Retirement - Groups

Finding your place in the “real world” after years of being an active duty military spouse isn’t always easy. So many people I know lament the fact that they can’t find friends in their new location, or just don’t feel like they fit in.

I wrote before about my awesome Chick-fil-A bingo buddies. I was lucky to stumble upon this group of retired military spouses on Facebook, and we’ve become fast friends.


Retirement: When looking ahead means feeling lost

We just passed our second Fourth of July since we arrived here in Florida last year and completed our last PCS as an Army family.

 

In the next 12 months we’ll mark our second school year here, our second birthdays here, our second Thanksgiving, our second Christmas and New Year’s and Valentine’s Day and Easter and Memorial Day.

 

The first year in a new place is always a learning experience. There is trepidation, but also excitement and challenge and stimulation, usually in a good way.

 


Quizzes, summertime schedules, and post retirement reunification

By Amy Nielsen

My husband and I are on the fence about maybe going on the road with our rv and road-schooling our kids while we both finish our degrees and licensure over the next couple years.

He finally comes to a point where he can retire from government service but still has a couple years left on his degree, while I have another year in this program and then a year of internship hours to complete before I sit for my license.


Retirement prep from the military member’s point of view

I recently asked my husband his lessons learned from retirement. I thought it might be nice to get the servicemember / retiree perspective on things.

As usual, he was quick to point out that he’s no expert and his advice may or may not be welcome. And that everybody’s situation is different. And that what might work for one couple or family might not work for another.

Of course he’s right.

But I told him there is value in hearing from someone who’s been there, done that.


Retirement: Learning to be a family again

The other night, after my spouse had loaded the dishwasher after dinner without being asked, I went into the kitchen to add a few stray dishes and push the start button.

First, though, I rearranged everything - that glass should be on the top, that bowl should be facing the other way, the silverware should be sorted by type into each basket with the knives pointing down …

Wait. Why was I doing this?

Because that’s the way I’ve always done it.


Finding a new kind of home

My husband says I can make a new best friend in line at the commissary.

I’ll bet many of you are the same way – you move to a new place, and within five minutes you’ve met someone who will be the emergency contact for your kids’ school. Or the person who will be your go-to pet sitter. Or even someone you’ll spend more time with over the next two years than you do with your husband.

That’s military life. We bond fast.

And we bond hard

Friendships are not so easily forged in the civilian world.


Retirement: When PCS season ends, forever

PCS season is here. Time to start purging, packing and planning. Time to start looking at houses and school districts and things to do in the new place. Time to start convincing the kids how great the new place is going to be. Time to start saying goodbye to friends and neighbors and get ready to reinvent yourself all over again for the umpteenth time.

Oh, wait.

Not me.

Not this year.

I don’t have to do that anymore. We’re retirees now.


VA Disability claims – paperwork, math and sometimes, confusion

Navigating the VA disability claim can be one of the trickiest parts of leaving the military.

Even the term “disability” is confusing. One of the first questions my two teenagers asked when we explained my husband’s disability rating was: “Can we park in handicapped spots now?” The answer: No. Having a VA disability rating does not necessarily make one “disabled” in the way that term is usually applied.


What I do know about what I didn’t know about retirement

I often hear from friends who are scared of all the perceived challenges facing them in retirement. Or they read something on Facebook, which may or may not be accurate, and they get freaked out about the transition from military life to civilian life.

I see those same posts. Mostly, they go something like this:

“I am so stressed out about my spouse’s retirement. I just want to cry all the time.”

Or:

“I don’t know how I am going to handle all this.”

Or:

“We have no idea what we will do next.”


Retirement Ceremony – who, what, where, when and maybe, not at all

I’m not going to lie. I was disappointed, and even a little angry, when my husband said he didn’t want a retirement ceremony.

 

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