Marine to SAHD: Introduction

Marine to SAHD: Introduction

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Image: – Marine to SAHD: Introduction – Macho Spouse

 

Introduction to Marine to SAHD Blog, laying out where I have been what experiences I have.

Andrew Ferguson

Hello All,

My name is Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson; I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2007 and did four years of active duty in Hawaii.  In those four years I deployed twice, once to Iraq and Afghanistan.  I was injured during those four years on multiple occasions and still am injured and receiving help from the Veterans Affairs. 


Andrew and Ashland Ferguson

Before my second deployment I met my wife, Ashland Ferguson, who supported me during and after I got back from Afghanistan.  We now have been married for three years and going strong.  In 2011 it was time for me to make a decision stay in or get out of the military.  Ashland and I made a decision for me to get out and go to school full time, utilizing my Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Within the time I got out in 2011, still in Hawaii, I got a job working at a local restaurant while going to school full time.  I eventually quit the job due to us PCSing to Fort Lewis, Washington where we currently are stationed.  Not too long after we got to Fort Lewis I hit the ground trying to find a job, and did so.  I was working as a security guard and still going to school online with the same school back in Hawaii. 

Andrew Ferguson

Soon after I got the job we found out we were pregnant, yes it was a shock but we were ready to become parents and ecstatic.  We went in for a normal appointment and got a surprise like no other, the doctor said, “Well baby one and baby two are fine.”  My wife and I looked at each other with confusion and had to ask the doctor multiple times, “Are you sure?”  We eventually overcame our shock and started planning for two!  Well in December our two little girls were born and since my wife is the active duty member she had the first two months with the girls.  I was still working as a security guard until February 2013 when I quit becoming a Stay-At-Home-Dad.  It was a tough decision because all my life I have worked, worked, worked and I had a hard time thinking that I was going to be bored out of my mind, and stuck with house work. 

Andrew Ferguson

Well that is why I am doing this blog because I could not have been more wrong in my life!  I want to share my progression and tips I can give back to new dads like myself, mostly with multiples.  This blog is for Stay-At-Home-Dads, Active duty parents becoming Stay-At-Home-Parents, and Everyone in between.

Key facts about me, (for those who do not like to read)

  • Marine Veteran-Four Years with Two Deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan Personal)
  • Disabled Veteran-receives education benefits and disability pay from the Veterans Affair(VA)
  • VFW Member of Post 11402 in Lacey, Washington
  • One PCS move, No Deployments as a Spouse of an Active Duty Member
  • MACHOspouse Member
  • MANning the homefront Facebook member
  • Stay-At-Home-Dad (as of February and to multiples)

Marine to SAHD Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson

See also...

image for Donating to a Worthy Non-Profit This Holiday Season?  Here is a Worthy Organization.

Donating to a Worthy Non-Profit This Holiday Season? Here is a Worthy Organization.

My mom was looking to make a holiday donation to a trustworthy non-profit organization that supports military families, but she had no idea where to give.  I told her about this medium-sized non-profit doing great work putting military spouses and veterans to work, I believe they've placed about 7,000 veterans and spouses in 2015 (maybe more/less, I don't have access to the up-to-date numbers).

Unfortunately it's a fact that not every non-profit organization spends their money wisely, many pay for bloated salaries, bloated leases, and bloated bonuses before actually helping the military family.  CASY and MSCCN have busted their asses to keep their overhead low while spending most of their money/effort on finding jobs for every one of their applicants.  I believe they spend $.93 of every dollar on their mission...impressive!  But don't take my word for it, watch this video and learn more about these great people doing great things.  Then decide on whether you can trust them with your donation.

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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