So it’s our LAST year active duty! Let’s go out with a BANG!
But first let me start by saying initially I was caught off guard by his decision to retire. I mean ultimately it’s his choice to make, but personally I love our military life and wasn’t quite ready to leave it. However after talking it over, weighing everything, and praying a whole lot, we are ready to transition into whatever life has for us next.
In the meantime I’m soaking up the days (while he’s counting down, LOL).
Instead of focusing on what I’d miss, I decided to look at it as our last OO-RAH! Get it? He’s a Marine 😉
So I got to thinking…what are some memories we want to make and experiences we haven’t had yet? Or maybe WE have had them but our kids were not there to share it. How can we make the MOST of where we live now?
But not only the fun stuff. What are some of the smart things that should be done? So, here are some of the wise moves you should make AND some shenanigans you and the fam should get into on your last lap of military life!
1. Go to the military ball
Seriously, if you haven’t gone to one then you should do it for the experience. It’s a night when the military members feel they can honor past traditions and at the same time let loose! And heck, you get to get all DOLLED UP too!
It’s hit or miss whether or not you get a good DJ to get your dance on, but I still look forward to it every year.
2. Take your kids to the ball
It’s was absolutely one of the cutest things that I’d seen. A Marine dancing with his daughter at the ball, with her princess gown on that matched her mom’s dress. Her first dance was with her daddy. (tear)
3. Take the kids on a tour of your spouse’s job
Our 5-year-olds always ask, “What does Daddy do at work?” So we will take them to spend some time with Daddy in his element. They will get to see where he spends his days and take pics with him. This will be a good visual for them to have later!
4. SPACE A trip overseas
Thoroughly look into the stipulations so you can be fully prepped for all it entails. You can still plan one of these trips after retirement, but the priority levels are different. So find a cool place you’ve never been before, and have an adventure.
5. Taking a family military photo shoot
Don’t they look great in uniform? And who knows if you can get them to squeeze in it after they don’t “have” to wear it anymore…so schedule a shoot that you can get creative with.
6. Pay off as much debt as you can
Don’t take those steady paychecks and provisions of the military for granted. While they are coming, minimize as much debt as you can to make your transition less stressful!
7. Plan a memorable retirement
This only happens once. So even if the member is not focused on an event, but more with planning for after they are out…do it for them! They stuck it out for this long and deserve the extra attention. So if the celebration is small or big, do things that would impact them. Who doesn’t love a good surprise, right?
8. Tour popular spots in your area
Truth is you may never return to the place where you’re stationed RIGHT NOW! Enjoy it! Take in the sights and ask around to find the best hot spots to visit.
9. Make a financial plan
YES! Again, the least amount of stress is BEST! Transitioning will already be a beast in itself, so take a financial planning class. It’s also to good to start living off a smaller budget just to give yourselves some EXTRA cushion.
10. Soak up all the ACTIVE DUTY status discounts and benefits
Seriously…why not?! Find them and use them! Go to that theme park or wherever you can find those benefits and live it up!
This list could go on and on. So tell me, what would you add to it? How would you go out with a bang?