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Subject:  On our way Date:  11/3/2006  2:45 AM
Author:  TourDeFarce Number:  3876 of 5138

Recently I began tallying up our finances to check and see just where we are with respect to FIRE. Here's our story....

My wife and I both married for the first time at age 45. She had some school debt (still in four figures) and a 403(b) from a prior employer. I had a 401K, Roth IRA, IRA, and home equity. After marrying, we paid off all her student debt (to relatives, mostly, a little to govt) right away so we'd be free and clear of all debt other than the house.

She spent about two years finishing up her dissertation and working as an adjunct before landing a full-time job teaching. We then cranked things up and maxed out IRAs (for both of us) as well as her 403(b) - for the new employer - and my 401(k). I also purchased stock at a discount through my employer.

Fast forward about 5 years. I began going to grad school at night to earn a certificate and was really enjoying school. Conditions at work were getting less and less enjoyable. For the first time I looked at what I was doing and didn't see it leading to enjoyable tasks and a promising future. GIven taht I could attend grad school tuition free (courtesy of my wife), we ran the numbers and figured I could just quit. Unlike some who step out of a job into the abyss, I felt like I stepped out of a cage into an opportunity. It's now been almost two years since I began grad school and just about a year and a half since I left work. Straight A's, with only one B so far and I'm on track to graduate in August.

During this interim period while I'm not working, we're cutting back and managing to live mostly on DW's salary and benefits. We dip into savings as needed, but that's not such a big deal. (Truth is, we were seeing so many cuts