I’d like to preface this by saying I’m fully aware of the pointy stick mob and have searched gCaptain’s forum for threads regarding this topic without much luck.
I’m strongly considering attending a maritime academy, but am little weary of the debt. As it stands, I’ll have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend an academy. That will place my student loan debt somewhere in the vicinity of $80,000-100,000 depending on which academy (hopefully) admits me. Great Lakes Maritime Academy states on their website a newly graduated 3/m can expect to earn $10,000 per month worked–i.e., $60,000-70,000 annually. That sort of wage wouldn’t leave me with much wiggle room after student loan payments and living expenses. A major factor is I’m already 30, and would be 35 by the time I graduate from an academy; that means less time to pay off debt, earn income, and save for retirement.
On top of that, from reading this forum I’ve gathered pensions in the maritime unions are quickly becoming a thing of the past, meaning I’ll need to plan/save for retirement on limited income. I’m aware it’s not all about the money, and I honestly wish that weren’t a factor in this decision. I just want to make sure I don’t get up to my nose in debt and end up retiring in a studio apartment eating plain oatmeal and ramen noodles I purchased with my SSI check. I guess I’m just trying to paint a realistic picture of what I’m potentially getting myself into.
So, is there anything I’m missing? Is $60,000-70,000 a realistic figure for a freshly graduated 3/m? Is there anyway to supplement that income, like working lots of OT or vacation pay?
Thanks for your help.