Originally Posted by Nords
What would you tell a new military officer to do with his money?
His short-term plan is to apply for Special Forces training, serve out his five years, and then take it one tour at a time. If he's enjoying himself then he'll try to stick around for a career. If he's not happy then he'll take his skills to the nearest security-training company for a different career. If he survives then his prospects for future employment are pretty certain and his paychecks aren't likely to be interrupted.
He's just signed up for the TSP again (West Point cadets weren't eligible) and I suggested that he contribute at least 10% and try to boost it to 25%. The 2007 TSP contribution limit is $15,500 so he won't hit it for a few more years. (I also recommended that at least half of every promotion should go into the TSP.) Since he's young & single I advised splitting his TSP contributions between the small-cap "S" and international "I" funds. No bonds.
He already has his copy of "Work Less, Live More." (Thanks, Bob!) ...
Gosh, this seems almost too easy-- there must be a catch. Any other suggestions?
Nords - found this thread while using the search function looking for TSP related items.
If he leans towards the SF route after getting some time under his belt, drop me a PM and I can get you hooked w/the best resources for aspiring volunteers, apart from preparation there is plenty of info available for 'reality checks' to better gauge if it's the path he wants to follow.
As for the security training co. employment post-military, thats pretty saturated as far as the opportunity for less experienced vets, and pay has diminished. BUT if he goes SF there are far more options available - and would not be limited to security type work. Stuff guys would never have even thought about, some which I might add, enhances one's prep for ER with hobbies that pay!
The TSP? man I wish they had it when I started out, other options existed but I was caught in the 'pension' mindset. I hope he heeds your advice. I am halfway through Clyatt's book and the ER-Guide CD...your 'butterbar' nephew is way ahead of the power curve being armed with the knowledge in WLLM.
One area I've seen younger military folks derail savings plans that hasn't been mentioned is raiding the TSP/savings. Impulse and the lack of long term perspective (or old-timers' hindsight) will allow them to rationalize these actions. Hope he can resist the temptation when it comes. Meanwhile I have a nephew I gotta work on - as soon as I get my ER act together...
De Oppresso Liber