I was reflecting on how and why I became committed to pursing FIRE at such a relatively young age (21) and I finally figured it all out.
The single most influential event or events occurred during my junior year of high school. My parent’s marriage was falling apart, their finances were in shambles and we almost lost our house. At 17 years old I had to help my parents pay their mortgage and credit card bills while also saving up to buy a car and save for college.
One day I counted up the tips I made working at the car wash and the total came to about $25. Being the compulsive net tracker that I was, I took out my phone and looked up the balance in my back account to add my new found fortune to my stash. At the time, I had about $2,000 saved which was about $500 short of what I needed for a car. When I received the text message back from the bank, all I saw was a big fat “0” ! My parents had fallen way behind on their mortgage payment and since the account I had was a joint account with them, the bank took everything from my account to make up for the late payments. From that day on, I knew I had to learn as much as I could about personal finance to avoid the mistakes so many people around me have made (and continue to make).
When I initially began to learn about financial planning, I really enjoyed it. Which lead me to believe that I should pursue the financial advising career path. I fully committed to it and did a ton of research and networking within the industry to learn how to be a successful financial advisor. Then two big realizations hit me that completely derailed this idea. One I never liked the fact that 90% of new advisors fail within the first 4 to 5 years due to the pressure to make sales (or get clients) and two I only really wanted to help low income people who really needed financial guidance like my parents. Both of these do not equate to being a successful financial advisor.
Which leads me to were I am today. I found the FIRE community after being such a financial advising blog-aholic over the last 3 years. I stumbled upon this community and a have been actively pursuing FIRE for almost 2 years now. At 21 years of age, I feel very content with my current financial positon (considering where I started back in high school). I’m on my way to a much brighter future because of this community and feel extremely lucky to have found it at such a young age,
My best friend is now on the same pursuit after I bought him “The Simple Plan to Wealth” last Christmas and it is great to finally have someone to talk to about FIRE!