Well as we stand right now we have two paths ahead of us. Each path would be great the hard part is deciding which one to take. I mean the decision we make right now could totally alter the rest of our lives, the people we meet, and the people our kids eventually marry. I know that God has already worked everything out for His glory and what ever path we choose will be exactly His plan. Is it because He already has our future predestined, or does He just already know what choices we will make before we make them. Maybe I am just over thinking this. So I will lay out the two paths for you and then all of you can vote and I will take what ever path wins. OK maybe not but I definitely would love everyone's input.
Path one: We stay 2 more years in Hawaii, move to Europe for 3 years (travel and chance of a life time), however Ben will still deploy once every 2 years for 6 months. Then after Europe we would have 4 more years left in the Air Force and we would come back to the states for our last 4 years hopefully at a base in the city or at least near the city that we eventually want to retire. Not yet knowing what that city is. Ben would retire at the age of 39 with a full military pension, a masters degree, and be young enough still to start his new career, possibly teaching at a University, giving our children cheaper tuition at the University which could always come in handy with 4 kids. Then at retirement age he would have two pension and we would be pretty well off. Now out of that time from now until Ben retires from the military he will have spent at least 2 years maybe 3 away from the family on deployments. If you retire in the Air Force you have to spend at least 1 year without your family in Korea. This does not include the 6 months deployments he takes every 2 years. Some people can slip through the cracks and avoid this but there is no guarantee. Also Addison will graduate (crazy) the same year we retire and if we have moved around her whole life she will never have a home town, however she will have had a chance to see the world. Both pretty important. Also the kids would have free medical until they are 21 and Ben and I for life (again huge with 4 kids). So pluses are: traveling Europe, great schools in Europe, job security,retirement at 39, medical for life, possibly cheaper collage tuition. Negatives: deployments, always moving around, being so far away from family, especially now that my brothers are starting to get married and have kids
Path 2: We stay in Hawaii for 1.5-2 more years get out of the Air Force move to Tyler Texas where Ben will get a job working for his dad who owns an insurance and investment company. We would be taking a slight pay cut the first year but within 4 years will be making double what we make now. With the money we make off the equity of our house in Hawaii we could afford to buy our dream home in Texas. The kids would be near Ben's side of the family, plus it would be easier and cheaper for us to visit my family in Canada, so we would see them more as well. We would get to stay in one place and not have to pick up and move all the time (that could be good or bad). With family around I would be able to go back to work or school if I wanted. Not that I do really but who knows. Also we were thinking if we got out that he could join the guard and that way we do not lose our medical and retirement pay he just would not get it until he turns 60 instead of 39. We figured it out and the money in retirement he would lose from the age of 39 to 60 would be about $250 000 however since we would be making double on the outside what he makes in the Air Force that would make up for that money. He would owe the guard 9 years of one weekend a month 2 weeks a year. He could also get deployed if any major tradgesty happened ie 9-11. Pluses: dream house, our family will be together, not having to move, near family, no or less deployments. Minuses: we might get bored in one place, it's no Hawaii or Europe, too hot, it might be too close to family.
So there are the two paths in a nut shell. I would really appreciate as much input as possible. We have a year or so to make our final decision, and we will probably change our minds a hundred times by then. So all you readers who read and do not comment, this is the time to comment!!!!!! Thanks!