A little financial advice for those new to our profession.
Back when I joined the profession in 1990, I knew I was trading a higher private sector salary for guaranteed benefits and a guaranteed, but modest retirement income. These were extrinsic factors that were offset by the intrinsic rewards of serving my community and country.
But, I was also aware that I would need to manage my finances, thru continuous saving, modest purchasing and delayed gratification.
Every paycheck my wife and I paid ourselves first; always putting a little into a no-load mutual fund. We didn’t rent the nicest apartment and we didn’t buy the biggest house we could afford. We didn’t buy the nicest car we could get financed. We taught summer school and tutored to bring in a little extra money, that went to either our savings or to pay off debt quicker. With every raise, we increased the amount that went to savings and paying off debts, first, before we upgraded our lifestyle. We had modest goals, starting with having enough in savings to survive 1-month without a paycheck, to 6-months, to 1-year, then to being debt free. In took time, but with every step forward our World got a little bigger as our financial stress diminished.
We did this when we could actually count on our public education benefits and retirement package.
For those of you entering the profession, sound financial planning is now more critical than ever before. With our current crop of politicians and their anti-taxes, anti-public education crusades, who can say if public education benefits and retirement packages are safe.
The intrinsic rewards are still there, but the extrinsic financial equation has been skewed, and not in your favor.
So be smart, do everything you can to become financially secure, so you can weather any financial storm you may face while doing the job that we all love.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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