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Old 05-16-2018, 03:34 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,612 posts, read 4,337,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I having trouble understand the charts. Some have no number in then, and is it per month, or per year? And what do the numbers in the left column mean: the 0-1, 0-3 etc, etc?
If itís a few thousand, itís probably per month (how most pay charts are set up). Surely you donít think a new private gets only $1600 or so per *year*? If you read your question, thatís a possible interpretation, and why Iím not sure whether to take you seriously.

If thereís no number, that combination is not practically possible (e.g. an E-8 with 2 years of service) so they didnít waste time showing it, or they are Ďmaxedí (an E-9 with over 30 doesnít make any more for going over 32 years of service).
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:06 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,118 posts, read 9,088,675 times
Reputation: 4584
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Why is half your income tax free?

So it is possible to get into RE speculation on a grunt's paychecks. I knew I should have joined after I could not get job right out of college. I guess you rent out to other incoming soldiers then? But don't they have housing on the base for troops? Did you not have to live on base yourself?
There a many components to military pay. Base pay (the pay charts) is taxed as income. We also get a large housing allowance, and that's tax free because it's an "allowance" not pay. We also get a food allowance, which is tax free because it's an allowance. BAH (Basic allowance for housing) can be significant. For example, an E9 in Hawaii with dependents will get $42,000 a year just in BAH (so tax free). Some of us get other allowances as well, like COLA (Cost of living). An O-3, 6 years of service, living in Eieleson, Alaska, gets BAH, BAS, Base pay, AND gets $35 A DAY in Cost of living allowance because food and other items are so high cost there.

As far as renting to other troops, not necessarily. I rent to whomever. It's actually illegal in most states to target one particular group for housing. I'm not legally able to restrict my homes' availability to military. I have some military and some civilian renters. It's called the Fair Housing Act or something like that. Rentals have to be open to everyone equally. You can't discriminate. We mix in with the regular community. For example, when I was stationed in San Antonio, I had a regular house, in a regular suburb, and my neighbors were not in the military.

Yes, they have on base housing for troops, but it's completely optional. It makes zero sense for me to live in it since my husband and I are both military. Since we BOTH get a housing allowance, we pocket a ton of extra money. You get housing OR money for housing. If you live in Washington DC, and you're low ranking, rent is high, and you have 6 kids, it totally makes sense to live on base because they'll give you the size of house based on size of family, for whatever your housing allowance is. You can't rent a home there for as low as your housing allowance. They're going to get like $2300 a month for housing in that area, and that's WAY low for rent there. But, my husband and I would get closer to $5K due to both of our ranks, and if we live in the suburbs and commute, we can pocket some of that while having an investment that will build equity. It's a personal decision. Also, bases don't usually have basements and I like the extra square footage of a basement.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:18 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,118 posts, read 9,088,675 times
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So to recap for the OP:

1. You get base pay. That's what you see in the pay charts that shows years and rank. That's only a small portion of your pay.
2. You get a food allowance. That's almost $400 a month. Every member of the military gets that except when they're being fed on base (like in basic training, on a ship)
3. You get on base housing OR a housing allowance. That varies based on zip code and rank. You can play with the calculator here. It can be as low as $800 a month extra, or has high as $73K a year in additional tax-free income (O-7 in San Francisco would get $73K a year). http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm
4. You can get flight pay, hazard pay, combat pay, these can amount to hundreds a month
5. If you speak certain foreign languages they can pay you up to $700 extra per month for Language Proficiency pay
6. Some difficult jobs get extra pay. For example, I get an extra $450 a month just because I'm a recruiter. Drill Sergeants and others get it too
7. You get a significant yearly uniform replacement allowance
8. You can get jump or scuba pay if you have those skill sets for your job
9. There are many bonuses. For awhile, the Air Force was giving Air Traffic Controllers up to $90K to re-enlist. Some pilots are currently getting $250,000 to re-enlist, on top of regular pay (yes, a quarter of a million dollars)
10. COLA, cost of living pay is a DAILY additional pay for living in expensive places like Alaska or Japan. It can be upwards of like $35 A DAY
11. Family separation pay is $260 a month if you're separated from your family. I had to go to a month of training in another state in the USA and received that for being gone. You even get it in basic training if you have dependents
12. Certain professions, like nurses or doctors, get "professional pay" and it can be an extra $20K to $80K a year. We have to do that to compete with civilian pay for them. We don't want them to leave over low pay.

