First there are different requirements depending on your state. There is a test you must pass , you take a course to study this and then pass the test in the course then the test at a state level., It is a difficult study!
I suggest a 6 month savings for your standard bills, and depending on which company you go to workfor, you may need to spend alot of money advertising your self. I suggest a company that there is not desk fee, but a split of commission, and a brokerage that will WORK with you as a new agent, there is much to learn..
All that being said, the number of realtors with active license today has dropped greatly as you can imagine.
real estate can be a 24/7 job. With the help of the blackberry phone and wifi. it is still possibe to have a personal life. just know to make it in this business, you must be consistently ready to be tested, dissapointed, and surprised!
best of luck