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How much money did you invest in your career?

Was the amount of investment that you was worth it at the end?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Evelyn,

Well, when I read your question, I was like, that's easy, I graduated college with $50k in college loans. And I worked to sustain myself in college and pay off fees with that, so... it probably costed $100k? And my parents paid for my upbringing from birth to my high school years, which is estimated at $150k. So even if we round up, lets say my entire education costed $250k. This answers your first question of how much money was invested in my career.

Now, the second question of if it was worth it... well, it's an interesting one because I don't measure worth in financial terms. To me, it was worth it because I have learned to love and forgive myself. My career has played a role in my philosophical enlightening, since the relatively stress-free work life I lead gave me the room to find peace. So yup, the amount invested was totally worth it. :)

I hope these answers helped!
--
Dexter
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Ben’s Answer

Hello Evelyn,

this is a very good question, but you could receive various answers depending on the age of the people responding because the cost of education rises at a rapid pace. For example, I graduated college in 1991 and I owed $7500 for student loans, where as people graduating today may between $50-$100k or even more.

I'm fortunate in that after receiving my bachelor degree, the company I worked for paid my tuition for both masters digress I earned so there wasn't a financial investment at that point. So for me as a middle manager in a Fortune 100 company and the salary I earn now and have earned throughout my career, it has been worth my financial investment. I think statistics show that on average, a college graduate earns about $400,000 more in their career over non college graduates. If your not considering college, I would suggest some type of trade, otherwise it will be difficult to obtain a good paying job.

I would suggest to first determine what career you want and lookup the average salary for that career. Then compare that to the cost of education to get you started in that field and that will help you determine if its worth it. I would also suggest exploring every opportunity to get grants and scholarships for the education. Try to minimize the amount you would owe at the end of your education.
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Tammy’s Answer

Your question makes me think of the time invested, the direct money invested, i.e. cost of education, and the opportunity cost of lost wages while I pursued my education, compared to the benefit of my education. I was educated at university to attain a Bachelor of Commerce while living at home. I had scholarships which covered much of the direct cost of university. My university lasted 4 years and it was another 2 years working at a low introductory salary before taking my CPA exams. I am now retired. I believe my investment was well worth it because it opened up many professional opportunities for me. This was especially true at the time I graduated as a petite, blonde woman who often had to rely on my CPA designation to command respect for my knowledge and ability during my career.
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Chiranjib’s Answer

Hi Evelyn

Great question.
Let me not go into "how much money I invested", because that number would vary a lot, depending on when the expense happened and where and for what. Let me rather try to add a qualification to my answer rather than quantification.

In my career, I wanted to pursue my graduation from a Government-funded college in India, but that did not happen. So, I settled for a privately funded college. Thankfully I did not have to take an educational loan, as my parents could manage it. Was it worth it? Totally! Today after 16 years of industry experience, I can only thank that education I had.

That being said, not all have been rosy. Recently I invested quite a big sum of money for a diploma course, which did not meet my expectations and I ended up dropping. The money I invested literally sank. The reasons for dropping were many, the course structure, the level of materials presented, the way the content was being taught, and the timings of the classes, it played havoc with my work-life balance and it was not going anywhere. After dropping off, I could rebalance my priorities and get my act right. I realigned my focus to my career goals and what I really wanted to do, instead of just going through the motions and torturing myself just because I paid for it!!
Do I regret the investment? NO !!! Why? Because I learned what kind of courses I needed to avoid at this juncture of my career and what kind of courses I need to focus on!

As far as a career is concerned, with experience, I have learned to weigh the pros and cons very carefully before deciding to take the plunge. Always take very well though-out and well-researched decisions. Often things that look golden from afar are not really as good. All that glitters is not gold!

If you found my answer helpful, please let me know. Best wishes!
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Shequanda’s Answer

When I originally went to college back in the late 90s, I was able to obtain federal grants to pay for all of my college expenses. I also received money from my job at the time who paid a certain allowance for anyone pursuing their education. In Jan this year, I started taking online courses to obtain my bachelors degree. Since my husband is disabled through the VA, I was able to use educational benefits through the VA to assist with my college expenses. I've been blessed to have these opportunities available to pursue my education.

Many companies offer educational reimbursements or assistance so I would suggest looking into that as well as checking to see if you are eligible for scholarships or grants.

