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Old 12-18-2013, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Hard aground in the Sonoran Desert
4,322 posts, read 7,027,465 times
Reputation: 5635

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I retired after 26 years in the Navy and personally I am WAY behind my high school buddies I graduated with 27 years ago. They all have been settled down for many years, progressed to the top of the corporate ladder and are enjoying the later years of their working careers with fat 401k's and making high wages.

I have my small military pension and going back to school so I will be qualified to START a career. I was making much less than them on active duty and will be making a lot less than they are (even when you add my small military pension) for years to come as I work up the corporate ladder.

People don't understand that the time you spend in the military, moving around, deploying, doing a job that doesn't transfer directly to the civilian sector puts most people behind where they would be if they spent those 20 - 30 years in the civilian world being productive and moving up the ladder in a profession. Not to mention, you get out at 40 years or older and have to compete with 20 to 30 year old's that are more attractive to employers than older workers. We're actually told when we get out to not tell potential employers how long you were in the military, simply list 10 years on your resume, as they say it is a detractor if they know you're 40+.

I also don't get to live where I necessarily want to live now that I've retired out of the military. I would like to be back in the Pacific Northwest with my family and friends, however, my wife can't leave her job (we need it to survive) and my kids are in high school so they don't want to switch schools now. So, I'm kind of stuck in the last place the military sent me before I retired.

I actually wish I would have figured this out sooner as I would have done some things differently...maybe got out after my first four years OR definitely would have retired exactly at 20 years and not wasted another 6 years. The problem is I was so busy, so displaced by moving around and being sent away from my family that I didn't take the time to realize how far behind I was getting.

Looking back on it, my buddies I graduated with all seem to be in a much better place then I am at this point in our lives. I actually don't think my military pension sufficiently compensates me for the position I and others are in after serving those 26 years.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Greater LA area
13,613 posts, read 9,470,951 times
Reputation: 25185
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBTRS View Post
I retired after 26 years in the Navy and personally I am WAY behind my high school buddies I graduated with 27 years ago. They all have been settled down for many years, progressed to the top of the corporate ladder and are enjoying the later years of their working careers with fat 401k's and making high wages.

I have my small military pension and going back to school so I will be qualified to START a career. I was making much less than them on active duty and will be making a lot less than they are (even when you add my small military pension) for years to come as I work up the corporate ladder.

People don't understand that the time you spend in the military, moving around, deploying, doing a job that doesn't transfer directly to the civilian sector puts most people behind where they would be if they spent those 20 - 30 years in the civilian world being productive and moving up the ladder in a profession. Not to mention, you get out at 40 years or older and have to compete with 20 to 30 year old's that are more attractive to employers than older workers. We're actually told when we get out to not tell potential employers how long you were in the military, simply list 10 years on your resume, as they say it is a detractor if they know you're 40+.

I also don't get to live where I necessarily want to live now that I've retired out of the military. I would like to be back in the Pacific Northwest with my family and friends, however, my wife can't leave her job (we need it to survive) and my kids are in high school so they don't want to switch schools now. So, I'm kind of stuck in the last place the military sent me before I retired.

I actually wish I would have figured this out sooner as I would have done some things differently...maybe got out after my first four years OR definitely would have retired exactly at 20 years and not wasted another 6 years. The problem is I was so busy, so displaced by moving around and being sent away from my family that I didn't take the time to realize how far behind I was getting.

Looking back on it, my buddies I graduated with all seem to be in a much better place then I am at this point in our lives. I actually don't think my military pension sufficiently compensates me for the position I and others are in after serving those 26 years.

Absolutely.

I tried to tell this to my ex and he didn't get it. He thinks, after 20 years of military, no real work history and no ability of making decisions himself besides no college education (he thinks he doesn't need it), every employer wants to hire him. Why would they?

Military people deserve EVERY PENNY of their pension.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
9,345 posts, read 9,900,047 times
Reputation: 13741
My brother-in-law joined during the Viet Nam era and flew two combat tours as a helicopter pilot. He retired after 22 years as a Warrant Officer 4 with an outstanding record. Just before he retired he was maintenance officer for a helicopter maintenance battalion in Germany. When the Lt. Colonel CO rotated back to the states, they left him in command of the battalion for a year and a half. I don't know what his pension is, but I don't see him getting rich. He still has to work for a living. He maintains his own equipment and drives used cars. Whatever his pension, I figure he earned it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:38 PM
 
15,405 posts, read 7,804,898 times
Reputation: 14406
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh-eve View Post
Absolutely.

I tried to tell this to my ex and he didn't get it. He thinks, after 20 years of military, no real work history and no ability of making decisions himself besides no college education (he thinks he doesn't need it), every employer wants to hire him. Why would they?

