Author Topic: Possible to retire early with a NONPROFIT career? [Case Study]  (Read 2083 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Possible to retire early with a NONPROFIT career? [Case Study]
« on: November 24, 2013, 05:52:25 PM »
Is it possible to retire early (40-50) with my nonprofit salary? (Event/Race Director at a YMCA)

Income: $32,500 ($27,681.60 take home) includes great health benefits, taxes, no 401(k) contribution. $2,306.80/month

Current expenses: $1,230/month ($14,500/year)
Breakdown of current expenses

Future expenses: $1,880/month ($22,430/year)
Breakdown of future expenses

$4,400 in cash
$5,100 in CWGIX (parents started for me)
2005 Ford Taurus (no auto loan, has 135,000 miles, needs a few hundred $ in maintenance every year)
Old commuting bikes, a decent road bike, a tandem, a mtn bike (all free and not worth much to sell)

$18,000 in student debt currently being repaid to Grandma at 3%.
$24,400 in additional family loans, most of which I would like to repay.

Specific Question(s): Though my current savings rate is almost 48%, it may very likely drop to 19% in one to two years. With my current income level (can rise 2-4% each year with a max salary cap of $36-$37k) am I able to retire before I hit 65?

I have a Masters Degree in Recreation Management, which is the reason for the majority of my debt. The average starting salary for someone with a Bachelor's Degree is above what I am currently making, but I really ENJOY my job (stressful at times, but overall it's good). Should I be pursuing something that pays more? I bike everywhere, even in 10 degree weather. I spend a bit on groceries (never eat out, just enjoy delicious local and organic food). I'm a runner, cyclist and triathlete, so I spend a bit on shoes and races (that keeps me sane so I cannot cut those).

I have a roommate now, which is why my rent is only $347.50. A marriage is very likely in the next 2-3 years.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Possible to retire early with a NONPROFIT career? [Case Study]
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 06:10:43 PM »
You've done an admirable job keeping your expenses low--congrats!

If you continue paying $326/month toward your family debt (Grandma and other) you should wipe that put in about 11 years. At that point, you can put your debt repayments toward greater retirement savings.

At the projected reduced savings rate of about 19 percent, it would take you about 35 years to save enough to retire early. But your savings rate will increase once you finish paying off your debts.

It sounds like you're not living with your future spouse at the moment. Are you planning on doing so after you're married? If so, how will that impact your monthly expenses? Often, it's cheaper for couples than two individuals, since you can share a car, etc.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Possible to retire early with a NONPROFIT career? [Case Study]
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 08:24:26 PM »
Thank you Laura! My parents instilled a good work ethic/savings early on.

My future spouse and I would like to move in together in 1-3 years. She would earn slightly more than I would. I believe our/my expenses could be reduced further with just 1 vehicle, better grocery shopping/planning, holding each other accountable, etc.