Author Topic: How have you prepared for your wife or partner if you should go before them?  (Read 1881 times)

Offline Lee2

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As I read and watch the news day after day, I see people dying who are much younger than I am, so while this has been brought up before, how will your partner survive without you, have you made plans? I just wanted to remind you all to think about it for your partners sake.

My wife now 49 while I am 69, I set up an annuity for both of us while i am alive and for her when I am gone as well as some other items to make sure that she can at least survive should I pass on before her, which is likely due to my health and age. Leaving a home or condo is nice but not leaving income to support same might leave them in a bad situation where they might lose same before they could sell it.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline starrt

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Hi Lee,

Thank you for raising this issue.

There are a lot of things that need to be done to prepare one's loved ones for the future, not only you providing for her, but also if you survive her.

Pensions, incomes, insurance, etc have to be provided for.

But, more important, in my opinion, with everything online these days, is a list of all sites that the surviving spouse would need to get into, with names and passwords, especially the banking ones.

I am sure that others will elaborate more on these issues.

Thomas

Offline BudM

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Here is something that some people might find useful.  I downloaded the Excel version a few years ago and after filling in what I wanted, I made it a pdf file.  Can update what you want and when you want and just replace the pages that need to if you have a pdf program.  Can save it in Excel and make changes also.  I keep a copy of the file on usb flash at home and in a safe deposit box and tag them both with the date of latest change(s).

http://www.erikdewey.com/bigbook.htm
Whatever floats your boat.

Offline Hestecrefter

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This is a matter I have pondered at length, with my wife being younger than I by a quarter century or thereabouts. 

I am still working and I also receive a defined benefit pension from a job I held for about 20 years.  It is indexed for inflation.  When I started drawing it, I had the option to choose a joint life and last survivor option, but given our age difference, instead of paying the $3,000 or so a month it does now, it would have paid me about half of that, and then her the same amount after my demise.  Not enough for her to live on, even in the Phils.  So, when I am gone, the pension will be gone.  She will receive a survivor benefit from my Canada Pension Plan of about $525/mo.

We have our present home, which I intend will go to her.  But I don't like the idea of her having to sell her home just to survive.  It's on large oceanfront acreage and we have put a lot into it, probably more than we would recover if we sold.  With luck, it might net about $750,000 U.S.  Moreover, I recognize that if she sold and put $750,000 in the bank, it would probably not last long.  More likely than not, she'd get conned out of it or it would be dissipated through improvident spending. Unlike the wives of some here, my wife is not a highly-educated professional or a sophisticated woman of business.  Managing capital sums is not among her talents.

So, the plan that has evolved is to retain for her benefit a house in which I lived before we met and which has been rented since I moved out.  The mortgage on it will soon be paid off.  It is to that mortgage I have been directing my pension payments.  I plan that by the time I check out, there will be no mortgage to pay out of the gross rents of about $9k/mo., leaving only property tax (presently about $800 U.S./mo.) and insurance (presently about $200/mo.) and the gardener (about $200/mo.) to come out of the rents. 

While I managed it myself and did my own taxes for years, I am now in the process of having the property  placed in a trust for her.  It will be professionally managed (for a fee of 5% of gross per month).  She will also incur some legal and accounting costs.  I am budgeting for repair/maintenance costs of about $1,000/mo.  While it has always been in my name and me only paying tax on the rents, I have been content to incur mortgage interest and a fair amount in renovation/repair costs, since I have not needed the income and I have not minded incurring expenses to reduce taxes.  That will change.  The intent is that the property will be her pension plan, providing a pre-tax income of about $6,000 U.S./mo.  That amount should, in  effect, be indexed for inflation, as rents usually track, more or less, inflation. 

I suppose I could sell the house and park the resulting nest egg in the stock market for my sweetie.  Maybe hand it off to a portfolio manager.  But I must confess to having greater comfort with and understanding real estate.  I have held stocks that have effectively disappeared overnight.  Real estate is less prone to that shortcoming.  You can usually live in it, rent it, grow vegetables on it, or something.  Not many share certificates provide those tangible benefits.  I am too old to learn the fine points of equities investing, then to pass on that knowledge.

