Retired? Murphy will still find you

You know that old saying about Murphy, and how he always seems to show up during a deployment?

I’m here to tell you he likes to visit during retirement, too. In fact, Murphy followed us all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, although it did take him awhile to catch up.

We left Stuttgart, Germany, on terminal leave in August, 2016, and spent most of the next year traveling the country in our RV, with a cat and two teenagers.


Financial Security After a Retired Spouse Dies

Will you have financial security if your retired spouse dies before you?

Nobody likes to talk about the worst-case scenario. But when it comes to retirement, it is a conversation that every couple should definitely have.

Most of us are familiar with life insurance. There are several different types, but in general a life insurance policy pays a lump sum amount upon the insured person’s death.


Retirement means change for military kids too

My kids started their first post-retirement school in August. A couple of months in, I asked my 16-year-old if he had made any friends yet.

“Not really,” he said. “There just aren’t any other kids like me.”

We often talk about how active duty servicemembers lose their bearings when they leave the military. They might feel lost, their feeling of purpose gone and their sense of working toward a clear objective stripped away. Their peers are no longer around to share war stories. They feel like they have nothing in common with anyone.


The 12 Days of Retirement

Today, an ode to an old Christmas favorite, and some of the new challenges of retirement. Happy Holidays to all!

On the first day of Christmas, retirement gave to me … one grateful nation.

On the second day of Christmas, retirement gave to me … two pack out dates and one grateful nation.

On the third day of Christmas retirement gave to me … three DD214s, two pack out dates and one grateful nation.

On the fourth day of Christmas retirement gave to me … four panic attacks, three DD214s, two pack out dates and one grateful nation.


Need financial advice for retirement? These military-focused books can kick start your retirement planning

We’ve all heard of “What Color is Your Parachute?” and “Who Moved My Cheese?” Both are tried and true guides to starting a new career path, embarking on a new life journey, or just gaining perspective on change in general.

But there’s a whole stack of other great books out there for those who are facing a major transition, some even specifically geared toward military retirees or those leaving the military for other reasons. From finances to benefits to job searches to becoming an entrepreneur, chances are there’s a book that covers it.


Retiring? You have one year of free HHG storage, use it wisely

Moving is the one constant about military life. It’s something we all know will happen every two years or so, sometimes a little sooner, sometimes a little later.

 

And when that time comes, the military tells us where to go. Sure, maybe we have a say in it, an option to pick the top two or three choices. But, most often, we don’t put much thought into it.

 

The military issues orders, packs us up and ships us off to the new place.

 


Military milestones give spouse time to breathe

By Amy Nielsen

My husband and I marked two important rites in our path together this week - our 10-year wedding anniversary and his five-year retirement from the Navy. Both are milestones we both thought we would not make it to – for lots of various reasons.

We married after living together for two years, less than one week before he was to deploy on a nine-month sea tour, and days after his extremely contentious divorce was finalized.


Retiring? Be Ready for Uncle Sam to Dump Your Stuff

At some point in the future, three different moving vans will show up at my house delivering 16,000 pounds of household goods that are currently in storage in Virginia, Massachusetts and Kansas.

I dread that day. My 14-year-old put it pretty aptly when he said, “It’ll be like Christmas, but with a ton of crap.”


Leaving the Military? Take a Paid Vacation First

Guess what? There is a huge retirement benefit out there that I will bet many of you didn’t even know you had.

Leave.

Careful handling of leave days in the last couple of years before retirement or separation can put you in a position to have paid time off right before you retire. Potentially, months of it.

Upon retirement, every service member is granted what’s called “terminal leave.” Previous to my husband putting in his paperwork late last year, I thought terminal leave was free – meaning it didn’t count against your leave days and was automatically granted.


Retirement Means Letting Go, In More Ways Than One

I am alone in my house right now, a rare thing these days.

The kids are out of school and my husband switched out of his job last month to focus on retirement and out-processing, so he only goes into work for a short time each day.

Which means I went from spending most of my time alone to having three other people in the house, almost constantly.

I love my quiet time. I love being alone. I don’t even mind going out for lunch by myself, or shopping by myself or taking a long road trip with no other company but my iTunes playlists.

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