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Old 05-16-2018, 10:52 PM
 
5,392 posts, read 5,638,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
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). BAH Calculator
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
There is just so much going on with pay, it may even scare some young recruits away. Usually when so much is involved, in the private civilian sector at least, a scam is likely going on, or a way for the employer to keep employee distracted.

But that still looks very enticing.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:41 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,633 posts, read 4,391,959 times
Reputation: 4213
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
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.
All good. But perhaps you could avoid leading statements or questions based on ‘I heard’ or your misconceptions.

So, rather than ‘who do you rent to? Other troops?’, which implies you already believe the typical renters are other troops, ‘who are your typical tenants?’ could get you the information you crave. This particular forum is packed with people who are ready to honestly answer questions.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,633 posts, read 4,391,959 times
Reputation: 4213
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
There is just so much going on with pay, it may even scare some young recruits away. Usually when so much is involved, in the private civilian sector at least, a scam is likely going on, or a way for the employer to keep employee distracted.

But that still looks very enticing.
The large amount of allowances has a somewhat perverse effect. When members get ready to retire, they begin to truly realize that retirement is based on base pay-not all the other allowances. Families have gotten used to having a housing allowance or a house, a swimming pool, after school programs, etc., etc., which are about to disappear, and maybe staying in for a few more years is a good idea. The term of art for all these ‘in kind’ benefits (valuable, but not considered par of base pay) and allowances (disappear upon retirement) is ‘golden handcuffs’.

They are awesome, but it is all too easy to get used to and dependent upon them.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:58 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,182 posts, read 9,221,015 times
Reputation: 4716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
There is just so much going on with pay, it may even scare some young recruits away. Usually when so much is involved, in the private civilian sector at least, a scam is likely going on, or a way for the employer to keep employee distracted.

But that still looks very enticing.
With over a million people in the military with hundreds of specialties, it's really hard to simply it. No scam.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:01 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,182 posts, read 9,221,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaTransplant View Post
The large amount of allowances has a somewhat perverse effect. When members get ready to retire, they begin to truly realize that retirement is based on base pay-not all the other allowances. Families have gotten used to having a housing allowance or a house, a swimming pool, after school programs, etc., etc., which are about to disappear, and maybe staying in for a few more years is a good idea. The term of art for all these ‘in kind’ benefits (valuable, but not considered par of base pay) and allowances (disappear upon retirement) is ‘golden handcuffs’.

They are awesome, but it is all too easy to get used to and dependent upon them.
Most people I know get a job when they retire, to supplement. I probably will. Besides, who wants to actually retire at 38 years old and sit and do nothing? Too young. Because of my pension, I can accept a job making less money than otherwise, meaning I can do what I WANT to do, without worrying too much about pay.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:57 AM
 
37 posts, read 11,783 times
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This is about as basic as I can think to make it...


These numbers I'm about to post are based off my experiences in the Air Force on the enlisted side of the house (The E-# rank/grades). The base pay, housing, and sustenance rates are the same across the services. Promotion rates, special pays, and stuff like that can vary between the services. Medical and dental are free for the serving member (you'd be paying a very reasonable amount to cover dental for your family if you have one).
I'll break it out into monthly, yearly, and even an hourly wage equivalent. The hourly wage will be based off a 40hr work week. Some work 40/wk, some work 60. Just depends. Your pay is the same regardless and that's not even factoring anything else that will affect your home life or the number of hours you work or how long you're away from home. I'm just putting the hourly in for a comparison number. None of the numbers factor in the other benefits you'll get (medical, dental, GI Bill, etc).




This is a very basic rundown and is one of THOUSANDS of potential pay scenarios. No scams here. You're the average Joe...no special pays, no COLA location pay, no reenlistment bonuses, nada.


All amounts are "today" dollars.


A few months out of basic:


Most people come out of basic as an E-1 (but it is possible to come out of basic as high as E-3). The next bit of info is based off the pay for a single E-1. Married personnel would get paid a little differently.


Base pay: $1638 (taxed)
Sustenance: $0 (but your meals are free...usually four meal times a day)
Housing: $0 (you'll be in a dorm...maybe a roommate, maybe not)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $1,638
TOTAL Yearly: $19,656
Hourly (assume 40/wk): $9.75








If you stay out of trouble, you'll be promoted up to E-4 somewhere between 2-3 years after you joined. You'll have moved up in life a little...and more than doubled your monthly pay. Nice!


Base pay: $2248 (taxed)
Sustenance: $369 (not taxed/your meals are no longer free)
Housing: $1422 (not taxed/location dependent - based off McGuire AFB, NJ single E-4 rate)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $4039
TOTAL Yearly: $48,468
Hourly (assume 40/wk): $24.04








You moved to sunny Florida, met someone, and the two of you fell in love & got married. You've stayed out of trouble and you worked your butt off to get promoted to E-5 just before you hit the 6 year mark. Your housing allowance went down with the move but cost of living is less too.


Base pay: $2733 (taxed)
Sustenance: $369 (not taxed/your meals are still not free)
Housing: $1407 (not taxed/based off Eglin AFB, FL married E-5 rate)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free for you, about $30/mo for family
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $4509
TOTAL Yearly: $54,108
Hourly (assume 40/wk): $26.83










You're getting to be an old Salt! You've progressed well in your career and you hit E-7 at 12 years. That's a job well done! You're still married to Betsy and you have two kids now. You've also been reassigned to Luke AFB in Glendale, AZ. Congrats!


