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Old 11-27-2011, 12:48 PM   #21
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You have to be careful about throwing too much change in their lives just because you threw off your chains.
This is good advice. For years part of my motivation for ER was to spend more time with the kids. This last year I spent a lot of time at the baseball field with them which was great. The last few months I realized that they have a pretty good routine (school, homework, a little down time, family dinner, more down time playing with their friends etc) and I didn't want to be a third wheel. It is good to see them maturing.

There are times that I want to spend more time with them however I can tell I am in the way with what they are doing with their friends. I do spend more time with them each day just talking, letting them set in my lap, being silly with them etc. I find the family dynamic is better if I get home about an hour after they do so they have some decompress time. If I get home any later than this then I am ticked and need decompress time. It is a balancing act.

Today my older son and I are working on a "To Kill A Mocking Bird" school scrap book project. A lot of teachable moments as we talk through some of quotes from Atticus. In fact my son even said Dad this is the stuff you tell me. I get it. We'll see how far that goes

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Old 11-27-2011, 03:41 PM   #22
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... in our house over Thanksgiving, we've been discussing parts of your book, pgs 118-120, about rediscovering who you are, and esp the changing dynamics in a family. My wife and I have been discussing me retiring in 19 more mos and how I would want to take on more of the household responsibilities as that would only be fair. I've been doing laundry and dishes most of this 4-day break and she commented, "boy, if this is what retirement's going to be like, I'm ready for you to retire now!" (see, my Jedi mind trick is powerful, lol).

On the laundry front, I used to joke w/ people that every 2-3 years, I'll throw a new red towel in w/ a load of whites just to remind the wife that I don't do laundry! Now I'm Mr Fluff-n-Fold!
We had a cleaning lady come once a week the last few years I was working (and my wife was too.) I also had a guy mow the lawn. When I retired for good I took over house cleaning and reverted to doing all the yard work since I had more time and less money. If one's wife is still working, I think it could be very dangerous not to take on some of the housework.

Something else I discovered and quickly adjusted my behavior accordingly... If your wife is still working, even though there's no reason for you to get up when she does, it's a really good idea to do so anyway. My wife had to get up at 0530 to be able to get a walk/jog in before work, eat breakfast and get to work on time. Getting up and walking/jogging with her and then having breakfast together was an enhancer of matrimonial harmony. (I won't say I never went back to bed once she had pulled out of the driveway, but that's a different issue.)
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #23
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Friar: great advice! Coffee Boy I can be!!

After getting the tree up, just put the lights and decos on it. Wife and I have been getting addicted to looking at houses online. I think she's liking this ER concept...hehehe :-)
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:57 PM   #24
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PH-

As an O-1 with 1 month in, I have little to add except to thank you for sharing your story and to thank you for mentioning Ecclesiastes.

I think this country's collective view on retirement would be quite a bit different if more people read that book (Make sure you read the last chapter if you missed it).

R/
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:41 PM   #25
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There are times that I want to spend more time with them however I can tell I am in the way with what they are doing with their friends. I do spend more time with them each day just talking, letting them set in my lap, being silly with them etc. I find the family dynamic is better if I get home about an hour after they do so they have some decompress time. If I get home any later than this then I am ticked and need decompress time. It is a balancing act.
When our daughter hit the teen years I was just an on-call chauffeur with a mobile wallet, but I was expected to be available 24/7 for crisis consultation and resolution. Occasional combat search & rescue, maybe one or two silver bullets per year.

Worked for her, although I felt like I was standing watch during a drill set again. Some of our best talks were in the car, where both of us could talk while looking out the windows with no eye contact. Of course even better was doing so on the way to/from taekwondo, where we were legally permitted to kick the crap out of each other.

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Nords: in our house over Thanksgiving, we've been discussing parts of your book, pgs 118-120, about rediscovering who you are, and esp the changing dynamics in a family.
My apologies to the guy who pointed out that others might want to know what's on those pages-- Amazon.com may let you "search inside the book" for the topic titles of "Forget about who you were: Discover who you are", "Dealing with retiree guilt", and "Volunteering for charity & neighbors".

They're also in the blog as posts:
Forget about who you were and discover who you are | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Dealing with “retiree guilt” | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Volunteering for charity or neighbors | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

