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Intro and FIRE the Year After
Old 07-16-2018, 06:13 PM   #1
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Intro and FIRE the Year After

Hello,

I am a 49 yr old has been. Retired from 30 yr career working for Uncle Sam in the Army. My DW is about 90% retired, no I would have to say 95% retired--she is still a proud member of the Army Reserves. After following one of this forum's vets, Nords, I too suggested to my DW to get off active duty and jump into the reserves and therefore pretty much retire with me. It was a great move and DW has never been happier with her career. Thank you Nords for the great advice!

I have been a member for several years and have leached off the great info from the collective wisdom of the members and thought I should finally get off my duffle bag and at least introduce myself.

After a successful career in the military, meaning they didn't kick me out before 20 years when I could collect a pension, unlike approx 87% of my fellow retired officers, I decided to retire, retire instead of pursuing another paying gig...best decision I ever made. Life has been wonderful the past year since I put myself out to pasture. Just returning with my family from living abroad for a year in Spain.

Speaking of family, besides my DW, I have 4 daughters. 2 young ladies in college and 2 lovely girls in 11th and 8th grades. They keep my life from ever getting too boring or let me worry about what I'm going to do with all my money.

After having a year of pasture living under me, I haven't had too many surprises or challenges. Financially, the military pension, health care and our savings have been very very good to us. As with the majority in this forum we had been pretty good about LBYM during our active duty years and now it is bearing fruit.

Not to say there aren't bumps on the road. For instance we way over spent during our year in Spain. Lived a high cost life style with private school for the two youngest, renting a house on the Mediterranean, two kids in college and vuala, we were $52k in cred card debt! We've chopped it down about half and will pay it off in the next 12 months, and they are at 0% interest over that period, but nonetheless it was a good wake up call to not let the guard down.

Not too worried as we've got about $13k monthly after tax between pension and annuities. Plus our investments total $2.1M. All the investments are in low cost index funds. About $1.1 in taxable Vanguard stocks 80% in VTSAX rest in VTIAX. $1 in retirement funds are in the fed govt Thrift Savings Plan and IRAs also in Vanguard-- the retirement funds are split about 60% in TSP and 40% in IRA Roth. The investments in the retirement accounts also are all stocks and track the same AA as my taxable accounts. I know I'm not very diversified and lack bonds, but I can live on my monthly income comfortably--except in a resort area in Spain as I've found out the hard way.

As far as the non financial side of RE, I couldn't be happier. I know I am still feeling my way through this major life change but it beats the heck out of *orking!

I have really enjoyed being a voyeur the past few years and now look forward to a more active membership.

Cheers from Gainseville FL
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Retire52 View Post
Hello,

I am a 49 yr old has been. Retired from 30 yr career working for Uncle Sam in the Army. My DW is about 90% retired, no I would have to say 95% retired--she is still a proud member of the Army Reserves. After following one of this forum's vets, Nords, I too suggested to my DW to get off active duty and jump into the reserves and therefore pretty much retire with me. It was a great move and DW has never been happier with her career. Thank you Nords for the great advice!

I have been a member for several years and have leached off the great info from the collective wisdom of the members and thought I should finally get off my duffle bag and at least introduce myself.

After a successful career in the military, meaning they didn't kick me out before 20 years when I could collect a pension, unlike approx 87% of my fellow retired officers, I decided to retire, retire instead of pursuing another paying gig...best decision I ever made. Life has been wonderful the past year since I put myself out to pasture. Just returning with my family from living abroad for a year in Spain.

Speaking of family, besides my DW, I have 4 daughters. 2 young ladies in college and 2 lovely girls in 11th and 8th grades. They keep my life from ever getting too boring or let me worry about what I'm going to do with all my money.

After having a year of pasture living under me, I haven't had too many surprises or challenges. Financially, the military pension, health care and our savings have been very very good to us. As with the majority in this forum we had been pretty good about LBYM during our active duty years and now it is bearing fruit.

Not to say there aren't bumps on the road. For instance we way over spent during our year in Spain. Lived a high cost life style with private school for the two youngest, renting a house on the Mediterranean, two kids in college and vuala, we were $52k in cred card debt! We've chopped it down about half and will pay it off in the next 12 months, and they are at 0% interest over that period, but nonetheless it was a good wake up call to not let the guard down.

Not too worried as we've got about $13k monthly after tax between pension and annuities. Plus our investments total $2.1M. All the investments are in low cost index funds. About $1.1 in taxable Vanguard stocks 80% in VTSAX rest in VTIAX. $1 in retirement funds are in the fed govt Thrift Savings Plan and IRAs also in Vanguard-- the retirement funds are split about 60% in TSP and 40% in IRA Roth. The investments in the retirement accounts also are all stocks and track the same AA as my taxable accounts. I know I'm not very diversified and lack bonds, but I can live on my monthly income comfortably--except in a resort area in Spain as I've found out the hard way.