These are just a few examples of the complex nature of military pay, but trust me, we are WELL compensated
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
10,565 posts, read 3,192,535 times
Reputation: 12614
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
Gone are the days where we don't make much.

First, we don't "sell" the Post 9-11 GI Bill. It's free.

If you get a bonus, you don't have to pay it back unless you don't meet your obligation. For example, if you get a bonus to be a cop for 6 years, and after 1 year, you decide to switch to be a pharmacy tech, you might have to pay the bonus back because you didn't stay as a cop for 6 years.

As far as saving up, I'm enlisted, and am legitimately a millionaire from my enlisted salary. It's the only job I've ever held, and I'm now in my mid 30s. I bought a house at my first duty station, moved, got renters in it, and bought a house at my next duty station, etc, etc. Now I have 4 houses with $700,000 in equity and their rental incomes supplement my salary. One of the houses will be completely paid off next year and will just be income.

I have been investing in my TSP for around a decade and half (our version of a 401K). I have been disciplined and invest A LOT, and it has grown, a lot. I also have stocks, an IRA, and mutual funds.

My pay as enlisted in around $80,000 a year, and I invest a full 1/3 of that, plus all the rental income from my homes. I'm married, and my husband is also enlisted with the same large salary. So, we're making almost $160K a year, not including rental income. We invest an insane amount because we live well below our means, live in a small home, drive used cars, no expensive hobbies. Debt Free other than the mortgages.

Did I mention half of our income is TAX free? And we don't pay any state taxes on any of it? Medical and dental are free... so most of our salary is TAKE HOME.

Both of us have earned our degrees for free, and we will save our GI Bills and gift them to our children and they will go to college for free.

Not to mention, I don't even need the investments, I just don't know what to do with all my money, so I invest. When I'm 38 years old, I will retire. So will my husband. From that time, until we die, the military will continue to pay us around $60,000 a year, FOREVER, for nothing. We'll still be young enough to have second careers, and we have the investments to supplement. Eventually I'll collect Social Security, and I might get disability as well. That's insane.

I'd probably still be working at the mall if I hadn't have joined. I don't know why more people don't join!!


However, I'd like to point out to the OP, that this poster is not a millionaire based on his/her military salary of $160k combined! They are a millionaire due to your real estate investments and living below their means! That has nothing to do with your career of choice, but smart investing!!
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
8,047 posts, read 5,703,351 times
Reputation: 5083
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
Gone are the days where we don't make much.

First, we don't "sell" the Post 9-11 GI Bill. It's free.

If you get a bonus, you don't have to pay it back unless you don't meet your obligation. For example, if you get a bonus to be a cop for 6 years, and after 1 year, you decide to switch to be a pharmacy tech, you might have to pay the bonus back because you didn't stay as a cop for 6 years.

As far as saving up, I'm enlisted, and am legitimately a millionaire from my enlisted salary. It's the only job I've ever held, and I'm now in my mid 30s. I bought a house at my first duty station, moved, got renters in it, and bought a house at my next duty station, etc, etc. Now I have 4 houses with $700,000 in equity and their rental incomes supplement my salary. One of the houses will be completely paid off next year and will just be income.

I have been investing in my TSP for around a decade and half (our version of a 401K). I have been disciplined and invest A LOT, and it has grown, a lot. I also have stocks, an IRA, and mutual funds.

My pay as enlisted in around $80,000 a year, and I invest a full 1/3 of that, plus all the rental income from my homes. I'm married, and my husband is also enlisted with the same large salary. So, we're making almost $160K a year, not including rental income. We invest an insane amount because we live well below our means, live in a small home, drive used cars, no expensive hobbies. Debt Free other than the mortgages.

Did I mention half of our income is TAX free? And we don't pay any state taxes on any of it? Medical and dental are free... so most of our salary is TAKE HOME.

Both of us have earned our degrees for free, and we will save our GI Bills and gift them to our children and they will go to college for free.

Not to mention, I don't even need the investments, I just don't know what to do with all my money, so I invest. When I'm 38 years old, I will retire. So will my husband. From that time, until we die, the military will continue to pay us around $60,000 a year, FOREVER, for nothing. We'll still be young enough to have second careers, and we have the investments to supplement. Eventually I'll collect Social Security, and I might get disability as well. That's insane.

