Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
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daylen
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by daylen » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:36 pm

Women are constantly trying to infer hidden meaning from my direct communication style. They almost always fail.

jacob
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:39 pm

Off-topic...

:? :roll:

James_0011
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by James_0011 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:10 am

I love Aaron Clarey. Some of his stuff can be a little too right wing for me, but he is spot on about setting yourself up to be financially independent.

jennypenny
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jennypenny » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:34 am

@THF -- I'm going to give you advice even though you don't want it and it goes against some basic tenets of ERE. You need to live a little. Take a barbell approach to your ERE plan. Put 90% of your finances and effort (emotional as well as time) into your ERE plan, and live a little with the rest. Take risks. Push boundaries. Try things for the hell of it. Do stupid shit. Basically ... act your age. This is the time in your life for that stuff.

You're so lost in your own head that you can't think straight about what to do. I get it. There's a lot of pressure to figure out your path and get started down it (especially on this forum). While I applaud the focus and headstart you and others your age are getting on the rest of your cohort, it won't be worth it if you have regrets later. Like I said, if you take a barbell approach to your life, there's room for foolishness and more outwardly-focused stuff. It might help to clear your head so you can figure out what you want to do.

This isn't just directed at you. I often think this when I read the journals of others your age and I worry a little that we (the old timers) are giving bad advice. There's a difference between learning to be responsible and growing up too fast. Honestly, you can be responsible and do the ERE thing and never grow up. I highly recommend it. ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVZGhCulb58

/parental lecture

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:31 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:34 am
Thanks. To be honest, I like advice. I'm happy as long as there's positive reinforcement in the advice and it's specific to me.

I have a really hard time relaxing without a clear plan to follow. I think a ton of that will go away when I am able to pay for basic expenses out of my portfolio. Even a networth of 100K would go a long way to relax.

Trying to relax before then is like trying to relax while knowing I can't support myself.

----------------------

I think I just need to lower my expectations and realize that MMM's iteration of FI is an outlier at the least. I think that's what originally drew me to Jacob - it just seems so damn attainable by comparison. It definitely does seem that without a Master's degree, the world is a pretty hard place career-wise if looking outside of tech or finance. Maybe life would be easier with a good (affordable) Masters like I'm planning above?

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BRUTE
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:23 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:31 pm
Trying to relax before then is like trying to relax while knowing I can't support myself.
that's definitely true. there's no faking financial confidence to the self.
TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:31 pm
I think I just need to lower my expectations and realize that MMM's iteration of FI is an outlier at the least.
it's definitely way easier. tech FI is easy mode. brute isn't saying that's bad - but it's probably no coincidence that a large percentage of FI humans and bloggers worked in tech. MMM, GCC, livingafi (DrDoom), MadFientist..

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:05 am

Yeah, agreed it is much easier. For the rest of us, it seems like it's either putting up with the corporate or tech world with whatever BA you got, or dealing with a plethora of less-than-stellar jobs in other industries. If you get tired of the latter, then getting an affordable State School Master's and hoping to land a job in the field is your best bet.

It's crazy to think that progressive credentialism keeps many of us in the education system until we're at least 25. I wish I had just gone to UF using my Dual Enrollment Associates from High School. After four years (now), I could've had my Master's. Awell, at least I got to taste what American privilege is like at the Ivy college for four years instead.

I think I've officially decided to go to grad school. I'm thinking an affordable yet high ranked State grad school with a degree that has solid prospects. There will be no debt here thank you very much.

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Fish
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Fish » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:16 am

“Tech FI” is easier on multiple counts. Not only is the salary high, but being paid 2-3x median income makes it a lot easier to blend in with the rest of society. Techers can still have their house and their cars... live a normal lifestyle with normal means, and still manage a 50% or higher SR. A dual income household can achieve early FI while living a similar lifestyle as their high-income peers. It’s a twofer where there is no psychological challenge or stigma since one is not living below the median as with archetypical ERE, and spending is at a high enough level that frugal skills are completely optional.

Furthermore, tech jobs tend to be “not so bad” in terms of working conditions and the nature of the work itself. So, I just want to express my understanding and respect for those who don’t have this good fortune and need to grind it out at jobs that are either low-paying and/or uninteresting.

Hang in there THF. From my vantage point you are much too focused on FI/RE as a goal when it is best achieved as a side effect of a frugal, productive lifestyle. I realize you are eager to join the 6-figure NW club 8-) but try to be content with the progress you have already made. You have 6+ years of expenses saved up. It’s not FI, but with your spending efficiency it is solidly FU.

Rationally, I think you should be “feeling abundant” with your level of NW. But from personal experience, I think I can empathize. When I started out in 2014, MMM-FI (600k + paid off house) was my goal. When that happened in 2016, there was a remarkable and rather instantaneous switch from a feeling of financial scarcity to abundance. And even though I still can’t RE currently, I’m still mentally anchored to that 600k number and there hasn’t been any goal creep whatsoever. Of course, I’m still accumulating, and I continue to keep score. But in my mind and my heart, I have enough and I’m at peace. The whole point of this is, maybe once you reach your goal whether it is 100k or 3% SWR or whatever, your financial insecurities will go away.

