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Old 11-06-2009, 10:26 PM   #21
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Keep showing your kid all the cool things they could get to do in the military, and then let them figure out the details of NROTC & service academies...
Hmmm: Maybe a tough sell. They were there for most of 25 years, 13 moves, 3 overseas assignments, exercises, inspections, endless hours doing whatever it was I was doing that I couldn't tell them about... Yup for some reason none of them showed the slightest interest in going into the military. Nords, it just boggles the mind... I was the first in my family to make the military a career and chances are I'll also be the last. But on the bright side my mil pay did fund 3 kids through college, ER at 48, and SAHM for the kids. I did mention the academys, rotc, etc., but w/o your success.

Well done on your recruiting efforts or perhaps Mrs. Nords had a hand in your success?
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:51 PM   #22
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Nords, it just boggles the mind... I was the first in my family to make the military a career and chances are I'll also be the last. But on the bright side my mil pay did fund 3 kids through college, ER at 48, and SAHM for the kids. I did mention the academys, rotc, etc., but w/o your success.
Well done on your recruiting efforts or perhaps Mrs. Nords had a hand in your success?
I wish I knew, because it took nearly us three years to convince her that there were better alternatives than USNA. If we hadn't ignorantly visited USNA at a very impressionable time for her then we wouldn't really have had much of a clue about the college-selection process, just like when I was in high school. The only thing that really did change her mind was six days at USNA (total hours of sleep: 25) followed by three weeks at Notre Dame (where she got almost as much sleep that first weekend).

I've had uncles in the military but none in our immediate family. No one in spouse's family was ever in the military (other than as a draftee); she joined the military as an attractive way to escape her immediate family. But I think our kid is hypercompetitive, although I have no idea where that genetic code could have come from. Her first visit with us to USNA (after 8th grade) was full of grrrl power. Her 2nd cousin, attending USMA at the time, was even visiting USNA and stayed with us. So she was surrounded by Go Navy and military gung ho. Staying in senior officer housing with USNA's Director of Math & Science (also one of the first women USNA grads), quaffing frosty beverages on the lanai, watching the plebes hard at work-- what's not to like? It's an irresistible challenge, and I still get that feeling when I see USMC commercials on TV... even though I'm hypothetically old enough to know better.

My spouse is USNA '83, the fourth class of women. She still talks of her years of being the only girl in the room. Maybe that "trailblazer" attitude influenced our daughter, who didn't understand what her mother was trying to explain to her.

I think our kid sees the military as a guaranteed job after college with no fear of having to go through a job search and all those pesky interviews. She probably thinks that she can blithely do her 20 and retire to a life of indolence, just like her parents. She's also surrounded by successful Reservists (friends & neighbors) and Hawaii has a huge tradition of family Reserve/National Guard service, so she probably sees a martial tradition as a lot more "normal" than we do. All this and a paycheck too.

I think we've done our part to salve our consciences make sure she knew what she was getting into. We've visited several other colleges. I've taken her to USNA's Memorial Hall, shown her the plaque with my classmates' names on it, and told her about them and how they died... until she was crying. We've tried to make very clear that she's seeing us enjoy ER without seeing what we paid for it. We talk about a typical day at sea and we make sure she understands all the not-so-funny parts about the sea stories. I think she's finally getting it.

She still doesn't believe that an engineering degree will give her lifelong employment in Hawaii, but maybe she'll figure that out during freshman year. Who knows-- she may do a year at NROTC, learn about the "real" Navy that following summer, and decide that she wants nothing to do with it. As I've told her, she'll have made an informed decision and won't spend the rest of her life wondering "what if".

She's doing a better job of picking a college than I did-- I was impressed by Navy's cool gear, the irresistible challenge, and the hot chicks. I accomplished all of those goals, too, but I can't help wondering "What if?" every time I see a college like Rice or Notre Dame.

Our kid's not totally nuts-- she wants nothing to do with aviation and she's extremely skeptical of submarines. So maybe she really is smarter than her parents...
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:21 PM   #23
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Our kid's not totally nuts-- she wants nothing to do with aviation and she's extremely skeptical of submarines. So maybe she really is smarter than her parents...
It's a scary thought isn't it...
Perhaps that explains my kids, lack of interest, too...

During my junior year of college, I started reading the pretty brochures on the Navy's Nuke Engineering program -- I had most of the required prerequisites and was considering how to get the rest, when DW waded in and expressed her opinions. Extremely skeptical of subs, doesn't even begin to express her thoughts on the subject as a newly wed. A strategic retreat led to my survival to fight retreat another day...
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:58 AM   #24
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We saved in the state prepaid tuition program. At this point, if they go to a year or two of community college then transfer to a local state university and live at home we have a four year degree paid for for each of them. And that is our deal, "you each have a four year degree and you are welcome to live at home for four years out of high school to get it, if you want to go out of the area or more to more expensive schools you need to develop a plan to cover the difference." We would likely kick in some more if they did live on campus out of the area for a couple of years, but not a tremendous amount more. So in the end, we feel we have flexibility regarding ER whether the kids are completely out or not.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:49 PM   #25
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Extremely skeptical of subs, doesn't even begin to express her thoughts on the subject as a newly wed. A strategic retreat led to my survival to fight retreat another day...
Hunh, that's odd, my spouse just wanted to know if my nuke bonus pay would continue to be sent to our joint checking account while the search & rescue guys were doing their thing...
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:22 AM   #26
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We are semi-ER with two DD's (12 and 18). The college money is in seperate buckets and there is enough there for in-state public schools. For out-of-state or any of the pricy privates they would need to contribute.

The 18 yr old (smart but wild) graduated a year early (her own doing), entered a top in-state university and then dropped out after 6 months to "find herself" only to discover how hard it is to live without M&D paying the bills. We still keep her on our health plan just in case and the bucket is still there though it is a tad smaller, and it won't be there indefinitely. Hopefully she is going back next fall. At least the younger one is not giving us a serious dose of heartache (yet) like the older one!
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:29 PM   #27
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Hunh, that's odd, my spouse just wanted to know if my nuke bonus pay would continue to be sent to our joint checking account while the search & rescue guys were doing their thing...
Hmmm... I've always been suspicious of what those SAR guys were up to while you sub guys were down under.

I'm sure you reassured her, the pay folks are clueless and don't make adjustments for that sort of thing...
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:25 PM   #28
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If I were to wait until my son (age 5 months) were through college, it wouldn't be ER, it'd just be R. But I've already put the money away for his college, so I'm good.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:38 PM   #29
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Whether it's college, vocational school, helping a kid start a business....... whatever, it's just another expense to account for in determining your FIRE status. I think the real question is the change in flexibility caused by going FIRE while you still have dependents at home. If something changes (kid's health, plans, etc.) while you're still working, you still have the option to continue on (ugh!) if necessary. Once you walk out the door, at least for many of us, it might be difficult to undo the decision.

I didn't FIRE until I had the finances for my commitments (mainly a trust fund for a grandchild with special needs) locked up. I probably would have handled the commitment to help with the kid's college the same way although in my case I had my family early and was an empty nester at RE time.
This describes what we did.


However, I wonder if anyone has considered this approach? With a higher income and reasonably bright kids going to private schools, we didn't qualify for any measurable "needs based" aid. Suppose I had quit work before the first started college, and gone back to grad myself. The FIT that I wouldn't pay plus the big increase in college aid would have replaced more than half my salary. If I could have had a modest assistanceship on my own, I could have afforded a late-life career change.
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