Author Topic: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement  (Read 27591 times)

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #100 on: October 11, 2016, 04:46:48 PM »
Most English teachers in China do not have a teaching degree.  Some have not even finished college.

Indeed.

Your worry about being inadequate for overseas work, kmb, should be much assuaged with this information.
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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Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #101 on: October 12, 2016, 12:21:07 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?

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.

You get paid $1600/mo for full-time work?  So you are making about $10/hr?  With a master's degree?  You could probably make more selling shoes at Nordstrom. 

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #102 on: October 12, 2016, 01:29:57 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?

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.

You get paid $1600/mo for full-time work?  So you are making about $10/hr?  With a master's degree?  You could probably make more selling shoes at Nordstrom.

Maybe so, but I do get full health benefits. Teachers are not really paid what they are worth. Substitute teaching pays even less, though. As a sub, I would be looking at about $90 per day distributed every month over a 20-day pay period, with no health benefits and no guarantee of regular work (on paper that looks like more than I'm making now, but with unpaid holidays, taxes, and sometimes infrequent work my sub wages averaged out to about $1000 per month). If I tried for another teaching job, chances are I would start out as a long-term substitute.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 01:45:11 AM by kmb501 »

expatartist

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #103 on: October 12, 2016, 03:17:02 AM »
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.

JG that's really kind of you. It's often the case that those of us who don't fit in back home can feel more comfortable overseas, where being different is expected. It can feel liberating, but it's not for everyone. Also, Beijing has tightened up requirements significantly for work visas, so those without uni degrees are no longer welcome. You really don't want to work in China without a work visa. It's a great recipe for getting screwed over. OP's qualifications however should land him/her a great position, and you can use that leverage - and genuine overseas experience - for salary and status gains if/when you return to the US.

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.   

I would qualify that with "Nice for China". Hangzhou's a nice city, has charming bits, good street food, relatively low pollution (for China), but still comes with the usual crud that comes with any China adventure: dodgy food, really dodgy meat, crassness of daily life, corruption and ripoffs small and large, etc.

Anyway OP it sounds like you want a change. There are lots of options provided here. Time to take action :)

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #104 on: October 12, 2016, 04:33:02 AM »


I would qualify that with "Nice for China". Hangzhou's a nice city, has charming bits, good street food, relatively low pollution (for China), but still comes with the usual crud that comes with any China adventure: dodgy food, really dodgy meat, crassness of daily life, corruption and ripoffs small and large, etc.

Anyway OP it sounds like you want a change. There are lots of options provided here. Time to take action :)

Okay, but where do I look, and are you sure I won't still need a TEFL certificate? Surprisingly, most places want a TEFL certificate, because they are recognized internationally. An M.Ed in TEFL is great for the states, but the people who interviewed me wanted me to have a TEFL certificate. I think my bigger issue, though, would be actually getting there. The places I contacted would not pay for my trip up there, so that's $5000 I would need to save up--$2500 to fly there and $2500 to fly back--just to get a face-to-face interview. I wasn't sure that was something I wanted to do.

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #105 on: October 12, 2016, 05:42:59 AM »
You interview online for these positions, not in person.

And all the good ones pay flights (not for an interview, but once you accept). You may be looking at the wrong ones.
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.

JG in Hangzhou

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #106 on: October 12, 2016, 06:03:47 AM »
The places I contacted would not pay for my trip up there, so that's $5000 I would need to save up--$2500 to fly there and $2500 to fly back--just to get a face-to-face interview. I wasn't sure that was something I wanted to do.

Now I think you are just trolling. Almost every school here pays for the flight (and return) in exchange for a contract that you will work for at least a year.  By law, they have to when they get you Visa.

I know this because I actually own two schools and know many other school owners here. 

From your responses you seem smart enough to respond to everyone but not smart enough to do anything.   Seems like you are just churning us, so I will not follow this anymore.

[Mod Edit: Fixed Quote Tags.]
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 07:03:07 AM by arebelspy »

lhamo

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #107 on: October 12, 2016, 08:25:37 AM »
I'm also starting to wonder if you are trolling.  Where the heck did you get the idea that flights to China cost $2500 each way?   I just did a quick search on kayak.com.  One way Mobile to Hangzhou departing 8/1/17 is $726.  That's on American Airlines. 

Anyway, now you've blown off JG in Hangzhou so you don't have to worry about following through on that offer for help.  What are you going to do next?  Sit there and agonize about the fact that if you apply or a proper teaching job nearby you MIGHT only be offered a sub position?  So?  Who gives a fuck?  If you are offered a job you don't want you don't take it.  But you are never going to be offered a job just sitting there at juvie waiting for something better to drop in your lap. 

Just did a quick search for ESL jobs in Mobile.  Here is a listing for a company offering part time work teaching kids in China on line.  Due to the time difference, this would probably be evening work.  I suggest you apply.  you meet their qualifications and it pays $20/hour for 7-15 hours/week.  TRY something for god's sake. 