So, right now, that's the plan.  I would hope that others here will share thoughts about their own plans and, if not too harsh, I would welcome some critique on my own.  I am open to some brilliant insights as to alternatives, even though I have taken some steps to implement the above plan for my wife.  I can be flexible, when prudent.


Offline Lee2

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You asked for a critique so I will give you my opinion, too many unknowns in rentals and giving control to someone else would scare the heck out of me and might not be in the best interest of a wife who does not have a lot of business knowledge and especially if it might be her wish to go back to the Philippines.

Also half of $3,000 a month should be more than enough for an average Filipina to live in the Philippines on, in fact it might be too much and especially if they already have a condo or home to live in when they go back but, I do agree that taking the hit while you are alive is not a great idea, my pension would have done the same thing had I taken survivor benefits when I first retired, so instead I had been putting away as close to equal half all these years of marriage into a forced investment which eventually ended up the annuity. While an annuity is terrible investment wise and especially if the wife is much younger, maybe setting up for her to get an annuity bought for her should something happen to you might work to give her a nice income instead of property that she might end up selling should family pressures her, or a management could cheat her quite a bit if they wished to or or or, you fill in the blanks.

Punching yours and her numbers into https://www.immediateannuities.com/ would give you an idea of how much for both or how much for just her when at an age you think you might depart, it never hurts to do some planning and you also could do half in an annuity and half in a safe fund for growth.

:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Lee, thank you for your input.

I am probably about as ignorant when it comes to annuities as I am with stocks.  With annuities, one concern I have is they they generally pay out at a level rate, do they not? 

Here's what I am getting at.  Let's say I buy her an annuity for $1 million.  I'll invent some numbers for the sake of illustration.  The site you mentioned does not contemplate someone as young as my wife.  It won't provide any estimates for someone now under age 40.  She is 34.   So let's say the annuity will start paying her $5,000/mo. at age 50.  Will it still be $5,000/mo. (with no cost of living adjustment) at age 70?  By then, it's buying power might be cut in half and insufficient to buy a cup of coffee should she live to 90. 

Also, I am intending that, should I survive her, our son will inherit.  He's now almost 14.  As well, I am hoping he'll be around to help his mummy with finances in the future.

On the subject of the future, it is unlikely that my wife will return to the Phils.  She has been in Canada since age 19.  She was born to poor parents (not uncommon there), but she was regarded as a liability, not an asset (that is uncommon there).  Even the poor usually love and take care of their kids to the best of their ability.  Not my wife's case.  She was passed around among relatives like a hot plate at a dinner party.  Most of the time not allowed to go to school.  Used as a maid.  Sent out to beg.  And some worse.  You get the idea. 

My wife returned to the Phils with me 2 years ago and went to see some of her family for the first time in 13 years.  She could not wait to get away from them.  They now saw her as a rich foreigner who should give them all money, despite hardly being fed and having no care or regard from them when growing up.  She says we can go back and visit the PI, but says (and I fully believe) she does not want to go anywhere near her family ever again.

She is also not enchanted with returning to the PI in general.  She likes the seasons here. She right now is complaining of the heat here on the west coast of Canada and says she is looking forward to winter.  She says of the Phils "too hot all the time".  I know I have more interest in her country than she does.  Left to her own, i doubt she would ever go back.  There is nothing there for her.  I could, I suppose, see her being driven back if given the choice between a life of penury here and a life of relative comfort there.

So, the lack of interest in returning to the old country is one reason why I see a need to provide her with more than half of $3,000 a month.  While that might sustain the average Filipina, it won't do so in Canada. When I lived in Quezon City, we went through a lot more than $3,000 a month.  Also of concern is that $1,500/mo. (or about P75,000) might look okay today, but I can recall when i first went to the Phils from Canada, getting about P17 for $1 in Canadian funds (now P40 for $1).   Will that differential prevail if my wife lives another 50 or 60 years.  Will it always be cheap to live there for kanos?  I am not sure I want to bet the farm (or my wife's future) on it.

Offline Lee2

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Lee, thank you for your input.

