I follow Getting Personal via an RSS feed so I see the advice column daily and listen to the show regularly. I had a problem with the advice provided in this segment.
Frequently, when someone writes in to ask if they should attend college, graduate school or a professional school, they are often told "no" because higher education isn't worth it if you aren't going to make a "good enough" salary when you graduate to pay off those student loans quickly. The "good enough" salary range varies. The man who joined the military mentioned that he had a mortgage, 3 kids and a retail job which he left, to join the army and now has to do something about his "underwater mortgage." Never once was his career choice questioned. The man was never told to think about "how much he would make when he got out." As a regular listener, it sounds like you are saying that making less money in the military is ok, but higher education is not. He was praised for his decision because he said it would make him happy to make this career change. What if obtaining additional education to change to a desired career would make someone happy? Sometimes you can't put a value on doing work you truly love, whether it requires basic training or a PhD. I'd appreciate it if when you provide advice about making a career change, you could be consistent with your line of questioning and in what you report. (There may have been more to this story, but as a listener, I wasn't provided with it.)
I am commenting in response to the advice given to the new Army enlistee. You advised the enlistee to seek the advice of his commander. As a brand new enlistee, he may not have a commander just yet. Seeking the advice of the recruiter that he signed up with is a more immediate action that he can take. The recruiter should be up to date on all of the benefits of joining the military, such as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Under this Act, the enlistee may be eligible for debt relief from the government because he is moving due to military orders. I think advising him to short sell was not sound advice and may cause unneeded financial strain on his family during this life change.
Military Spouse and homeowner
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