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Insights & Education

Meet Ebony, a 37-year-old nurse practitioner

Ebony is a 37-year-old nurse practitioner from Manvel, Texas. Although high-interest debt kept her from pursuing other long-term financial goals in the past, after recently paying off some of that money, she’s refocusing on the future. Here she shares how she’s planning to save enough for retirement one day, the best thing she thinks she’s done with her money so far, and the one thing she wishes she'd done differently.

Read Ebony's interview below or listen here.

Let’s start with a forward-looking question: What does your dream retirement look like?

To be honest, I haven’t really thought a lot about the specifics, like where I would want to live. I doubt I’ll be retiring early, though. After using my emergency savings to pay down some high-interest debt — now I just have one student loan and my car — one of my biggest short-term financial goals is to build that fund back up. I’d also like to get more into investing and, if possible, maybe purchase a property.

Would you say you’re on track to make that dream come true?

I work with one financial professional — the advisor who handles my whole life insurance policy — and that person seems to think I’m doing well enough, but I’m honestly not sure. I have concerns about how much things are going to cost once I retire. I don’t feel like it’s looking good. Besides my whole life policy, I have an employer-based 401(k) and a former 401(k) that was converted into an IRA.

When you think about the steps you’ve taken so far, how much, if at all, did advice from other people factor into your decisions?

I meet with my advisor every six to eight weeks. When I see that balance, I know it’s a substantial amount, but I’m just not sure how much I’m supposed to have. I feel like at this point in my career, with the salary I make, I should talk to someone. But financial things are overwhelming for me. I always feel like I could be better at managing my money. At the same time, I want to enjoy the money I make. It’s a tough balance, honestly. I do know that my dad always told me that whatever I do, try to avoid withdrawing money from my retirement account early. I know the penalties are insane. It’s maybe not the most in-depth advice, but it is on par with the limited research I’ve done about retirement accounts.

What smart money moves do you think you’ve made? What would you change if you could?

The smartest move I made was to set up automatic savings where I was pulling money from my checking account into a savings account regularly. I built up a decent savings by doing that, which I used to pay down some debt. What I should have done differently was to make that money harder to access. I now have a primary bank account and a discretionary savings account, then a more difficult to access, high-yield credit union savings account that’s my emergency savings. I should have done that earlier — made it more difficult to access my money and invested it in a high-yield account.

Research shows that people are living longer. Have you factored that into your plans at all?

It’s a little daunting, especially since I’m still undecided about a lot of things. I’m not sure if I want to have children, or buy a house. I do have other family, but [in terms of taking care of me when I’m older] it’s not their financial responsibility. My whole life insurance policy does have a rider for long-term care, should I need it, so I’ve looked into things like that.


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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