You've been waiting years for this exit interview! It's finally time to tell your chain of command exactly what you think of them!! All of your weapons are ready to fire, the missiles are ready for launch, and you have tons of bombs to drop. You've been holding back far too long and the military can't possibly survive without your opinion of … [Read more...] about Exit Interviews, Last-Minute Questions, and the Retirement Ceremony
Next time you're chatting with a bunch of veterans, ask them how their discharge physicals went-- and listen to their groans of pain. But seriously, take a few minutes to ask these people what they wish they'd done differently during their physicals. Heed their advice and don't repeat their oversights! The basic advice hasn't changed: start … [Read more...] about Medical and dental exams
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?
No finances or other military-retirement topics today, folks. By popular request from my shipmate Jerome Jolly, it's sea story time. I don't think he's heard this one before. Don't worry-- it's safe for work and it's even family-friendly. My first assignment was the ballistic missile submarine USS JAMES MONROE (SSBN-622 BLUE), and maybe it was … [Read more...] about Sea story: “Battle Stations Missile”