So I’m a Single Income No Kids Working for the Government. I’m also just plain single. I’ve been working for the “G” for 16 years and the golden handcuffs have me working for them for at least another 9 more. Why do I call them the golden handcuffs, because my pay and benefits make it extremely difficult to leave my current job. I mean where else am I likely to be able to retire at 47 with a pension and subsidized health care for the rest of my life. Some will see that last line and lump me in as a parasite, but in reality if those two things didn’t occur, I wouldn’t be working for the G or at least I won’t be doing my current job. In fact, I am exploring a job change, although not a full on career change. I don’t like many aspects of my current job but I don’t have any better idea of what I want to do with my life that outweighs what I currently receive. So what is my job exploration. Basically doing my same job (because I’m qualified for it) just a different department. Will a job change solve all my issues with work, nope, but I hope it will solve one of the biggest ones. My department is not known to have a good work/life balance. And the balance has been tilting toward the work side the last few years.
When it comes to my biweekly pay, I can’t complain about my compensation. In fact, I’m kind of amazed at how much money I make. I’m a GS 13 step 8 with a 25% bonus and some overtime. Which means what? I make over 6 figures and have been since 2005. Last year I broke a new milestone of $150,000 (barely). My career is in a pretty technical area, it is also one that is truly a “government function.” Some aspects of my career do have private sector touch points but the combination of what I do is not found outside of the Government. However, my income is pretty much at it’s max. Based on laws passed by Congress, my pay is limited to a maximum amount, this year it is $160,300. So with those numbers in mind, yes I plan to get rich working for the Government, in fact, yes I’m a Millionaire, again just barely including the equity in my home. My next goal is to become a Millionaire not counting my primary residence.
How’d I get here the biggest component is following the advise passed to me early on in my career, to contribute to my Thrift Savings Plan (the G’s 401k), as early as I could and as much as I could striving to reach the maximum. Once I did that, personal finance guru’s mentioned something called an IRA and I worked on maxing that out as well. The rest is a vacation home I own with my parents, savings, a small post tax investment account, a HSA and some savings bonds that I will be cashing out sometime soon.
I’ve had a lot of success with my finances but I’ve had my fare share of challenges and made more than one mistake. Luckily my mistakes have hurt but have never been devastating. Borrowing a phrase I learned from friends who run ultra-marathons, I’ve managed to practice constant forward momentum and even when things looked bleak I still made some progress even though it was tiny.