Since I didn't really invest my own money into my education, I can't really speak to that measure but the investment of my time was definitely worth it!!!
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Andy’s Answer

Hello Evelyn,

It is very impressive that you are already thinking about investing.

The short answer is that investing is worth it and I fully recommend it. A couple years after starting my career my savings have really compounded into something that was not achievable without investing. The amount you should invest depends fully on you and your specific needs but I would say a minimum of 15% of your salary every month.

I really recommend the book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki.

All the best,
Andy
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Great question because it's something everyone should consider. I personally did not have to invest that much as far as money. But another thing to consider is the time invested. 9 years of education 9 years of living expenses 9 years of tuition and 9 years of lost income or time without income and 9 years of income that you could have had and could have invested that could have more than doubled on a typical investment is still a lot. Being lucky and having scholarships allowed me to be less than $250,000 in debt which is nothing compared to most people. If you were to do the math and figure an income of $30,000 a year for 9 years that's $270,000 of lost income. If that money was invested along the way it's much much more. I don't want to discourage anyone from going to school but I think people should consider everything that factors into what they believe will be successful them as an individual. There's so many different ways to find a career.
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Harrison’s Answer

Typically, 15% of your annual income is a good starting point. Most investment vehicles do, though, have limits on the amount that you can contribute annually. Starting young is very important and time in the market is important as well.
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Rob’s Answer

Not very much about money rather time. I think in the early parts of your career you should put as much time as you can into learning about your job, company & industry. This will give you valuable experience, show your employees you care & are a hard worker. Colleagues and managers always value someone who cares and works hard.
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Craig’s Answer

Hi, This is an awesome question because you have already given the thought about investing. Most people say that if you are investing for retirement you want to start as soon as humanly possible, and invest around 15% of your income. You want to start investing as soon as possible because like the interest that works against you with debt, the interest works for you when investing. This is why everyone says that the sooner the better, and you can even invest more than 15% if you are able to, but maybe that would not be for retirement but in a taxable brokerage account in which you would like to save your money for a short term goal (5 years) for say a car, or maybe a long term goal (10 years) a house! One thing is for certain, I have never heard anyone complain and/or regret that they invested "too much" in their lifetime. Investing is a great thing to set yourself up for the future and I recommend that everyone invests as much as they can afford to!
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Alyssa’s Answer

Hi Evelyn,

I appreciate your question, as I am newer to entering the workforce and was seeking advice regarding investing as well. I'd like to share with you what has worked for me so far, as well as pro tips that were shared with me when I first began saving and investing.

To start with your original question of how much I have invested in my career, the biggest and most important investment I have made so far in order to obtain my current job is education. I made the decision early on that education would be extremely important for a career in wealth management, so I prioritized investing around 200k for a 4 year university.

Secondly, I have consulted with many advisors in the field who have collectively given me the advise to save and invest around 15%. While I agree 15% is a great goal to set for yourself, I personally believe as long as you are matching your employers contribution for a 401k (6-8%) that may be a better goal when you are first starting your career.

Good Luck!!
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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Evelyn, thank you for your question. I have been very lucky when it comes to using my own money to get through school. My tuition was paid for so all I had to do was pay for books and computer and soft wear needs. which ended up being about 5000.00 so far. Best of luck
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Nicholas’s Answer

The cost of undergraduate tuition for me, at Indiana University (less room & board), was approximately ~$45,000 beginning on my start date, August 2018. You can add another $10,000 for room & board for mathematical purposes, which vary depending on quality of dorm, extra-circulars signed up for, lifestyle expenses, and more. The cost of education ended up being roughly $220,000 in this scenario. Personally, I had decided to attend a university that was more expensive compared to smaller instate ones. I believed the benefits of Indiana University such as the notable Kelley School of Business (including career resources, quality education, alumni network), gorgeous campus, overall college experience, and more would eventually create a return on my investment. Make sure you consider these intangibles when you conduct a decision making process.

Another important question to be asked is how much time utility did my career cost me. There were countless nights that I would spend alone networking, finishing projects, and focusing on myself rather than hanging out with my friends. Obviously social wellness is key to a healthy lifestyle, especially in college, but time is valuable.
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Scott’s Answer

15% of your annual income is a good start if you are able to manage that. Also always remember - Time in the market is better than trying to time the market. I would guess most people would say they wish they invested more early on in their career.
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