My financial journey started at age 14. I started working full time in the summer, selling vegetables. (If only I had started a Roth IRA in 1994!) I saved some but spent a lot. Mostly on candy and clothes. After high school, my parents paid for my first semester of college. I was able to live at my parents’ house for most of college. I worked 30-50 hours a week through my entire college education.
I graduated from nursing school in 5 years with $5,000 in Perkin Loans that would be repaid in full after 5 years working as a nurse. I spent 2 months in Europe after I graduated and spent all of my savings. (Worth it!)
“I’m 38 years old and I should be retired.” – Midwest Miser
Let me explain. When I was 23 years old, a dear surgeon I worked with told me to read David Bach, “Smart Women Finish Rich”. I read it in three nights. I sat at the bookstore because I didn’t want to buy it. (Frugality runs deep in my blood.) I contacted my “retirement specialist” at work and set up a meeting. We discussed my goals and I said I wanted to retire at age 45. He laughed in my face. Then quickly said that won’t happen but we’ll get you set up for a normal retirement at age 65. I started putting 15% of my income into my 403b, I also started a Roth IRA and put in $50 a month. Fast forward 24 years… another dear surgeon I work with told me to listen to Choose FI podcast. Man, it really made me angry! If that “retirement specialist” had said put away 50% and you’ll meet your goal, I would be “Fat FI” by now. When I was 24, I had no bills and no recurring expenses. I had to pay for gas, rent and beer. The rest could have gone into an index fund and voila, freedom.
So why the website?
I would like to document how I would have done it differently starting out as a brand new nurse, so I can send new nurses to a well organized “how to retire early as a nurse” site with every thing they need to know.
I also need accountability to change my bad habits.