifically qualified for, despite the downsides.

I'm planning to retrain, but paying out of pocket for more school is expensive, and I can only afford one or two courses per semester. At that rate, I'll probably be closer to 40 before I finish.

You're only making 20k/yr.  There a jobs out there that don't require even an undergrad degree, much less a masters, and pay more than that.  MMM did a post on a bunch of those jobs a while back. 

You are doing both yourself and your students a great disservice if you stick with teaching when you don't really want to be there.

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #90 on: October 09, 2016, 06:12:25 PM »
There's no right or wrong answer in terms of what kind of work you do, but I wanted to mention that when I was posting looking for help a few years ago I hated my job, and considered doing something else. But I decided to stay in the field and get a different job that is somewhat better.

rubybeth

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2016, 03:46:59 PM »
I am very curious what state you're in, and if you could potentially look at commuting some distance for work while still staying somewhat near to your family/support system and even stay living where you are, at least until you feel more comfortable moving closer. For example, if you're in a small town, what's the next nearest larger town/city where you could drive for work? Target those areas for job searches. With a masters degree making $20k a year, you're absolutely underemployed. At the very least, could you find a part time job that pays $20k annually that would give you more free time to pick up a second job like evening ESL tutoring?

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #92 on: October 11, 2016, 01:00:02 AM »
I am very curious what state you're in, and if you could potentially look at commuting some distance for work while still staying somewhat near to your family/support system and even stay living where you are, at least until you feel more comfortable moving closer. For example, if you're in a small town, what's the next nearest larger town/city where you could drive for work? Target those areas for job searches. With a masters degree making $20k a year, you're absolutely underemployed. At the very least, could you find a part time job that pays $20k annually that would give you more free time to pick up a second job like evening ESL tutoring?

I do both right now, full-time teaching during the day and part-time ESL teaching. It brings in about 20K per year.

I could move to another state, or I could move to one of the school districts closer to the water, I guess. They pay more and have better schools, but I've gotten the idea that it's not easy to get a job just starting out. Their substitute teaching positions pay about as much as I'm making now as a full-time employee, though. Until I relocate, that would also be a long commute. Plus, since they have a small school system, I would not be guaranteed a job. At least where I work now offers health benefits, full health benefits. I would lose that if I had to do part-time work again, and I'm likely to get hired as a long-term sub first so that they can "try me out." That's what happened at this job.   

I live in Mobile, AL currently. I don't really like it here. It's not a big city, but it's not a small town, and it has a surprisingly large cluster of inner-city schools for its size, and with all of those schools comes all of the drama typically associated with inner-city schools, kids carrying drugs and weapons to school, high drop-out rates, and high general crime, not to mention the teachers are underpaid and underappreciated. Those schools pay better than where I am, though. I work at a youth center where teenagers (and sometimes younger children) are sent for crimes that range from truancy to assault with a deadly weapon.  The state doesn't pay the teachers; we are paid by a private company.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 01:14:03 AM by kmb501 »

Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #93 on: October 11, 2016, 05:43:22 AM »
How are you working both full and part time and only making $20k?  Is the full time job only 9 months?  Is that $20k after taxes?

JG in Hangzhou

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #94 on: October 11, 2016, 05:58:26 AM »
Today, I turned thirty. I've been working full-time for about $20,000 per year for one full year, and I've been finding a way to spend most of what I make.

Here's my advice.  And I am serious, assuming you have no kids and no spouse.

Move to China.  Teach English for 2 to 3 years.  Living cheap in China is easy, even in some of the new, beautiful cities, like Hangzhou, where I live.  Teachers get paid about 2-3K a month, with is the same or more than you are getting.  Breakfast cost $1.  Dinner out can be as low as $3 (and it's not unhealthy or undersized).   Most people find they can save at least 30% of what they make and if you get a side job you can save 50%.  Use the time to learn Chinese, make new friends and think about what you want to do when you go back. 

Most English teachers in China do not have a teaching degree.  Some have not even finished college.  I have even met some older adults that may not have finished high school.  You might have to get a certification (TEFL) but this can be easily done in a few months through an internet course.  If you can show up to work on time, talk in English, and behave within the local social norms, you can do it.

If you decide to take my advice, feel free to PM me, and I'll get you some help getting connected with a school here.

lhamo

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #95 on: October 11, 2016, 08:33:25 AM »
kmb501, please follow up with JG in Hangzhou's generous offer. Hangzhou is one of the nicest cities in China.  With your MA in TESL you will be well qualified for legitimate jobs there.   

pbkmaine

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #96 on: October 11, 2016, 08:58:52 AM »
kmb501, please follow up with JG in Hangzhou's generous offer. Hangzhou is one of the nicest cities in China.  With your MA in TESL you will be well qualified for legitimate jobs there.

DO THIS! No buts or objections. Just take the first step.


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mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #97 on: October 11, 2016, 10:33:37 AM »
Was there some particular reason you can't apply for public school jobs in Mobile? You seem concerned about crime, but you work for a truancy center... Once you get into public school you can transfer somewhere nicer. This is the easiest and clearest path. Getting a public teaching job in Mobile is going to be easier than moving to another state or country.

Shwaa

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #98 on: October 11, 2016, 12:31:15 PM »
When I was 30 years old I had about $800 to my name and 0 retirement savings. At the time I think I was making about 30k a year.  Now at 41 I am much better off retirement wise, but I always regret not only starting late (I started at 30) but also not contributing much the first half of my 30's.

Point is it's not too late but you need to make some changes obviously, to get on the right track.

Good luck

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #99 on: October 11, 2016, 03:14:01 PM »
How are you working both full and part time and only making $20k?  Is the full time job only 9 months?  Is that $20k after taxes?

The 20K is just an estimate. It may actually be around 25K. The monthly pay I get for my part-time job varies. I make about $20 per hour (on paper), but I don't get all of my hours if no students show up, so that income has been variable. At my full-time job, I bring home about $1600 per month, but if I work during summer vacation, I get paid double for a few weeks to balance it out.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 03:22:47 PM by kmb501 »