Is there really a thing such as Financial Security? My husband has now been in the military for over 21 years. We have worked at saving and preparing for retirement since we were married in 1994.
We never went to the extreme but we did have a plan. Our full plan really did not come about till we were stationed in Alaska and I started working a better paying job. This is when we put a dollar amount in mind that we wanted to have in savings before his 20 year mark. We did however NEVER have a budget that included my income to pay bills, and we also always kept our bills to where my husbands paycheck would cover everything. We have always tried to live within a reasonable paycheck, that for us being a SSGT pay scale. We have also kept our housing (rent or mrtg with all utilities) under the housing allowance.
When we were nearing our time of leaving Alaska we started to worry a little, we had our first house to sell. We hired a realtor that I had a business relationship with. Now, let me also say we procrastinated (ok, I) we did not hire him until a month before we were leaving. We were nervous that we had waited to long, what if we could not sell the house? We were fortunate, the housing market was still good, however we had lost my full income and a VERY large portion of his. Our savings account would help us if need be, so that was our security. We were fortunate and the house had an offer put in the day that we left, it took us a wk to get the offer because of traveling through Canada and having a bad accident that made our travels even longer. The house was signed for and out of our finances in less than a month after us leaving Alaska. We were lucky to get a nice price and able to contribute to our savings.
Upon our move to Las Vegas, we had been renting a house and because of the economy here we had some terrible land lords that decided to lie to us. We were paying our rents early and they were failing to pay their mortgage. I say they lied to us, because I kept tabs on everything and they kept lying to us about the reality, and well the bank showed up, placed a note of 48 hour vacate. At this time I had a 3 y/o and a 6 mo baby. We found out the same wk, that my husband was deploying. I moved back to Ohio while he was deployed and found out that I was pregnant again. When I moved back to Las Vegas, I signed a new lease agreement, and my husband came home from deployment a wk. later. We had a knock on the door….”this house is suppose to be vacant, we are taking possession of it” SERIOUSLY? The following wk. I was in the hospital and had a 33 wk baby!
At this point we decided… WE ARE BUYING A HOUSE… If we are going to keep getting kicked out of houses it is going to be because we don’t pay our bills, not because of someone else’s problems. And we would be saving even more money because a mortgage payment is a LOT less than rent.
Here we are in 2012 and we just refinanced our house with full confidence. We purchased our house while the housing market has been low. We really did not think that it was going to continue falling as far as it has. My husband still has a couple of years left on his commitment to the USAF. We should be good, right?
This morning on the news (which I usually NEVER watch) it had something about more jobs being lost and the $ amount that Nevada will be losing if this happens. Of course I wasn’t really paying attention so I don’t remember the exact figures, but I heard enough to realize how this could potentially effect the market even further. In turn this would effect our retirement plans and financial security.
At this point I decided to take a peak online and look at the houses in my area. The value has fallen even further. So I decided to take a peak at some of the newer laws that apply to Service Members under PCS orders. There are so many stipulations that are applied to everything. There are dates that have to be fulfilled and a list of other things. However, I guess my question would be…. how or would this apply to us, when we leave here? When we leave we will be retiring. If we were upside down at that time, would we get help or would we not?
I’m not ready to talk with my husband about this, just yet…. Oh… don’t judge… my husband gets so stressed out about finances even when everything is going smoothly. I will admit that we don’t talk money. It’s such a dirty little word. And I’m also not someone that tells how stressed out I get. Yes, I bottle! Bottle it all up till I explode, than I gather all them little pieces and let them fill up again!
So I ask you, the readers of JFM….
1. Do you buy, rent or live on each location?
2. Why have you chosen this?
3. If you are a homeowner, do you worry about what your financial security after retirement will be like? or is it simply to early to worry about, because its not at the moment?
Hopefully we will get to read some of your answers! Can’t wait!!