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Old 02-16-2014, 02:27 PM
 
1,123 posts, read 984,770 times
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I saved up 57k in my first enlistment, without really trying. 45k of that in my last 20 months.

I could have done a whole lot better, on base there are so many free activities for sailors (I spent a whole lot of time/money chasing girls, buying motorcycles and 4x4's that if get bored of and sell after a few months when I wanted the next best thing).

If I had signed up for two more years I would have gotten a 90k bonus plus 2 more years of ~60k in earnings, but I had other callings in life.

You can make bank in the military if you want to. But rich? No, no one in the military is rich, not even neurosurgeons.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:19 PM
 
1,264 posts, read 1,705,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrenter223 View Post
I saved up 57k in my first enlistment, without really trying. 45k of that in my last 20 months.

I could have done a whole lot better, on base there are so many free activities for sailors (I spent a whole lot of time/money chasing girls, buying motorcycles and 4x4's that if get bored of and sell after a few months when I wanted the next best thing).

If I had signed up for two more years I would have gotten a 90k bonus plus 2 more years of ~60k in earnings, but I had other callings in life.

You can make bank in the military if you want to. But rich? No, no one in the military is rich, not even neurosurgeons.
What he said.

You can be well off in the military. But you'll never make it rich like Wall Street or big law guys.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: From one deplorable to another: Merry Christmas!
6,328 posts, read 3,093,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit731 View Post
"Yes, possible to save all of your money, but what a boring life you would have. Sitting in your barracks and eating galley food for year after year is not much of a life. If in the Navy and pull into ports, sitting on a ship while in port is not much of a life."

Kind of sums it all up.

With almost zero social life.

Sounds like a real fun time.
All good points. But if you're working toward saving money for a life-changing investment/future cash flow, then that may be worth it. After all, I've found that truly independently successful people didn't make (or keep) their money by worrying about having "fun." They made hard choices and often lived off of ramen to get to where they are today. That $45-60k saved after four years of service may be enough for two down-payments on rental properties in some areas. And there's no saying that you can become truly successful on a military budget if you make the right choices. This, however, becomes less likely for those who like to spend to have a good time instead of looking to the future.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:11 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
22,098 posts, read 32,689,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
All good points. But if you're working toward saving money for a life-changing investment/future cash flow, then that may be worth it. After all, I've found that truly independently successful people didn't make (or keep) their money by worrying about having "fun." They made hard choices and often lived off of ramen to get to where they are today. That $45-60k saved after four years of service may be enough for two down-payments on rental properties in some areas.
Right now the lowest Basic Pay in the U.S. military is $1,531.50 per month. (That will go up unless you really screw up and go to jail). If you saved that for four years (even without interest) it would be a minimum of $73,512.00.

You don't have to eat "ramen", you can eat in the mess hall for free (excuse me, the dining facilities), or if you get paid rations, even better... You get a bunk, and a place to stay...

Also, "The Army can offer you up to $40,000 in signing bonuses."

Or "Air Force Cash Bonuses, Qualified Enlisted members may be eligible for an Air Force signing bonus in the following fields:"
Airborne Linguist up to $10,000
Combat Control up to $10,000
Explosive Ordnance Disposal up to $10,000
Linguist up to $10,000
Pararescue up to $10,000
Survival Evasion Rescue Evacuation up to $10,000
Tactical Air Command & Control up to $6,000
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:58 PM
 
Location: From one deplorable to another: Merry Christmas!
6,328 posts, read 3,093,276 times
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All good points, though I didn't literally mean the OP would be doomed to eating ramen . . . but some earlier posters talk about mess hall food as if it was ramen! I think you provide a great snapshot at how much can be saved for future investment opportunities. I hope to start OCS in the next couple of months. Once commissioned, I plan on saving much of my paychecks and buying investment properties at auction (I'd hire a property management company if the properties are in distant cities). Given that I am not yet married, this would be easier to do than otherwise. At the end of the day, I don't mind being less social by spending less money if it means setting myself up for a brighter future than those who don't do much saving/investing at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
Right now the lowest Basic Pay in the U.S. military is $1,531.50 per month. (That will go up unless you really screw up and go to jail). If you saved that for four years (even without interest) it would be a minimum of $73,512.00.

