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Financially free people answer, please

(74 Posts)
Naty Sat 30-Nov-19 23:42:10

Hi, I'm very impressed with this site. I joined because I wanted to mine this website for the wisdom of experienced women. I have not yet been disappointed.

I am a 34 year old woman on matetnity leave. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and am a teacher.

Lately I've been feeling very lost and unhappy with my career. I feel like I should be making a lot more money to live a more financially prosperous life. I feel like there is something more I need to do. Could you financially independent people tell me how you "made it"? Were your husbands the breadwinners? How'd they do it? Advice is so appreciated.

Callistemon Sun 01-Dec-19 11:06:10

I have some premium bonds and every month live in hope of becoming wealthy by winning that million.

Money does not bring happiness but lack of money can make you anxious and unhappy as I know well.

Callistemon Sun 01-Dec-19 11:39:09

harrigran I had to have a smile when I read your post.
DH just brought me a coffee, saying 'the butler's brought your coffee again!'
I'm just lazing around in my cashmere and pearls.

Ginny42 Sun 01-Dec-19 11:57:12

Hello and welcome to GN. I'm sorry you're feeling unhappy in your career, but my advice is don't make any knee jerk reactions to feeling lost atm. You have your hands full with a young baby and if you're anything like I was, whilst I adored my beautiful daughter, it came as a shock to the system to be 'on call' 24/7 as she needed little sleep.

I'm reading between the lines and guessing it's the whole treadmill of teaching, planning and preparation and marking, with possibly pupil behaviour issues getting you down. In which case a change of direction might be a good thing. If you've taken maternity leave, then you have to do your statutory service either full or part time, but after that you can make a change.

As Ellen Vannin said, you might find promotion as a child psychologist either privately or working for the LA team. I chose to go down the teacher training route, eventually training in the EU and internationally, but I couldn't have done that whilst my daughter was young.

Have you thought of writing? What about private tutoring? Do you have a hobby which could be turned into a business venture, either alone or with a partner? Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I wish you lots of luck and happiness whatever you decide to do.

Teacheranne Sun 01-Dec-19 12:37:54

I guess I am one of those people you refer to as financially independent - but I'm not sure how it happened!

I had a career change when my youngest son was 5 and retrained as a teacher. I was married then but as my husband worked abroad part of the time, I only worked part time to have time for childcare. All was well, we lived within our means but didn't have a huge amount left over to build up much savings.

Roll on seven years, my husband wanted a divorce and I was 44 years old and a single mum of three teenagers, still working part time. I had to take control of the future for myself! Luckily my ex was happy for me to keep the house and take over the mortgage as long as he got all our savings that were shares in his company. He was fairly generous with child support but I did not get ( or expect) any spousal maintenance but I did receive part of his pension pot to compensate me for the years in did not work when the children were very young. I ended up with no savings though which scared me a little.

So, I began to plan ahead, I was able to work full time within a year and was soon promoted to be head of department and eventually the deputy head. I saved hard, paid of the mortgage early, invested in some bonds and additional pension years but still had some amazing holidays to places like Canada and China. I was aware of the need to save for my retirement but did not over obsess over it.

I always thought I would have a fairly frugal retirement but after taking the advise of a financial adviser when I was about 55 to help sort out my various investments and different pensions pots, I have ended up with more than enough to fund a very comfortable retirement. I think one good thing I did was to pay off my mortgage as quick as I could to allow me to build up savings. Also, with financial advice, I have not used all my pension pots as monthly income, keeping two of them invested with the intention to do drawdown as and when I need to access large sums for home repairs, cars or holidays etc.

So, no magic, quick answers for you I'm afraid, just hard work and careful planning, not becoming too obsessed with money to the detriment of enjoying life but not being too extravagant and making sure you save regularly and don't borrow money.

sodapop Sun 01-Dec-19 12:43:08

Like your style Callistemon smile

Fennel Sun 01-Dec-19 12:46:11

I agree with Ellanvannin - that's what I did.
I had a degree in psychology and went straight into teaching.
Then later trained as an EP. I loved my job with the LA.
That was a long time ago though, I believe things have changed a bit since I retired in 1990.

Fennel Sun 01-Dec-19 12:55:00

ps I also trained post grad as a social worker, at the LSE which had some brilliant teachers in those days. Then worked as a social worker for 2 years, but found that work very emotionally demanding. So changed course.
Those were the days, when you could switch so easily, there was funding and plenty of jobs.

rosecarmel Sun 01-Dec-19 13:03:58

Read or listen to All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren, it may shift your views about money, about living-

Tedber Sun 01-Dec-19 13:41:57

I am thinking perhaps your discontentment about job, mil etc is due to post natal feelings?

Actually from what have heard from you, you have lots of options - move back to states even?

Wouldn’t do anything for at least a year though.

You can’t live without money but don’t make it your master! You need to live for the moment as well as planning for the future. Happiness and contentment are more important than mega bucks in the bank. That can only come from within.

Grannycool52 Sun 01-Dec-19 14:44:26

Where I live you can't work as a professional psychologist, clinical, educational or occupational, with just a bachelor's degree in psychology - you have to do post-grad psychology qualifications. So you need to find out if that's the case in your country and, if so, factor in the cost of doing that if you want to practise as a psychologist outside of school teaching.

Grannycool52 Sun 01-Dec-19 14:50:00

I gave up a senior public service job to start my own occupational psychology business. I managed to get contracts in the financial services sector, with the big American banks, etc. I made very good money & put as much as possible into private pensions. Even so, my pensions add up to just about the same as if I'd stayed in the public sector. Private pensions cost a lot, so don't give up a public service job + pension, thinking you'll do better in the private sector.