I'd probably still be working at the mall if I hadn't have joined. I don't know why more people don't join!!
Good for you on being financially astute! Submariner is another serviceperson who did the same thing and has a comfortable retirement.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
4,129 posts, read 982,423 times
Reputation: 5884
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
How much money will you realistically make/have/saved up at the end of your enlistment?
How much will you make? Depends on when you actually get out and if you were married at the time and where you were staioned?

How much will you have? Depends on how much saved, but you will have the GI Bill and VA loan which are tremendously valuable.

I'm not going to go over every benefit, but lets just say joining the military is NEVER a bad idea for the GI Bill and VA loan alone.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,573 posts, read 47,099,350 times
Reputation: 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
How much money will you realistically make/have/saved up at the end of your enlistment?
Through my peak earning years in the Navy, I was making around $60k/year, as an E5 - E6.

Every 4 years I was offered the standard SRB [Selective Re-Enlistment Bonus] cash of $65k tax-free. [it is a lot more today]

My investment portfolio was all in Multi-Family-Residences [Tri-plexes, four-plexes and a Five-plex] that we bought at each duty station. When I retired after 20-years, I got my E6 pension and we had four MFR properties [California, Scotland, Connecticut, Washington].

I am not comfortable giving my total Net Worth of those properties.



Quote:
... There is also the GI Bill. Is that what most of the "money" or reward actually is, that they sell to potential recruits right now? I hear there are things like signing bonuses and such. But I also heard that sometimes the military overpays that, and will demand it back even after a few years.
I went to college and I used the GI-bill to pay for it.

I have been paid signing bonuses and I have not known anyone who had to pay it back.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:14 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,118 posts, read 9,088,675 times
Reputation: 4584
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
However, I'd like to point out to the OP, that this poster is not a millionaire based on his/her military salary of $160k combined! They are a millionaire due to your real estate investments and living below their means! That has nothing to do with your career of choice, but smart investing!!
But, couldn't have done it on a fast food salary or with $100K in student debt, or even making the median income in the US
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,660 posts, read 4,407,254 times
Reputation: 5876
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
How much money will you realistically make/have/saved up at the end of your enlistment?

A lot of people join military due to lack of employment opportunities. Throughout history, it has been colloquially known military will give you three square meals a day. But I wonder what the wages I like, and if it is actually worth it, or is it better to just do a commissioned based sales, which is always hiring.

There is also the GI Bill. Is that what most of the "money" or reward actually is, that they sell to potential recruits right now? I hear there are things like signing bonuses and such. But I also heard that sometimes the military overpays that, and will demand it back even after a few years.


First as a few posted here. You don't start out thinking on saving in your first few years of enlistment. Most of us drank and partied. Bought expensive cars, or other toys. At then end of your first enlistment all you have is a DD 214 and a ton of memories.

Once you get beyond that first enlistment then you start slowing down the partying cause you are now in charge of that 20 year old who just took your old job. You now have responsibility. Welcome to the real world.

One thing not mentioned here is the new system is called Blended Retirement System. It has a slightly smaller defined benefit pension and a robust 401k program with matching. You will need to do a bit of researching but the system looks to be a good program if you make a career out of the military. The 401k program has made many a millionaire of federal workers even the rank and file workers.


If you are thinking a career in the military if you want to make a lot of money in retirement then go officer but be prepared to have to deal with a lot of politics and nit picky requirements. If you want to be in the thick of things stay enlisted. You can make a switch over to warrant officer program. All services have some sort of warrant officer. He is the technically proficient NCO/Enlisted soldier who then gets federally recognized to be a commissioned officer with command authority. The higher the warrant the more mystique he has. He can be high enough rank that even some O-6's run the other way. But as a senior NCO I will say all services need those older noncoms that get the job done just by their presence.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:26 PM
 
5,295 posts, read 5,522,054 times
Reputation: 2342
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaTransplant View Post
Housing and food allowances are tax free. States often donít tax active duty pay (depends on your state of residence, which you donít have to change if you move to comply with orders).

With rare exceptions, usually overseas or key personnel (usually command positions) troops who are married or over a certain rank do not HAVE to live on post and there is not usually enough housing for them to do so anyway. Not everyone is stationed near a post (Recruiters, ROTC, and reserve advisors are often out there in very small detachments).

Iím never quite sure if youíre serious with your questions or comments in this forum. There is a quality about them that seems almost purposefully naive, but Iíll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Nothing is dubious about any of my posts or threads. I know next to nothing about military benefits except what I hear every now and then. And its just all hearsay. I can probably go ahead and look this stuff up, but I am impatient, and want the cliff notes. Thanks in advanced.
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