The short answer: your retirement savings portfolio needs to be about 25 times the size of your net annual retirement spending. If you want to spend $40,000/year in retirement and you don't have any pension or other income, then you're going to need a million bucks in the bank. If you have a military pension, then your savings portfolio needs … [Read more...] about Military retirement spending: how much will I need?
The last post talked about the first step in retirement planning-- tracking your expenses. Until you track your expenses, you'll have no idea what you're spending now or what you'll spend in retirement. Once you figure out what you'll be spending in retirement, then you'll be ready to determine how big an investment portfolio you'll need for that … [Read more...] about Retirement finances: what will I spend?
The bad news is that retirement will involve a budget. The good news is that this budget is yours to refine, change, or even occasionally ignore. It can be as simple as the back of an envelope or as time-consuming as a multi-page spreadsheet. The whole point of your budget is to become comfortable with your spending predictions and to … [Read more...] about Retirement budgeting
I seem to spend a lot of time on the finances & lifestyle issues of military retirement and early retirement. Let me shift gears for a bit and talk about the book's creation. Over our years of service we veterans accumulate wisdom, experience, and martial culture that is politely referred to in the Navy as "sea stories". Witty repartee is … [Read more...] about Writing and Publishing – A Behind the Scenes Look at The Military Guide
Part one (the previous post) discussed some of the most common financial myths of early retirement, including "why early retirement doesn't work". Here's the conclusion: "Your savings need to be absolutely safe." A huge investing epiphany for most military early retirees is realizing that their personal savings might not have to last … [Read more...] about Financial myths of retirement (part 2 of 2)
Listen to the early-retirement trailblazers: by far the most common comment of the new posters on Early-Retirement.org and other Internet retirement discussion boards is "I wish I'd started saving and planning sooner!" That's not much consolation if you're reading this during your 19th year of military service, but the good news is that you still … [Read more...] about Financial Myths of Retirement (part 1 of 2)
The military’s retirement system has a number of advantages for retirees, but if so few veterans seek early retirement then you may rightfully hesitate. What are you missing? One element is the approval of society. Test this yourself by telling a few shipmates, neighbors, or relatives that you’re considering early retirement. You're going to … [Read more...] about Myths Of Military Retirement And Early Retirement
If the military's pension and healthcare benefits solve an early retiree's biggest challenges, then why are military early retirees so hard to find? Have you ever noticed that the people in your command can help you with just about anything? No matter how obscure your question, there's always someone who knows the answers or can find somebody … [Read more...] about Where Are All the Retirees? How Do We Ask for Their Advice?
What's your future? After active duty will you retire from the military to a "bridge career", will you semi-retire to work part-time, or will you retire early and never earn a paycheck again? These questions are tough retirement issues. Like all tough questions, the answer is "It depends". It's not an easy answer, but it's the only one that will … [Read more...] about When Should You Stop Working? – Determining the Best Time to Retire
All retirees have to accumulate the resources to last for the rest of their lives, but early retirees (before age 65) have two daunting challenges: paying for healthcare and contending with decades of inflation. Health insurance is largely a workplace benefit, and many civilian workers feel “locked in” to their jobs by it. Health insurance can … [Read more...] about The Biggest Benefits of a Military Retirement