Author Topic: Would Love Some Guidance  (Read 1161 times)

Tohuvabohu

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Would Love Some Guidance
« on: October 12, 2016, 07:01:39 PM »
I am curious if some of the more seasoned FIers and future FIers might be willing to impart some advice to my situation. Please forgive me and point me in the right direction if this isn't the appropriate sub-forum for this particular question.

My wife and I just started getting serious about saving, investing, and FI within the past 1.5 years. We have two young children and plan to have (possibly adopt?) a couple more. We live in a medium-size Midwestern town with a very low COL. I work at a Fortune 500 financial services firm, but only make ~35K / annum (gross) doing so. My wife works as a nurse 1 shift every two weeks (due to being the primary caregiver to the kids) and grosses ~8K / annum. Our numbers:

- Investments (IRAs, 401k, money market): $70,000
- Emergency fund: $3,000
- Home equity: ~ $80,000
- Home mortgage remaining: $87,000
* No other debt exists besides the mortgage (i.e., no car payments, etc.)
- 15-20% of our gross income goes to different charitable causes.

Additional details: We plug $1,000 / month into Vanguard and pay an extra $250 / month extra on our mortgage principal (our escrow without the additional payment is $650 / month). We've done everything from installing low flow shower heads to LED bulbs in every room and lamp. My wife is quite frugal and keeps our grocery bill to ~$300 / month.

Because the community is so important to our family, we are loathe to uproot ourselves for a higher paying career elsewhere. Further, my current employer has good insurance and a fantastic 10% 401K match with wonderful investment options.

The difficulty (if you can call it that) is that because our area's COL is so low, it is difficult to find a good job that pays > $50k / annum (I put in several resumes a week and get very few interviews). I have a Bachelor's in business from a local college, sit on the board of directors for a women's group home, and have been very active in our community for the past 15 years (I'm currently 33), yet cannot find anything that's higher paying to get to FIRE faster.

Where could there be some more wiggle room in our budget? Any advice on finding something a bit higher paying? How do you all prioritize wanting to get to FIRE faster vs. not compromising your current life in the meantime? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for the community you all have developed here - it is a great encouragement!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 07:12:19 PM by Tohuvabohu »

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
Re: Would Love Some Guidance
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 07:25:30 PM »
What type of work do you do?

I find it hard to believe that you'll top out at 35k/year salary for a "fortune 500 financial services firm" as any company that size has tons of positions normally.

Felicity

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Greater Boston Area
  • ruff!
    • Fetching Financial Freedom
Re: Would Love Some Guidance
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 07:34:52 PM »
You're doing fantastic in terms of savings and charitable contributions on those salaries! Well done :D

In your case, increasing income would definitely be the quickest way to more savings.
It sounds like there are some higher paying jobs, but maybe your resume/application could use some work? Have you had friends and/or family members look over your resume? Gotten advice from popular career books at the library? Networked? Especially in a small town, I would imagine a lot of positions might be filled by someone who knows someone who already works at the company. You could be that someone! Next time you find a job of interest, maybe do a quick check to see if you know anyone who works there who could recommend you.

Also...is a raise at your current job out of the question?

Without a detailed budget, it would be hard to comment more, but you could garden I guess to decrease grocery costs? Also, I'm assuming your taxes are already optimized? By my understanding, you should qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for instance.



Tohuvabohu

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Would Love Some Guidance
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 07:37:51 PM »
What type of work do you do?

I find it hard to believe that you'll top out at 35k/year salary for a "fortune 500 financial services firm" as any company that size has tons of positions normally.

I work as a Case Manager in individual annuities. At the present time, our particular arm of the company is in tough shape, thus very few positions are open to move up (i.e., every opening has 40-50 internal applicants alone). I have a Series 6 license, but that doesn't do a whole lot unless you move into sales. Let's just say I would be a terrible salesman :-)

So, by no means have I topped out. It is, however, difficult to imagine the availability of positions will change within the next couple of years.