Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Job Search & Applications

The Husband has been busy sending out job applications for next year. As I may have mentioned before, he is planning to transition out of the military and back to his civilian career. Fortunately, the application/hiring timeline for his civilian career matches up with his contract ending. Applications/interviews are typically done in November and December with hiring usually taking place in February (or later).

It's been interesting looking at various positions and where we might want to live. The Husband is originally from Florida, and it's certainly at the top of our list. Florida has reasonable real estate prices, no state income tax, good climate, and is near his family (Hello, free babysitter!). But, there are other good options, and we're fairly open to most situations. So far he's applied for positions in Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Kansas, and several others scattered all across the country to Hawaii.

I don't think the Husband will have a difficult time finding a job, but the possibility is in the back of my mind. If 6 months from now he has nothing in hand, I will start looking for a position. I used to work in accounting, and I have an inactive CPA license in another state, which I would reactivate. I suspect it's probably considerably easier for me to find a position than it is for him, but we shall see. It's been pretty fun considering all of the possibilities!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What do we want to do in retirement?

I suspect a lot of people would wonder, "Why would you want to retire early? What will you do? Why not just work and get some nice stuff out of life?" And the answer is that the things we really want to do don't involve working for money. We have the things we need, and I don't see the point in working in a job I don't find 100% fun, for things I don't particularly want. Some people like their jobs, maybe even to the point they would do them for free. That's not us.

We've given a lot of thought to what we'd like to do if we had endless free time. Mainly, we'd like to:
  1. Move to Florida, buy a small house, and spend a lot of time fishing, grilling out/cooking with friends, homeschooling our son, and taking it easy.
  2. Road trip. A lot. Possibly even doing some longer stints living in a travel trailer near national parks. Explore. Spend a summer in Alaska.
  3. Hike the Appalachian trail. We've hiked a considerable amount, but we've always done day hikes. We're both in reasonably good shape, and feel we stand a fairly good chance of being able to complete the entire trail in one summer. 
  4. Live overseas again. Since we're a military family, most won't find it too surprising that we spent a little over a year living in Korea. Let's go overseas again. Either as international teachers, or something else. (Clearly we don't have this figured out yet).
  5. Do effective & meaningful volunteer work. Help others get out of poverty, help others get an education and quality employment. 
As we think about early retirement longer & longer, our list gets longer and longer. While we're still nearly a decade away from retirement, it will be fun implementing our plans as our date gets closer and closer. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October Update

This month we came bouncing back from the downturn.

My current strategy is to max out the husband's TSP, and an IRA for each of us. Given our income, it is possible to use the traditional TSP/IRA to reduce our income enough that we pay no income tax. After we hit this point, I switch all of the remaining contributions to the Roth variety. As if that's not complicated enough, I will harvest some gains in our taxable account as the tax rate is 0% as long as they are within the 15% bracket. This is of course assuming that gains exist in our taxable account and the stock market hasn't tanked.

After I have maxed the TSP and the IRAs, I add any remaining money to our taxable account. For this year, we are on track to save approximately $31,000. This number could be higher, but I've been hoarding a bit of cash in case the husband leaves the military and transitions back to civilian life.