I am probably about as ignorant when it comes to annuities as I am with stocks.  With annuities, one concern I have is they they generally pay out at a level rate, do they not? 

Here's what I am getting at.  Let's say I buy her an annuity for $1 million.  I'll invent some numbers for the sake of illustration.  The site you mentioned does not contemplate someone as young as my wife.  It won't provide any estimates for someone now under age 40.  She is 34.   So let's say the annuity will start paying her $5,000/mo. at age 50.  Will it still be $5,000/mo. (with no cost of living adjustment) at age 70?  By then, it's buying power might be cut in half and insufficient to buy a cup of coffee should she live to 90. 

Also, I am intending that, should I survive her, our son will inherit.  He's now almost 14.  As well, I am hoping he'll be around to help his mummy with finances in the future.

On the subject of the future, it is unlikely that my wife will return to the Phils.  She has been in Canada since age 19.  She was born to poor parents (not uncommon there), but she was regarded as a liability, not an asset (that is uncommon there).  Even the poor usually love and take care of their kids to the best of their ability.  Not my wife's case.  She was passed around among relatives like a hot plate at a dinner party.  Most of the time not allowed to go to school.  Used as a maid.  Sent out to beg.  And some worse.  You get the idea. 

My wife returned to the Phils with me 2 years ago and went to see some of her family for the first time in 13 years.  She could not wait to get away from them.  They now saw her as a rich foreigner who should give them all money, despite hardly being fed and having no care or regard from them when growing up.  She says we can go back and visit the PI, but says (and I fully believe) she does not want to go anywhere near her family ever again.

She is also not enchanted with returning to the PI in general.  She likes the seasons here. She right now is complaining of the heat here on the west coast of Canada and says she is looking forward to winter.  She says of the Phils "too hot all the time".  I know I have more interest in her country than she does.  Left to her own, i doubt she would ever go back.  There is nothing there for her.  I could, I suppose, see her being driven back if given the choice between a life of penury here and a life of relative comfort there.

So, the lack of interest in returning to the old country is one reason why I see a need to provide her with more than half of $3,000 a month.  While that might sustain the average Filipina, it won't do so in Canada. When I lived in Quezon City, we went through a lot more than $3,000 a month.  Also of concern is that $1,500/mo. (or about P75,000) might look okay today, but I can recall when i first went to the Phils from Canada, getting about P17 for $1 in Canadian funds (now P40 for $1).   Will that differential prevail if my wife lives another 50 or 60 years.  Will it always be cheap to live there for kanos?  I am not sure I want to bet the farm (or my wife's future) on it.

First let me say that I am no expert, I just did my research and decided that a bird in the hand was worth two possible birds and I use the kiss theory of keep it simple, so what I feel is right for us may not be right for others and no one forces a person to spend all they get each month.

Anyway lets hope you are around a long time and lets not try to figure what she would get now, hopefully a long way down the road was my idea. As I wrote, my wife is 49 now so even that was too young for me to buy one but with my health, I may live a long time or I could just as easily be gone tomorrow, my wife has saved my live a couple of times giving me adrenaline shots to reduce my throat swelling when a few minutes more and I would have likely been too far gone, anyway back to you.

So now first to answer your question, some have cost of living built in but those of course give you much less, thus why to put some in something for growth, just to use the below as an example only, look at the fund average.
Since you refer to a fairly large amount, I would think part invested for growth, maybe in some type of five star balanced fund such as
http://performance.morningstar.com/fund/performance-return.action?t=FBALX&region=usa&culture=en_US
or something similar in Vanguard admiral share funds and then the rest something even more aggressive due to her age, Fidelity has free advisers to give you better advice than I could ever give and of course for a fee they have managed accounts and for .30% they have Fidelity Go managed account.

As for your wife's family, the Philippines is a huge place, she could live somewhere cooler there or somewhere else that was less expensive and far away from family but who could blame her if she wanted to live where you now live, yet that would of course take a higher income level, possibly controlled by a reliable bank trust but again, I just do not trust people to do the right thing for me, I had a managed account and one I had funds in of my own and both did about the same thing, so I felt why should I pay them to do no better than basic funds I could buy myself were doing and without the management fee, I actually did a little better.

