The military likes to post soon-to-be-retired members in the area in which they wish to retire. This allows the member to become settled in his/her new neighbourhood. However, not all military members can be posted to their preferred place of retirement. For example, a naval engineer may wish to retire near his/her adult children in Saskatoon. There are no jobs for a naval engineer in Saskatoon. Therefore, his/her final posting may be to Victoria then on retirement, the military would pay for his/her retirement move to Saskatoon.
Our family is not yet at the retirement stage yet but we have discussed in what city/town we would like to retire.
During our final posting we would make the decision on whether or not we would stay in that city, in that neighbourhood, or whether we would make our final home somewhere else. Factors to consider in our retirement will include:
- Employment: Will either of us choose second careers? If so, what and where?
- Children: Where will our kids be attending school? Where will they settle down?
- Extended Family: Will we need to be care-givers to our parents or other relatives?
- Travel: Do we need to be near airports/train lines to meet family or other obligations? Will we become world travellers?
- Finances: What can we afford in terms of housing? What is the cost of living in the area we wish to retire? Could we easily resell our house if we decided to move?
- Leisure: Does the area we wish to retire offer leisure activities to suit us?
- Health: Does the area have sufficient health services for our needs as we age?
- Aging: Does the area have sufficient long-term care facilities should we require that?
- Culture: Can we create a community of friends, colleagues in our new area? Will we be accepted there?
The media is all up in arms right now because LGen.(ret’d) Leslie moved within the same city on his retirement posting. I’ve met Mr. Leslie briefly a couple of times at military functions. He is a smart, level-headed guy. I’m sure that he and his family discussed all of the points above (and maybe more) prior to their decision to stay in Ottawa. Why would they move within the same city? Mr. Leslie states they were moving to a small home which is eminently reasonable. Many people downsize on retirement. As well, he would no longer need an (almost) entire room in his home to store his military gear. (Yes, it really does take up that much space!)
Mr. Leslie was ENTITLED to this move. Just as all military members are entitled to their retirement moves. After going through 8 military moves myself, I can assure readers that it is almost impossible to cheat the system. In some ways it is difficult to even know what benefits you are entitled to claim! It is almost impossible for the member to know how much was actually spent on the move. In the 8 moves we’ve done, I have no idea how much was paid out to the moving companies that packed, loaded and transported our HG&E.
I will tell this to all my readers: If you think the system of moving military members is broken, the best person to fix it is someone who has LIVED IT.
Note to Mr. Leslie:
In 2011 the military moved us a total distance of 3km, from one PMQ to another. It was a full-service move for our family of four and 5000kg of HG&E. The media didn’t seem to care what it cost…but then again we’re not in politics.