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Old 12-18-2013, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Upstate
4,958 posts, read 5,355,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
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?"
Most people who join the military don't do it for the retirement benefits. They do it for education or hopefully to serve our country. With my military retirement check and my current job, I'm finally making somewhere near what my childhood friends have been making for decades. Those friends have their homes paid off, own a business, etc...

But the retirement benefit is well deserved for those few who actually tough it out for twenty or more years.

Thankfully in the US, we are no longer forced to serve. There are plenty of volunteers who care about their country to sacrifice financial gains, personal relationships and sometimes life and limb to serve. Those benefits are spelled out when we signed the dotted line and they should be there when we retire. For future members, I can see changing the rules, as long as they know about it before they join.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
27,129 posts, read 42,230,280 times
Reputation: 13897
Quote:
Originally Posted by OV101 View Post
... the military Sucks the life out of you literally, they get their monies worth out of you one way or another. If I was of high rank, I damn well expect a decent retirement for what the job is.
I agree.

Being on Active Duty does suck out from you your youth, your energy, and your health.



Quote:
Originally Posted by icarian View Post
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).

... 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.
I agree.



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.
The difference in pension between an E6 and an 06 is a massive difference.



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.
That is not how it works for me.

I do not get an 'extra' penny.



We all knew that we would become eligible for a pension at 20. Some of us had no choice in getting out at that spot, it was mandatory. Due to HYT.

We should have all been planning for that date in advance.

I invested as much as I could, and when the market crashed, I lost most of my portfolio. Just like every other investor.

But we are doing fine, because I have my pension. Fortunately an E6 pension is enough to support a family, and we have been able to move on with the next phase of our lives.

Is $18k/year too much for a pension? I do not think so.

I think that $50k+/year is a heck of a lot. Sour grapes that I am not a 05/06? I do not think so. I think that $50k+/year is a huge pension.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Middle America
32,042 posts, read 32,339,577 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.
This really is the bottom line.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:52 AM
 
13,756 posts, read 6,717,368 times
Reputation: 12596
Quote:
Originally Posted by USNRET04 View Post
Most people who join the military don't do it for the retirement benefits. They do it for education or hopefully to serve our country. With my military retirement check and my current job, I'm finally making somewhere near what my childhood friends have been making for decades. Those friends have their homes paid off, own a business, etc...
.
Yes.

While we were in the military, we lived essentially as nomads: Lightweight, high speed, low drag. We didn't accumulate much, and what we did try to accumulate was subject to loss and damage. More than once a crate somehow just vanished.

My wife was lucky in that her job was transportable. She was a special ed teacher, and those are in short supply everywhere. Even when we went overseas, she easily got long-term contracts with DODDS. But with every move, she was always starting again at the bottom...never accumulating seniority, never gaining in pay. And as I said, she was a heck of a lot luckier than most spouses.

Not many are thinking about retirement the first time swearing in. I think by the 8- to 10-year point when we make the career decision, it's certainly not with the idea that we won't have to continue to work. It's definitely a judgment of whether the civilian career we could start at that point will be paying the same compensation as retirement pay + what we would be making just entering the civilian job market ten years later. The lack of retirement investing prior to 20 is a major hurdle for most--it makes it an all-or-nothing decision.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Greater LA area
12,134 posts, read 8,291,602 times
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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.

Exactly.

And let's not forget, that military spouses often have to sacrifice their career to keep moving to different states, countries or continents with their military partner. If the marriage even lasts that long ...

Besides the fact that lots of military people get deployed so often, so they miss out on the development of their children.

No retirement money can make up for all the personal sacrifices a military person has to go through - besides the fear never to come home from a deployment.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Vermont
9,335 posts, read 8,955,302 times
Reputation: 11025
I am prepared to believe that military pensions are relatively generous, but I'm mostly fine with that.

I also believe, with regard to military or other public employee pensions, that those pensions are a form of deferred compensation for services rendered. If you argue that we shouldn't be cutting the pensions payable to military retirees I hope you also agree that we shouldn't be screwing other public employee retirees out of the pensions that they earned.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:19 AM
 
13,756 posts, read 6,717,368 times
Reputation: 12596
BTW, military retirement pay is, "pay," not a pension. It has to be appropriated annually like other military pays...it's not funded like a "pension."
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Greater LA area
12,134 posts, read 8,291,602 times
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Military people have to take tons of drugs when they get deployed and also flu shots and what not. Plus the bad living conditions, food and nasty water, lack of sleep, exposure to extreme weather, etc. etc. they have on many deployments.
Mixed with possible PTDS...

The military keeps them up and running no matter how much drugs they have to pump into them during their active time. I think they are entitled to good and cheap health insurance to cover their (maybe) upcoming health issues from all the years of living the military life.

My ex will retire as an E6 or E7 and either way the retirement money for him will not be much. I don't think the active duty pay and retirement benefits for entlisted people are worth risking their life so often but that is just my opinion.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Middle America
32,042 posts, read 32,339,577 times
Reputation: 40426
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh-eve View Post
Exactly.

And let's not forget, that military spouses often have to sacrifice their career to keep moving to different states, countries or continents with their military partner. If the marriage even lasts that long ...

Besides the fact that lots of military people get deployed so often, so they miss out on the development of their children.

No retirement money can make up for all the personal sacrifices a military person has to go through - besides the fear never to come home from a deployment.
Agreed. I think it's more than fair.

For those who complain that the benefits are over the top, with regard to what is expected of those who serve, they are certainly welcome to enlist and get that "great deal," that's so undeserved, no?
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Greater LA area
12,134 posts, read 8,291,602 times
Reputation: 21634
I could write 5 pages of sacrifices and harships military people have to go through during their career.

I don't think that civilians have a clue how their life is and it is easy to judge.

Not sure about officers - but enlisted people are certainly NOT overpaid. We should be thankful that they do their job and risk their life for that little bit of money they get. I wouldn't wanna do it. Not even for twice as much as they earn.
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