I wish I had a Jack

I wish I had a Jack

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Image: – – Macho Spouse

 

JackL.jpgGuys, the APA has determined that men and women share cognitive skills, we are fundamentally the same. The whole notion of guys being better at math and women being better at communication is simply a social construct. I firmly believe that statement, but that doesn't change the social construct.

This same social construct demands that we take care of our families and makes us feel like lesser men when our combat boot wearing women make more than us.

Throw that idea away, after all it's just an idea.  Who makes what, doesn't have to matter. 


Understand that you are both part of a team and it'll make life a whole lot easier. Have both of your incomes deposited into the household account, which gets used for all the boring things (rent, utilities, groceries, cars, insurance, savings, phones and internet). From that account you each draw an equal monthly stipend to do whatever you want with for your contribution to the household.

Now we know why our wife's get their "allowance," they are saving the world from tyranny. But why do we get an allowance? Well, I'm Jack and here is the really freaking manly way I earn my "allowance."

"I wish I had a Jack," was a quote my wife heard multiple times during her orientation at our first duty station. You see, while the other service members had to simultaneously handle a career transition, a PCS and take care of their spouses, I took on everything I could and managed the house too, so she could focus on what I couldn't do. Movers, move out inspection, DLA, Per-Diem, Hotel Reservations, car maintenance, MALT, temporally housing, base housing, new uniforms, mypay, setting up play dates, checking for quirky things about the base, working out the spending plan, setting up delivery dates, porting tricare, changing car registration, and more just for the PCS.

I earn my "allowance" by doing what all men have been deemed by society to be good at: solving problems. I do everything I can to allow my wife to focus on her career and ensure that she can spend her limited free time with my son and I, not doing domestic things. I drive 30 minutes to get Thai while she plays with our son at home, I go to CVS at 9PM because she has heartburn and needs Tums.

I sneak into her command (confident posture and a brisk pace work wonders) to install/maintain/stock a Kurig and a minifridge because I actually have free time and she works 92 hour weeks. If she forgets a cover, or needs a book from across the city today, I'll hit the "easy" button and get it to her. I even wake up at 0350 to make her breakfast and have some time together before she has to go to work at 0430. I try and have food ready when she gets home, I take picutres of our boy on outings not for facebook, but so my wife can share in the moments when the military affords her a break.

Guys, our drive to fix things gives us an advantage over the traditional military spouse, you've just got to nudge it a bit to make it fit with the role we have the opportunity to fill. So strap on that Ergo babycarrier and get s%&t done, cause we're men and that's what we do, and our wives just might be better Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Coastguardsmen because of it.

 

Jack is a reformed nuclear power plant operator who is competing his degree in finance while relishing being a stay at home day. He is married to a brilliant service member and together they have 12 years of military service.

 

See also...

image for Conversations from the Men

Conversations from the Men's Room - What is the

MensRoomImage.jpgOne of the great resources we have at Macho Spouse is the Men's Room for Military Spouses (sorry ladies, this is a private Facebook page designed for all male military spouses only).  We plan to start sharing some of the more informative/interesting conversations on our website, the thread below is our first "share."  Some of the names have been hidden for privacy purposes, see if you can figure out which names are fake...

 

Jar Jar Blinks: OK, what is this "Rule of 72?"

Yoda: Interest multiplied by time equals 72.

C-3PO: If you're not good at exponential math, it's a quick way to estimate how long your investment will double, given an interest rate. For example: if a CD is earning 3%, then it will double in value in 24 years (72/3=24)

Yoda: To double your investment.

Yoda: ^C-3PO's way is easier to follow. Way easier.

Jar Jar Blinks: So where do these investments live? Seriously, do savings accounts work the same way, assuming you can find one that offers interest?

Yoda: NFCU has a 3% CD right now.

C-3PO: It's all a matter of risk vs. reward/return. The S&P 500, aka TSP C Fund, returned about 30% last year. But it was down 37% in 2008.

Yoda: I was taught to expect a 10% rate of return on index funds back in 06, so my ROTH would double in 7.2 years.

