Monday, January 9, 2012

Planning for Deployments

Did you know only 1% of the country serves in the military?  Statistically speaking, you're more likely to know someone who's black, Mexican, or gay than someone in uniform. 

I spent this past weekend in family readiness briefings.  Yes, that means Mike is deploying.  To keep national security in check, I cannot say when or where.  Let's just "far away" and "soon."

Preparing for the financial end of a deployment involves rather long checklists.  I feel lucky that I'm already in charge of our finances and bill paying, so in that regard, it's a smooth transition.

However, many items have to be arranged ahead of time so there's aren't hiccups while he's gone for the majority of the year. Some of these are easy and I can do by myself, others we need to do together:
  • Reduced car insurance by moving one car to a "storage" rate
  • Suspend Mike's cell phone line
  • Obtain Power of Attorney (PoA)
  • Renew lease prior to deployment
  • Figure out taxes, will likely get extension
  • Develop a plan for the extra income
  • Get passwords for any financial accounts of Mike's I'm not on so I can pay bills
I find that many people are surprised by what a deployment involves on the home side.  You have to remember that one person is left behind to deal with it all. Couples have to have a lot of trust in the remaining one to manage everything, but good planning will take care of most of that. 

This certainly isn't our first rodeo and I've got few worries about what lies ahead.  As a spouse with no children, a busy career, and family in state, I have little to take care of but myself and the cats.

In many ways though, after attending the briefings and having a concrete to-do list in hand, this deployment is starting to feel more real. 

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