Every quarter I receive my PERA account information and my 504 account information with great anticipation. Both are growing, but because of the economy, both are growing at a slow rate. I'm a 46 year old public school teacher and retirement means to me the time in my life where I should be able to sit back and enjoy time off, travel, and not have to worry about my finances. This is my second career, and I've only been teaching eight years now. During my never-ending-divorce, I realized I needed to set up my own retirement account outside of the one I am required to pay into as a public employee. Both accounts total about $26,000 . Comparatively speaking, I believe someone my age who only has another twenty years to go before retiring, should have a nest egg at least four times that amount. My biggest barriers to a successful retirement include going backward on the pay scale because of the lack of funding for public education and a growing amount of debt. After teaching four years, I pursued my masters degree to improve as a professional, and all I've really improved on is the amount of money I owe. I have considered several options to getting my feet back under me (refinancing my home, debt consolidation, backruptcy) but nothing seems right and I just can't seem to make any headway. I would love some help!