Yeah, I excerpted most of the book into the first few months of the blog. But I left out all the cool personal stories and the checklists... you'll have to go to the library or buy the book to get those!
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:01 AM   #26
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Yeah, I excerpted most of the book into the first few months of the blog. But I left out all the cool personal stories and the checklists... you'll have to go to the library or buy the book to get those!
For those in the military, to incl just starting out, buy Nords book! Yes, shameless plug intended! You'll find many financial books on retirement, and some on military retirement that focus on getting a second career, but few/none discuss how to exploit the big advantage a military retirement and Tricare provide. I'm slowly getting thru his book because each page usually ends up in "Hey honey, did you realize..." type conversation in house!
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:48 AM   #27
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For those in the military, to incl just starting out, buy Nords book! Yes, shameless plug intended! You'll find many financial books on retirement, and some on military retirement that focus on getting a second career, but few/none discuss how to exploit the big advantage a military retirement and Tricare provide.
One of the biggest advantages I can think of is that you aren't locked into a "second career" that is full time or provides health insurance. You are a lot more free to find something more enjoyable and perhaps even part-time than most folks who don't have at least some income and health insurance already in the bag.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:30 PM   #28
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One of the biggest advantages I can think of is that you aren't locked into a "second career" that is full time or provides health insurance. You are a lot more free to find something more enjoyable and perhaps even part-time than most folks who don't have at least some income and health insurance already in the bag.
Amen to that. During the 6+ years I worked after my military career, I held several jobs. When I got fed up/bored with one, normally after about 18 - 24 months, I would quit, take a hiatus of a couple of months and then get another job, generally for more pay. Never had a new job lined up when I quit. People who didn't have military retirement/TRICARE thought I was completely nuts. But it always worked out thanks to the safety net I had.

BTW, re: part time jobs...at least in the Beltway Bandit area, I don't think they work out. I had friends who went the part-time route and always got sucked into working more hours/days than they had originally intended or had been promised. There would inevitably be a crisis or a proposal due and they were asked to "step up," be "team players," or whatever the euphemism of the day was. It might work in a hardware store or something relatively low paying, but I think it's really hard to sustain a part-time job in a fairly high paying field for too long. They eventually had to decide whether to move to full-time and be back in the rat race or be let go because they couldn't meet the company's expectations. I hope others might have more favorable experiences, but that's what I observed.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:41 PM   #29
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Amen to that. During the 6+ years I worked after my military career, I held several jobs. When I got fed up/bored with one, normally after about 18 - 24 months, I would quit, take a hiatus of a couple of months and then get another job, generally for more pay. Never had a new job lined up when I quit. People who didn't have military retirement/TRICARE thought I was completely nuts. But it always worked out thanks to the safety net I had.
A good friend retired from the military at age 40 and had a series of 'second career' jobs until he died at age 60. I tried to count them at one point and came up with 18, and I know I didn't recall all of them.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:51 PM   #30
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A good friend retired from the military at age 40 and had a series of 'second career' jobs until he died at age 60. I tried to count them at one point and came up with 18, and I know I didn't recall all of them.
Holy cow. Which one of the jobs killed him?
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #31
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Holy cow. Which one of the jobs killed him?
The ones that allowed him to smoke...
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:03 PM   #32
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BTW, re: part time jobs...at least in the Beltway Bandit area, I don't think they work out. I had friends who went the part-time route and always got sucked into working more hours/days than they had originally intended or had been promised. There would inevitably be a crisis or a proposal due and they were asked to "step up," be "team players," or whatever the euphemism of the day was. It might work in a hardware store or something relatively low paying, but I think it's really hard to sustain a part-time job in a fairly high paying field for too long. They eventually had to decide whether to move to full-time and be back in the rat race or be let go because they couldn't meet the company's expectations. I hope others might have more favorable experiences, but that's what I observed.
I'm mostly talking about low-risk, low-responsibility stuff that isn't usually seen as "career-oriented" work. Today's workplace doesn't allow this to anyone -- they expect you to be "all in" with their corporation-uber-alles BS or they want nothing to do with you.

Again, I'm assuming that neither the pay nor the benefits are the primary factor in some cases, so you have a lot more options that aren't necessarily related to your past training, education and experience. At least in relatively normal job markets. These days corporate America has no interest in anyone who isn't desperate for a j*b because they can't be overworked and underappreciated like slaves. If they can't be controlled and dominated because they aren't desperate, the organization doesn't want them because there are plenty of other people who are desperate and can be dominated and controlled.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:56 AM   #33
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Morning all, just got back from another work trip...have racked up about 78,000 miles on American Airlines so far this year...gets old. Have my TAPS seminar for sr officers next week, have my first-ever resume' written and now need to do a cover letter. Went to Jos A Banks and bought an "interview suit", shoes, shirt, etc since I don't own one...pick that up tomorrow eve for my mock interview during the course. Man, Nords only has to decide which Hawaiian shirt to wear...that's a worthy motivational goal to get to ER! This suit stuff gets expensive!
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:42 AM   #34
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PH - congratulations on your decision - my husband and I are in a sort of similar situation - in fact, he is officially retired as of today (he is Mr DH instead of Maj DH). He looked quite hard for a GS job - those are becoming less and less available due to the restructuring going on - networking is key. We are fortunate in that my husband was actively recruited for a contract position which works like the airlines - they don't want anyone working more than 12 days a month (although those are intense days), so he will have something similar to what I have: a part-time consulting gig to augment the pension income. We are fortunate in that we will be purchasing a house soon but with no mortgage, so that will drive down the monthly lifestyle costs even more. Amazing how little you really need to live on when you take out the mortgage payment.