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/twosigmas/jobs/Online-English-Teacher-c7c116923f6a3c62?sjdu=QwrRXKrqZ3CNX5W-O9jEvXpd2dD8GEnwePFN02zM9O5DElhSfltcp0uPaw708HGBRwfWg3_uS9xpb6mHoNlTZD6u3Ld36-wkAA1VCDv1GdNesEFWWJarb3FcJo4MJl9G


mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #108 on: October 12, 2016, 08:33:04 AM »
If the only way to get a regular teaching job is to start subbing,  that's what you do. You make less in the short term in order to make more in the long term.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #109 on: October 12, 2016, 08:37:38 AM »
From your responses you seem smart enough to respond to everyone but not smart enough to do anything.   Seems like you are just churning us, so I will not follow this anymore.

I'm also starting to wonder if you are trolling.

I've also been wondering this for awhile.  That's in part why I posted the the OP's 2016 links on page 2 of this thread, as it seemed like a long history of the OP asking us similar questions, getting a great deal of thoughtful feedback, but then not really doing anything with our advice to make progress.  Actually, OP's history like this goes back to January 2015.  She does not provide advice or comments on anyone else's thread, but only starts her own threads asking us to help her.

bacchi

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #110 on: October 12, 2016, 08:49:34 AM »
From your responses you seem smart enough to respond to everyone but not smart enough to do anything.   Seems like you are just churning us, so I will not follow this anymore.

I'm also starting to wonder if you are trolling.

I've also been wondering this for awhile.  That's in part why I posted the the OP's 2016 links on page 2 of this thread, as it seemed like a long history of the OP asking us similar questions, getting a great deal of thoughtful feedback, but then not really doing anything with our advice to make progress.  Actually, OP's history like this goes back to January 2015.  She does not provide advice or comments on anyone else's thread, but only starts her own threads asking us to help her.

The OP is consistent, however. It's a long troll, if it is a troll.

It's more likely that the OP is just lost in the doldrums. For someone who sees no way out, it can take a long time to do anything positive for themselves.

Gimesalot

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #111 on: October 12, 2016, 09:45:55 AM »
I think this person is both afflicted with ASD and an unreasonable fear that is based in her upbringing in Alabama.  I met people like her all the time when I lived in Mobile, AL.  They were scared to move anywhere and do anything different.  The funny thing is that I've never felt LESS safe or experienced MORE crime than when I lived in Mobile, and I live in New Orleans now, and previously in Chicago!  I heard it all the time about how you couldn't go anywhere without someone raping, stabbing, killing, maiming, etc. you.  Her problems are both health related and cultural. Don't hold your breath for any changes soon.

rubybeth

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #112 on: October 12, 2016, 10:32:15 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?

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.

You get paid $1600/mo for full-time work?  So you are making about $10/hr?  With a master's degree?  You could probably make more selling shoes at Nordstrom.

Maybe so, but I do get full health benefits. Teachers are not really paid what they are worth. Substitute teaching pays even less, though. As a sub, I would be looking at about $90 per day distributed every month over a 20-day pay period, with no health benefits and no guarantee of regular work (on paper that looks like more than I'm making now, but with unpaid holidays, taxes, and sometimes infrequent work my sub wages averaged out to about $1000 per month). If I tried for another teaching job, chances are I would start out as a long-term substitute.

I was very curious what teachers with masters degrees get paid as a starting wage in the Mobile area. I found jobs that list starting salary as around $42,000. So while you may see that as "not really paid what they are worth," it's pretty much double what you're making now and if you kept your lifestyle exactly the same, you could save $20k/year on that salary and be retired in 15 years: https://networthify.com/calculator/earlyretirement

I didn't see any ESL openings, but it's October so that's not surprising. Brush up your resume and skills NOW, practice interviewing with someone, and apply when there are openings in the spring. Seriously, if you can't handle too much change, at the very least, move in that direction. If long term subbing is the only option, pick up a weekend job to make up the difference for a while.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 10:37:14 AM by rubybeth »

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #113 on: October 12, 2016, 11:30:08 AM »
I think this person is both afflicted with ASD and an unreasonable fear that is based in her upbringing in Alabama.  I met people like her all the time when I lived in Mobile, AL.  They were scared to move anywhere and do anything different.  The funny thing is that I've never felt LESS safe or experienced MORE crime than when I lived in Mobile, and I live in New Orleans now, and previously in Chicago!  I heard it all the time about how you couldn't go anywhere without someone raping, stabbing, killing, maiming, etc. you.  Her problems are both health related and cultural. Don't hold your breath for any changes soon.

I do want to make a change, but I am quite fearful. I'm sorry if some of you feel like I'm wasting your time. I do appreciate ALL of the advice you've given me, and even though I've been thinking about it for a while, I am getting ready to do something big besides the little steps, like printing flyers advertising private tutoring and starting a teaching application for another state in need of teachers, that I've taken. 

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #114 on: October 12, 2016, 11:35:09 AM »
The places I contacted would not pay for my trip up there, so that's $5000 I would need to save up--$2500 to fly there and $2500 to fly back--just to get a face-to-face interview. I wasn't sure that was something I wanted to do.