Now with all that said, I am far from rich but anyone who has a little or a lot can do what I am laying out.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Thanks for further input Lee.  All good to consider.  That's why I posted.  In part, to get different perspectives.

As for whether my wife would return to the Phils after I am gone, while right now that seems a doubtful proposition, things can change.  Her family are all in the Bulacan/Valenzuela City and Cavite area.  So, lots of other places she could go.

Of importance to me is setting things up so that she will have a choice.  If she wants to stay here, or elsewhere in Canada, then she will be able to.  If she wants to go back to the Phils, then she can.  I hope to endow her with sufficient wherewithal that she can choose, rather than having limited resources leaving few options.  I also am not rich, but I have enough that, with care, it can be managed to take care of her comfortably.  There are undoubtedly a number of ways to accomplish that, not all of which have occurred to me.

Offline JoeLP

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Every filipina is different.  But if my wife was left with even half of $3k/mo income, she could not spend that.  She hates the big city.  So no worry about the city life taking her money.  She loves to cook.  That is her passion and she is a good, smart shopper so basically the excess spending of a cook or going out to eat are not things she needs to worry about.  She also can do just about all maintenance in our house.  And if you ask her, she can do all of it.  While her and I might disagree on that last part, she can do much more than her share.

$1,500 is currently around 75K php.  I'm just guessing, but I bet her complete family is hard press to make that much put together.  I know my wife has 3 teachers in her family.  they don't make that combined.  If you include the brother-in-law who is also a teacher, then yes, they all combined make over the 75k/mo. 

That's a lot of money.  I honestly think Tina would give half of it to her family or some thing like that.  She doesn't think for the future too well.  So in that way(financial handling) I can see similarities.  But otherwise...unless the house you are looking to leave her is in the city(not some municipality) she'll have to be trying hard to spend that much money if the house is paid off.

And, as mentioned already, I would be VERY hard pressed to trust ANYONE else with property that is in my hands.  My ex's dad left her a very nice, very American home in Bataan and her cousins stole, fenced, destroyed it in 2 years.  These are her cousins. By the time we got to Bataan to check it out, the AC compressors were gone, the inside ac units gone. The roof above the garage was actually removed and sold because her cousins had no cars.  Every screen in every window gone. 2 windows gone and boarded up.

Cousins did this.  I would't trust anyone.  I seen how Tina's family treats their homes. I wouldn't trust them.  It's sad, but if someone is living in a home that isn't their's...they treat it like garbage.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Offline FastWalk

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I think my wife will be fine.  She did well before me,  and will again if it is needed,  but with all the assets included that we have built.  She will become a rich hard headed old grandma.  One of our grandma's from nearby Kananga could still dance at over 90 years old and manage a farm.

<humor> I do continue to try to be worth more alive than dead....   but.... </>

Being rich or poor is really a state of mind (at least after the tummy is full).  And greatly influenced by location.

What you all are describing as having done to take care of the wife's is really good.  It shows true love,  and responsibility. 







“Old men do not grow wise. They grow careful.”
“Keep on rocking in the free world”

Offline Lee2

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Re: How have you prepared for your wife or partner if you should go before them?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 10:59:09 PM »
Thanks for further input Lee.  All good to consider.  That's why I posted.  In part, to get different perspectives.

As for whether my wife would return to the Phils after I am gone, while right now that seems a doubtful proposition, things can change.  Her family are all in the Bulacan/Valenzuela City and Cavite area.  So, lots of other places she could go.