Again - congrats on the decision and enjoy the journey.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #35
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Have my TAPS seminar for sr officers next week, have my first-ever resume' written and now need to do a cover letter.
I'm always looking for good TAPS info, and I'd appreciate any war stories or curriculum that you pick up from there.

You could tell the TAPS instructors that I'd be delighted to discuss "The Military Guide" or the pocket guide with their staff...

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Went to Jos A Banks and bought an "interview suit", shoes, shirt, etc since I don't own one...pick that up tomorrow eve for my mock interview during the course. Man, Nords only has to decide which Hawaiian shirt to wear...that's a worthy motivational goal to get to ER! This suit stuff gets expensive!
IIRC "Millionaire Next Door" says that Banks ranks highly among that demographic.

I rotate eight aloha shirts ($6.99 each at Goodwill) among two pairs of slacks and two pairs of jeans.

I think I have two neckties-- one red and one blue? I guess I'd need at least 24 hours' advance notice to produce the ties.

But I have over 50 surfing t-shirts!

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PH - congratulations on your decision - my husband and I are in a sort of similar situation - in fact, he is officially retired as of today (he is Mr DH instead of Maj DH).
Tell him I said congratulations, and welcome to the club!
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:35 PM   #36
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Went to Jos A Banks and bought an "interview suit", shoes, shirt, etc since I don't own one...pick that up tomorrow eve for my mock interview during the course. Man, Nords only has to decide which Hawaiian shirt to wear...that's a worthy motivational goal to get to ER! This suit stuff gets expensive!
Yep get on their corporate account program. Then you get invites to members only events where stuff is 70% off. I think I spend about $1500 total

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:45 PM   #37
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Please tell me these suits aren't mandatory at TAP class. I have a few years to go until I'm going to retire, but am not interested in a job after the Navy that requires me to wear a suit and tie.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:34 AM   #38
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Please tell me these suits aren't mandatory at TAP class. I have a few years to go until I'm going to retire, but am not interested in a job after the Navy that requires me to wear a suit and tie.
Hawkeye: not mandatory, but since I'm looking at a bridge career (Nords explains in his book, BTW) for a couple of years (5 or less...maybe even just 2), I want to take full advantage of the mock interview and resume' review. They also have a networking lunch one day w/ some head hunters. And besides, now I have something to wear for Christmas and Easter!

Nords: will be taking your book with me. Reading Early Retirement Extreme right now and have Work Less, Live More on deck.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #39
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Please tell me these suits aren't mandatory at TAP class. I have a few years to go until I'm going to retire, but am not interested in a job after the Navy that requires me to wear a suit and tie.
They're not mandatory. Yet.

When you get to the TAP point, you might be able to do it online and skip the classroom altogether. However it's very interesting to absorb the atmosphere in the room while you're quietly checking the finishing touches on your ER plan.

But the DOL & DoD want you financially responsible, not necessarily financially independent!

Lucas Group's website used to have a page explaining "dress for success" civilian business attire to military officers. When I got to the part where they told you not to wear your Casio Ironman wristwatch but rather something more suitable from Patek Philippe, I could no longer keep the smirk off my face. That was my first clue that a bridge career might not be the right decision for me...

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Nords: will be taking your book with me. Reading Early Retirement Extreme right now and have Work Less, Live More on deck.
Excellent, thanks. I'm very interested in hearing feedback from the TAP staff on any of those books!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #40
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I don't know if anyone on this board is old enough to remember, but there used to be a very popular course in the DC area aimed at military officers who would be retiring in the next couple of years. It was called "The Strategy of Career Transition" and was initially offered as a graduate psychology course through Catholic University and taught by a guy named Stanley Hyman. It later morphed away from the university/graduate credit affiliation and became a stand-alone course, generally given at a hotel in Crystal City.

The course covered identifying what you really wanted to do in a second career, networking, resume writing, business attire, interviewing, etc. It included a battery of tests and a one-on-one with a psychologist who would interpret the results for you. I took it during a DC tour when I was thinking of retiring at the 20 year point and found it to be a very helpful course. Although I decided to stay in for another promotion and a few more tours, I used all the information I got to very good advantage when I finally did retire.

The guy who taught it was a retired AF LTCOL who had a PhD in psychology and who worked as a consultant to companies on HR matters. It was a "tough love" approach in that he tried to hit you over the head with the fact that many things were different in private industry than they were in the military and you had to adopt a different way of thinking to succeed there.

Hyman himself came to an unfortunate end and is no longer with us. I think the TAP programs are trying to fill the same needs as his course did. Having been to a TAP I found it useful but not nearly as comprehensive as Hyman's course. (Of course, you don't have to pay for TAP and you had to pay for Strategy.) But for officers of a certain era who were stationed in the DC area, going to the Strategy course was almost a rite of passage.
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