Now I think you are just trolling. Almost every school here pays for the flight (and return) in exchange for a contract that you will work for at least a year.  By law, they have to when they get you Visa.

I know this because I actually own two schools and know many other school owners here. 

From your responses you seem smart enough to respond to everyone but not smart enough to do anything.   Seems like you are just churning us, so I will not follow this anymore.

[Mod Edit: Fixed Quote Tags.]

I'm sorry you think that. No, I'm just confused about the process. The recruiters I interviewed with all wanted me to pay my way. I guess that sounds strange and maybe even "scammy" to people who know what they are doing, but I'm new to all of this. I would like to know where to look to apply for legitimate work overseas.

lhamo

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #115 on: October 12, 2016, 03:09:19 PM »
Lots of information available on the free forums on this site -- full paid access is only $29/year, and well worth it if you are considering seeking a teaching position at an international school (which is a subset of teaching overseas generally):

https://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/

I paid for full access for a year when we were choosing a new school for our kids in Beijing, and found it well worth the extra money. 

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #116 on: October 12, 2016, 06:55:40 PM »
Lots of information available on the free forums on this site -- full paid access is only $29/year, and well worth it if you are considering seeking a teaching position at an international school (which is a subset of teaching overseas generally):

https://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/

I paid for full access for a year when we were choosing a new school for our kids in Beijing, and found it well worth the extra money.

Thank you. I'll check it out.

MayDay

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #117 on: October 12, 2016, 07:17:16 PM »
If you feel stuck, YOU NEED TO FIND A THERAPIST, A NEW ONE NOT YOUR CURRENT ONE, TOMORROW AND CALL THEM, AND GO!

For heavens sake, this is getting ridiculous.  Feeling stuck, struggling, etc.  all ok.  All normal.



You said:   I am getting ready to do something big

No.  Just no.  Stop with this nonsense.  Do something SMALL.  NOW. 

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #118 on: October 12, 2016, 07:33:53 PM »
If you feel stuck, YOU NEED TO FIND A THERAPIST, A NEW ONE NOT YOUR CURRENT ONE, TOMORROW AND CALL THEM, AND GO!

For heavens sake, this is getting ridiculous.  Feeling stuck, struggling, etc.  all ok.  All normal.



You said:   I am getting ready to do something big

No.  Just no.  Stop with this nonsense.  Do something SMALL.  NOW.

I guess I do, but I really feel like someone who could really address my issues lives and practices somewhere else. The one I'm seeing now specializes in autism and related disorders, but even though she's knowledgeable about my issues, we seem to be going around in circles. I like being able to talk about my feelings, but it's frustrating to not really get anything done. I've thought about seeing a life coach who deals with ASD, but it wouldn't be covered by my insurance, and I'm afraid I would be paying twice as much for more of the same. I'm thinking part of the problem, though, might be me. I haven't been very direct about what I want to get out of my interaction with her. Maybe I should just tell her that I want solutions, not just empathy? I would have thought that common sense, though.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 07:38:36 PM by kmb501 »

LeRainDrop

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #119 on: October 12, 2016, 07:42:32 PM »
If you feel stuck, YOU NEED TO FIND A THERAPIST, A NEW ONE NOT YOUR CURRENT ONE, TOMORROW AND CALL THEM, AND GO!

For heavens sake, this is getting ridiculous.  Feeling stuck, struggling, etc.  all ok.  All normal.

You said:   I am getting ready to do something big

No.  Just no.  Stop with this nonsense.  Do something SMALL.  NOW.

I guess I do, but I really feel like someone who could really address my issues lives and practices somewhere else. The one I'm seeing now specializes in autism and related disorders, but even though she's knowledgeable about my issues, we seem to be going around in circles. I like being able to talk about my feelings, but it's frustrating to not really get anything done. I've thought about seeing a life coach who deals with ASD, but it wouldn't be covered by my insurance, and I'm afraid I would be paying twice as much for more of the same. I'm thinking part of the problem, though, might be me. I haven't been very direct about what I want to get out of my interaction with her. Maybe I should just tell her that I want solutions, not just empathy? I would have thought that common sense, though.

Discussing your goals of therapy with your therapist is a very normal part of the relationship.  In an ideal world, she could read your mind how you're feeling about the progress or lack thereof.  It's more realistic, though, that you tell her this direct feedback and she adjusts.  Speak up for yourself!

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #120 on: October 13, 2016, 07:49:37 AM »
If you feel stuck, YOU NEED TO FIND A THERAPIST, A NEW ONE NOT YOUR CURRENT ONE, TOMORROW AND CALL THEM, AND GO!

For heavens sake, this is getting ridiculous.  Feeling stuck, struggling, etc.  all ok.  All normal.

You said:   I am getting ready to do something big

No.  Just no.  Stop with this nonsense.  Do something SMALL.  NOW.