Of importance to me is setting things up so that she will have a choice.  If she wants to stay here, or elsewhere in Canada, then she will be able to.  If she wants to go back to the Phils, then she can.  I hope to endow her with sufficient wherewithal that she can choose, rather than having limited resources leaving few options.  I also am not rich, but I have enough that, with care, it can be managed to take care of her comfortably.  There are undoubtedly a number of ways to accomplish that, not all of which have occurred to me.
I hope you and others post other ideas for an income stream, my ideas probably are not the best for others and surely a terrible investment for anyone under 65 but I know that I am resting easier now knowing my wife will not have to go back to work 60 plus hours a week, like she was when I met her..
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline ABCDeVil

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Re: How have you prepared for your wife or partner if you should go before them?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 02:52:29 PM »
A good subject. I like others, have made sure my asawa has been included in my military pension. She will collect, forever, 66% of my current amount. Also, as my asawa is currently 2 mths pregnant, this would increase this pension to about 75% until the child finishes college/uni or until age 25 whichever comes first. As well, owning our PI home, outright greatly adds to this, after my demise. My annuity will also go to my asawa, to manage as required.

As we progress through our relationship, I have been training my asawa, in ways of financial management. Being together for just short of 5 years now, my asawa is very competent in handling Piso's. As for the family jumping to "cash in", that is an extremely remote improbability. The family, live very far away, although we visit 1-2 times a year, we only provide bits n pieces to help them to improve their own situation. To their credit, with a carabao, chainsaw, 2 hectares of farm, a motor bike & helping to rebuild a couple of homes (5-7k each), each item goes towards the whole family. All their profits are shared. Even to the point, they asked (before doing it) if they could sell the carabao, for 8k more than we paid, then bought another bigger beast for a total of 4k profit. With the 4k, they now have 35 ducks, another sideline business of theirs. So for us, the family are enterprising and not asking, but rather are happy with what is given. I/we have spent in the last 5 yrs about 250k all up. That does not include the surprise pasalubong, which appear from time to time. YES the family are the least of our concern in our own future plans.

My asawa appreciates and understands our finances and how to best use money, NOW and she continues to be careful and sensible. I will continue to show/teach her better, new or improved ways to make her (currently ours) finances to grow and used more wisely.

Also as a side note. I have made a list of all accounts, banks, annuity, military pension, disability & insurances, so that she has passwords and whatever access she may need to use in the event of this topic. This list has been sealed in an envelope and placed with a trusted person. As time progresses, who knows, she may just handle all aspects, as I get older and not gone (as yet). That is my full goal, so all goes smooth in the end, for both of us.

Offline Lee2

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Re: How have you prepared for your wife or partner if you should go before them?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 05:58:59 PM »
Does your wife need some type of Social Security number or ITIN to get those pensions?
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: How have you prepared for your wife or partner if you should go before them?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 05:58:29 AM »
Every filipina is different.  But if my wife was left with even half of $3k/mo income, she could not spend that.  She hates the big city.  So no worry about the city life taking her money.  She loves to cook.  That is her passion and she is a good, smart shopper so basically the excess spending of a cook or going out to eat are not things she needs to worry about.  She also can do just about all maintenance in our house.  And if you ask her, she can do all of it.  While her and I might disagree on that last part, she can do much more than her share.


My wife is also among the big city haters.  That's why she loves where we are so much.  On large, oceanfront acreage.  Off the grid.  Our nearest neighbor is about a mile away.  She has planted a garden and many fruit trees that she does not want to leave, particularly now that they are just starting to produce.  She can take our boat out any time and set out prawn traps and go back 8 hours later and bring home 50-150 prawns (see pic below).  She gathers clams and oysters.  She can catch salmon, red snapper, and ling and rock cod (much better fisherman than I am).  She keeps chickens and is now showing interest in hunting the local deer, grouse and waterfowl. 

Like JoeLP's wife too, she loves to cook.  From time to time she works as a cook at a resort on the next island.  I even bought her her own small boat to commute to work, since she disliked driving our large boat with its big V8 engine.  She worked in restaurants in the Phils, but never worked with yeast.  Since coming here, she has mastered making bread, rolls, pizza, siopao, etc.  She does it all in a wood-fired cookstove.  (see pic below). She even constructed a wooden proof box she heats with a couple of hot rocks. 

She also can do just about all maintenance in our house.  And if you ask her, she can do all of it.  While her and I might disagree on that last part, she can do much more than her share.