Grannycool52 Sun 01-Dec-19 15:03:37

I mean, don't LIGHTLY give up a public service job and pension.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 01-Dec-19 15:37:47

For a start wealth does not always bring happiness. Retired at 57, ill health, and Mr B at 60., early retirement We did our sums and realised we could just about mange by having a modest lifestyle yet still be able togo away for 3 months in the winter.

How did we do it, we both worked, average sort of jobs in admin. We paid into pensions, we didn't get into debt, we didn't have everything, e.g., SKY, new cars every few years, a modest house. We saved for a holiday every year and spent many weekends camping. We had a bit luck that Mr B was made redundant from his last job and we used the money to pay off the mortgage.

15 years into retirement we are comfortable, not wealthy but happy and having a lovely life.

Daisymae Sun 01-Dec-19 16:10:18

By having a career plan, professional qualifications and working hard. I don't know any quick, easy ways to do it. While money may not bring happiness in itself, security can bring peace of mind. Which is well worth aiming for.

bingo12 Sun 01-Dec-19 16:32:56

My son earns a six figure salary with bonus in compliance in the City. He did a degree in Criminology and took a lot of other qualifications while working. He works a 12 hour day most days and is now in the process of divorce. He will be losing his house etc ( a no fault divorce). His wife is an artist - not a successful one but will be wealthier.

Callistemon Sun 01-Dec-19 17:54:23

Grannycool at one time private pensions were promising so much compared to public pensions but alas the banking crisis changed all that.

Callistemon Sun 01-Dec-19 17:56:34

It's good to make plans but I would also advise living in the present and enjoy your baby if you are able to manage financially.
Those years slip by so quickly.

endlessstrife Sun 01-Dec-19 18:28:48

We did it when Britain had money, everyone’s in debt now. I think you’re generation have been screwed, and it’s much harder. Try not to focus on Money too much, just your happiness with your little family. Do the very best you can and enjoy every minute with your child/ children.

Luckygirl Sun 01-Dec-19 18:39:11

We reached a position of being comfortable - not rich - by working extremely hard throughout our lives. And just when we hoped we could have a restful retirement OH became ill and is now in a nursing home, so all our saved money and our home are going down the pan in fees.

So........make sure you have some balance in your life while you are young! You do not know what manure might land when you are older! Really - try and secure a career that is satisfying and worthwhile and do not make money the only consideration.

Callistemon Sun 01-Dec-19 19:25:10

everyone's indent now
I presume you speak for you and yours endlesssrrife

Do not speak for mine please.

Luckygirl that is the fear we all have, I think.

M0nica Sun 01-Dec-19 20:03:21

I am fascinated by the OPs assumption that we all lead prosperous lives. She cannot have been reading GN very throughly, because any peruse will quickly show how diverse are the circumstances of its members . Some are comfortly off, some are on Pension Credit. Some own their own houses -which can be a blessing or a curse.

I would say, a teacher has as good a salary as anyone else and certainly better than many. Whether that makes you financially prosperous rather depends on what your personal definition of financially prosperous is.

If you want to have a summer holiday in Australia and go skiing at half term, stay in good hotels and own new cars, yes you will struggle. But if your aims in life are more modest, it takes very little to live comfortably.

What makes you think money is all? Our DS chose a career path that he knew and acknowledged would never make him rich, that he would never earn as much as his father. But it was a career he set his heart on when he was very young, and never deviated from as he grew up. He worked hard, got three degrees and didn't get his first permanent job until he was 40, until then life had been a succession of contracts.

But he wouldn't give up his career for all the tea in China, I doubt he would move if his salary was doubled. He loves his job. He has a house, a happy marriage and two children, doing well. Yes, he has the income to afford that, but as a university lecturer, his salary is not much different to a teachers. His wife also works. combining studying for a PhD with freelance work. With two rapidly becoming indipendent children and an auto-immune disease. This works well for her

You need as much money as is necessary to assure you a comfortable secure roof over your head, food on the table. clothes on your back and a bit extra for small luxuries, after that.

I think DH and I would be considered fiancially prosperous. But there is no magic key. We both had professional careers, and did well in them. DH had a job that constantly took him all over the world to construction yards and remote parts of very unsalubrious countries at short notice for indefinite periods, but like DS he really enjoys his work so much that he is still doing it in his mid 70s. His willingness to travel the way he did meant he was paid quite well. He is still working because his skills are in high demand and he enjoys it. No cunning plans or deep financial dexterity was needed, just hard work and a willingness to go the extra mile.

If you are not happy in your current work, then use your time at home to research other careers. Many teachers leave the profession so it is a transferrableskill that other employers appreciate, but do not think that more money is the answer to your woes. It isn't

Deedaa Sun 01-Dec-19 20:49:21

It's an awful cliche but money really isn't everything. In another 30 or so years you will find that your fondest memories will be silly things that cost nothing.

Grannycool52 Sun 01-Dec-19 22:22:53

Callistemon, you are absolutely correct.

gmarie Sun 01-Dec-19 22:50:07

Hi Naty. I'm in the US, so am not sure if my contribution will be that helpful, but I'm a retired teacher and doing just fine. I taught for several years and then had my sons at 30 and 35. Stayed home with them until my ex left for another woman, then went back to teaching and put in 22 years. In the meantime I paid off my home. I was able to retire a few years ago because of that and live comfortably, but not lavishly. I'd still be working if I didn't have have the pension and health care or if I was still paying a mortgage.

I know in the UK you all have a different retirement system but I think getting the house paid off helps anywhere. I don't have a car payment and I also pay off my one credit card every month and receive a cashback bonus on the purchases that I use for Christmas. I'm not a big spender but I have more discretionary money in the budget now than I did when the kids lived at home. smile grin

Naty Mon 02-Dec-19 00:17:49

Hi sodapop, I'm not assuming anything. This is a question open to various possible answers.