I guess I do, but I really feel like someone who could really address my issues lives and practices somewhere else. The one I'm seeing now specializes in autism and related disorders, but even though she's knowledgeable about my issues, we seem to be going around in circles. I like being able to talk about my feelings, but it's frustrating to not really get anything done. I've thought about seeing a life coach who deals with ASD, but it wouldn't be covered by my insurance, and I'm afraid I would be paying twice as much for more of the same. I'm thinking part of the problem, though, might be me. I haven't been very direct about what I want to get out of my interaction with her. Maybe I should just tell her that I want solutions, not just empathy? I would have thought that common sense, though.

Discussing your goals of therapy with your therapist is a very normal part of the relationship.  In an ideal world, she could read your mind how you're feeling about the progress or lack thereof.  It's more realistic, though, that you tell her this direct feedback and she adjusts.  Speak up for yourself!

I think that's what I'll do next time I see her. I often think of goals I have and questions I have, but I never bring them up during the sessions. I don't know why I haven't brought this up. I guess, other than actually getting distracted and forgetting, I was thinking "she's the expert; she won't like being told what to do."

ysette9

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #121 on: October 13, 2016, 09:59:07 AM »
I find myself inexplicably fascinated by this thread. Not having any personal experience with autism, I find myself wondering if there is also an element of depression going on? A couple of times in life I have found myself quite depressed (situational) and it was amazing how utterly paralyzingly it was. It was like i knew rationally what I should do but couldn't make myself get up off the couch and do anything to make myself feel better.

Do you regularly exercise? I find exercise a critical part of my mental health. I recommend some light cardio every morning if you can fit it in. Even a walk around the block before bed can be wonderful. I have also found myself stressed and mentally spinning on the bad things in life which spiral out of control in my head. To stop this I have found guided meditation very useful. Just google something on YouTube and follow along. There are tons of free options out there. I used meditation to help get to sleep, but it is good in the day also to just break that cycle of negative thoughts.

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #122 on: October 13, 2016, 03:39:16 PM »
I checked out the link to the international schools review website that was posted. It looks like a very good resource for a novice teacher. I think I'm going to forward my questions about teaching overseas to them, if it's an active forum.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 03:43:24 PM by kmb501 »

lhamo

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #123 on: October 13, 2016, 04:09:03 PM »
I checked out the link to the international schools review website that was posted. It looks like a very good resource for a novice teacher. I think I'm going to forward my questions about teaching overseas to them, if it's an active forum.

Can I make a suggestion?  Spend some time on the free version of the forum reading the information that is available already.  You will get more respect/useful answers if you take the time to read information that has already been shared rather than leaping in uninitiated.  For example, there is tons of information about how international school recruitment fairs work.  If you are interested in going that route, learn a bit about how they work, note in your initial posts that you have benefitted from the previous information shared, and then go in with a specific question you may have that you haven't seen addressed elsewhere. 

Another advantage of taking this approach is that you get an idea of the "lay of the land" and personalities of common posters before you ever start to engage with them.  There are some prickly folks over there, and ongoing arguments that come up -- for example, the poster PsyGuy tends to present himself as some kind of expert on international schools in China, and often rubs people the wrong way.  He is more than a little arrogant.  You'll see that/be aware of it/be better prepared to deal with it if you read a bit more extensively before you start to actively engage.  It will give you a kind of internal compass so that you know how to weigh any responses you might get from someone like that.  Similarly, if you find someone whose posts always seem very well thought out and politely presented, you might think about giving their opinions/suggestions more weight, and following up with them by PM to see if they'd be willing to provide more specific details off line. 

I hope you find this advice useful and that the forum proves to be a helpful resource for you.  Good luck learning more and deciding if this is a route you want to explore further.

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #124 on: October 13, 2016, 05:20:52 PM »
Thanks. I think I'll try to do that. I think one of the reasons my posts don't get a lot of respect is because I don't take time to read over everything that is out there first. I'm sorry. I'm extremely busy. I work two jobs, usually, and I'm currently back in school. It can feel challenging and also like a waste of time to pour over hundreds of posts, but I think you are right, and I think I will do some reading before I post anything else since my first post over there wasn't answered.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 05:22:54 PM by kmb501 »

lhamo

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #125 on: October 13, 2016, 06:19:11 PM »
You don't have to necessarily pour over hundreds of posts.  Be selective.  Most of my reading has been of posts with the keyword "Beijing" as I was researching schools there.  But I pretty quickly got a sense for who some of the key posters were and what they dynamics were between them and others.

Start with reading any stickies or FAQs.  Then choose a keyword related to something your are curious about.  Maybe a country or city you would be interested in traveling to/working in.  Or general issues of safety, since that seems to be a major concern.  Or choose posts about ONE of the international recruitment fairs -- preferably one you would actually consider attending. 

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #126 on: October 13, 2016, 06:43:18 PM »
I've been reading this thread with interest.  Thinking the OP was a troll, but now I'm unsure.  It's strange that 34 years ago, I left the town I was born and raised in - lived there for the first 25 years of my life.   Why leave?  I learned the full-time professional DJ's at the radio station I worked at were making $20K/year - this in the 1980's.  It was enough encouragement to make me want to:  a) get a degree in something marketable (computer science from the local state university), and b) get out of that town to earn some real scratch.