Military people deserve EVERY PENNY of their pension.
Depends somewhat on his job, but I don't agree with that "no ability of making decisions himself."

I was making decisions for a whole group of folk--up to 100 at one point. I'd say it's far more likely a military member has been making significant organizational decisions for some time than the average civilian. For one thing, almost every 20-year soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine will have been a supervisor or manager for several years, whereas the average civilian will have not been.

My colonel typically gave me the mission and the resources, then just made himself available if I ran into anything I couldn't handle. Which I made sure never happened. The difference between Marine colonels and Air Force colonels was that Marine colonels didn't even want a report on anything I was handling myself.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Greater LA area
13,613 posts, read 9,470,951 times
Reputation: 25185
ok. sorry. I can only speak from the view of an ex Navy wife of an enlisted guy. He and his buddies weren't really leadership material.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
28,040 posts, read 44,103,267 times
Reputation: 15041
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh-eve View Post
ok. sorry. I can only speak from the view of an ex Navy wife of an enlisted guy. He and his buddies weren't really leadership material.
At one point he got someone to marry him.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:29 PM
 
6,544 posts, read 4,562,319 times
Reputation: 7837
Let's mention some of the other benefits I haven't seen discussed here.. Anyone who's military knows USAA and that's one great perk. Billeting at posts all over the world (My dad's old BOQ at Ft Myer is apparently the new billeting location there..) which is massively cheaper than any local hotel.. You can pretty much hop on an available seat on a military flight to go anywhere in the world... On their schedule, obviously, but.. You live near a base after retirement, go on base for medical care..

That being said.. Anyone who can put up with 20 years in the military deserves every bit of it.

My dad retired as a Lt Colonel at 25 years or so from the Army, then landed a very high paying job with a US Attorney's office, so.. he's one of the rare ones that is actually double-dipping when he retires next year. He'll have a 25 year retirement from the Army and the associated pension, plus 20 years at the USAO and the pension from it.

I worked in one of the summer hire positions (Don't know if these still exist or not, but..) for two summers.. One at the Pentagon and one at Ft Shafter and that was enough for me to see that I didn't want a career in the military.

The things like a PX, NX, whatever.. Honestly, back in the day, you'd go to the PX because it was far cheaper than anything else.. Nowadays.. Not a whole lot of benefit to it.. WalMart's prices are about the same. Commissary is still a good benefit.. Should those go away? Absolutely not.. One of the reasons why is that while we talk about the folks who are in for 20 years or more.. What about the guy who just got in? He's not making big money and that commissary is something that helps his family get by.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:45 PM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,879 posts, read 17,112,595 times
Reputation: 5125
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.
Yes, and let's not forget the double-dipping that goes on. Full retirement and a GS position for the next 20 years? Must be nice.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:37 PM
 
1,474 posts, read 2,792,124 times
Reputation: 2037
Why would you discuss or debate your military retirement? You played by the rules. Your friend could have done the same thing. The military life is a different world and those who have not experienced it for 20 or more years have no real idea what it entails. There are pros and cons to the life. It is a challenging place to raise children. Not many military brats get to play on high school varsity teams or make the cheerleading squad. Moving too much. We all make choices. Additionally, in the military, you MUST make 20 years to qualify for a pension (normally). I neither feel I am entitled nor do I feel guilty for my pension. The system is the system. It is subject to be changed and will be. Grandfathering might occur but it also might not. In the mean time, I've worked since I was 14 at something. When I was able to retire fully, I grabbed it. Enough is enough.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
28,040 posts, read 44,103,267 times
Reputation: 15041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Let's mention some of the other benefits I haven't seen discussed here.. Anyone who's military knows USAA and that's one great perk.
Yes, when I was in Italy I was seeing a lot of ads for USAA. So I contacted them to see about it.

Ooops I am a US servicemember, no deal. Only OFFICERS.

Now, yes, I know that after many decades of serving officers only, they finally decided to open up to US Servicemembers instead. Don't hurt yourself trying to do me any favors.



Quote:
... Billeting at posts all over the world (My dad's old BOQ at Ft Myer is apparently the new billeting location there..) which is massively cheaper than any local hotel.. You can pretty much hop on an available seat on a military flight to go anywhere in the world... On their schedule, obviously, but.. You live near a base after retirement, go on base for medical care..
Some of us stay away from bases, because we want to be treated by MD doctors, not corpsmen / medics.

Immediately after I retired, we returned stateside, and we lived within the 50 mile radius of 2 bases. We were restricted to only going on-base for medical, and we could not get appointments. Retirees are lower priority and must sit in the waiting room and wait for no-shows. To be seen by corpsmen.

No thanks. We moved away, and now we can see any doctor in the area. We have PCPs, and we can get appointments.

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