Category: Reader Case Studies

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Reader Case Study: Former Commercial Fisherman, Future Travel Nurse, Adventurer Always

Amy is a former commercial fisherman and wildland firefighter turned nurse. After working on the frontlines of the pandemic in North Central Washington, this month she began her first travel nursing assignment. As she embarks on this new career path, she’s examining her finances–including her recent purchase of her first home–with the goal of making sustainable, long-term decisions about her future. Amy is a wilderness lover and adventurer and does just about every outdoor sport...

136

Reader Case Study: A PhD in English Lit Enters an Uncertain Job Market

Sara is a PhD student in English Literature at a university in the midwest. She’ll graduate with her doctorate this May and would like our help determining what to do next. Sara notes, “In addition to the poor job market, I’m skeptical of academic work culture, and uncertain if I want to commit myself to a life of 80 hour work weeks and unending pressure to publish and produce. I love teaching, my intellectual community,...

125

Reader Case Study: Living in Lakewood, Longing for More Space and Time

Eve and her husband Gordon live in Lakewood, Colorado–a suburb of Denver–along with their two young sons and one guppy fish. Eve works part-time as a marketer and Gordon works full-time as an engineer. Four years ago they began working towards financial independence and an early semi-retirement. They’d like to have more time to spend with their sons and in the outdoors! Eve and Gordon are now debating selling their home and buying something cheaper...

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Reader Case Study: Full-time Dog Trainer Needs More Space for… Dog Training!

Birdie and her husband Allan live in Gaithersburg, Maryland where they both own their own businesses and work from home. Birdie is a dog trainer and, at present, their condo is not cutting it in terms of space and outdoor access. Birdie specializes in a board-and-train model, which means she and Allan have a delightful (though often noisy) assortment of hounds living with them at all times. She loves and prefers this mode of training,...

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Reader Case Study: Working to FIRE in Finland

Jen and her husband Marc live on the west coast of Finland along with their two-year-old son. They recently bought their dream home near the sea and are enjoying their new lifestyle outside of the city. While Jen likes her job as a product champion engineer, she has aspirations to reach FIRE (financial independence, retire early). She’s also interested in pursuing a real estate portfolio, starting by renting out the cottage on their property via...

144

Reader Case Study: Stay Married on Paper or Finalize the Divorce?

Adrianna is a 40-year-old mom to two teenage boys who lives in Richmond, VA. She and her husband recently separated and she’s in the process of figuring out if it’ll make more sense to stay married on paper or finalize their divorce. Along with this question, she’s wondering about beefing up her retirement investments and transitioning to earning a full-time income on her own. She enjoys her part-time, work-from-home position as an administrative assistant, but...

121

Reader Case Study: Stuck in Chicago, Longing for Life in The Basque Country

Katie and her husband Jon live in Chicago, IL with their two-year-old daughter Amaia. But Chicago is not where their hearts are. Jon is originally from the Basque Country and the family longs to return. After a brief stint of living there in 2019, they were forced back to the States in order to find better jobs. Now, they’re on a three to five-year trajectory to retire early in Spain. They’ve asked for our help...

146

Reader Case Study: Astronomer and Actor Turns 60 at a Turning Point

Erik is a true Renaissance man who turns 60 this year and finds himself at a turning point. He has a PhD in Dramatic Art, a Master’s in astronomy and an MFA in acting. Erik lives outside of Boston and currently works at a world-class scientific institution focusing on a large data archive for astronomy and astrophysics. In his free time, he builds telescopes, writes poetry, listens to jazz music and spends quality time with...

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Reader Case Study: Breaking the Cycle of Financial Instability

Kayla and her partner Lauren live in Charlotte, NC with their two dogs and one cat. They both work in banking–at the same bank, in fact–and are feeling settled in the home they bought in 2019. Very soon, they plan to have children, which has them reflecting on their financial priorities. While they still have some debt, they’ve done a fantastic job of paying it down over the years. Now, they’re ready to get serious...

127

Reader Case Study: Military Family Prepares for Civilian Life

Kate and her husband Will lived the military life for the last decade. Will, who is currently an Army Officer, begins his transition to civilian life this summer. The couple–along with their cat Oliver–live in the Seattle metro area, where Kate works in higher education. With this huge change on the horizon, they’d like our help determining where they should move, what types of jobs Will should pursue, if they should buy a house and...