shepdawg wrote:Seems like the opportunities you would gain would not be worth the cost. That is, unless you are already very wealthy and have enough saved to retire in the Keys now.
Paying tuition is not an issue. I started saving money when I was 10 years old (you'd be surprised at the little jobs a kid can do, and the money you can make when shoveling snow is practically a year-round job!). I frequently had more than 1 job at a time (mostly teaching jobs, even when I was still in the military) except when I was serving in Southeast Asia. (Oops, I forgot about the pool playing, where I earned money betting that I would win. So, does that count as an extra job?)
I learned to "pay" myself first. And 2/3 into my working years, I began saving 1/3 of my paycheck. At that point, I had everything I needed. I am the only person I know, other than my sister, who hates to shop. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in a mall in the past 15 years. I don't need 300 CDs, Blue-Ray, a phone that does everything except cook, or $150 sneakers. (I do like a nice bottle of French wine, however.) BTW, did you know that the fasting growing segment of Internet users is senior women? They are online shopping! The key here is "need." No, I didn't deprive myself. One of the other things you learn as you grow older is that you need less and less to be happier and satisfied.
I know I must sound like a parent giving advice to children--I am good at that. My parents taught us at a very young age the value of saving and investing for the future. When you identify your goals, then what you have to do to achieve them becomes blatantly obvious. You can live well in retirement, or you can buy a latte every day. But the consequence of that indulgence means you will be working a whole lot longer before you finally walk out the door for the last time. I knew exactly the date I would be retiring, and worked backward from there on how much of a nest egg I would need on the day I retired, to live on in retirement. (There are lots of online calculators out there that can help you crunch the numbers.)
I have no desire and no ego problems that I have to attend some big-name law school or one where the tuition is more than a down payment on a house. Frankly, I am not concerned about the various tiers for law schools--designations established for whatever reasons. There are perfectly good schools out there where you can get a law degree. I used to tell the students in my classes that, unless you were the best engineer this side of the Mississippi, there is no need to go to MIT. Or, unless you were the best financial whiz in the whole world, there is no need to go to Wharton. And I don't need to be Sandra Day O'Connor. Besides, in 5 years (sometimes sooner), it won't matter. People just don't go around asking you where you got your degree after you have been in the work world a number of years. They don't care. All they care is that you can do the job and get along with your coworkers and keep your powder dry. And most would prefer not to know that you went to some fancy school, because they will most likely stereotype you before you have a chance to prove yourself (and sometimes that could be bad).
I refuse to set myself up for disappointment if my first (even second) choice for anything doesn't come through. I learned contingency planning in the AF; indeed, it is ingrained in you. Plan A doesn't work, go to Plan B. Two feelings you can get rid of: Guilt, as it happened in the past and there isn't one thing you can do about it now--get over it, learn from it, and move on; and worry--it hasn't happened, and the only person you can control is yourself. So don't waste energy on those two mind trips.
As for opportunities, they are what you make of them, and happiness is rarely measured in dollars (I realize that if some 20-somethings read that statement, they probably think I am 2 tacos short of a plate.) Don't get me wrong--I'd love to win the lottery; but then, I have to buy a ticket first. Some people are content with a 3-year-old used car; others want the latest SUV fresh off the assembly line. Some people refuse to eat leftovers, others will eat anything. Whatever floats your boat.
There are some theories that people dismiss too quickly when it comes to opportunities. People seem to think that the opportunities just fall into your lap. You hear:
1. The person got the job because of whom they know. Assuming you acan walk the talk, what's wrong with that? Tell me whom I have to hobnob with, and I will make sure I have pressed clothes when I meet them.
2. The person got the job because they were in the right place at the right time. Great! Tell me where I have to be, and I will get there 10 minutes early. Nothing wrong with that, either.
3. They got the job/promotion because they were lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it, unless you define luck as having the brains to have a plan and then work your plan. They did their homework--studied and got good grades, worked harder and smarter than anyone else, were nice to all their co-workers, even the ones they didn't like, or researched the heck out of something so that both they and their boss looked very good. That wasn't luck--that was a strategic plan that was executed well.
As for retiring to the Keys, one thing you learn when you travel for a living is where you DON'T want to live. Hurricanes and humidity are not on my list of desirables in a retirement location.
Quote from me today:The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
And then you have the glass people (this is my quote):
[i]Some people see the glass as half full.
Some people see the glass as half empty.
Some people see the glass as broken.
And some can't even see the glass.