A few days after turning 25, I pulled up stakes, and moved to the San Francisco Bay area after flying overnight on the 'mail-flight' (Eastern airlines, anyone?) and handing a resume out at MacWorld expo.  Interviews, and job offers followed.  I knew teachers had it rough in my hometown, but never knew it was THAT bad.  One teacher friend who taught elementary school for 20 years in-my-hometown is now retired, and living on her pension in Lejos, Ecuador. She's teaching ESL at the local American University.  (Geographic Arbitrage)  Her husband worked for the fire department in-my-hometown for 20 years, and retired with his fireman's pension, and they're both as happy as clams. 

The school?  The University of South Alabama.  Radio station?  WABB.  My hometown?  Mobile, AL  - small world.

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #127 on: October 13, 2016, 06:58:53 PM »
I've been reading this thread with interest.  Thinking the OP was a troll, but now I'm unsure.  It's strange that 34 years ago, I left the town I was born and raised in - lived there for the first 25 years of my life.   Why leave?  I learned the full-time professional DJ's at the radio station I worked at were making $20K/year - this in the 1980's.  It was enough encouragement to make me want to:  a) get a degree in something marketable (computer science from the local state university), and b) get out of that town to earn some real scratch.

A few days after turning 25, I pulled up stakes, and moved to the San Francisco Bay area after flying overnight on the 'mail-flight' (Eastern airlines, anyone?) and handing a resume out at MacWorld expo.  Interviews, and job offers followed.  I knew teachers had it rough in my hometown, but never knew it was THAT bad.  One teacher friend who taught elementary school for 20 years in-my-hometown is now retired, and living on her pension in Lejos, Ecuador. She's teaching ESL at the local American University.  (Geographic Arbitrage)  Her husband worked for the fire department in-my-hometown for 20 years, and retired with his fireman's pension, and they're both as happy as clams. 

The school?  The University of South Alabama.  Radio station?  WABB.  My hometown?  Mobile, AL  - small world.

It looks like you can relate. I've been thinking about retraining, too. I'm now enrolled at South for additional training not related to my field, and the tuition is a lot higher than when I first enrolled. I think the college messed it up for a lot of us when they got that football team and started all of that construction. Then again, I'm sure student loans being handed out by the federal government like candy didn't help, either. Either way, tuition is way higher than it used to be, I think. I often wish I had it to do over again, I think I want a change.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 07:06:39 PM by kmb501 »

mozar

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #128 on: October 14, 2016, 11:25:29 AM »
I used to think that what a school spent money on was my concern, or that who the fed govt gave money to was my concern. But it's not, the only thing I can control is my actions. And wishing the past was different isn't going to get you anywhere.

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #129 on: October 14, 2016, 08:25:41 PM »


Then don't go overseas.   Are you actively doing something to "make sure [your] communication and organization problems are a thing of the past"?  Do you have good reason to believe you are almost to that point?  Like, within months?  If not, then this probably isn't the right path for you, because you need to do something about your situation now, not two years from now when you've had more therapy and whatever else you do.  If, in two years, you are at that point, you can reconsider.  Until then you need to find a plan you can start now.  It sounds like overseas is not that plan.  Fine.  So cross it off your list, don't look back, and move forward toward something else.  You are still just spitballing various option on the internet.  You could easily do that for decades.  And you'll still be right where you are, geographically, financially, emotionally, and in all other ways. 

Also, as someone who has moved overseas and who struggles with social anxiety, I'd say that my experience was a bit different and that in same ways I think think being in a new environment with those kinds of issues can be harder, not easier. I still feel a deep sense of... shame, I guess... every time I can't figure out a parking meter and I need to ask a stranger for help and hope that our limited language skills and our charades are enough, or when I don't quite know the etiquette associated with something and I'm worried I am going to offend, or whatever.  The alien environment and resulting lack of cultural literacies has really, really challenged my anxieties. 

And again, since you aren't at the point where you are ready to tackle that anyway, it's probably not the right choice for you. (Does it even appeal to you, outside of the money?)  So move on to the things that are.  If it interests you, keep it on the back burner as an option for the future.  But right now, you need to focus on the getting a meal started on the front burner so you can feed yourself.  Pick an option you can begin executing today.  You aren't there for overseas teaching, and you don't know if/when you will be. Nothing wrong with that.  But you can begin executing a plan to get a much better teaching job in the US today. 

You need to start making decisions, and taking actions.  You've been chewing over options for months, or longer.  Enough.  Decide, and act!

