Married, age 26. Leaving the Military with about 50k in Savings, no credit. Seeking advice for planning next step.

Good morning to you all.

I will preface this by saying what I’ve been doing this far probably isn’t the smartest approach to financial planning, and maybe my goals are ill-conceived. If you think of a better way to approach my goals that are outside my current plan, please share! Aside from alternate plans, what I think I really need is advice about what to do with my savings to achieve my goals.

Current situation:

  • 26, married, no kids (and no plans to add to the population).

  • We save roughly 2k/month and have 50k in savings on hand, 0 investments.

  • We own our car (2014 Ford) and have no debt.

  • Between my basic pay (E-5), my wife’s pay, and housing allowance after rent/utilities, we make about $68k/year in pre-tax income.

  • Neither of us have ever had a credit card, nor credit score. Always paid for everything in cash/debit.

  • I’ll be leaving the military in 6 Months and will be seeking employment in the private sector. My experience and certifications are in a niche sector of the IT field. My peers who have stayed in this field (which I also plan on doing) have all taken jobs that started them between $60-$95k/year. I am confident I will be able obtain something similar.

  • We’ve agreed will be moving to wherever my career looks most promising, since there are only a handful of location I can do my job. My wife’s current career allows her to work in just about any city.

Goals:

  • Retire before 55

  • Stop paying rent and start owning property

  • Make/save enough so my wife can stop current career in a few years and focus on her personal goals

  • Have the freedom to move states/countries every few years to follow the job if I need to

Rough plan for achieving these goals INPUT APPRECIATED:

  1. Get hired.

  2. Rent an apartment. Help wife find work. Settle into new jobs, city, and apt. for about a year. Save every dollar we can.

  3. Build a tiny house on wheels (I’m estimating 40-50k budget and 1 year build time)

  4. Move into tiny house, renting a place to park it.

  5. At this time, if the company I’m at is working out, buy land to park on locally. If not, move cities and repeat steps 1, 4, and 5.

I figure I can continue saving about $2k/month like I’ve been doing for the last 2.5 years. I feel like just letting my savings pile up isn’t the best way I can achieve my current goals. I guess what I’m looking for is advice on investing in a relatively safe way while being able to make significant withdrawals to build this house and buy land well before retirement. After we own the house and the land it’s under, the majority of our savings will go towards retirement.

A couple personal quirks of mine to note:

  • I may be a bit of a nut, but nothing stresses me out more than debt. I joined the military with 25k in student loans and about $100 in savings (this was 3.5 years ago) and paid them off aggressively. I want to avoid a mortgage.

  • Also, if I’m being ignorant about credit, please enlighten me. The Equifax data breach has turned me off to the whole concept of credit cards. If I can help it, I don’t want to give all my personal data to any company who might put it in an electronic database.

edit: formatting

Thank you all so much for the input. I’ll look at credit card options tomorrow for monthly bills and do some googling and figure out how to start our Roth IRAs. Also, I’m going to talk to my wife about renting and trying to let our current saving grow more before spending such a large portion of our savings on one big project.

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