We are getting closer to retirement, the Good Chaplain and I. Until recently, that thought gave me the shivers. I could not imagine not moving every two or three years and not being part of this great big family of military souls. But then he came home from Africa and it all changed. He was sick. (See Return to me — in the same condition). Although we knew we were still three-to-five years away, we started talking about concrete plans. No more “someday when we retire” talk. It was time to take action.
Planning is so important before you retire. That’s why the military holds mandatory classes before a member retires. With retirement in sight, you need to discuss several issues.
1. Where are you going to live?
2. What are you going to do for a living?
The sooner you address these two issues, at least, in the abstract, the easier the transition into the “real world. Today, I want to get into the subject of where you are going to live.
Many people retire near their last duty station. They are familiar with the area, may already own a house, and are near a medical treatment facility. Medical care is an important consideration. When you retire, do you want to continue with the military system?
Another issue driving retirement decisions is family dynamics. Do you want live near your children? Are your parents aging, and possibly need your help in the future?
Family is the driving force behind our decision to buy a house in central Illinois (see pic at right) near Illinois Girl and Soccer Stud. Knowing that Tony B was living in England and probably moving around the world most of his life, the Good Chaplain decided he wanted to stay near any future grandchildren. We bought a house in the town Illinois Girl lives in and she and Soccer Stud live in it until we retire. Our aging parents and siblings are also within four hours of us, so we will available if needed.
As for access to military facilities, the closest is three hours away, so we will have to take road trips every so often to stock up at the commissary.
Have you made retirement plans? Do you even think about them? Comment and let me know what steps you’ve taken and how far out from retirement you are.