GI Jane Finances

February 28, 2011

Big news

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 9:19 am

I have finally found out where I am going!  No, it is not Europe.  I had to get over that dream.  I am going to San Antonio, TX.  I love San Antonio. I also know who my new boss is, who hired me rather quickly.  I like him a lot, he won a top AF-level award last year.   Very sharp guy!  I was loving the idea of going to Colorado Springs, but requested it too late.  Colorado would have been something new and fresh.  But apparently, it is a really popular assignment…got on the bandwagon pretty late.  Anywhoo, San Antonio was my first assignment in the Air Force, so I am going full circle.  I will have a $1200 a month pay cut. 😦  I had to get over that shock and see what my new budget will look like.  It will be an adjustment.  San Antonio has a pretty low cost of living.  I found a couple of houses online for $1100 on  2200 sq ft.  I have been lusting over a bedroom suite for the longest.  I need to make a list of things to buy before leaving here.

I also want to take a month off before reporting to the next assignment.  My replacement should be here in June.  I have been wanting to go to Thailand, Singapore and Italy before heading back home.  But I was hit with a $959 IRS tax bill!!!  Very annoyed about that.  That is the most I have ever owed to the government in my life.  So, that money impacts everything I want to do before, during and after my move.  Moving is expensive.  The good news is that my car is in Florida.  It has been sitting there for my parent’s use while they go on vacation–which is a couple times a year.

Look forward to the next chapter in life.  Loved the past four years overseas, though.

P.S.–My civilian did not win the big award on Saturday.  It was not as upsetting as last year for some reason.  Maybe because he was not here.  I am glad he went on vacation and is enjoying himself in California.

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February 15, 2011

A moment of truth

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 11:29 am

Wow, it is still Valentine’s Day in the states.  Therefore, the media is still in overload about everything about love, relationships, women, and etc…Speaking of the states, I may have to move back home.  I am not happy about this at all.  Anyway, I just read Terry McMillan’s article about “Why you are not married.”  Terry McMillian’s fame came from How Stella Got Her Groove Back and marrying a gay man.  Hardly an authority.  However, I have to say, I think she nailed it on the head.  Read it here.

This part rings true about me:

5. You’re Selfish.
If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy — or at least a guy with a really, really good job — would solve all your problems.

However, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say — if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

I can’t have kids anyway.  I think that it has definitely made me more incredibly self-centered more than selfish.  I am all about me and how you would fit in my life.  The drawback is that it can be lonely, but I am my own cheerleader (hence this blog).  I just do not want to be wholly dependent on someone else for my survival.  I really think that it is dangerous to do that, especially for a woman.  I can’t imagine not being able to buy what I want and do everything I want to do.  I do not want to marry  my “daddy.” I already have one.  Unlike McMillan, I was not raised by foster parents.  Also, I believe being celibate weeds out a lot of lotharios.

Having “character” is an important trait I seek in a mate.  I am really not interested in throwing a once in a lifetime party.  I can’t imagine spending $20,000 or more on a wedding or someone spending thousands on a ring.  I don’t even like wearing rings!  I don’t even have a shoe fetish.  I own brown, black and blue shoes.  Therefore, I am not a typical female.

I love this part:

Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something — it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession — a free-agent penis — and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway — because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self — you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love.

Interesting reading…Happy Valentine’s Day!

GI Jane

February 10, 2011

100 Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 12:28 pm

I was so inspired by a show called “100 things you want to do before you die.”  The show depicts four young men on a quest to complete their list and help other people achieve the one thing they want to do before they die.  I kind of dismissed the show because one of the things on their list was to crash a stranger’s wedding.  Interesting, but not inspirational.  Last night, they were trying to play basketball with President Obama.  People laughed at them, the White House sent a negative reply and they went ahead and pitched the idea on a local radio station.  They finally got a hold of a couple of congressman and even met with the Secretary of Transportation who put a call in to President Obama’s staff to make it happen.  When they got the news that it was not going to happen, they looked like they were about to cry.  Hell, I even shed some tears when it finally looked like they were going to fulfill their dream.  Their mantra is that nothing is impossible…and it almost worked.

Therefore, I want to compile a list of 100 things to do before my life is over.  I already make lists, lots of lists.  I have done a lot of adventurous things, so this show wasn’t an immediate hit with me.  Let’s see: climbed Mt Fuji, bungee jumped in Mexico, saw a broadway show in NY and stayed in a hotel in Time Square, flew first class, learned martial arts, learned a foreign language (not fluent, just enough to survive in Tokyo), paraglided, ice skated, learned an instrument (not very well), climbed the Great Wall of China, visited Kyoto, danced in front of an audience, learned to dance, visited the Vatican, visited the 7 churches, won a major award, etc..

And guess what, I have so much more to do in life!  So, I will start my 100 list…not in any particular order of priority.  I also do not plan on doing everything in one year, but over time.