Okay, here's what I would like to do:

1. Start a private tutoring business. Right now, I'm not sure I have the skills for it. I've worked as a volunteer tutor, but I'm not sure the parents would be as thrilled about my services if they had to pay for them. I'm not sure I measure up to the competition in this small area. I would like to try to get something started, though. It could be a decent side income or even a full-time profession, and it would be a good safe test for my shyness and disorganization. This is my first choice, and it would take the least amount of work to complete. I don't want to go in cold, though. Even though I've taken lots of Education classes and have a master's degree in it, I feel like I need to "look like a tutor," have official looking contracts, learning plans, and assessment tests. I also need to learn a lot more about kids with special needs, as so far my training has only covered regular and ESL students.

2. Apply for a teaching job in a neighboring area. Louisiana and Florida aren't too far from here. Although I would be a little reluctant to pick up and move to Nevada or a place where I wouldn't have ready support from friends or family if things didn't pan out, I could convince myself to move a state or two away. Perhaps I should look for opportunities in these areas? This would be my second choice.

3. Call schools several states away, explain my credentials and communication problems, and move several states away after checking on the area and making sure it's somewhere I might like to live and work. Even though I wouldn't be as close to friends and family, it would be less challenging than living overseas.

4. Contact a recruiter or language school overseas, explain my issues with shyness, and see if they have a place for me in spite of it. I would thrive in an environment where (1) other English speakers were working in the building with me, (2) many of the teachers spoke my language, and (3) the curriculum and lesson plans were pre-prepared for me just in case I forget something.

Okay, so I am going to make a number of points, most of which echo others:

First off, there is actually a lot of good news in your situation. Your expenses are not crazy. You may not be quite the badass mustachian as some others here, but you're keeping expenses in reasonable bounds. And that's great! Because that means you are setting yourself up to be a financial winner with the right attitude. Kudos!

You are well-credentialed with your Master's degree. There are a couple of good things about that. It shows that you were able to function in a context that required you to meet goals similar in nature to what you might have to do as a worker (show up on time, complete assigned work, demonstrate a reasonable level of intelligence and analytical ability). Also, as numerous others have observed, your credentials are the necessary qualification for jobs that pay more than twice what you currently receive. And the fact that you received this degreee means that your teachers believed you can do that work. You should believe it too!

I can see that you worry a lot about being able to actually do the job in an acceptable professional way. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: The average worker/employee is remarkably unimpressive. Most employers would be happy just to get an employee who shows up, works diligently and is polite. And I hope I am not insulting anyone here when I note that, in my experience, K-12 teachers are not generally rocket scientists. The qualifications for most things are lower than you think!

About moving: You seem pretty reluctant to pull the trigger on a move. It seems that fear of moving away from your support structure may play a role in that. My advice, like that of others in this thread is "Take the plunge," though, personally, I would not suggest going overseas at this point. There are multiple good reasons for this. I have lived in various parts of the U.S., and, while the states each have their own character, they are far more alike than different, in these days of national media. Life overseas can still be quite different, and I think that much adventure right now might be a bit much---It's not uncommon for people to have culture shock issues, and I think moving within the U.S. is probably a safer choice. As others have pointed out, there are many states you could move to that would enormously boost your income---And yes, you definitely are underpaid!

About applying/presenting yourself: Do not point out your deficiencies (real or imagined) when applying or interviewing. No one else does, so why should you? The interviewer will always assume that you're not perfect, anyway.

And now, let's imagine possible outcomes:
1. You apply for various jobs, but no one offers one to you: Materially, you are no worse off, but now you have something you can iterate on. You ask yourself, "Why didn't I get an offer? Did I not apply to enough places? Was my resume bad? Did I present myself poorly in any interviews?" When you understand enough, you try again. [You are better off for this]
2. You get a job offer at a decent pay rate (yay!) You move and go to work, but you do poorly at the job: You are better off by virtue of having earned an elevated salary for some period of time, a history that will also help you to get a similar or better salary at your next job, since employers generally have a good idea of your prior earnings. You iterate on understanding what went wrong with the job and strive to improve, or to find a job that more closely matches your skills/talents. [You are better off for this]
3. You get a job offer at a decent pay rate (yay!) You move and go to work, and you do well at the job: And, do I need to say it? [You are better off for this]

It is, of course, possible that you will totally homesick for where you live now, and (even after giving it a couple of years) want to move back. Or maybe you just don't like the new location, but think things might be better in some third place. In any case, you are a new person, stronger for your experiences and (you guessed it!) [You are better off for this]

There is no plausible scenario under which you are not better off either financially, or in terms of your personal development---and most likely both.

I am a procrastinator of long-standing, and I can tell you that the anticipation of what might happen or what people may think of you, if you "just go for it" is way worse than the actuality. Let me put this another way. Say you apply for a job, get it and then fail so miserably that people are laughing, shaking their heads and using you as a cautionary tale---Well, guess what? Your life is not about what they think of you. It's about what you think of yourself. And as long as you can say, "I tried my best, and I will keep doing so," then you are doing all that any person can---and a lot more than most.


kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #130 on: October 15, 2016, 04:22:39 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.

What are the internet courses? Could you give me a few links?

I know you said you weren't going to follow this thread anymore, but I apologize for my rudeness.

arebelspy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2016, 05:16:58 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.

What are the internet courses? Could you give me a few links?

