Know the facts

One of the biggest obstacles when choosing to continue your education is the lack of perspective related to your time and money invested compared to the payoff.

If you could quickly review the monetary payoff, it may help remove any excuses and get on with achieving your degree so that you can finally reach the goals you originally set out to achieve before excuses held you back.

We put together a quick rundown based on investment facts and figures to give you a fast view of the benefits of higher education.  Since your individual situation varies, we've made estimates based on current values listed below:


Current income before college education: $37,336/yr (based on median annual income of employees with a High School Diploma) based on data provided by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Current income after Bachelor's Degree: $61,828/yr (based on median annual income of employees with a Bachelor's Degree) based on data provided by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Current income after Master's Degree: $75,452/yr (based on median annual income of employees with a Master's Degree) based on data provided by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  


Bachelors Degree Investment

$56,004 loss of income (based on current annual income amounts noted above) over 4 years when reducing employment hours from 40 hours per week to 25 hours per week to go to school

$129,640 tuition and fees over 4 years (reference: www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org) (does not include Pell Grants, Scholarships or interest on student loans)

$185,644 total investment  ($56,004 + $129,640 = $185,644)

$1,298,388 total income after degree over 21 years (based on current annual income amounts noted above)

$1,112,744 income after total investment 

$784,056 current income over 21 years without education ($37,336 x 21 = $784,056) 

$1,112,744 - $784,056 = $328,688

$328,688 total increase after Bachelor's Degree investment over 21 years ($15,652 extra per year/$1,304 per month)

What could you spend the extra $1,300 on every month? House payment, cars, child's education, investments...

If this increase of $328,688 is allocated for an investment fund or stock with a 10% annual return over the 21 years, minus inflation not including taxes, your increase in income based on your 4 year education and investment of the increase would be the following:

Your 4 year degree could amount to $1,217,694.74 over what you currently earn. 

That could be a very nice retirement fund!

Master's Degree Investment

$84,006 loss of income (based on current annual income amounts noted above) over 6 years when reducing employment hours from 40 hours per week to 25 hours per week to go to school

$169,640 tuition and fees over 6 years (reference: www.bestmastersdegree.com and www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org) does not include Pell Grants, Scholarships or interest on student loans)

$253,646 total investment

$1,584,492 total income after degree over 21 years (based on current annual income amounts noted above)

$1,398,848 income after total investment

$784,056 current income over 21 years without education

$614,792 total increase after Master's Degree investment over 21 years ($29,275 extra per year/$2,440 per month)

What could you spend the extra $29,275 on?  Wedding, home addition, vacation, investments

If this increase of $614,792 is allocated for an investment fund or stock with a 10% annual return over the 21 years, minus inflation not including taxes your increase in income based on your 6 year education and investment would be the following.

Your 6 year degree could amount to $2,277,682.81 over what you currently earn. 

That could be a ridiculously awesome retirement fund! 


But wait, there's more

Based on information from the National Centers for Health Statistics reported in an archived article from The Times, in a digital version on www.nytimes.com, an average American born in 1981 had a 74 year life expectancy. 

Isn't 6 years of schooling out of the average 74 worth millions of dollars?    That's less than 8% of your lifetime.  Plus!  If you start your education, as late as 39 years old, based on our facts and figures, if you invested your overage as noted above for only 21 years from the time you graduate when you're 44, you could easily retire at 65, with over 2 million bucks!  

So, for all of you twenty and thirty somethings out there who think it's too late to go back to school and you're too far behind to get serious money put away for retirement, guess what?!  You still have time!

Those over forty are still in the game too!  Even if you can put away hundreds of thousands or over a million dollars and retire on time, isn't 4-6 years of your lifetime dedicated to higher education worth it?

Numbers don't lie

You now have the facts about the potential increase in pay most non-degreed individuals can achieve.  It includes considerations of any loss of income to fit school back into their life.   The data is clear!   Based on this data, people make more when they get educated.  Duh!

Don't let excuses keep you from making more money

If you're not happy with your current profession, put your own facts and figures together to get your specific comparison.   Many of you may have more than 21 years after your education to keep earning even more than our estimates.  

Once you "dare to know" your potential after higher education, it comes down to a numbers game.  The only way you lose is if you choose not to do anything about it. 

In other words, if you know you'll make more money and be happier over your lifetime even after your education investment, WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE NOT TO GET EDUCATED?  Sorry for the ALL CAPS, but sometimes, some things need to be said LOUDLY! 

Don't ignore your wake-up call!  

As in,  "Your alarm clock for success is going off!".  Are you seriously gonna ignore it? 

You deserve to be "happy, healthy, wealthy and wise"1!  If your own facts and figures prove your overall investment is worthwhile, find a way to make it happen?   Don't let any reasons get in your way.  Learn now, work smarter, make more, save more.

What about inflation and entry-level pay?

While you may not earn the "current income" immediately following graduation, your experience in your field-of-expertise will likely increase your pay along with typical pay increases based on demand and inflation over the next 21 years.   

It's important to choose a profession that's growing and already in high-demand.  The most recent data on high profile professions along with other resources and career information can be found in our Special Section "DMK Career Challenge" in the Summer/Fall 2020 edition of Starting Over Magazine.

The "current income" figures in this article are based on recent data, not future years.  This means the figures listed above are based on recent monetary averages and are likely lower than your overall, future potential income over 21 years following graduation. 

Earn more, save more

Once you achieve your degree and new career success, don't forget to invest some or all of your extra earnings in a sound investment and you'll have quite a nest egg for retirement!  The longer you wait, the longer you'll earn less and delay your opportunity to have ONE TO TWO MILLION DOLLARS to make your life like you always dreamed!

-OurDMK.com



1Quote inspired by the proverb, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."  Frequently ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, but the first attribution in print by John Clark in 1639.

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