You don't have to eat "ramen", you can eat in the mess hall for free (excuse me, the dining facilities), or if you get paid rations, even better... You get a bunk, and a place to stay...

Also, "The Army can offer you up to $40,000 in signing bonuses."

Or "Air Force Cash Bonuses, Qualified Enlisted members may be eligible for an Air Force signing bonus in the following fields:"
Airborne Linguist up to $10,000
Combat Control up to $10,000
Explosive Ordnance Disposal up to $10,000
Linguist up to $10,000
Pararescue up to $10,000
Survival Evasion Rescue Evacuation up to $10,000
Tactical Air Command & Control up to $6,000
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
26,957 posts, read 41,813,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
All good points, though I didn't literally mean the OP would be doomed to eating ramen . . . but some earlier posters talk about mess hall food as if it was ramen! I think you provide a great snapshot at how much can be saved for future investment opportunities. I hope to start OCS in the next couple of months. Once commissioned, I plan on saving much of my paychecks and buying investment properties at auction (I'd hire a property management company if the properties are in distant cities). ...
Not a bad plan.

I bought my first tri-plex when I was an E5. I have never done real estate auctions though. I only bought properties that were local to where I was stationed. When buying apartments, the banks do not look so much at your salary. But at the proposed business income [rental receipts]. At my next duty station I got a five-plex property. Then at the next duty station, I got a another tri-plex, that was when I put on E6. Then a four-plex. Always just one property per duty station.

It can be a good method to accumulate some Net Worth.

I consolidated all down to only one property when I retired.

As others have pointed out, I never really made it 'rich'.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:38 PM
 
4,108 posts, read 2,901,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrenter223 View Post
If I had signed up for two more years I would have gotten a 90k bonus plus 2 more years of ~60k in earnings, but I had other callings in life.
I've got to raise the BS flag. What MOS (or whatever) did you have that offered a 90K signing bonus to re-up for only 2 years?
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:07 PM
 
Location: From one deplorable to another: Merry Christmas!
6,328 posts, read 3,093,276 times
Reputation: 6590
It does sound very fishy. And, whether one likes or hates military service, I don't see how one would turn down $210k over two years, much of that tax free, when it's highly doubtful that there'd be making that much in the civilian sector in the same period. But, hey, I've seen stranger things.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
3,169 posts, read 4,994,813 times
Reputation: 6937
Quote:
Originally Posted by headingtoDenver View Post
I've got to raise the BS flag. What MOS (or whatever) did you have that offered a 90K signing bonus to re-up for only 2 years?

Yeah I call BS too, My sister is an IDC corpsman and went to medical school, they only offered 30k bonus for 6 years. I cant imagine any job in the military that pays 90k bonus for 2 years.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
26,957 posts, read 41,813,762 times
Reputation: 13640
Most of the crewmen I served with got SRB levels anywhere between $40k and $65k every 4 years. Obviously it was tax-free. The earliest you could start Re-Enlisting to get SRB was at your 4 year point. During my career the SRB cap was $65k. When I was retiring they bumped it to $90k [still every 4 years].

SRB will not make anyone 'rich'.

How well you control your spending, how well you maintain you tax-plan, and your investments portfolio; this picture defines how well you are able to build Net Worth.

We collected an assortment of Residential-Rental properties [MFRs - Multi Family Residences]. Our rental income covered: mortgage interest, insurance, property taxes, and maintenance. Very little of my money went into the daily operational expenses. My salary and SRB money went to buying down the principal on the mortgages.

By dropping how much I owed on those properties, my Net Worth climbed at a decent rate.

SRB will not make you rich.
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