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OK, I'm confused. It sounds like you have a job opportunity in Louisiana, but you're thinking of locating to your home town in MI? Would the wages in Louisiana be $100K a year? Is there opportunity in MI for work making $100K/year? I noticed on Google Maps, if I'm looking at the right place, that your hometown is just north of Flint, MI which I keep hearing on the news is a depressed area (and, hometown of Michael Moore--sorry!)

According to base salary for a beginning auto mechanic is about $35K/year for my area (and it's a pretty high wage area). Maybe you could eventually pull $100K/year if you owned your own shop?

Anyway, let's just do this in baby steps:
1. Get trained in your chosen trade, and get the best paying job you can, in the lowest cost of living area you can.
2. Get out of bankruptcy.
3. Look into purchasing a home, if you want. You'll have to have good credit to do this. If you can't, there are people who have successfully lived frugally, retired and rented. The author of has done this.
4. Retire when it's feasible to do so. If this doesn't happen at age 62, so what? If you're doing work you enjoy, just keep doing it as long as you can. Keep saving.

The fact that you have $1300/month from your military retirement, and will have about 12 years (at least) in Social Security wages will provide a nice little income stream for a frugal person. That, plus any savings you may accumulate should get you thru OK.

Good luck with your plans.
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