I’m also VERY grateful that I haven’t had any serious setbacks since I started my blog (knock on wood). But this plodding is making me antsy and I’m afraid that this dissatisfaction will make me fall off the proverbial horse.
In an attempt to make myself feel better, I think about how things were back in November 1998. I’d just graduated from law school in June and I’d taken the bar exam some time in August or September. I was still working as a clerk at a private law firm until I got my bar results.
After I passed the bar in late November, I was earning $45,000/year with no retirement benefits. (Yes, folks. Not ALL attorneys make bank straight out of law school.) The deferral period for my student loans were coming to an end and the repayment period was starting. I’m pretty sure I had less than $500 in my savings account at the time and I had no clue how I was going to repay my student loans. I’m also certain I had quite a bit of credit card debt since I lived on my credit cards while I was unemployed after graduation. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Here’s a bit of depressing (or more accurately, pathetic) news: I graduated in 1998 with approximately $100,000 in student loans. Guess how much I currently owe 10 years later? $103,619.61!! This is due to negative amortization from forbearing on the loan when things got tight. (Keep in mind that at the time, "financially tight" meant I wanted a new Coach purse and my credit card was maxed out.)
Let me be a warning to you all: Do not request a forbearance unless you ABSOLUTELY have no other options. (I really feel like belting out Cher's "If I Can Turn Back Time" right about now...)
But flash forward to present. Although I have just as much debt as I did in 1998, I also have MUCH more in my retirement and liquid savings. I've also turned a new leaf and I have a plan for paying off my debt by 2014. I'm not incurring new debt in the interim and I'm also saving little by little.
But why, oh, why is this process so tedious and excruciating? [Whine...]
I wish I had a time machine where I could see how I'm doing in 2018. If all goes to plan, I'm hoping that:
- I'm debt free other than my mortgage
- My home is financed with a 15-year fixed mortgage
- I'll have $36,000 in liquid savings
- I'll own $3,500 in US Savings Bonds
- I'll have $457,000 in my 401k and Roth IRA
- I'll be making plans to downshift my career at age 59 1/2.
I hate putting down my long term goals in writing. After all, as Homer Simpson says:
I guess in 2018, I'll look back at this post as a time capsule. I wonder what I'll be thinking then?
Anyhow, it's election day. Hope you're all voting!