Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Plan A, Plan B, The 10 Year Plan

When I sought out and bought this house, I was working on what I considered our Plan B. Should, as they say out here on the interwebs, TSHTF, having a little land and the skills to live off it would be quite useful. C, meanwhile, has always been thinking and planning for what I call Plan A. This is the usual career advancement, planning for retirement, doing a little investing, you know the normal stuff you do when you attain a certain level of "success" in life. Until something major happens in our world, his plan seems to be practical and smart. If something happens, like a currency collapse where our monetary wealth is wiped out or drastically reduced, my plan starts looking really good. The thing is, we need them both. The problem is, we really can't do both at the same time. At least not if we want to see each other more than a few days a week.

We have had a lot of discussions about our living arrangements and our plans and have gone from contentment to frustration to resignation to a desire to find a third way that meets all our needs better. C, being the provider for the family, is foremost concerned with taking care of us financially, both now and in the future. He is too far down the path of his present career to feel comfortable dropping it and starting over in something new and more local. He also has more faith in things like government retirement money being there when he needs it. I, on the other hand, have my ear to the ground on all the myriad crises coming our way, and while I cannot say with anything remotely like certainty what will come to pass, I can predict a high level of unpredictability. I feel it is a good idea to be flexible, have a Plan B, and do what you can to cover your bases, no matter what happens. We both are missing each other when C is at work in VA. The good thing is he values my work here and is looking forward to being able to join me in it full time. Unfortunately, we can't see that happening until he retires. Not with out basically gutting Plan A.

So, we have a new plan. Turns out if he does some overseas duty, he can retire early. The other years will be spent like we are doing now, with him travelling for work. The thing that has been the hardest on him has been not being with the girls every day as they grow up too fast. If he does the domestic jobs up front he will continue to miss out on the girls and they will be grown up when the overseas travel starts. But, if he takes the jobs in cool places overseas now, we can go with him and he will be with his kids while they are still kids. Not to mention, the girls can be worldschooled and have amazing experiences through our travel during their teen years .

On the surface, getting to go live in far flung places for a bit, on Uncle Sam's dime, seems like a great deal. And it is, if the world does get crazy any time soon. I need to feel Plan B is still up and running, even if I have to put it on the back burner for a while. So, C has promised to help me come up with a comprehensive plan for Plan B and to commit resources to execute that plan in stages over the next five years, if the girls and I agree to join him in a couple of two year tours in other countries. We will keep the house and the girls and I can come back to it at any time we feel like it. How does summer in NY, then summer in Australia, then summer in NY and then summer in Australia sound for the first tour?

We don't know yet exactly where the first job will be, but the 10 Year Plan has been set in motion. It looks very different than what I envisioned my life to look like when I bought this house and came home to settle down and grow some roots. Can one grow roots in one place while simultaneously sowing wild oats in another on the other side of the planet? We are going to try. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

7 comments:

Stephanie said...

That sounds really exciting. Maybe not what you originally had in mind, but... best laid plans, blah blah blah. Anyway, better see the world while you still can, right? :)

Annette said...

It sounds very exciting and do-able.

Cheryl said...

Traveling the world sounds like an awesome opportunity!

I'm with you on Plan B, but we're still living in the land of Plan A ourselves. We figure we can adapt to new conditions, if necessary, and we're aware it may be necessary in the not too distant future.

Eli said...

To think of spending the rest of your life in one place does not seem near as much fun as seeing the world and retiring in one place for the rest of your life. And Cary sooooooo deserves to have his family around.

heymom said...

As one is all too familiar with many plans up and running, and compromise, and being together or not being together as a family, I love reading about YOUR many plans and ideas. I hope that contentment and peace follow you, whatever plan you are running with at the time. I was just thinking of you today, as I am making soup in the crockpot you gave me, and I made some homemade chocolate ice cream for desert because I am a 'copycat' and had to get an ice cream maker like you! I just think you are pretty amazing! Be well.

heymom said...

Ok, so I feel a little stupid because I misspelled "dessert" and I left the word "who" out of my first sentence. duh....

Flo said...

Good luck and have fun!