Even though I strongly believed that was the best option for us, I've always had doubts. Six years is over a quarter of the way to retirement. What happens if things don't just fall into place? If there is no job in Kansas then we end up settling somewhere else. Our dreams are huge, but our fear of the unknown is greater.
A few weeks ago we started exploring reenlisting a little bit more. Ultimately we knew we had to do what was best for us, but coming to that what-is-best decision is harder than it seems. Finally we sat down and wrote out our pros and cons about both staying in and getting out. Believe it or not there are more pros FOR US to staying in then there was to getting out.
It went something like this:
Pros to staying in- Healthcare. Automatically building to a retirement (versus having to set money aside on your own). Military discounts on various large items. Having the opportunity to travel and live else where. Can use leave instead of hoarding it. But most of all a guaranteed income.
Cons to staying in- Living overseas with the dogs (they have to be quarantined for a time period in order to stay with us) and children. Deployments. Living away from family more often than not. No guaranteed safety (although I am not sure you can guarantee that in the civilian world either).
Pros to getting out- Freedom. Living and doing whatever. Ability to grow hair out. Ability to quit when you want to. Potential for more money.
Cons to getting out- No retirement. No healthcare. You have to pay the cost of living to live where the job is (in the Army you are paid more based on where you are stationed and the cost of living there). No guarantee on finding a job.
[[If you are military, your thoughts on what are important may differ from ours. Obviously these are our comparison lists, and yours may look differently.]]
The bottom line is that financially it makes more sense, maybe not now, but later, for us to stay in the military. Granted we will lose out on a few major things like being around our family and friends. It still was something we had to think about in regards to our future and not here and now.
As a result, last week Rob got the ball rolling on a new contract. There were 3 slots available and he took one of them with today being the reenlistment ceremony. As of about 11:05 this morning Rob is reenlisted into the United States Army for another six years.
Now we get to look towards our future with excitement. While again nothing is a guarantee there are several opportunities that Rob has the option to explore especially in regards to becoming an officer. I am excited and my husband is as well. In time these new doors will open and with them a new world of potential. All that we can hope for is the support of our family and friends as we navigate this new path in our life. We acknowledge it may not have been the ideal option in your eyes, but please know we are content with our decision and ready for our future and what it has in store for us.