Although I retired from CentralKitsap Fire and Rescue in May of 2017, I consider myself a fire service brother for life. My passion to help other firefighters plan for retirement began with my own experience and the realization that we are truly in a unique position; simply, retiring in our 50’s is a privilege few people will experience, but to do it right requires unconventional planning and ingenuity.

My interest in saving and investing began shortly after college working for Northwestern Mutual Life.  I was a 21-year-old kid trying to convince adults they needed to invest in their future, and although my insurance career lasted a mere 18 months (wasn’t a closer), the experience of listening to people justify why they couldn’t start saving until “next year”, changed my money habits forever.  

I’m not a certified financial planner, an accountant or anything of the like. I am however a personal finance nerd, a real estate investor and stock market investor, and have been for most of my adult life.  I read a lot and listen to hours of podcasts. I’ve made a lot of mistakes (learning opportunities) and have had some successes too.  

I grew up in Bremerton Washington with my parents and two brothers and later went to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in psychology. After my stint selling insurance in Seattle and a few other unremarkable jobs I got hired by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, a combination department that grew from 15 to 77 professional firefighters during my career. I moved up through the ranks to retire as a Battalion Chief at age 54. I loved my fire service career and it was a perfect fit for me. 

My retired life consists of spending as much time as possible with family. My wife Jude and I travel quite a bit and intend to do it even more (anyone want to watch our dog?). Occasionally our adult sons join us and we pretty much drop everything to spend time with them. My retirement job consists of managing rentals and investigating other investments. It doesn’t feel like work very often. I fish a bit and ski occasionally both with the primary objective of drinking a few beers, having some laughs, and telling some lies with my FD brothers and sisters. 

Love your career and retire from it well,

Steve Hostetter

Fire Academy 1987  - Northbend WA

Fire Academy 1987  - Northbend WA