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I grew up with the idea that you have to work your whole life at jobs you hate just to get some pension or SS when you hit 65 or so and someone tells you that you can quit. That's what my parents and grandparents did. Blue collar all the way, and jobs they hated. I found jobs I actually LIKED so for a few years I thought I was ahead of the game! But I think I hit a wall at the wise old age of 26 (I'm 27 now)--when the dream job turned into a nightmare, and I didn't have enough savings to leave comfortably--an efund, sure, but not enough that I could feel comfortable becoming unemployed for a year or more, as some of my former coworkers have been.

So, I've resolved never again to expect happiness from a job, and never to feel trapped into staying somewhere I don't want to be. Eventually that's FIRE. FI more than RE.

I've always been decent at saving, hate debt and don't have any (except mortgage), so I feel like I'm doing ok. So far in life, I've been getting on my feet, my big achievements so far have been paying for 6 yrs of school (I've only been out 3 yrs) and buying a house (which in my case is a financially wise move), while growing my savings. My only regret with starting later in the game is I wish I had started a Roth IRA sooner--never had any 401Ks available through jobs, so my 6-month-old-Roth is my only tax-advantagous retirement account.

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