I know you said you weren't going to follow this thread anymore, but I apologize for my rudeness.

Have you even looked into if you need it?  Many places will happily accept your teaching license, and Master's Degree, and not require the extra certification (I know this directly from a teacher friend that taught in China).

Research, and act, don't act randomly. What you need to be doing is gathering specific, and actionable information.

Have you contacted the HR districts of the neighboring state's school districts?  Have you followed up with Clark County on jobs you can get with your qualifications (even though they sent you one you weren't interested in)?  Have you contacted overseas teaching companies, and recruiting firms to find out what their requirements are?

Do all of these things.  Do all of them now.  Do them before committing to a multiple months online certification course that costs money, and time, and you may not even need.
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.

Villanelle

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #132 on: October 16, 2016, 12:58:39 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.

What are the internet courses? Could you give me a few links?

I know you said you weren't going to follow this thread anymore, but I apologize for my rudeness.

Have you even looked into if you need it?  Many places will happily accept your teaching license, and Master's Degree, and not require the extra certification (I know this directly from a teacher friend that taught in China).

Research, and act, don't act randomly. What you need to be doing is gathering specific, and actionable information.

Have you contacted the HR districts of the neighboring state's school districts?  Have you followed up with Clark County on jobs you can get with your qualifications (even though they sent you one you weren't interested in)?  Have you contacted overseas teaching companies, and recruiting firms to find out what their requirements are?

Do all of these things.  Do all of them now.  Do them before committing to a multiple months online certification course that costs money, and time, and you may not even need.

This.

And also, if you actually want this, put in the effort.  You have internet access.  I just searched, and it took me about 10 minutes to find information on these classes.  You are a reasonably smart person, and you managed to complete graduate level work.  So I'm pretty sure you are capable of basic research.  If you want this, it should be worth the effort.  People in this thread have offered to help you, but don't take advantage (in a bad way) of that kindness by asking them to do all the work for you.

It seems like all you are doing, frankly, is whining about your situation on the internet.  You claim that you want different and better in your life, but from where I'm sitting, it looks like you aren't willing to put in work into making that happen.  Giving you the benefit of the doubt, that may be because you are scared and overwhelmed.  So approach it like a research paper.  Prepare to write a paper on the process for getting a legitimate, well-paying job teaching English overseas.  (If that's the job that you actually want, instead of staying in the US and maybe semi-local to where you are now.)  If that's become your #1 choice, research it like you would a research paper.  Get a list of a few reliable, credible schools (you'll need to do the research yourself to determine which are credible), figure out how those schools usually hire (recruiting firms, accepting resumes mailed to them, something else?), what their requirements are, and then where to get those requirements if you don't already have them. 

Research it.  If you want this, put in the work to earn it.  Don't expect strangers on the internet to hand it to you. 

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #133 on: October 16, 2016, 04:29:23 AM »

Research it.  If you want this, put in the work to earn it.  Don't expect strangers on the internet to hand it to you.

That's good advice. I'm sorry. I wasn't really thinking of it like that. I guess I'll look around and see what I find.

WootWoot

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #134 on: October 16, 2016, 01:29:29 PM »
Sorry to break in here, but what is Scrubbyfish's book? Thanks!

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WootWoot

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #136 on: October 16, 2016, 02:57:13 PM »
Thanks re: the book!

kmb501

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #137 on: October 17, 2016, 02:07:25 AM »

Okay, so I am going to make a number of points, most of which echo others:

First off, there is actually a lot of good news in your situation. Your expenses are not crazy. You may not be quite the badass mustachian as some others here, but you're keeping expenses in reasonable bounds. And that's great! Because that means you are setting yourself up to be a financial winner with the right attitude. Kudos!

You are well-credentialed with your Master's degree. There are a couple of good things about that. It shows that you were able to function in a context that required you to meet goals similar in nature to what you might have to do as a worker (show up on time, complete assigned work, demonstrate a reasonable level of intelligence and analytical ability). Also, as numerous others have observed, your credentials are the necessary qualification for jobs that pay more than twice what you currently receive. And the fact that you received this degree means that your teachers believed you can do that work. You should believe it too!

I can see that you worry a lot about being able to actually do the job in an acceptable professional way. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: The average worker/employee is remarkably unimpressive. Most employers would be happy just to get an employee who shows up, works diligently and is polite. And I hope I am not insulting anyone here when I note that, in my experience, K-12 teachers are not generally rocket scientists. The qualifications for most things are lower than you think!

About moving: You seem pretty reluctant to pull the trigger on a move. It seems that fear of moving away from your support structure may play a role in that. My advice, like that of others in this thread is "Take the plunge," though, personally, I would not suggest going overseas at this point. There are multiple good reasons for this. I have lived in various parts of the U.S., and, while the states each have their own character, they are far more alike than different, in these days of national media. Life overseas can still be quite different, and I think that much adventure right now might be a bit much---It's not uncommon for people to have culture shock issues, and I think moving within the U.S. is probably a safer choice. As others have pointed out, there are many states you could move to that would enormously boost your income---And yes, you definitely are underpaid!

