Saturday, May 26, 2012

When I grow up


I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up and it's kind of freaking me out.

For so long, my plan was Big 4. Now that I have decided I don't want to touch that with a ten foot pole, I'm left to wonder what else I could be.

I'm taking a personal finance class right now and have toyed with the idea of becoming a certified financial planner. I love the idea of being able to help people make smart financial decisions. I love that if friends/family members/church members approached me with questions, I would be able to give them informed advice. Part of me doesn't really want to do that as a career though... part of me just wants to get certified for my own sake, just so I can say I am. I guess it's not so much that I don't want to do it as a career, I just don't really know what options there are to do it as a career.

I've considered applying to investment companies like Edward Jones. This would involve being a financial adviser and would require some investments certification. Edward Jones doesn't recruit at BYU so I feel like it would be hard to get my foot in the door.

I've considered going to work in the accounting company of a big corporation. It wouldn't be the most glamorous work (wait, compared to what? Compared to working 60 hours a week? I'd say it's pretty glamorous compared to that). It would probably be very boring, but it would pay the bills and put some experience on my resume. You have to start somewhere.

I've considered working for the government. State governments have auditing departments. Working for the government seems like it would be a sweet deal.

I hate not knowing what is going to happen. I wish I could start the application process right now, but it's too early - no one wants to hire this far out.

I've considered just doing nothing. Is it a waste of my education if I don't work right after college, but rather start having kids?

That brings up another concern - the whole reason I was doing the master's program was for the Big 4. The Big 4 want all of their employees to be CPA eligible, and a master's degree means you are CPA eligible everywhere. Plus, with so many master's degree applicants, you really have to stand out to be considered if you just have a bachelor's degree. But I'm not doing the Big 4 anymore. I will be CPA eligible when I graduate based on the number of credits and the types of classes I've taken. The master's program is way expensive (well, expensive compared to normal BYU tuition). Is it really worth the money and potential student loans to get a degree I don't really need anymore? Really, the only reason for me to get my master's is because I want it. Are my wants worth $7,000?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


"Nothing seems so certain as the unexpected in our lives. With rising medical costs, health insurance is the only way most families can meet serious accident, illness, or maternity costs, particularly those for premature births... Every family should make provision for proper health and life insurance." ("Constancy Amid Change," Ensign, Nov.1979, 80).

I'm taking a personal finance class this semester and our topic for the week has been insurance. We've talked about life, auto, homeowner's, liability, and health insurance.

Today, while talking about health insurance, a girl from my class shared a really personal story. Her daughter has undergone three bone marrow transplants, multiple bouts of chemotherapy and radiation, and over a hundred blood transfusions. Her daughter is 3 years old. They hadve health insurance through her husband's job, but there was a lifetime limit of $1 million of coverage per person. Her daughter, at 3 years old, was already approaching her lifetime limit of health care coverage. After they reached this amount, any other healthcare expenses would have to come out of their pockets. 

She said they didn't know what to do - her husband had his MBA and was at a great job, but they were seriously considering having him quit his job and spending all of their savings and retirement on things the government doesn't consider assets just so they could go on Medicaid and have their daughter's medical treatments covered.

Right before their daughter reached her $1 million mark, a portion of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) kicked in which eliminated lifetime limits. Her husband was able to stay at his job, and they were able to continue getting treatment for their daughter, who has now received over $3 million of healthcare benefits. Without this change, they would have been forced to quit their job and go on Medicaid or go $2 million into debt. As she put it, "You can't come back from that."

I like this aspect of the Affordable Health Care Act. I like that the government has used its power to step in and make sure that people are being taken care of by their health care providers. I like that I can stay on my parent's health insurance even though I'm married. I like that changes are being made to advocate for people who need health care coverage.

With that being said, I do think that some aspects of the act are effectively sticking a band-aid on the problem without really addressing the issue (what can be done to lower health insurance costs without having the government provide it). I wish there was some more enabling going on rather than just providing (i.e. enabling people to take care of themselves rather than relying on the government). I don't think the government should be providing healthcare (umm hello... inefficient), but I do think the current healthcare system needs to be fixed. 

I'll say it - I like a lot of these early portions of "Obamacare."

So there.