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The Educator on FIOR (Financial Independence Optional Retirement) series is about sharing different perspectives, approaches, and challenges of educators working to improve their finances. This series proves you can build wealth while doing work that matters.
Today’s interview features Curt. He’s a man of few words, so the interview is shorter than usual. I’ve taken the opportunity to make a few additional comments.
I wanted to share Curt’s story to add to the number of interviews from people who have achieved financial independence. I’m proud to say that we have a healthy balance of those just starting, those in the middle of the journey, and a growing number who have achieved FI. I hope to be there soon!
As always – if you’d like to share your story, just contact me.
Let’s hear from Curt:
Tell us about you.
My name is Curt and my wife is Cindy. Together we have a combined 60 years as public school teachers in the state of Texas (no social security for teachers). We were both in Title 1 schools on the Mexican border. I was in high school science and coaching and Cindy was a reading specialist in an elementary. We raised 2 amazing daughters and paid cash for their college educations.
What do/did you like most about working in education?
The kids! Most are amazing!
(Ed note: This is the most consistent answer across all the interviews. So many educators love their jobs, they just want to figure out how to do it without worrying about money all the time!)
What do/did you like least?
The parents and administration. Most are clueless.
(Ed here: As an administrator I work hard not to be clueless – ha! I’ve certainly worked with some clueless ones. Some are just overwhelmed with a tough thankless job. I know how much a good principal matters in a school and one of my passions is to support those who are looking to become a school principal.)
What is your Why of Financial Independence?
To live a great and adventurous retired life and not need to worry about money all the time.
- FI Curious – Just learning and becoming interested in financial independence
- Future FI – On the path, but still learning. Destined for financial independence!
- FI Success – Financially independent!
FI Success – financially independent!
(Ed – Congratulations Curt!)
Share any financial numbers you are comfortable sharing.
|Income||Pension – $101,000 + whatever we decide to work extra.|
|Net Worth||$1.7 million+|
(Ed – Not all of our interviews get into the actual numbers. Curt shows what is possible to accumulate and how valuable a pension is. Make sure you understand your pension.
This is a very healthy net worth! I’m assuming the pension is not included in that. A $100,000 pension could be considered an asset worth over $2,000,000 depending on what assumptions you make. Curt and his wife are multimillionaires – from teaching! We can build wealth while doing work that matters!)
Tell us about your path to FI.
What are your successes/wins?
Long term vision/ retired at age 54
What are your challenges?
Wife likes to spend,but does go along with me.
What is your long-term goal? Do you have a FI target?
Keep living life, traveling, help our daughters.
If you become financially independent will you:
- Retire early?
- Continue to work in education? (How/why?)
- Do something different?
Retire early? Did that and built a lake house. Travel.
Tell us about a short-term goal you’re working towards.
Adjusting portfolio to retirement and trying to pay less taxes.
(Ed – This is something I still need to learn more about. I hope to read and write about it in the future. Managing money in retirement to adjust to need/risk and optimizing taxes are critical for those drawing down their savings. I appreciate Curt naming it as a short-term goal. As I get closer, I think a lot more about this.)
Who/what inspires you?
My mother and having less stress in my life.
(Ed – I always appreciate a shout-out to mothers! My single mom inspired me too. I dream about less stress in my life.)
What’s something you want to say to other educators about financial independence?
START NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t tell you how many educators I have talked to who had no idea about investing YOUNG and how to prepare for a great retirement.
(Ed – This is my biggest regret. I lost years of potential investment gains by waiting until my 30s to start, and my 40s to start seriously. Couldn’t agree more.)
Where can readers reach you if they want to connect?
Thanks, Curt for sharing your success story with other educators. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Curt – we know he’s relaxing by the lake! Congratulations on an impressive career and result.
If you missed it check out Educator on FIOR 27 with Kate from Financial Independence for Teachers.
You can find all the Educator on FIOR interviews here.