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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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