There is not yet one inch of Google fiber actually run here in Olathe. I figure minimum 6 months before they start laying it, and several years before it is available to more than a few.
In that time much can change.
All this discussion about tankless water heaters is interesting, but you will get FAR more bang for your buck by dumping more insulation in the attic, replacing drafty windows, weather stripping doors etc. None of this is going to wow your friends until you start comparing utilitiy bills. I added a layer of R-19 unfaced batts to my attic in late 1999. Payback in lower gas and electric bills was less than 6 months, and it has been free money since then.
For cool stuff on not too much money, I suggest setting up some X-10 controllers and using your computer to run them. It's not hard to do and costs only a few hundred dollars for the basics. You can set up porch lights to run on a sudown-sunup schedule. Set internal night lights to turn on at bedtime. Set your coffee pot to turn on a half-hour before you have breakfast.
A weather station is also cool but will set you back $400 or $500. Connect it to a computer and publish it on the Internet.
It is possible to get a thermostat in every room, then set up a control system so that conditioned air goes only to rooms that need it. The vents are controlled by inflatable bags so they can let air go only where it is needed. No clue how much it would cost, probably quite a bit.
My sister works as a Medical Assistant in a very small family practice. In fact, the practice is so small that my sister and the doctor are the entire staff. They hire an electronic medical records service from "the cloud". This service makes it possible for every patient of their practice to have on-line access to their records. The records get updated in near real-time because both my sister and the doctor use tablet computers. The tablets go everywhere, even the exam rooms, so as notes are taken they go directly to the patient's records.
I have not heard any details about how many of their patients actually USE this service. I would bet no more than half, since many of their patients are geriatric cases - too old to want to bother to learn how to use a computer.
My sister and the doctor both are very much in favor of this kind of access to medical records. They think it makes their job easier. It gets more details to the patients and it does not tie up the phone just to be reading records to someone. It also lets patients remind themselves about treatment decisions that have been made.
It requires an ActiveX object to access the records and so is useful only for Internet Explorer users. The vendor is supposed to be working on a way for Mac users to get access as well, but they are not there yet. Firefox and Linux? Ferget it! Heck, they just added support for IE 9 and 64-bit Windows a few months ago.
Over the next ten years GRiD Systems vanished, I got another job (which I still have), and slowly I achieved the goal. At age 40 I graduated with a GPA over 3.98.
The degree has probably helped me keep my job, though it did nothing for my pay. I already get paid handsomely.
It's worth noting that I make a living as a Windows expert, but I do not have ANY of the Microsoft credentials that are often required. I've been around enough that I don't need those letters to prove I know what I know.
My opinion is it's never too late. Start now, get the degree you want, and don't be too surprised when things come out totally different than what you expected. Life happens...
My grandmother is another good example. She was widowed at age 54 with an 8th grade education and no job. She got a GED, then a college degree as a teacher. She taught art in public schools for 12 years before retiring at age 70.