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Subject:  Re: When did you realize and where are you now? Date:  8/6/2003  4:03 PM
Author:  SRenaeP Number:  47 of 5224

So when did the rest of you realize you wanted to be FIRE? What steps have you taken, and where are you now?


I've always known I didn't want to work "forever". In addition, I've seen too many people who worked for years and years only to get sick and/or die before reaching/enjoying retirement. However, what hit home was my mother's death. She died at 55, two years after she dropped out of her doctoral program (only lacked completing her thesis) and retired. There were a lot of naysayers, especially considering the fact my youngest brother was still in college at the time. However, she stuck to her guns and did what made her happy. I'm truly thankful she did. I think it would have been tragic if she'd never retired and missed the opportunity to do all the things she loved.

I'm a long way from being FIRE'd (I'm only 27) but the main thing I've done is change my thinking. I've learned to ignore the people who think I'm unrealistic or lazy for not wanting to be a part of the corporate grind for a large part of my life. I've also taken steps over the past few years to get my financial house in order. And most importantly, I've learned balance. In the past I've swung wildly from one financial extreme to the other - from depriving myself to being reckless. Now I'm on a more even keel. I do work hard but I play hard as well. I realize that sometimes extra work/overtime just isn't worth the money and sometimes buying expensive things/indulging myself is worth the money. I make decisions based on how they will affect my quality of life (positively or negatively). I may not get to FIRE as quickly as others or as quickly as I could but I want to enjoy life along the way. I see how quickly it can be taken away.

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