Sometimes we need a hard jolt to wake up. Mine came in 2014, when the balance of my Roth IRA opened my eyes to the depth of my financial ignorance. I’d been putting $100 a month into it, proud that I was contributing something to my retirement. But when I logged in to see how well the charging bull market had treated me, I found $2,400 of investments safe and sound in a money market account. I lost two prime investment years in which I had no idea where my money was going or what it was doing. From that day, I vowed to know where my money was, why it was there, what it was doing, and when it was time to move it.

That single moment led me to hours of intense Internet searches, where I eventually found the Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) community. I have since been consumed with podcasts, websites, books, articles, and spreadsheets showing the path to securing my family’s financial future and finding the road to personal fulfillment. I have a long way to go, and I hope to share that journey with you.

So who am I? Just a guy in Utah edging his way toward 40, with a beautiful wife, two stepsons hitting adulthood and a daughter in kindergarten. At the time of my epiphany, I was funding college, cars, and diapers for the kids. That puts me in a different life situation than many in the FI community, who figured out the game in their 20s, before they even had kids in many cases, and certainly long before they ever had to pay for college. Showing up late to the game shouldn’t keep you from playing, so I hope to help others like me who wake up later in life and realize they, too, can dream of FIRE.