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Insights & Education

Meet Aneise, a 22-year-old, part-time pharmacy technician from Houston

Aneise is a 22-year-old who graduated from the University of Houston in December of 2023. Although she’s currently working part-time at a pharmacy, her focus for this year is to study for the MCATs so that she can attend medical school next spring. Here she discusses the challenge of balancing spending and saving, and finding ways to save for an active life.

Read Aneise's interview below or listen here.

Let’s start with your job. When you were looking for somewhere to work, did you consider the total benefits package beyond salary when thinking about where to go?

I applied to be a pharmacy technician during the COVID period. The main reason I wanted to go into pharmacy work back then was for the clinical background. I wanted that experience and hours in the pharmacy to look good on my resume for medical school. But I was also thinking about my financial status. For the most part during high school, my parents paid for everything. Starting freshman year, they wanted me to be more financially independent. During school I only worked one day a week, so I didn’t save a lot. Even now, since it’s part-time, I’m not making a lot. It does provide me with an income to use for gas or shopping, though, anything like that. It’s also flexible, so it allows me to study for my MCATs. I get emails from them about additional benefits, like insurance and a retirement plan. I haven’t read them all the way through, so I don’t know if I qualify. Either way, I haven’t signed up. 

How often do you talk about financial matters with other people?

I think my dad would be my biggest financial advisor, and my mom. But I do talk about finances with my boyfriend, too. He’s really into investing and stuff like that. 

How has debt played into your financial goals?

I’m blessed to have parents who supported me throughout college. I knew at an early age that I wanted to be in the medical field, and my parents are good at planning. My mom participated in a program back in 2000 that allowed them to already pay off all four years of my undergraduate for any school in the state of Texas before I even went. Other than that, my parents paid for my car, and I have no other loans to speak of. I do have two credit cards, which I opened my sophomore year when my parents recommended I start building my credit score. I pay them on time, though, so my credit is good right now.

What are you currently saving for, and how are you making that savings happen?

I have one savings account with a credit union that my family has used for a long time. My dad also had me open a Roth during my sophomore year of college. If I have an extra $100, I’ll put that in there. But it’s not my focus. The top goal for me right now would be putting the money I earn from my job in emergency savings, and then whatever else I can into my Roth. I’m planning to switch to fulltime to earn more money at some point, and I’ve been thinking about switching from pharmacy work to being a medical assistant. That’s another expense that I foresee. I would need to get my licensing for that before I could apply for jobs. But the pay is better, and the actual clinical experience is more rewarding than being in the pharmacy. 

For me, spending is my biggest financial obstacle to saving, though. I don’t deposit anything directly from my paycheck into savings, and when the money is in my checking account I’m always using it to go out, or go shopping. Then the money I would be putting from checking to savings slowly diminishes, and I end up not saving. That’s something I have to work on.

I’m also starting to think about marriage within the next four to five years. That comes with other things I would need to address financially, like buying a house and insurance. But that’s at the back of my mind because it isn’t happening within the next year.

Let’s close with a few forward-looking questions. What does your dream retirement look like?

My mom was recently talking to me about her retirement. She retired early, at around 56. That’s young, but she worked for a public hospital for maybe 35 years, and she earned a pension. Her retirement package was good, and she decided to retire at that age. My dad works for an oil and gas company, and he’s around the same age as my mom but he’s still working. He just keeps investing in his 401(k). I know retirement can be unpredictable, but I don’t see myself retiring as early as my mom did. I see myself working until about 65. With my personality, I think I might get bored if I retire too early. I would want something to do. And I’m passionate about medicine, so I’m hoping I wouldn’t want to retire early.

I do know that I want to travel a lot during retirement. I’m always traveling with my family, and that’s something I want to do with my own family one day. 

What do you think is the single most important thing you can do today to make your retirement dreams a reality?

I could be more proactive in saving, which means I have to be more proactive about my spending. I could also spend more time thinking about my Roth. It’s always been something in the background. I haven’t had the time or put in the effort to figure out how to make it grow. 

Research shows people are living longer. Have you thought about that at all regarding your retirement and overall financial plans?

I do know people are living significantly longer. But when I think of that, I think of spending more time with family and loved ones. My thought doesn’t immediately jump to the idea that I should be saving more. But now that you say that, I am thinking about it. It would make sense for people to save significantly more if they’re living longer. I think that’s something my generation hasn’t really thought about yet. But yes, it’s something to consider. 


These interviews are published for educational use only, and are not intended to provide financial, legal, fiduciary, accounting, or tax advice, nor are they intended to make any investment or insurance recommendations. Experiences presented may not be representative of the experiences of other individuals and there is no guarantee of similar results or success. Please consult with the appropriate legal, financial, or tax professional regarding your own financial situation and investment needs and objectives.


At the time of these interviews, the individuals interviewed were not clients, shareholders, or employees of Corebridge Financial, and no direct or indirect compensation was provided in return for such interviews. The interviews have been modified for content.

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