Also +1 to @jennypenny’s suggestion of taking some risks and allowing yourself to make mistakes in your 20s. Don’t get caught up in trying to create the perfect ERE life. You won’t be judged for failing to achieve FI by 25 or even 30. Life satisfaction is the measure of success, not net worth or retirement.

Going to be blunt here, but I don’t really understand your strategy with grad school. As an outside observer, I don’t get the sense that you know yourself or the potential career/job market well enough to ensure it won’t be a complete waste of time/$$$. I hope you will prove me wrong.
TopHatFox wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:01 am
I don't think I'll be going to a Columbia or NYU this time around since fin aid for grad school is much less.
If it were me, I would apply to prestige schools and do the master’s as a full-time student. If you work as a teaching or research assistant it’s not uncommon to get a tuition waiver + a stipend in the $25-30k+ range.(*) Or you can get a fellowship through programs such as the NSF or NDSEG. When I was in grad school I had money shoved at me from every which direction. Though it does help to study something which is in demand (hint, hint) :-P

(*) There’s a lot more synergy doing this than say, working a 40k full-time job to cashflow your part-time master’s degree. And if you can’t get paid to go to grad school, then maybe you should be doing something else instead?

Best of luck. Eagerly awaiting the next installment of “Fox news”.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:55 pm

Consider yourself lucky that you don't have to figure out how to follow Captain Capitalist's advice for females at the age of 53. I can't decide how many hours/day I should devote to refurbishment of my #1 Money Maker- My Beauty vs. my #2 Money Maker- STEM degree. Too hard to calculate the likely marginal return on investment.

IOW, I feel your pain, bro.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:18 pm

I wouldn't take everything a person says as gospel~

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BRUTE
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:06 pm

fox news lol

brute would like to second the Master thing. are there clearly defined fields where a Master's degree will yield much higher income than a Bachelor's degree, when accounting for extra time not spent working?

why not a trade? welder, carpenter, electrician..

ZAFCorrection
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by ZAFCorrection » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:17 pm

If you are interested in segueing from geology to something materials science-ish, you could do pretty well with a master's being some kind of tool owner (e.g. semiconductor manufacturing processes or characterization such as SEM). My understanding from people who know is the starting pay can be pretty close to six figures not including bonus. And you can forego the business casual.

You would just have to be judicious in which project/advisor you took for your degree. Choose something giving you experience in processes/experiments uninteresting to industry and you completely wasted your time.

James_0011
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by James_0011 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:56 pm

You could probably already be FI if you invested in real estate, the leverage is insane.

You could also do a petroleum engineering masters with your geology background and start at 100k+

jacob
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:10 pm

THF doesn't really strike me as the guy who is willing to mess up the planet for money(?) However, geologists do work in environmental remediation.
BSc -> Field tech, Jr Scientist, ...

George the original one
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by George the original one » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:09 pm

As I recall, the generic advice we've been handing out for ERE is that if you have a college degree already, don't bother with an advanced degree for career purposes because cost/benefit usually isn't adequate. Just get a job to finish becoming FI and then you can think about an advanced degree.

Now THF has upset some of that advice by being able to bank some serious money while obtaining the bachelor's which might change the equation, but he should really weigh the cost/benefit before embarking on the advanced degree.

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BRUTE
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:23 pm

jacob wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:10 pm
THF doesn't really strike me as the guy who is willing to mess up the planet for money
what has the planet ever done for TopHatFox?

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:41 pm

Bad things with some good things sprinkled or muscled in : P

The Old Man
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by The Old Man » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:47 am

The general rule of thumb is that advanced degrees are on someone else's dime. If you have to pay for it, then you are doing something wrong. THF has a degree from Amherst. He should be able to get an entry-level job based on that degree and get his employer to foot the bill for an advanced degree.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:31 pm

Cool, here's what I'm going to do:

1. It's been about a month now. I've decided to move out of NY in a week or two and fly back once a month to complete surgery and orthodontic work over the next 8 months. My parents are happy to provide a place to stay in Miami as I'm applying to grad programs or jobs.

2. Do research on different relevant Masters Programs, including assistantships, internships, and more. Make sure there are good employment prospects afterward, and to maximize going to school debt free. I can take the geology route and get a Masters at the Colorado School of Mines, for example. I can also take the social route and get a Masters in education, public administration, or social work. With the former, I fear failure. I got straight B's and C's in Geology. With the latter, I have fear of not getting a job after graduation, or the job being awful.

3. Once I'm in the program, create a website documenting my classes, assistantship, and work experiences. I'll try my best to find and hold a relevant job for the 1-2 years in the program too.

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Fish
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Fish » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:30 pm

I got straight B's and C's
You’ll need something else to differentiate yourself from other applicants to get funding, e.g. good GRE scores, well-written application essays showcasing your talents and unique personality, relevant experience/publications, and/or connections with faculty. If you’re open-minded about going all the way, applying to a PhD program is also favorable for getting funding vs. applying for a terminal Master’s.

The other approach would be to continue bouncing around the job market until you find something that is suitable considering your personality and life goals. Then pursue a grad degree iff required for the career.

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