Why Our Retirement Plans Changed

This post is brought to you by Genworth and Brandfluential.

We always kid around with our friends about our children. “With the way our son argues, he’s going to be a litigator some day.” We’ll all share a chuckle or two about his arguing skills, and how he’ll single-handedly pay for our retirement with all the money he’ll make utilizing those skills. Sure, we’re (mostly) joking (I mean, he really is a good arguer), we certainly don’t expect him to pay for our future. But with our daydreaming about his future successes, this always leads to daydreams about our futures, too. Daydreams of a time when our children are grown, successful, with families of their own – where will they be? Where will we be? What will we all be doing in 15-20 years?

As my husband is reaching the end of his military career, our focus lately has been on retirement; what we’re going to do, where we’ll live, and what our “plan” is. And that’s where we get caught up, because we haven’t quite fleshed it all out just yet. What exactly is “the plan” for us, especially since it’s recently changed? Yes, changed.

My husband and I had always planned for him to stay in the military for at least 23-ish years – long enough for about half of our children to graduate high school. That would place us with approximately two or so more duty assignments (three-year stints) after this one before his retirement. Except, that’s no longer what we want to do.

We didn’t expect to fall in love with this area, but we did. Now, we don’t want to leave. We don’t want to go anywhere else, and my husband wants to retire out of the military here, sooner than we’d originally planned. This has most certainly altered things a bit for us- can we afford to leave before 23 years in? Will they let us extend and potentially drop his retirement packet late next year instead of move?

With all of this uncertainty, it’s definitely hard to choreograph the right “plan” for retirement now, especially since we aren’t even sure they’ll let us stay. We still might have to leave for another duty assignment somewhere else in order to come back.

Regardless of what the Army decides to let us do, we have got to begin “the plan” now. We’ve been on the hunt for resources that can help us get underway. Genworth has a fantastic workbook tool called “Plan for Living” (click the image below to get it). CNN Money also has a fabulous article featuring some helpful retirement planning tips, too.

It offers retirement worksheets that really gave us pause because they focused on our attention on things we hadn’t considered before. (Like the inflation factor? And discretionary expenses? Whoa!)

You might think this worksheet is more fitted for those who only plan to retire at 65 or so, but I don’t think so. If you’re a military servicemember or spouse, I think this is still something we can use NOW. If the end of the military lifestyle is in sight for you or your family, you’ll need to make sure you’re in a good financial standing before you leave, just in case staying in an extra year or two would help you. Another perk to doing this right now is to also give us an idea of what sort of salary we’ll both need at that time, too.

What plans have you made towards your retirement? Have you used a worksheet, or an online calculator before?

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