I'm 29, single (assume it's going to remain that way) female, and have spent the last few years saving an amount that's getting close to about $30k, which I presently have in my bank's equivalent of a your average ING Saver account, figuring by now I'd've figured out what I could/was willing to do with it, towards securing some kind of financial future that doesn't involve a cardboard box. I haven't, largely I suppose because I don't know what I need to be aiming for. Looking for advice. More inside.
posted by springbound to work & money (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
When I began saving, it was with the vague feeling that I ought to do the grown-up thing and buy an apartment at some point to serve as an investment. I'm probably (depending on how I feel when the application's approved) going to go live overseas (Canada) for a few years, at some point in the next five years. To my vague figurings it sounded sensible to buy a two-bedroom place (as all the investment-property-luvvas recommend) and rent it out whilst overseas.
Now, (a) economic times are changing, in ways I've never experienced before so am unfamiliar with what to expect, and (b) I'm not honestly all that comfortable with the idea of being so saddled with debt that I've got no money to do any travelling for the next 30 years (or 'til whenever I could sell this fictitious apartment for some kind of profit, which given deflation and all seems like it could be some years down the track). I'm also in a period right now where I'm disliking the field I'm working in and weighing up what to do next (which will probably involve more study), whether to go overseas, whether not to, etc etc etc -- and thinking about tying myself to a loan that prevents me from studying, prevents me from changing jobs to one that might be a better fit but pays less, and just generally prevents me living my life the way I want to, makes me uncomfortable and trapped-feeling.
So, however, does the thought of reaching retirement age with nothing to my name. I've seen my grandfather struggle on the pension, and he owns his own home. I'm a frugal enough person but I don't want to spent retirement being grossly unhappy and unable to do or buy anything I want to or need. I don't know what's in my superannuation fund right now, but I spent a fair bit of my 20s studying, so I doubt very much; and it's only gotten worse of course with the stock market crapping itself. I work (and have done since I graduated) for an employer who makes only the minimum contributions to it. I make none. I'm not sure whether in the current economic climate I should or shouldn't be reconsidering that.
Obviously I can't have it all, but I want as much a rewarding life as I can have. I don't want to limit my options unnecessarily, but I also want to have a secure financial future. I'm not going to have any kids whose granny-flat I can muscle in on later. ;) My immediate family are now all home-owners, and I suppose the assumption is that I'll do the same thing when I get my shit together enough (I feel pressure, too, but it's largely internal to me: the parents used to make suggestions, but I think these days they've given up on me doing anything remotely suggestive of the smell of success), but I'm also a bit different to the rest of my family in that they all want the nice house in the 'burbs with a two car garage and that makes them happy. I feel isolated in the 'burbs, want to live in areas where there's a bit of interesting stuff happening, and in an ideal world I'd go overseas once a year and change careers four times in my life.
Can anyone offer any advice, specifically, I suppose, about what (if anything), and when, I should do with this $30k I've saved (including the question: is now so bad a time to buy property that I shouldn't even *consider* it?), and, more generally, any other advice on what I should be aiming for in terms of a balance between living-my-life-being-free and having an ok old age? Most of the people around me seem to be better-placed in terms of choices, either through being older and/or richer and/or more established, or partnered with two incomes to play with, and/or with a completely different goal-set; and many are inclined (naturally!) towards suggesting I should do exactly as they have. The few who don't, I worry might be going too easy on me. ;) To clarify, by the way, I'm not saying I wouldn't like to partner and/or perhaps foster a child (the latter would be some ten years down the track); but only the first of those is a priority for me, and in the interests of not counting my chickens when they may never hatch, I'd really appreciate some knowledge about how to proceed if neither ever happen--advice from outside the circle whose advice I'm currently limited to and who also may have an investment of whatever kind in me doing what they've done. Even if you wind up repeating what others think, that would be valuable and appreciated in terms of gaining a good overview of the different approaches out there; plus I trust you guys to be more objective for not knowing me!
Thanks guys. :)