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Aloha from Hawaii
Old 05-10-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
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Aloha from Hawaii

Hello from Hawaii! I am a soon to be retired Army officer married to another Army officer (still serving and plans to retire in a couple of years). I am retiring from the Army after 20+ years of faithful service to our nation and looking forward to ER here in Hawaii. I have been perusing the Bogleheads forum and came across this community thru one of the postings and as suggested by an acquaintance. I ran FireCalc and, in addition to a financial advisor’s cursory review of my finances (he suggested an in depth follow up review for a cost of $900, which I balked at), it appears that we are on our way to FI and ER (if not already there)…by the way, does FIRE mean Financial Independence and Early Retirement…guess it’s better than FIER?

My vitals summary:
44, married; wife is 49; kids are all grown with the youngest an Army First Lieutenant
- Portfolio (less the value of the home) is in the low 7 figures
- Tax-sheltered accounts (Mostly TSP L2030 ~ $422K and Roth IRAs ~ $180K)
- Taxable accounts (~$600K)
- No debts except for the house (refinancing to 15-year at 2.5%; current market value is $680K with mortgage at $465K)
- My monthly pension income is expected to be about $4K to $5K per month starting in August 2013 (my wife’s would be similar in amount when she retires)
- Current monthly expenses just below $6,000 (includes mortgage and additional P&I payments)

I am currently in the process of deciding whether to retire early or seek another employment (looking at federal)…something I wouldn’t mind doing…ongoing sequestration and terminal leave allows me some time to try out the early retirement living before I have to “decide”. I have been doing some volunteering (especially to help out veterans and elderly) and anticipate would increase the amount of volunteer hours later on. We have been blessed and intend to pay it forward (“Much is required from those to whom much is given…”)


I am interested in finding out more about everyone else’s experiences and lessons learned in ER.

FIRE…I think we are there (?)

Thanks,
Mel
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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Congratulations, and thank you for your family's service. If you haven't already, take a look at Nords website on military retirement - he's a regular poster here, and the go-to man, and based in Hawaii as well.

Military Retirement & Financial Independence

I'm sure about 10 people wil be along shortly to say hello and give you the same advice :-) welcome!
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by seabourne View Post
Congratulations, and thank you for your family's service. If you haven't already, take a look at Nords website on military retirement - he's a regular poster here, and the go-to man, and based in Hawaii as well.

Military Retirement & Financial Independence

I'm sure about 10 people wil be along shortly to say hello and give you the same advice :-) welcome!
Thanks seabourne...and yes, I recently subscribed to Nords' blog. I haven't gotten around to reading his book but is on my ever growing list of books to read while on leave...while drinking mai tais on the beach
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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It appears you have easily reached FI based on your upcoming pension covering almost all of your expenses. Any additional work you do now should be if you find it fun and enjoyable. Congratulations!
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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Welcome, Van-Guard23. Lots of interesting, helpful and knowledgeable folks on this board.

Hope you take some time to read Nords' writings. He's done a great job writing about RE (retiring early) for military types.

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:00 AM   #6
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:56 AM   #7
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It appears you have easily reached FI based on your upcoming pension covering almost all of your expenses. Any additional work you do now should be if you find it fun and enjoyable. Congratulations!
Thanks, Ready...there's some comfort in knowing that my wife and I have choices/options. I guess that is really what FI affords us...having the option to work or not work with the choices not dictated by anything external but simply based on whether we would derive pleasure and fulfillment out of it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:44 AM   #8
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Welcome VG23 and thanks for your service from another retired Mil type. You are for sure FI and are in charge now of your own destiny. Take your time with the decision to return to work in the civilian world. I took a year "sabbatical" back in '02 when I retired from USAF and am about to retire from my second career in 6 weeks. Any job will consume more of you than you think. Just know that going in.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:04 PM   #9
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I am not from the military but welcome to the forum anyway. It looks like you are all set. Congratulations.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NanoSour View Post
Welcome VG23 and thanks for your service from another retired Mil type. You are for sure FI and are in charge now of your own destiny. Take your time with the decision to return to work in the civilian world. I took a year "sabbatical" back in '02 when I retired from USAF and am about to retire from my second career in 6 weeks. Any job will consume more of you than you think. Just know that going in.
Thanks NanoSour...and thanks for your military service as well...yeah, I will definitely take my time in deciding whether I would want that "bridge career" moving forward.

Just curious, what was it that made you decide to take that "second career" after an extended sabbatical? For me, having achieved FI, I don't necessarily "need" a job but don't want to squander years of training and experience (not to mention security clearance and connections) by "sitting in the sidelines".
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Van-Guard23 View Post
yeah, I will definitely take my time in deciding whether I would want that "bridge career" moving forward.
For me, having achieved FI, I don't necessarily "need" a job but don't want to squander years of training and experience (not to mention security clearance and connections) by "sitting in the sidelines".
But… but… but what will I DO all day?!?¯

When should you stop working?

Myths of military retirement and early retirement

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I haven't gotten around to reading his book but is on my ever growing list of books to read while on leave...while drinking mai tais on the beach
It's in several branches of the Hawaii state library and on a few Oahu base libraries. When I sent copies to the Schofield library, I asked them to forward one each to the AMR and Shafter libraries too.
http://ipac.librarieshawaii.org/ipac...profile=#focus
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for your service and welcome!
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:44 PM   #13
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But… but… but what will I DO all day?!?¯

When should you stop working?

Myths of military retirement and early retirement


It's in several branches of the Hawaii state library and on a few Oahu base libraries. When I sent copies to the Schofield library, I asked them to forward one each to the AMR and Shafter libraries too.
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Nords,
Thanks again for putting things in perspective. I especially liked the metaphor you provided about retirement with "every day is Saturday and every night is Friday night." What a life!
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #14
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Welcome Van-Guard23!

Congratulations on your pending retirement, and a heartfelt thanks to you and your family for your service!

A quick look at your numbers tells me you are on the objective! If I where in your boots, I'd take a year off before considering a second career. Suspect you'll soon see you don't need it. Can also consider your volunteer work your second career...suspect it will be very rewarding.

Wishing you and your family all the very best,
HaloFIRE
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