About applying/presenting yourself: Do not point out your deficiencies (real or imagined) when applying or interviewing. No one else does, so why should you? The interviewer will always assume that you're not perfect, anyway.

And now, let's imagine possible outcomes:
1. You apply for various jobs, but no one offers one to you: Materially, you are no worse off, but now you have something you can iterate on. You ask yourself, "Why didn't I get an offer? Did I not apply to enough places? Was my resume bad? Did I present myself poorly in any interviews?" When you understand enough, you try again. [You are better off for this]
2. You get a job offer at a decent pay rate (yay!) You move and go to work, but you do poorly at the job: You are better off by virtue of having earned an elevated salary for some period of time, a history that will also help you to get a similar or better salary at your next job, since employers generally have a good idea of your prior earnings. You iterate on understanding what went wrong with the job and strive to improve, or to find a job that more closely matches your skills/talents. [You are better off for this]
3. You get a job offer at a decent pay rate (yay!) You move and go to work, and you do well at the job: And, do I need to say it? [You are better off for this]

It is, of course, possible that you will totally homesick for where you live now, and (even after giving it a couple of years) want to move back. Or maybe you just don't like the new location, but think things might be better in some third place. In any case, you are a new person, stronger for your experiences and (you guessed it!) [You are better off for this]

There is no plausible scenario under which you are not better off either financially, or in terms of your personal development---and most likely both.

I am a procrastinator of long-standing, and I can tell you that the anticipation of what might happen or what people may think of you, if you "just go for it" is way worse than the actuality. Let me put this another way. Say you apply for a job, get it and then fail so miserably that people are laughing, shaking their heads and using you as a cautionary tale---Well, guess what? Your life is not about what they think of you. It's about what you think of yourself. And as long as you can say, "I tried my best, and I will keep doing so," then you are doing all that any person can---and a lot more than most.

Thanks for the encouragement. I guess I don't "project" confidence.

sleepyguy

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #138 on: October 17, 2016, 07:26:31 AM »
This, and it isn't even close.

Right now your comfort zone sucks to be honest... you are making Mcdonalds wage with a BA and a Masters!?!

You can't afford to donate $200 per/mth... yes you can't afford it right now!  Hell once you start making $80k/yr... go ahead and start donating $400/mth if it fits your budget.

Japan is usually looking for Eng teachers who are qualified... if you get with a good one they will pay for housing and usually have a $20k bonus or so after a 3-4yr term at the end of it.  It's a decent gig if you get it.

Good luck in your choices.

30 mid-life?  Lol... that's not even close, haha.

Sorry, I guess I should have revived an old thread instead of starting a new one. I apologize for constantly posting the same information, but I'm stuck. Why am I stuck, though? Good question. I think I need to work on figuring that out. That might be a good first step.

I know that in the past, maybe not right now, but in the past, I was very reluctant to approach people in person or even call them on the phone, because I felt like I wouldn't know what to say. I think that might be one thing that is holding me back. I guess there's no cure for shyness except just doing what makes us afraid.  Thank you all for the suggestions. I think I'm going to try something at least.

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?

Several people have offered suggestions around finding a better place to teach.

Are you willing to relocate/move?  Or not, and if not, why not?

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #139 on: October 17, 2016, 10:53:02 AM »
I'm reading a chorus of advice:  Get Out Of Mobile. 
If timid, try Houston, or Atlanta (8-hour-drive LCOL cities). 
Gutsy?  Try Los Angeles, Los Vegas, or Seattle (4-hour flight, HCOL cities).  Salaries are generally higher in HCOL cities, but the expenses can negate that uptick in earnings very quickly if one doesn't find appropriate budget housing.

Bottom line:  It's Time for a Major Life Change, and school isn't the best move.  A geographic move (garage-sale / packing / unpacking) seems appropriate.  You have enough degrees / credentials.  Time to put those existing credentials to work to earn a wage appropriate to their worth.  Suggest you try finding a recruiter / head-hunter in your target city/cities, and let THEM find you a position.  Use your social media & Linked-In contacts to recommend someone.

Johnez

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Re: Mid-Life Crisis: I have not started saving for retirement
« Reply #140 on: October 17, 2016, 01:53:26 PM »
Seems OP's responses range from "I'll check it out" to "sounds like a good idea" to "I'll try to do that" or some variation.

How about you come back with "Hey guys I DID this, and INTERVIEWED here and WENT there "

Actually DO something. Remember the old wise words, "There is no try, only do." Also, "wax on, wax off."

By the way, I came into this thread looking to see if I could apply some advice. I'm 30, without a degree or a career really. None of the advice helps me unfortunately. However, my situation might open your eyes-I'm making $60,000 a year in a warehouse. If you want to try something radically different that pays well-check out these type of jobs on indeed.com or Monster. There are lots. You have your degree, the education ain't going away, perhaps you can tutor on the side. Just open your eyes. You seem to be in the perfect situation to pick up and get out, do something different, if only for a year or 2.