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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/what-keeps-you-going-on-the-way-toward-fire-its-19421949.aspx

Subject:  Re: What keeps you going? Date:  8/6/2003  2:08 PM
Author:  mazske Number:  9 of 5084

what keeps you going on the way toward FIRE? It's a long, long-term goal for sure, so how do you keep yourself motivated along the way and also enjoy your life?

Good question and I'll try to answer it. It is a long-term goal, but it doesn't have to be that long.

I have always been semi-frugal, but in the past as I saved money I would usually spend it on something such as a trip to Peru or a hot air balloon trip or something.

When I was in my early 20's, I had a roomate in the Navy who talked a lot about mutual funds. That kind of got me started saving with mutual funds. In the early 90's, I saved enough money in mutual funds to use a chunk to buy my first house. I was still in the Navy, so I rented the house out.

Sometime in my mid 20's, I finally started up an IRA with a mutual fund. I kept this for several years, but I always had an interest in buying individual stocks.

I found TMF in 1999 and then I learned how easy it was to buy stocks. Shortly thereafter, I learned how easy it was to lose money when buy stocks near their high.

I still have stocks, but now I invest most of my money in index funds.

Now, this is what really motivated me towards FIRE. I come from a family that usually lives a long time. All 4 of my grandparents are still alive and they are all between 82 and 90 years of age. Back in the mid 90's though, my mother was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrigs disease. She passed away several years ago about 2 1/2 years after she was diagnosed.

Having my mother die when she was in her mid 50's and I was in my early 30's really caused me to re-evaluate my life. I started thinking about how much did I want to work until the day I died or how much did I want to work just long enough to become FIRE'd. I gave a lot of thought to where I was financially and what I had to do to FIRE.

I work a job that will allow me to take early retirement at age 50. I am also in the Navy Reserves, IRR and I should get a pension when I'm 60. Knowing I "should" get these two pensions helps as I know I don't have to save quite as big of a pot as others do. I am saving around 14% of our gross income though, so that's not too bad.

I have about 14 1/2 years to go until I reach my projected FIRE date. In the meanwhile, I have a job that I am really enjoying. I also have two wonderful kids who participate in a lot of activities that have benefited both them and I.

I will write another post later on about some of their activities and I'll try to tie that in with the living while working towards FIRE part.

It's easy to get sidetracked during the long haul towards FIRE, but if you have it set up where you automatically invest money that will help a lot. Just try to keep the end goal in sight no matter if it's at age 50, 40 or 30.

In the meanwhile, you have to enjoy life. You have to have hobbies outside of your job, because if you don't, when you retire, you'll be bored.

I'll leave some of my hobbies for later threads. I hope this helps to explain my motivation a little bit. In the meanwhile, "Justo otra dia en paraiso!". Just another day in paradise.
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