‪Jar Jar Blinks: I guess I have a trust issue... Can I trust the folks at USAA to steer me in the right direction eggs

Jar Jar Blinks: Eggs... Heheheh

Jar Jar Blinks: When asking to set up investments?help

Yoda: Not 100%. Their funds are kind of expensive compared to vanguard and the TSP. But it's better than nothing and their life insurance is fairly priced.

C-3PO: "It depends" USAA only has 2 real index funds, but together they match the entire US stock market. They are not the MOST expensive. Their insurance is pretty well priced, but you're probably find even better at NMAA or the equivalent for other services.

Yoda: If only all branches could use NMAA...

I'm not as conservative as some. Instead if having 6 months of expenses on hand I have 6 months of expenses in a USAA ROTH IRA (no fee for withdrawals of principle with some caveats), and now put everything into ROTH TSP index funds (lowest fees in the world!).

Yoda: I do keep some liquidity (cash or accounts that can very easily be converted to cash), but since we run a surplus each month even after investing, and the military pay is as stable as it gets, I don't keep much in that account (plus I "float" all my expenses other than car insurance, so I don't pay July's expenses until mid-September (if we have to spend more I can transfer assets as needed, has never happened, but just in case), and the "float" on credit earns us rewards and consumer protections).






 Blue Cash Preferred, 6% back at the commissary, 3% back at the gas station and 1% everywhere else (no fee for military).

C-3PO: 

 I haven't dealt with them, but I hope AAFMAA is as good as NMAA.

‪C-3PO: PenFed has pretty good credit cards for military too.

‪Jar Jar Blinks: .... all these damn acronyms....

Yoda: FUBAR right?

C-3PO: (image that can't be shared)

C-3PO: Sorry about being a wiseass

‪Jar Jar Blinks: Better than being a wide ass

Yoda: C-3PO, you've got to take it easy on Jar Jar Blinks, he's a submariner. Just think how many bumps to the head he's suffered.






 But on a serious note, it's pretty cool how many guys in this group have an understanding of personal finance.

C-3PO: If I only had a nickel for every time I hit my head while underway (says the 6'3" Marine)

Mace Windu: Personally, I would put my money in a multitude of investments. Like savings,cd's, 401k, TSP, money market fund and precious metals. Never have all your eggs in one basket.

Admiral Ackbar: ‪Luke, to be excruciatingly technically correct, it's the rule of 69.3. Here's the math behind the answer:
‪http://betterexplained.com/articles/the-rule-of-72/
I like the way they cheat by assuming that for small interest rates, the natural log of the quantity (1 + interest rate) is approximately equal to (interest rate). So it's not much of a stretch of radcon math to assume that 69.3 is about the same as 72.
You can also use the math to figure out when you'll be financially independent:
http://betterexplained.com/?s=rule+of+72

Luke Skywalker: I think NFCU has a special going on that if you open an IRA with $100 they will give you $100. I have 4 IRA's at USAA, IRA at NFCU, TSP and a 403(b) at Fidelity. Saving about $500 a month between all the IRA's.

‪Lando Calrissian: Boy you guys are starting to make me worry about my future. Where do I start when I have no job and only a limited amount that my wife has volunteered to me over the years in some sort of retirement account?

Yoda: ‪Lando, my wife and I each maxed out our Roth IRA's for her first four years of service so we could build up our emergency fund (with the stability of military careers I feel as though the ROTH IRA is a good place to stash an emergency fund that is a very low probiotic of being utilized).






 Now all the money goes into her TSP, but it's our retirement account.

 

**If you are a male military spouse and would like access to this private page, please send a request through Facebook and we'll usher you in as soon as possible.

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Totally Fake Reader Mailbag Edition

RobSitePic.jpg[These aren't real questions that avid readers have sent in, yearning for my sage advice. I'm just paraphrasing some discussions I've had about money with family, friends, and co-workers]

I just changed jobs. Should I leave my 401(k) with my old employer, or roll it over to my new employer's 401(k) plan?

No.

You shouldn't do either. You should rollover your old 401(k) into an IRA with low-cost mutual funds, like Vanguard. There are 2 main problems with 401(k) accounts in general:

 



 

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