Black America Web
Single Mom Masterminds $700K Swing From Debt To Savings

Single Mom Masterminds $700K Swing From Debt To Savings

(Nerdwallet via AP)

When Takiia Anderson graduated from Boston College Law School in 1999, she was a single mom with a 2-year-old child, nearly $100,000 in student loans and a new job as a government attorney that paid $34,102 a year. She didn’t like that math.

“People are talking about 20 years to pay off a student loan, and my daughter is going to college in 16 years,” recalls Anderson, now 47 and based in Atlanta. “I didn’t want to be in a situation where I’m helping her pay for college while I’m still paying my student loan.”

Today, Anderson’s student debt is long gone. She has nearly $500,000 in retirement savings, and her daughter, Taje Perkins, finished her third year at Spelman College in Atlanta with no student loans to cover its nearly $30,000 per year in tuition and fees.

How did she do it? She set a series of targets and kept a laser-like focus on them that, even though she later became a high-earner and has ridden a surging stock market, can serve as a lesson to others today.

“Any time I got a raise, a bonus or a tax refund, I put it toward my debt, my daughter’s education savings and then retirement,” Anderson says.


Many financial advisers would advise flipping those last two priorities: “The same way that airplane announcements tell us parents should put on their own oxygen masks before assisting their children, parents should prioritize saving for retirement and putting themselves in a good financial position before saving for their children’s education,” says Paul R. Ruedi, CEO of Ruedi Wealth Management in Plano, Texas.

Yet more parents like Anderson are prioritizing saving for college over retirement — 56 percent are doing the former vs. 54 percent the latter, according to a recent survey by Sallie Mae , one of the nation’s largest student loan lenders.

“Although college wasn’t as expensive when I went in 1989, I know what it’s like not to have to pay those bills, and that’s what I wanted for her,” says Anderson, a Howard University graduate.


Anderson attacked her student loan debt first with single-minded determination.

“We didn’t have cable. No internet,” she recalls, adding that instead they watched old or borrowed DVDs and VHS tapes. “I was literally living in overdraft protection. But I was paying my bills on time. I drove the same car for 12 years, cooked at home and packed lunches.”

As her salary increased and she was promoted to roles with the U.S. Department of Labor in Maryland, Philadelphia and Atlanta, she pumped more cash toward her debt.

“Even when I was making low six figures, I was renting $1,200 apartments — a lot of money for some people, but much less than I could afford,” she says.

In the end, Anderson was able to pay off her $100,000 in debt in nine years rather than 20.


Anderson began saving for her daughter’s education when Taje was 3 years old. She started small. Following advice she heard on “Oprah,” Anderson paid for daily expenses in cash and at the end of each day threw change in a drawer. After one year, she had $135 that she used to open a savings account for Taje. She later rolled that into a 529 college savings plan and began contributing $50 a month.

Once Anderson paid off her student loans and credit cards in 2008, she began saving $12,000 a year toward her daughter’s education. By the time Taje started college, Anderson had saved $56,000 and added another $22,000 during her first years.

But to do so, Anderson quit contributing to her government retirement plan for two years — a move most financial advisers would caution against.

“Fortunately, the two years I didn’t contribute to my retirement plan was during the financial crisis,” she says. In 2010, she resumed contributing to her employer-sponsored retirement plan up to the legal limit — $16,500 a year at that time — “to catch up,” she says.

Anderson’s max contributions have aligned nicely with the current nine-year bull market, in which the S&P 500 index has seen annualized returns of about 10 percent.


Some might view Anderson’s story as one of sacrifice, but she believes that aggressively paying down her debt has brought her freedom, like the opportunity to choose early retirement this year after working 20 years with the government.

Anderson has $15,000 in emergency savings, owns a home and is doing contract legal work to keep earning some money. She also writes a personal finance blog, “The Frugal Biddy.” Her daughter has begun her last year in college, and she will be taking over payments from her mother and getting student loans to finish her degree.

Dedicating five or 10 years of a career to pay down debt “may seem to some that they are losing their life, but what they don’t realize is how much they gain,” says Anderson.

[ione_media_gallery id=”70701″ overlay=”true”]


Colin Kaepernick Files To Trademark Image Of His Face, Hair

Colin Kaepernick Files To Trademark Image Of His Face, Hair

Colin Kaepernick has filed an application to trademark a black-and-white image of his face and infamous ‘fro.

According to, Kaepernick’s company Inked Flash has filed for the trademark, ‘which showed up on the website for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday but was filed last Friday, and says the intent is to use the image on everything from shampoo and hairspray to jewelry and lampshades.’

Colin Kaepernick is trying to trademark his image for the best reason

— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 11, 2018

The filing also says the image could be used in association with “providing classes, workshops, seminars and camps in the field of self-empowerment and awareness to properly interact with law enforcement” as well as in association with “production of television shows and films.”

One Twitter user reacted to the news by noting: “Colin Kaepernick is the most influential figure in sports and he hasn’t played in nearly two years”

Another said: “seems like he has commercialized his protest.”

Do you this is a reasonable trademark request?

“I think it’s very smart,” trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Washington-based Gerben Law said of Kaepernick’s filing. “Nike made him relevant. Now he can monetize that and promote his movement more.”

Kaepernick had been with Nike since 2011, but the company recently re-signed him to a new deal that includes a small apparel collection and the now iconic “Just Do It” marketing campaign.

The baller turned social activist, who hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season, began selling #ImwithKap items on his website last month. All profits are said to go toward Kap’s self-empowerment youth charity, Know Your Rights Camp.

[ione_media_gallery id=”638348″ overlay=”true”]



The Root
The Climb: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is Named New Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue

When we first became aware of Lindsay Peoples Wagner, she was a fresh-faced assistant to the Senior Fashion Market Editor at Teen Vogue—a promotion from her start at the magazine as an intern. In the years since, Teen Vogue has proven itself a force in up-and-coming fashion and social commentary alike, primarily under…

Read more…

Barry Jenkins Discovers He and James Baldwin Had Similar Visions for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Adaptation

During the course of filming If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins tried to stay loyal to the vision and flavor of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of the same name. Jenkins filmed in Harlem, where Baldwin’s tragic love story takes place, and the film recently premiered at the Apollo Theater, not far from where Baldwin…

Read more…

Trump Hates Jeff Sessions So Much That He Talked to His Chief of Staff About Replacing Him: Report

Because President Trump is a spoiled man-child, he hates when things don’t go his way. Upon taking his seat inside the Oval Office after Russia stole the election and handed it to him, Trump believed that the head of the Department of Justice was going to be his personal fixer and attack dog who he could use to go…

Read more…

Fired Cop Had Nazi Symbol That Said Wig Splitter On His Flashlight That He Beat Suspects With; Why He Has Only Been Fired & Not Charged With A Crime
Fired Cop Had Nazi Symbol That Said Wig Splitter On His Flashlight That He Beat Suspects With; Why He Has Only Been Fired & Not Charged With A Crime

Check Out James Harden & His New IG Model Girlfriend Arab Money Celebrating Her Birthday (Pics-Vids)
Check Out James Harden & His New IG Model Girlfriend Arab Money Celebrating Her Birthday (Pics-Vids)