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Author: ChocoKitty Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5068  
Subject: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 1:16 PM
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Thanks for starting this board, maszke!

I've asked this on dory36's board, so I'll ask here -- 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?

CK
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Author: mazske Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 2:08 PM
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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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Author: SRenaeP Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 2:19 PM
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Thanks for starting this board, maszke!

I've asked this on dory36's board, so I'll ask here -- 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?

CK


As simple as it sounds, I don't like to work. I don't necessarily dislike my job but I figured out a long time ago that the 9-to-5 grind isn't for me. I think I'd be much happier doing work that allows me a great deal of flexibility. I love to travel and two weeks a year vacation just doesn't scratch my itch.

-Steph

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Author: lowstudent Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 2:28 PM
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"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?"

My parents retired before reaching 50 and died before reacing 70. They were happier during their retirement than at any other time in their lives, they were more socially active(even as relative recluses),
and just enjoying life. That was a great role model, and though I might not make it before I get to 50, I don't plan to miss it by much.

My motivation comes from setting goals on where I have to be to retire and being concious of staying on track, plus there is always that background push to improve on your parents legacy.

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Author: TrudyPhool Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 23 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 2:59 PM
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I have two motivators: my parents, and my in-laws.

My in-laws (divorced) will never be able to stop working, as far as I can tell. My FIL, age 58, is self-employed in furniture repair and antique refinishing. He has no medical insurance. He owns his home, but it is TRASHED. Disgusting. He has little motivation to take care of himself or his home. He once told my DH that if he ever became unable to take care of himself, he would commit suicide. No, thank you. He seems content with his life, and has friends nearby that he hangs with, but he also works every single day in his shop.

My parents are the opposite end of the spectrum. My dad retired at age 53. They have since bought an RV and travel all over the place. They were able to relocate back to their hometown to take care of my grandparents when they became disabled. They are part of a camping club and have friends all over the country.

My parents paid cash for a home near some of my siblings. Everyone descends on their house without warning. There is a big swingset and sandbox in the backyard for the grandkids. Two refrigerators and a pantry full of food all the time. Dad's garage is perfectly organized, and he built shutters for my sister's house. They sometimes pick up my niece from school. When I call mom, I can usually hear my nieces and nephew in the background, having fun without me.

This is the life I want. I just have to figure out how to get there.

--Trudy


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Author: malibu114 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 25 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 3:09 PM
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what keeps you going on the way toward FIRE?

Just the idea that I don't want to continue my current pace for 40-45 years of my life. I LBMM so that I can FIRE, and I could downscale to a slower pace life now, but then I'd have to work for a longer period of time. I don't mind working like a dog now, although I like it less as I get older, but I want to be young and healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Donna

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Author: malibu114 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 30 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 3:23 PM
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As simple as it sounds, I don't like to work

I sometimes think I feel this way. Maybe it's not working that I dislike, but the wrok ethic that "all work and no play" is the American way.

I think I'd be much happier doing work that allows me a great deal of flexibility. I love to travel and two weeks a year vacation just doesn't scratch my itch.

While I don't really tavel, I would like the flexibility to do so.

Donna


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Author: galagan Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 4:20 PM
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what keeps you going on the way toward FIRE?

To me, it's not a choice. It's a requirement.

You see, I have been working for fifteen years, and I've never found a job I really really liked. At first I thought I just hadn't found the right job, but as I've tried different things, I realized there are two things about me that make jobs difficult:

1. I find it very easy to find flaws in the way people do things, so when I'm working, it's easy to point that talent toward my own company and co-workers. Ouch.

2. I like variety.

So I know at some point I'm just not going to be able to get up the motivation to work anymore. I'll work as long as I can last, but I want to be in a position so that when the day comes, I'll be ready.

dan

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Author: chooey98 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 69 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 5:42 PM
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Not so much the fact that I hate work, but the fact that I have to spend so much of my time at it!!! I, too, have tried different jobs, and have not found one I like, probably for that reason. It just takes up too much of my time.

I like to be able to have "down" time, to pursue my interests, or just hang around and watch TV, if I want to.

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Author: Ranma One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 81 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/6/2003 7:06 PM
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I used to love my work. I loved the creativity of it, the challenges, the intellectual stimulation. What I didn't necessarily love were my jobs in that line of work (software programming). There was always something wrong with each of them, something that kept them at the "okay" or "good" level instead of the "great!" level. I'd always thought that the perfect job was out there somewhere.

Then I went through a rough period of my life that forced me to re-evaluate my goals and priorities ... And I met someone special. The combination of those two things made me realize the following about myself:

* I want to spend as much time as possible with the special people in my life.
* When I need/want to work, I want to be productive, make a contribution, and do a good job.

Those two personal goals are what gets me going, what makes me a FIRE wannabee. Once I'm FIRE'd I can spend whatever time I want with my loved ones. Once I'm FIRE'd I'd only work because I want to work, not because I need to as is the case right now.

The above goals not only provide the motivation but they'll also be my guiding principles after the FIRE stage. Seems obvious now, but I really needed to articulate them to myself and to know their truth.

Ranma


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Author: fredinseoul Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 115 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/7/2003 1:11 AM
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what keeps you going on the way toward FIRE?

