Sunday, October 15, 2023

A Lot Has Changed

I'm back!     

Since my last post about 10 years ago:

  • Divorced.  Bought ex out of military pension and split the assets.  Fortunately, no kids in the divorce.  I took all the illiquid assets (real estate) and sold them before the COVID boom.
  • Remarried and now have 1 son and temporary custody of our adopted son's half-brother.
  • Retired from the Navy as a Navy CAPT (O6).  Awaiting first retiree paycheck and VA disability payment.   I'm due to hear back from the VA in the next two weeks and get my first retiree paycheck in 6 weeks.  I suspect my net retirement pay (27.5-year Navy O6) and VA disability should be about $107K after all taxes, etc.  Well short of my initial goal of $125K in passive income.
  • Resettled in Ann Arbor, MI.  We bought in Michigan with the hope of staying here for my second career and potentially longer.
  • Treaded water on net worth (basically the same where I was when I got divorced).  However, outlook is good going forward.

As I move forward, I will talk about my journey.  My biggest personal finance experiences defining future commentary:  

  • Finishing my current role as estate executor for late father's estate.  Among the things estate executor duties have taught me is that my wife and I have too much stuff.  
  • Negotiating the hi-wire of a 3-year ARM.  I made a strategic bet that interest rates would be down 3 years from now and locked in our mortgage at a 2 to 2.5% lower interest rate than what was available in the 7 to 7.5% interest rate for fixed rate mortgages.  However, it comes at a cost if I get it wrong when we refinance in 2026.
  • Career reset.  While I have spent most of my energy lately on our family's move to Ann Arbor, MI, and serving as an estate executor, i've started applying for jobs.  
    • With the divorce, growing our home (remarried, 2 kids) and resettling to an expensive area, i'm no longer retiring at 51 but will be working into my sixties.  Fortunately, my military pension is giving me some freedom in deciding what's next.
  • Re-evaluating financial goals.  We've had a lot of inflation since 2013 and my original goal of $125K in passive income probably won't cut it.

I look forward to connecting with you via my articles.  If you have questions and would like to hear more from my perspective, please comment and subscribe.