It’s Never Too Late: Going Back to School While Planning for Retirement | American Funds

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It's Never Too Late: Going Back to School While Planning for Retirement

Monette Scott went back to school to realize her goal of earning a college degree, all while running a business with her husband and still prioritizing retirement savings.



Monette Scott



Monette Scott: Well, I met a young man and life kind of changed, because he had an ambition to be his own boss and have his own company. I had hoped to go to college and was actually taking some continuing education classes in college. We got married and things just kind of changed, and I went with him and worked with him to build his own business. So life was really interesting in the very beginning.

On my mother’s side I have Cherokee, and Choctaw heritage on both sides. I actually worked for a company for about 10 years that sold Native American books and videos and things. We also published a magazine all about American Indian culture, history, background, beadwork -- historical and modern-day.

My mom was looking to change jobs, and she saw an ad in the paper, and I said, “Mom, this really sounds like you, the job description.” So we fixed her resume and she went in and she applied. It was for an investment company. The advisor was a really nice man, and she introduced us to him.

He was just a marvelous guy and just did a very good job at helping us roll over the 401(k) and start Josh’s college fund.  I don’t know if I could have that same relationship with somebody, because we literally raised kids and grew up together, literally. I don’t know if I could go through that again. I don’t know if I could trust somebody that much again, I really and truly don’t.

I just thought, I really need to go back and try to catch up with school. So we talked about it, and it started out I was going to go back and maybe just take two classes and see if I liked it. I didn’t really know if I was going to make it because I had to take a math class and it was horrible.

It’s still very emotional for me when I stop and think about, because I did not do it by myself. I had a lot of help and a lot of encouragement. Six-and-a-half years later, I made it. I finished and I got my degree.

Right now my goal is, I want a trip to Hawaii. So I’m working on that, and saving to try to get to that, and then definitely our retirement and everything. I would like to be able see him slow down a little bit, and us travel and do some things for us.

It takes money. It takes a lot of money to get there. Instead of seeing that shiny new truck that you just think you have to have, or that shiny new piece of equipment that somebody thinks they have to have…. You know, just being practical and trying to save.

It’s definitely easier to go to school before you get sidetracked and get into other things. But I wouldn’t change any of it. That was my thing, you know -- go for it, you’re young, you have the opportunities now. And don’t let anybody tell you you can’t, because you certainly can. You certainly can.

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