As far as the non financial side of RE, I couldn't be happier. I know I am still feeling my way through this major life change but it beats the heck out of *orking!

I have really enjoyed being a voyeur the past few years and now look forward to a more active membership.

Cheers from Gainseville FL
Welcome back fellow Floridian. Everything sounds great.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:43 PM   #3
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Welcome back fellow Floridian. Everything sounds great.
thank you Frail. Cheers
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:12 PM   #4
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Congrats! You sound well-prepared, financially! Enjoy!
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:57 PM   #5
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thank you Frail. Cheers
I've met him. He's not that frail. Maybe a little delicate.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:33 PM   #6
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Darn auto correct
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:26 AM   #7
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I've met him. He's not that frail. Maybe a little delicate.
and I was going to let that go.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:40 AM   #8
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Thank you both for your service! Looks like you are set up beautifully. Have fun!
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Retire52 View Post
I am a 49 yr old has been. Retired from 30 yr career working for Uncle Sam in the Army. My DW is about 90% retired, no I would have to say 95% retired--she is still a proud member of the Army Reserves. After following one of this forum's vets, Nords, I too suggested to my DW to get off active duty and jump into the reserves and therefore pretty much retire with me. It was a great move and DW has never been happier with her career. Thank you Nords for the great advice!
Outstanding, Retire52, I'm glad to see that the advice helped! When my spouse moved to the Reserves it was awesome for both of us.

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Just returning with my family from living abroad for a year in Spain.
We've spent quite a bit of 2015 and 2016 visiting our daughter when she was stationed in Rota. I could totally do more of that. You'll have to let us know how you handled the visa.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:32 PM   #10
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Outstanding, Retire52, I'm glad to see that the advice helped! When my spouse moved to the Reserves it was awesome for both of us.


We've spent quite a bit of 2015 and 2016 visiting our daughter when she was stationed in Rota. I could totally do more of that. You'll have to let us know how you handled the visa.
Hello Nords,

Without a doubt, you have been a great source of information and inspiration forme in paving the way to an ER. I first stumbled onto the Army Times article that had a picture of you surfing while sporting a pony tail. I think it was back in 2011. That article is what started me on the path your blog and others in the FIRE community, so thank you very much.

To answer your question about the type of VISA we used for the year we were in Spain; we used a non-lucrative VISA aka Retirement VISA. As long as you can show you have income independent from work, such as a pension, SS, rental income, etc., you qualify. For a rough idea of the amount of income, last year the*minimum income required*was about 26K Euros ($29k dollars) annually plus 6.4K Euros per each additional family member.

I remember having read your articles on your Spain trips to visit your daughter. They were very enjoyable to read and it was great that she not only followed in her parents' foot steps but that you both had the time and resources to have extended visits there.

Agree it was a significant improvement to our life style when my DW got off AD. She was very stressed out and was dreading slogging it out for another 6 years and likely 2 to 3 more moves. It would have been nearly as tough on my two teenagers. When I suggested to her to go into the USAR to reach her 20, after some number crunching and soul searching, she did it and was about as happy as I've ever seen her. It was a game changer. More dual military couples should leverage this option. Good for them and the Service in the long run. It leads to better morale, retention and saves money.

Cheers
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Retire52 View Post
Hello Nords,

Without a doubt, you have been a great source of information and inspiration forme in paving the way to an ER. I first stumbled onto the Army Times article that had a picture of you surfing while sporting a pony tail. I think it was back in 2011. That article is what started me on the path your blog and others in the FIRE community, so thank you very much.

To answer your question about the type of VISA we used for the year we were in Spain; we used a non-lucrative VISA aka Retirement VISA. As long as you can show you have income independent from work, such as a pension, SS, rental income, etc., you qualify. For a rough idea of the amount of income, last year the*minimum income required*was about 26K Euros ($29k dollars) annually plus 6.4K Euros per each additional family member.

I remember having read your articles on your Spain trips to visit your daughter. They were very enjoyable to read and it was great that she not only followed in her parents' foot steps but that you both had the time and resources to have extended visits there.

Agree it was a significant improvement to our life style when my DW got off AD. She was very stressed out and was dreading slogging it out for another 6 years and likely 2 to 3 more moves. It would have been nearly as tough on my two teenagers. When I suggested to her to go into the USAR to reach her 20, after some number crunching and soul searching, she did it and was about as happy as I've ever seen her. It was a game changer. More dual military couples should leverage this option. Good for them and the Service in the long run. It leads to better morale, retention and saves money.

Cheers
Thanks again, and I hope more dual-military couples see these threads!

That's good news about Spain's visa requirements. We can cover those, and I wouldn't mind spending March through June there.
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