It shouldn't be so complicated in a paperless electronic military, but after you leave you're going to need a number of different pieces of paper for your own personal records. You'll have to keep track of some of them for the rest of your life, and they're almost impossible to correct or replace after you leave the service. Regardless of the … [Read more...] about Military Retirement and Discharge Paperwork
Ideally by six months before retirement the big decisions have been made. The rest is "just" a matter of executing your plans and handling the surprises. Before you start into your checklist details, take a moment to review your progress. By now you and your family have discussed the complicated issues. While there may not be perfectly … [Read more...] about Six Months Before Retirement… Preparing for a Military Retirement
The first part of this post discussed when to file your retirement request and the big-picture items to consider for your finances, departure date, and medical/dental checks. It also discussed how to spread the news among co-workers, friends, & family. Neither one of these posts is a detailed checklist-- your command already has one of … [Read more...] about I’m going to retire. Now what? (part 2 of 2)
I'd like to dedicate this post to Tomcat98 from Early-Retirement.org, a good friend who's let his service know that they'll only be enjoying his services for another 11+ months. He's been planning this one for a long time, folks, and he has all sorts of ideas on what he's going to do all day. Enjoy yourself, Tomcat-- you've earned it! This … [Read more...] about I’m Going to Retire from the Military. Now What? (part 1 of 2)
"Your assignment officer wants to send us to... Hawaii?!?" When we arrived here over 20 years ago, Hawaii seemed like a consolation prize for military who couldn't get orders to San Diego. Spouse and I spent our first eight years at duty stations on the East Coast and in Europe. Graduate school in Monterey, CA was fantastic but we didn't see … [Read more...] about Lifestyles in Military Retirement: Surfing
The last post described the Trinity Study and explained the idea of a "safe withdrawal rate" to maximize the success of a retirement portfolio. A 4% SWR is a starting point, one put forward over a decade ago and appearing in print most frequently. It's straightforward, it has a high success rate, and it adjusts for inflation. Researchers have … [Read more...] about Military retirement: how much can I really spend?
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