I seem to be a weirdo, I like working.

However, what I don't like is the choices I have made so far in setting up my finances. I have been quite stupid in many of my choices and as a result have little monetary to show for them. I did have a reasonably good time along the way. What I don't want is to be forced to work into my late 60s and 70s.

I want the freedom that FIRE implies. I want to be able to travel. I want to be able to buy my fiance the gifts I see her looking at. I want to provide her with a comfortable life.

fredinseoul

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Author: feawen One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 130 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/7/2003 10:05 AM
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What keeps me going?

As negative as it may first appear to sound, pain is more of a motivator than anticipated pleasure. Like many others, I have worked very hard my whole life, and it has not had the remuneration which I thought it would. At least, every goal I have been involved in has had the promise of something better. When I finally finished my training, did my post-doc, and got licensed, there wasn't much better out there. I work in a job I never thought or dreamed of doing (who dreams of being a psychologist in a prison working with criminals all day?) Sorry, but I had thought I would get to focus on healing people from emotional injury, and well, society still doesn't value that very much. Mental health is always the first thing to get cut from budgets, by the government and health plans, if you hadn't noticed.

Having the threat of job loss constantly present before me became a huge motivator to figure out how to be able to live financially independently. I don't care so much about the Retire Early part, I really enjoy working and being productive, but I want choices.

My date for FIRE was much farther out a couple of years ago, like aboaut 12 years away. Then, due to collective bargaining and new contracts for my husband's job, his eligibility to retire from his civil service job was moved up by 3-5 years, putting a possible FIRE date much closer to seven years away. That was a shocker, and since I am the financial manager in the family, I began FIRE planning with a vengeance. I would love for him to be able to not have to work after he reaches his 20 years, he has always worked so hard. He is planning on 20 years because at that point full medical benefits for life kick in.

I have digressed. How do I stay the goal? After living many years of deprivation as a student, I simply knew that I needed to not let my expenses swell up to my income. I decided instead to do forced savings with 401(k) and IRA on auto-withdraw so that I never saw the money and so am never tempted to spend it. We both make good incomes, though, so I am hardly living in deprivation, and could actually save a lot more.

On the plus side, there are many hobbies and interests I have which either cost money or are poorly paid. Or not paid at all. I have a deep abiding spirituality, and volunteering for the food pantry at my church is time consuming and while full of value, puts no bread on the table for me, so to speak. I still have many books I want to read I was introduced to in college that I haven't yet made time to indulge in. I could go on and on, but more later.

Thanks for starting this board, I too was looking for others who are trying to make it to FIRE.

feawen


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Author: Mark0Young Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 245 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 8/8/2003 9:08 PM
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what keeps you going on the way toward FIRE?

1. I work for a community college in IT and, even though I like my job, I don't like the stress that budget problems every few years cause. So one of my goals is to become FI, or at least FI enough that I could last from whenever until I can collect full pension benefits.

2. I have a next door neighbor who is in pretty poor financial shape, relying on her children gifting her money every month to meet her financial obligations. I don't want my late retirement to be spent in poverty--I have no children, let alone children who are financially well off enough to provide half my living expenses. Therefore I am investing as much as I can with the idea I would spend it late in my retirement, using it to be FI instead of draining the finances of the children I don't have or being an extra burden on society.

I am not so sure about the RE part--I do like watching TV, participating on several message boards, and I do some volunteer work for the college's Foundation (they raise money for scholarships, capital improvements, equipment for the students to learn on, etc.), but on the occasion where I am laid up at home for a week I go stir crazy. I can't imagine a life like that, so if I am forced into R I would probably have to build up more contacts for volunteering.

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Author: jmjkon One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 917 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 9/26/2003 7:25 AM
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what keeps you going on the way toward FIRE?

Like others, my motivation comes from seeing others close to me make horrible money mistakes. Constantly seeing a bad example reinforces my will everyday.

Also, I'm a saver by nature, so that helps. The one thing thats hard is realizing how long FIRE will take, with 2 kids, wife, and mortgage. So you have to have balance - have a little fun along the way while STILL saving at the same time.

It's not easy, but one trick I do is I keep track of my savings in an excel spreadsheet. It's nice to see the numbers increase month after month. Also, making a chart out of the numbers is a nice visual as well.

I've been doing it this way for 6 years, and over time you can really see significant progress if you stick with it. It's cool to see the power of compound interest at work!

Good luck all - JK


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Author: DrZenRoot Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 918 of 5068
Subject: Re: What keeps you going? Date: 9/26/2003 11:07 AM
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Like others, my motivation comes from seeing others close to me make horrible money mistakes. Constantly seeing a bad example reinforces my will everyday.

My motivation comes from seeing both sides.

A good friend from high school just declared bankrupcy. He says you just can't make ends meet anymore (blames the poor economy). He rents a house for $1200 a month (a two bedroom apartment in town is $525).

On the other side, my grandfather retired at 50 with several pensions and farmed and managed properties on the side for 'fun'.
My dad retired at 42 and works when he wants to.

I am in the middle. I turned 30 today and am aiming at 45 to 50 to retire. I don't have a huge portfolio yet, but I have a relatively small mortgage for my age and very little debt overall.
Don

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