Base pay: $4,187 (taxed)
Sustenance: $369 (not taxed/your meals are still not free)
Housing: $1680 (not taxed/based off Luke AFB, AZ married E-7 rate)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free for you, about $30/mo for family
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $6236
TOTAL Yearly: $74,832
Hourly (assume 40/wk): $37.11








You're coming up on your 20th year (and retirement eligibility) but you think you're going to stay in the military even longer. You're part of a small percentage that's made it to the top of the enlisted force structure. You're an E-9!! You and Betsy are still happily married. Her and the kids are absolutely hating life because you just moved for the second time in the last four years and guess what? You got an assignment to chilly North Dakota!


Base pay: $5787 (taxed)
Sustenance: $369 (not taxed/your meals are still not free)
Housing: $1770 (not taxed/based off Minot AFB, ND married E-9 rate)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free for you, about $30/mo for family
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $7926
TOTAL Yearly: $95,112
Hourly (still assuming a 40/wk but what E-9 only works a 40? Pffft!): $47.17




If you were to retire at this point, you'd get 50% of your BASE PAY only. Retiring after 20 years (and being at the top of the enlisted force) would net you a pension of:
Monthly: $2893
Yearly: $34,722


If you were to stay all the way up to the 30 year mark, you'd bump up to a 75% retirement on a base pay of about $7285/mo. Your pension check would be 75% of that:
Monthly: $5463
Yearly: $65,565


That factors in nothing about what you did with your money while you were in. If you invested wisely, you could be doing very well at this point. But (and it's a BIG but) the retirement system has now changed. If you were to join now, the pensions above wouldn't apply to you. The new system is much more complicated and much more dependent on your contributions (more like a 401k). You could come out well ahead of those numbers or well behind. It all depends on you.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:53 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,129 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm27m View Post

You're coming up on your 20th year (and retirement eligibility) but you think you're going to stay in the military even longer. You're part of a small percentage that's made it to the top of the enlisted force structure. You're an E-9!! You and Betsy are still happily married. Her and the kids are absolutely hating life because you just moved for the second time in the last four years and guess what? You got an assignment to chilly North Dakota!


Base pay: $5787 (taxed)
Sustenance: $369 (not taxed/your meals are still not free)
Housing: $1770 (not taxed/based off Minot AFB, ND married E-9 rate)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free for you, about $30/mo for family
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $7926
TOTAL Yearly: $95,112
Hourly (still assuming a 40/wk but what E-9 only works a 40? Pffft!): $47.17




If you were to retire at this point, you'd get 50% of your BASE PAY only. Retiring after 20 years (and being at the top of the enlisted force) would net you a pension of:
Monthly: $2893
Yearly: $34,722
Whew... Well done!

I am retired U.S. Army. 22 years service. I retired in 1990. And then continued working another job.

I want to emphasize, after retirement my wife and I are basically getting free medical care from the military. https://www.tricare.mil/ We use civilian facilities in our area...
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:47 AM
 
8,853 posts, read 7,333,347 times
Reputation: 11780
Depends on service, specialty rating or not, and combat zone pay.

I was Navy. Serving on a ship means you either live on a ship or you rent/share an apartment. If you have a family you’ll get additional pay to supplement housing cost. While there are base housing available, it’s not easy to get into and some base homes are a risk to your health. As a single sailor you can save money by living on the ship and eating most of all meals on the ship. I took occasional weekends away at nearby hotels for peace and quiet. The ship and base both have a gym free to access. Living on a ship is hard. You sleep on a 2 inch thick sponge on a rack that is a three bunk high bunk bed only two to three feet across another three racks. Privacy is impossible. Generally ship deployments are 6 months at a time and during those times there is no hotels nor apartments nor restaurants. When pulling into a foreign port you can eat out but no hotels since you have to be back before 2am. If you avoid the alcohol and other traps you can save a good bit of money. One of the traps are car dealerships that advertise as “we finance E-3 and below”. These are usually rip offs. Many a junior enlisted has gone heavily in debt from these groups. Enroll in the Mongomery GI bill. Even if you don’t go to college, you can pass it on to a child who chooses to go to college.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,677 posts, read 4,484,659 times
Reputation: 5943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm27m View Post
………..



You're coming up on your 20th year (and retirement eligibility) but you think you're going to stay in the military even longer. You're part of a small percentage that's made it to the top of the enlisted force structure. You're an E-9!! You and Betsy are still happily married. Her and the kids are absolutely hating life because you just moved for the second time in the last four years and guess what? You got an assignment to chilly North Dakota!


Base pay: $5787 (taxed)
Sustenance: $369 (not taxed/your meals are still not free)
Housing: $1770 (not taxed/based off Minot AFB, ND married E-9 rate)
Medical: Free
Dental: Free for you, about $30/mo for family
TOTAL Monthly Pay: $7926
TOTAL Yearly: $95,112
Hourly (still assuming a 40/wk but what E-9 only works a 40? Pffft!): $47.17




If you were to retire at this point, you'd get 50% of your BASE PAY only. Retiring after 20 years (and being at the top of the enlisted force) would net you a pension of:
Monthly: $2893
Yearly: $34,722


If you were to stay all the way up to the 30 year mark, you'd bump up to a 75% retirement on a base pay of about $7285/mo. Your pension check would be 75% of that:
Monthly: $5463
Yearly: $65,565


That factors in nothing about what you did with your money while you were in. If you invested wisely, you could be doing very well at this point. But (and it's a BIG but) the retirement system has now changed. If you were to join now, the pensions above wouldn't apply to you. The new system is much more complicated and much more dependent on your contributions (more like a 401k). You could come out well ahead of those numbers or well behind. It all depends on you.
Honestly first thank you for your service. I do appreciate you air force guys. You have a tough mission and the hours are long. Yeah and there is that North Dakota assignment. Not like doing 20 in the army.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,483 posts, read 1,759,362 times
Reputation: 2132
There's no mystery to military pay and benefits. Not even in pre-internet times. It's just a matter of doing the research. Nobody here or elsewhere is going to be spoon feed you public information.
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