Financial Independence in the Military | Military Dollar

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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin are joined by the magnificent Military Dollar.

Justin really had a blast getting to vent the military money misunderstandings  with someone who could relate.

Everything gets covered here. Military housing, insurance, investing and of course retirement.

Listen and follow along with the summary below and make sure to check out the links at the bottom of the page.

Episode Summary

  • When she was in college she didn’t have a lot of money
  • Her parents were also draining on her finances some in college
  • It was clear to her that she needed to get her finances together and started tackling finance books
  • She ended up commissioning as an Air Force officer through the ROTC program
  • She also got a scholarship but because it was a private school, it didn’t cover everything
  • When she graduated she had $20k in student debt, credit card debt and a car payment
  • Both of her parents are entrepreneurs but aren’t very good with money
  • Upon graduation she got a new car and had a total of $42k in debt
  • After four years in the military she was debt free
  • Her degree was in political science but she ended up in a very different career field
  • Now she’s making great headway towards financial independence
  • She loves her job and never wants to work for pay after she retires
  • Then we discuss the flaw with just choosing a job you love
  • We then discuss why it can be beneficial to live in a high cost of living city
  • Mil dollar then starts breaking down exactly what she makes in the Air Force
  • Justin and Mil dollar then break down common money mistakes military make
  • The big ones include housing and comparing military to civilian pay
  • Then we unravel the military 401k also known as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
  • This includes some big changes coming to the TSP this year!
  • Now the moment you’ve been waiting for…retirement
  • We go over both the traditional retirement and the new blended retirement system
  • Military Dollar finished the episode with how she plans to travel the world with free flights in retirement

Key Takeaways

  1. Military is a really solid FI path: Unfortunately people think the military is something people do because they didn’t have any options. In reality it’s full of some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet and certainly one of the most sure fire ways to retire between 38-43.
  2. People will find an excuse: Military members often spend all of there housing allowance on a house even if they could get by just find spending  a third. The mentality doesn’t make any sense but it’s an easy excuse for sure.
  3. FI lifestyle possibilities are endless: During the wild card question, Mil Dollar talks about this magical retirement community. That’s the beauty is you can do whatever you want and there’s no reason to live a cookie cutter life you don’t want.

Call to Action

If you know someone in the military or considering the military please share this episode with them.

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Contact Military Dollar:

Via her blog Military Dollar

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Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)