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Old 12-17-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, NC
437 posts, read 468,797 times
Reputation: 639

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramidsurf View Post
But, a fed's paycheck is usually much smaller (at least for the beginning of their career). They make money once they get to the GS-13 ranks and above. No PCS, so they can stretch on a house and build lots of equity. None of the AD BS that people have to put up with.

It's all a trade off. I know some DON civs who make a killing. They made GS-14/15 by 35 and sit there until the day they retire or go to SES.
The civilians I worked with in Germany were all DA civilian police, so while they were at the GS 7 - 13 pay grades, they also got special pay for being law enforcement personnel on top of their normal paycheck plus overtime. I'm not sure how their medical expenses were worked out, although they did go to the military health clinics on post for all of their medical and dental needs. They also got the standard logistical support which included their housing, vehicle registration privileges, and had full access to all US facilities in Europe, including all PX and commissaries, and I believe space-A travel (not 100% sure on that one). Most of them were prior military, with a few actual retirees who had managed to stay in Germany. Most fairly good folks but a couple of whiners also.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:06 PM
 
Location: vic of KHND
385 posts, read 787,762 times
Reputation: 322
The percentage of military that make it to retirement is in the teens with no guarantee (far from it both before 9-11 and the current state of affairs). While some services seem to fare okay on location (Pyramid drills at Coronado or the San Diego area?...not the same as the majority of the Army or even Air Force concerning less than ideal locales), my wife has been able to work about half of our time in the military and since we have moved around, her retirement (or opportunities to build one) are quite honestly pathetic. Retirement is on me.

So less than twenty percent make it to retirement, isolated locales (I've got ten years in bonafide isolated postings...and another eight years of assignments near such "swell" places as Clarksville TN, Fayetteville NC, and Leesville AL as a reference), years away from immediate family, personal freedoms SEVERELY restricted throughout, willing to lay it all on the line and given multiple opportunities to do so (remember, the Army and Marines...and our other sister services to a lesser extent...have continuously been to war for over a decade on a shoestring build up), uprooting school age children multiple times and other family income is limited by the whims of our moves / postings / timetable?

Yeah, I believe the cost of pension outlay versus our carrying out such a lifestyle is worth it for an all volunteer force. In spades. If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it. And they aren't.

Last edited by icarian; 12-17-2013 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:55 PM
PFM
 
Location: Endicott, NY
61 posts, read 67,760 times
Reputation: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramidsurf View Post
No, I'm not.

An O-5 at twenty years makes $8422 (the 2014 proposed number). $8422/2 equals 4211 per month for life. Not accounting for COLA raises, that works out to 2,021,280 in today's dollars over 40 years. O-4's make $7356 per month. This doesn't include free college, disability that's tax free and medical care.

A retired O-5 makes 50K a year in pension payments at age 42. No other retirement plan else even comes close to comparing to that.

Well, that's great, but what percentage of the retired force are officer or E8-E9? Most of the retirees out there are enlisted, and a good chunk of that is E6-E8. The income numbers drop dramatically at those grades.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:26 AM
 
2,352 posts, read 2,467,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icarian View Post
Yeah, I believe the cost of pension outlay versus our carrying out such a lifestyle is worth it for an all volunteer force. In spades. If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it. And they aren't.
Amen all day. I can't believe this is even a conversation . . . 8200 dead in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The issue of officer pay is perhaps a good topic for a different conversation but in terms of the military budget it's irrelevant. Officers are 20% of of the force. 20% of the 20% who make it to retirement = not very many.

I spent 7 years in the Army, went to college, then worked for a state agency for 5 years. My colleagues who went on to work in the private sector used to whine and moan about my health plan and PTO (not my pension though because it really wasn't that great) while they were all taking home 25% more than me.

