Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
Thanks to both of you for being such great role models--I'm pinning those pages up in my home office for inspiration, next to my thermometer graphs!
Originally Posted by NinjaPigeon
If you don't mind me asking, how did you two end up being interviewed for the magazine? And what made you feel comfortable giving up your anonymity?
Corey Hajim posted here asking for volunteers. The Kaderlis had interviewed me a few months before so I pointed her to their website where Billy & Akaisha's work convinced her to send a couple freelance photographers an extra 2500 miles.
While she was checking me out, I was able to find enough of her articles to convince me that she knew what she was doing. She's not just a freelancer hoping for a hook. When we read as many journalists on this board as we do, it doesn't take long to separate the skilled from the, uhm, not-so-skilled.
I'd already surrendered my anonymity before Corey posted. What originally led me to that decision was curiosity over why so many veterans pursue a second career after the military. I want to hear from more vets about what they're thinking (in my case it was "not much") and why they made their decisions.
Having a COLA pension and $460/year
health insurance would help anyone (let alone active-duty retirees) to become ERs but it just doesn't seem to happen. In my case I never even considered that we'd be able to make it work until my father prompted me. But if spouse & I knew at age 21 what we knew at 41 then we would have been much better prepared with purposeful (not deployment-imposed) LBYM and maximized tax-deferred savings. I would've learned a lot more about asset allocation and low-cost index funds, too. Admittedly the 1982 literature was a little sparse but it was there.
So far the answers from most veterans & spouses are:
1. We didn't save any money, and/or
2. It never occurred to us to retire before age 65...
Of course the answers from this board's veterans are pretty much "Run, Forrest, run!!" One of the military couples on this board even managed to leave active duty for ER before
they were eligible for pensions or cheap healthcare. Admittedly they could be accused of practicing "extreme ER" but if they can do it their way then the pension & healthcare can make it a slam-dunk.
An additional factor with Corey was that she really didn't want to talk about money or investing. Her focus was lifestyle. All the pension/salary info in my part of her article is publicly available on DoD websites.
I'm not sure that I'd be interested in having a financial magazine pore over our brokerage statements. Short of guys like Bernstein, Ferri, Burns, & Swedroe I haven't met many journalists who understand more than the rudiments of asset allocation & volatility risk. Trying to deal with the reasoning behind our pension & portfolio would blow the gaskets of the Money & Kiplinger's writers...