Ditto for my asawa.  Very independent.  She can do most repairs that need doing here.  There are no tradespeople around.  They would have to come a long way by motor vehicle, then by ferry and last part of the trip by private boat.  So to live here you must be capable.  If the power goes out, or the water stops running, you gotta' be able to fix it.  No local utility company to call.  My wife understands solar panels, wind turbines, large battery storage systems and diesel engines and can do basic monkeywrenching.  She can drive all manner of boats, trucks, tractors and other equipment.  Last winter, when I took our ATV to check something at our upper water well, I mentioned that there was a very low spot that was probably too full of mud and water to get through, but I would probably try, in order to get equipment there.  She recognized when I had been gone long enough that something was up.  So guess who came driving through the bush on our skidder with 100 feet of chain and pulled me out?  She even thought to pack a 2.5-ton come-a-long just in case.  About the only girl I know who would even know what a come-a-long is and how to use it.  At first I tried to discourage her use of chainsaws, but I have given up.  She regards those as basic tools and I'll give her credit for being a safer, more cautious operator than I.  She is totally into woodworking. She has built woodsheds and chicken coops.  I finally bought her her own circular saw, sawzall and cordless drill because mine were never in their place in the workshop when I needed them.  One of her shortcomings.  She tends to leave tools where she last used them. 

Here she is commuting to work:



A few prawns she caught:





The cookstove:



Although we are able to produce or otherwise harvest a fair amount of our own food, and while eating out here is really not an option, it's not the cheapest place on earth to live.  At least not if you like comfort and also care to own reliable boats, motor vehicles and other equipment.  It all costs money.  More than living in a nipa hut in the province in the Phils. The Waterford stove in the photo costs $7,000 U.S. for the basic stove. Closer to $8,000 with a few options.  We have two of those stoves, one purchased last year for our "dirty kitchen" which we built 2 years ago.  We cook there in hot weather when we do not want to warm up the main house with heat from cooking.  My point is that to live where we do, as we do, cannot be achieved on $1,500 a month.  If my wife wants to stay here, then I want to make it possible. 

Here's a bit on the stove.  I commend these to all.  We also have a propane stove.  It rarely gets used.  Once one masters cooking on a quality wood cookstove, it beats electric or gas.

https://www.lehmans.com/product/waterford-stanley-irish-wood-cookstove/

Some on our island live life the way folks did 100 years ago. They live without refrigeration, no TV, internet, very limited electric power from a couple of small solar panels. One guy likes to smoke and he grows his own tobacco.  Very frugal.  Many here grow grapes and make their own wine.  They also use local blackberries and other wild berries for wine and one family has a still.  I suspect that when I have passed on, wife wife will revert to a more frugal lifestyle than what we have now.  She was born in a tent, with no electricity or plumbing.  She has experienced basic living in a way I cannot even really imagine.  But I do not want a return to that to be her sentence.

A good subject. I like others, have made sure my asawa has been included in my military pension. She will collect, forever, 66% of my current amount. Also, as my asawa is currently 2 mths pregnant, this would increase this pension to about 75% until the child finishes college/uni or until age 25 whichever comes first. As well, owning our PI home, outright greatly adds to this, after my demise. My annuity will also go to my asawa, to manage as required.


I must say that, should there be such a thing as reincarnation, my choice would be to come back in my next life as U.S. military.  One reads every day about how fewer and fewer workers are covered by any kind of pension plan and how difficult it is to save a sufficient amount for retirement through 401k plans, etc.  The U.S. military seems to be about the last bastion of total care for life.  One can join at about age 19, have advanced education paid for, earn good wages and retire after 30 years with an excellent indexed pension and first class medical benefits, available anywhere in the world, for life.  And, as I see from ABCDeVil's post, those benefits apply in large measure to wife and kids.  I am envious.  Well done ABCDeVil!

I mentioned before that I decided against a joint life and last survivor pension, not only because it would pay nowhere near a 66% or 75% survivor's benefit, but also because the election is irrevocable.  My wife and I have been together for nigh on 16 years and separation seems unlikely.  But, way back when I had to make my election, I did take into account the irrevocability factor.  If one makes the joint life election and the spouse decides to leave with another lover, they still get the benefit for life.  That would be a bit galling. 

Offline lost_in_samoa

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