Retirement: Learning to be a family again

The other night, after my spouse had loaded the dishwasher after dinner without being asked, I went into the kitchen to add a few stray dishes and push the start button.

First, though, I rearranged everything - that glass should be on the top, that bowl should be facing the other way, the silverware should be sorted by type into each basket with the knives pointing down …

Wait. Why was I doing this?

Because that’s the way I’ve always done it.


Retirement prep from the military member’s point of view

I recently asked my husband his lessons learned from retirement. I thought it might be nice to get the servicemember / retiree perspective on things.

As usual, he was quick to point out that he’s no expert and his advice may or may not be welcome. And that everybody’s situation is different. And that what might work for one couple or family might not work for another.

Of course he’s right.

But I told him there is value in hearing from someone who’s been there, done that.


Finding a new kind of home

My husband says I can make a new best friend in line at the commissary.

I’ll bet many of you are the same way – you move to a new place, and within five minutes you’ve met someone who will be the emergency contact for your kids’ school. Or the person who will be your go-to pet sitter. Or even someone you’ll spend more time with over the next two years than you do with your husband.

That’s military life. We bond fast.

And we bond hard

Friendships are not so easily forged in the civilian world.


Retirement: When PCS season ends, forever

PCS season is here. Time to start purging, packing and planning. Time to start looking at houses and school districts and things to do in the new place. Time to start convincing the kids how great the new place is going to be. Time to start saying goodbye to friends and neighbors and get ready to reinvent yourself all over again for the umpteenth time.

Oh, wait.

Not me.

Not this year.

I don’t have to do that anymore. We’re retirees now.


VA Disability claims – paperwork, math and sometimes, confusion

Navigating the VA disability claim can be one of the trickiest parts of leaving the military.

Even the term “disability” is confusing. One of the first questions my two teenagers asked when we explained my husband’s disability rating was: “Can we park in handicapped spots now?” The answer: No. Having a VA disability rating does not necessarily make one “disabled” in the way that term is usually applied.


What I do know about what I didn’t know about retirement

I often hear from friends who are scared of all the perceived challenges facing them in retirement. Or they read something on Facebook, which may or may not be accurate, and they get freaked out about the transition from military life to civilian life.

I see those same posts. Mostly, they go something like this:

“I am so stressed out about my spouse’s retirement. I just want to cry all the time.”

Or:

“I don’t know how I am going to handle all this.”

Or:

“We have no idea what we will do next.”


Retirement Ceremony – who, what, where, when and maybe, not at all

I’m not going to lie. I was disappointed, and even a little angry, when my husband said he didn’t want a retirement ceremony.

 


On the road again, but this time without military orders - a chance to live the life we love

By Amy Nielsen

We made a huge decision as a family over the last week. We set the date to move into our RV and live on the road full time.

We have been working towards this goal since retirement from the Navy five years ago. We knew it would take a bit to organize ourselves and our stuff into a position where we could begin to think about this for real.


Work after retirement - the highs and lows of finding a job for life

I’ve applied for nearly 20 jobs in the past six months since we decided to live in Florida. Some I’ve even applied for twice.

 

I’ve had two interviews, but no offers.

 

My husband recently asked me how I deal with all that rejection. My reply?

 

“Welcome to my life. This is what I’ve been doing for 27 years.”

 

With each PCS, we military spouses reinvent ourselves. We fill new roles, either in the military unit or at our kids’ schools or in community organizations we join. And in our jobs.

 


Ready to leave military housing behind and buy your very own house? Not so fast

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

It’s also one of the things many soon-to-be military retiree families look forward to the most. We want to buy curtains and rugs that actually fit and match, paint the walls and replace the flooring and install whatever countertops we like best.

We want a place of our own. Or, as many call it, a “forever home.”

But is buying a house a wise choice when in the midst of leaving the military?

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