1. Find my true love and marry him!

2. Go on a Queen Mary voyage

3. Learn a foreign language fluently

4. Run in a marathon

5. Save $500,000

That’s all I have for now.  I will update and revise as I go along.

————————————————————————————–

Excellent article on marriage written 11 years ago from Psychology today.

Will Your Marriage Last?

Studies show that the newlywed years can foretell the long-term outcome of almost every marriage. What do your newlywed years predict for you?

What if I told you that there is a man in America who can predict, from the outset, whether or not your marriage will last? He doesn’t need to hear you arguing; he doesn’t need to know what you argue about. He doesn’t even care whether you argue at all.

I was dubious, too, but I was curious enough to attend a lecture on the subject at the American Psychological Association convention in Boston. Ted Huston, Ph.D., a professor of human ecology and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, was showcasing the results of a long-term study of married couples that pierces the heart of social psychological science: the ability to forecast whether a husband and wife, two years after taking their vows, will stay together and whether they will be happy.

More at the jump…

February 8, 2011

Easy decision

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 3:20 pm

Today, I received notification that I am eligible for the career status bonus.  The $30,000 bonus is available in exchange for a reduced retirement pay of 40% basic pay  instead of the 50% .  The regular retirement pay averages the last 3 years of salary and I would get paid 50% once a month.  The REDUX plan and the bonus:

 If you elect the CSB, you have a choice of payment options:

  1. One payment of $30,000
  2. Two annual installments of $15,000 each
  3. Three annual installments of $10,000 each
  4. Four annual installments of $7,500 each
  5. Five annual installments of $6,000 each

You get this option when you reach 15 years of service.    I can elect to put $16,500 in the Thrift Savings Plan and pay taxes upfront on the balance.  I, of course, will not take the REDUX plan.  I prefer 50% every month, if I can survive the next five years.  The AF just announced that they are going to reduce the officer strength by 10% in the 1999-2005 year groups.  They will also conduct more Selective Early Retirement Boards for Lt Cols and Cols.  I know my career fied is hurting and ineligible for the voluntary force management plans for FY11.  The high unemployment rates has left the AF with the highest retention rate in 16 years.  I hardly know of anyone who is separating, unlike how it was in 1999-2000. 

Those were interesting times….I’m getting old.

GI Jane

February 6, 2011

Suddenly retired

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — gijanefinances @ 9:52 am

My dad quit his job a couple of days ago!  He was planning to quit a month from now, but couldn’t take his manager anymore.  He said that the manager blamed him for not having enough oil in the truck after it hit a pole.  I got a call at 2:00 a.m., so at the time I was like “wow, just like that?”   He turns 66 years old this month and already filed for social security.  My mother was not too happy about it.

Mom: He just walked off the job and left us without insurance.

Me:  Well, he has been there for 39 years!  Can’t you get insurance at your job?  You work at a hospital.

Mom: They only have open enrollment two times a year.  The next opportunity will be in October.

Me:  He was planning on quitting next month anyway.  No point in delaying the inevitable.

My dad said that they have medicare part A and B.  I am glad he left there.  His company used to be a very family oriented and caring place.  I remember the awesome company picnics they used to have.  But once the owners no longer manage the place and left it to their sons who moved to Texas, it became a freaking mill.  They do not even do a nice send off or anything.  My dad said this one guy that retired a week ago worked there for 60 years and they just bought him a cake and served coffee in the office.

My dad is always in chronic pain, so I am happy but concerned how this is going to play out.   They are also going on a cruise at the end of the month.  I think following that he will move to Florida.  The house in Florida is paid off and fully furnished.  I do not know if they will put up their primary house for sale this year or not.  Big changes in store…can’t wait to see how this will end up.

GI Jane

 

February 1, 2011

Cheerful Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 10:21 pm

Woo hoo! Today, my Korean National employee won at the second level!!!  He said that he did not expect to win.  The competition was tremendous in his category.  I am so happy…it is the second time in a row someone from my office won at the annual award level.  We only have a total of four including me in my shop.  Everyone has won something except one person since I have been here.  He is retired and does not do more than his area, so I am OK with that.  Now, I have to attend the banquet (alone) to collect his other awards and hopefully the ultimate monster eagle!  He felt guilty about not being there…I already went through my anguish and am over it.  I think this package is stronger than last year’s.

Now on to the net worth update:

House down payment: $14,231

Roth: $53,712

TSP: $79,114 (it may be more, not sure if it reflects my 1 Feb contribution)

ING: $12,624

Cash: $1,500

Total:  $161,181

I am $38,819 away from my $200,000 goal.  Not looking forward to tax time…may end up owing some money even though I maxed my TSP for the first time last year.

Upcoming expenses will be cash flowed out of money not represented above for about $200: wine train tour and V-day party.

GI Jane

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