MSEJ May 2018 - Page 30

SH: To many of our readers, the idea of publishing one book might seem daunting… not to mention nine, with your work appearing in a tenth too! Do you have a current favorite among your titles, or somewhere you’d encourage a military reader to begin?

JF: Without a doubt, I would say Mission Transition. It places a unique emphasis on explaining the new Blended Retirement System in easy to understand terms and it underscores the importance of enhancing one’s financial literacy and individual responsibility in achieving retirement savings. It comes at what I hope is a teachable moment in time for those who could use it. I particularly love that it incorporates the graciously contributed wisdom of noted financial experts who I have known and trusted for years.

SH: Your family recently went through a repatriation transition. What was the most difficult part of this transition for you, and did Mission Transition help you during that process?

JF: Writing has always been my go to salve when I’m happy, sad, or feel like preaching from a soapbox. And, as it turns out, writing also works for me when I repatriated to America.

My kids, who grew up overseas and rarely visited “home,” were culturally shocked and had many interesting questions. My favorites were “why did you bring me here?” and “when can we go back?” My husband was already back at work leaving me to find our new forever home in an unfamiliar place.

The simple and focused process of researching and writing this book, even in bits and spurts through the new normal of our lives, helped me to get through it unscathed.

SH: What kind of change are you trying to create through Mission Transition?

JF: I’d like to see service members and their spouses gain an increased level of financial literacy overall, and a true understanding that the responsibility for their retirement later in life is truly their own and no one else’s.

SH: We all think we know what we want in our next, post-military life. How does your reality compare with any prior daydreams about your “future life” post-uniform?

JF: My “future life” is now, and it is pretty much what I thought it would be… full of continual change. Life keeps moving forward and we just keep moving forward with it. Ironically, it’s pretty familiar to the life we lived as an “active duty” military family. Change is the only constant, right?

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