MSEJ May 2018 - Page 18

If you find yourself in one of these scenarios, being a geographic bachelor may be the option for you. Here are three issues to consider:

Double the cost.

Obviously, living separately means double the cost. You both will be responsible for double the rental/mortgage payments, double the utility bills, double the grocery bills, well you get the idea. In the past, geo-bachelors could stay in the barracks and still receive BAH. However with new regulations, this may no longer possible. Discuss housing options with your local Housing Service Office. Another cost to factor in your budget is travel expenses for those much-needed, eagerly anticipated visits.

One is the Loneliest Number (sometimes).

Know thyself—this is key to a successful geo-baching experience. Are you independent and self-reliant? Do you enjoy time on your own? Do you have a secure marriage? If you have children, how do they cope with separation? Money and career can be recreated, emotional well-being can be difficult to rebuild. Be sure to stay emotionally in touch with yourself, your spouse, and your children.

Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail.

Every successful venture begins with a plan, so your geo-baching journey should be no different. Set realistic expectations for when and how you will communicate. Create a checkpoint system, every week or month, check in on your finances and emotions to ensure each are on track. It is a good idea to create stop points, such as if finances get out of hand or the kids are not coping well. Once you meet your plan threshold, it may be time to reconsider your options.

The decision to become a geographic bachelor is not a one that is made lightly. We often don’t bat an eyelash when our spouses’ jobs take them away (on deployment, for training, or a short TDY), but the decision to geo-bach can cause all sorts of emotions and feelings (probably because of all the time our spouses’ careers keep us apart).

While living in separate places for

a year or two can feel like a longtime, in the grand scheme of life, it is but a moment. It is helpful to stay focused on the end goal. Remember you are sacrificing a little time in the present for stability in the future. If you can do that, then geo-baching may be a way to make your academic, career, or business dreams come true.