It's really pathetic that so many Americans, instead of saying, "hey, he has a good retirement, I want that" or "I should put more of my far higher wages towards my retirement" are saying "hey, he can't have more than me, I'm more important than he is."
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:56 AM
 
4,574 posts, read 4,812,660 times
Reputation: 11306
Having a solid retirement plan is one of the perks of a military career. I equate it, in many ways, to the career of a teacher: You sacrifice along the way (hours, pay, lifestyle) and you make up for (some) of it in retirement.

Someone here hit the nail on the head: if it was SO generous there would be a line out the door; there is not.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:00 AM
 
16,444 posts, read 16,583,994 times
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The way disability is granted is an additional burden. I don't know of a single military retiree that doesn't claim some disability and get additonal retirement pay for it. I know some are genuinely disabled, but many are bogus.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville, NC
437 posts, read 468,797 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
The way disability is granted is an additional burden. I don't know of a single military retiree that doesn't claim some disability and get additonal retirement pay for it. I know some are genuinely disabled, but many are bogus.
Let me touch on this briefly. I have a 20% rating, which equates to $255/month in disability pay. In my case, this $255 is paid from a different source than the military retirement pay comes from. My retired pay is lowered by $255 (meaning my salary is reduced by the amount of the disability payment), and I receive the $255 portion directly from the treasury instead of DFAS. So I don't get any additional pay for it. The only benefit is that the 255/month (roughly $3,000 per year) portion paid from the VA/treasury is not taxable income. So, all I get is about a $3,000 tax break.

I'm not going to deny that some people do scam the system, unfortunately. But before writing every retiree off as a gold-digger, remember that many of the things retirees get seen for are injuries that have yet to fully manifest themselves, such as joint and back injuries that will get worse with age. In order to be seen by the VA for a medical condition, even one that may not really be a factor until later down the line, that condition must be annotated as service related in the VA system. Otherwise, the VA can and will turn away a former servicemember for treatment for a condition that was either started or aggravated while in service. And, any disability determinations are made after evaluation by VA doctors, not by the individual servicemembers.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:32 AM
 
13,479 posts, read 6,574,588 times
Reputation: 12395
Quote:
Originally Posted by PFM View Post
Well, that's great, but what percentage of the retired force are officer or E8-E9? Most of the retirees out there are enlisted, and a good chunk of that is E6-E8. The income numbers drop dramatically at those grades.
Regardless of what officers make on retirement, the average retirment salary is $22,000. My cousin retired as an O-6. Yeah, he's raking in a bundle. But my retirement as an E-8 is right at the average because E-7/E-8 make up the peak of the bell curve.

As much as the economy has sucked in the last few years, if military retirement is so great, how come everyone isn't joining the Army and doing 20?

Oh, wait. Maybe it's because the disadvantages of a military career make the retirement not worth it to the vast majority of Americans.

If someone ever tells me he thinks military retirement is overly generous, I only have to ask him, "Then why aren't you in it?"
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:17 AM
 
6,814 posts, read 7,007,022 times
Reputation: 20953
On the whole, I don't dispute the rights of military people to pensions and benefits.

I do have concerns about some of the benefits offered. Tricare for life is an extremely expensive program to operate and provides better benefits than Medicare does. My question is why aren't military people over 65 restricted to Medicare just like the rest of us are? Perhaps, the government could pay for some kind of a private supplement if Medicare is judged insufficient. And, why should Tricare for Life cover families as well as the service member?
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:20 AM
 
13,479 posts, read 6,574,588 times
Reputation: 12395
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
On the whole, I don't dispute the rights of military people to pensions and benefits.

I do have concerns about some of the benefits offered. Tricare for life is an extremely expensive program to operate and provides better benefits than Medicare does. My question is why aren't military people over 65 restricted to Medicare just like the rest of us are? Perhaps, the government could pay for some kind of a private supplement if Medicare is judged insufficient.
I don't know who "the rest of us" might be, but my father was retired military and retired Postal Service. After he died (from acknowledged Agent Orange complications), my mother continued to have BC/BS from his Postal Service retirement, Medicare, and Tri-Care.

The issue I had with that is that by law, Medicare is the "first insurer" even when the person has commercial insurance like BC/BS.
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