**Start here!**


Aloha, e komo mai!

We’re here to help you with your journey to financial independence. It’s a lot easier if you’re going to be collecting a military retirement, but you can do it without one. Over 50 military servicemembers and veterans contributed to the book, and only a few of us have a pension.

(By the way, if you’re with the media then you probably want the “For the media” tab.)

You can order the books here.  But first, you might be able to find a copy at your local library, and you can check WorldCat.org for a partial list of libraries already lending the book. You can also read the first chapter free with this PDF link.

If this is your first time on the blog, you can read about the book’s creation here.

If you want to make it easier to read my new posts, then subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed.  You can add this text to your reader: http://the-military-guide.com/feed/ . New posts usually go up every Thursday, but that changes with the surf forecast.  Make it easy on yourself– subscribe to a feed.

If you’re seeking the first step on your path to financial independence, then learn more about the myths of military retirement and early retirement along with the financial myths of retirement.

Financial independence happens when you have enough savings to support your lifestyle. If you have a big lifestyle then you’ll need lots of savings! If you live a simple & frugal life then you can become financially independent with less savings. The short answer: save as much as you can, and start as soon as you can. You can be financially independent in as little as five years, but most people take 10-20 years.

It all starts with tracking your spending.  All you need to do for a few months is learn where every dollar goes.  Track it with pen & paper, on a smartphone, or in any other way that works for you.  You don’t have to change your spending, and you certainly don’t have to criticize yourself.  Just watch the numbers.

After you’ve gathered a few months of data, look back on your expenses.  Are you spending the money on the things that bring value to you?  Are you wasting money on things that you don’t care about?  What do you want to change?  Can you cut out the waste?  Or are you willing to keep working for the years as you’ll need to pay for those things?

Take control.  Once you align your spending with your values, then you’re on the path to financial independence.

Next, you can read about retirement budgeting and start thinking about how much you’ll spend. Once you’ve put together a retirement budget you can determine how much you’ll need.

Now you have the basic tools.  If you want to dig into the details then scan the Recommended Reading list.

When you’re financially independent, then you can retire early or keep working– the choice is yours! This post can help you decide when you should stop working.  No worries about what happens after that– you’ll have no trouble figuring out what to do all day.  You’re responsible for your own entertainment, and it might take more time management skill than you would expect.

When you’re finished with the book then you can pass it on or donate it to your local library. Let me know if you give it to a library so that I can let others know, or you can post the information there yourself!   Please network the book: “Like” the Facebook page or follow @TheMilitaryGuid on Twitter. (There’s no “e” at the end of that Twitter name!)

I’ve been retired for over a decade, yet every day I’m still running out of time before I’ve run out of things that I want to do. One of my daily pleasures is writing about the stories and wisdom of military and their families who are becoming financially independent. We’re collecting material for the next edition of the book, and if you contribute then you can help determine what military charities will benefit from the royalties.

Please tell me your stories!