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Then (10 years ago) and Now: Fiscal Fitness
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Then (10 years ago) and Now

January 1st, 2020 at 08:40 pm

Ten years ago: I was just starting my first job in the financial industry, doing taxes for H&R Block, after leaving a 20-year career in teaching and four months of unemployment. Both my mother and my basset hound Henry were alive, but each had been diagnosed with the illnesses that would soon kill them. I also had Phoebe and Teddy, the cats. I was about to take my final CPA exam. My Net Worth was positive but lower than it should be for someone nearing age 50.

Ten years later, I have had ten different jobs in the financial industry (most of them in the first half of the decade), finished my EA, CPA, and am nearly done with the CFP certification. All 3 pets that I had a decade ago were gone early in the decade and I adopted Buffy and Bridget, two middle-aged kitties who had lost their owner (and who are now both seniors and ill). I still live in the same house, belong to the same congregation and have the same friends (of course, there are new ones, but the core group is the same), and I’m still concerned with eating well and exercising. I never lose as much weight as I want to but the good news is that I have generally stayed moderately active and within about 10 pounds of the same weight for the decade.

My Net Worth is about 3.7x what it was. The inheritance from my mother doubled my net worth early in the decade, and I’ve grown the accounts since then. A new car in 2012 was my biggest single-item expense of the decade, but cumulatively with five pets (the three back then and the two now), veterinary expenses have been the biggest “discretionary” category of spending, particularly the two, Henry and Buffy, who had more major illnesses. But the pets keep me happy so they are well worth the money I spend on them.

Now, looking ten years ahead I see both more of the same and more changes. I’ll continue to focus on both health and finances (which is why I named my blog “Fiscal Fitness”); I’ll continue to have pets despite the expense, and, for the next decade, work will remain a focus. But I’ll begin to mentally prepare for retirement as well. That change in mental focus shall be a challenge for the decade.

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