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Old 12-10-2018, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
511 posts, read 630,658 times
Reputation: 621

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snebarekim View Post
How does your current federal civil service salary compare to your high 3 military salary average? Is any of your military annuity offset by VA rated service conditions?

Have you looked into converting your military time to straight civil service? I paid back my military offset in 2012 (21.8 years, highest paygrade E-7), and those years will be added to my current federal service when I retire in 2022 with 37 years total (which would include the military time at that point). You can still draw your military annuity until you actual retire from federal service.

Run the numbers, it may be a way to improve your situation.


Sorry about your wife's situation.
If you pay back your military time doesn't that mean that you forfeit your retirement pay? I couldn't take the loss of the retirement pay. I'm currently rated at 40%, so I do get the VA offset. I'm hoping that between my knee and back that I'll get at least another 10% so I can hit the magic 50% mark.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
511 posts, read 630,658 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
OP is your wife paying for disability insurance through her job? -- OR do you mean Social Security's SSDI

I was federal workers don't have "disability" coverage, per se.
No disability insurance. Because she still hasn't recovered from her accident her agency has started looking into disability retirement. She was injured during authorized work activities, so the Department of Labor is covering a portion of her lost wages.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
511 posts, read 630,658 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
Have you ever applied for Veteran's Disability benefits? Sounds like you should.
Yes. I'm currently rated at 40% and am hoping with the the continued deterioration of my knee and back that I'll get at least another 10% to get to the magic 50%.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
511 posts, read 630,658 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
When we went through this our attorney said what you can get is basically the policy maximum. Since most people carry the state minimums, that's a practical estimate. What our attorney told us at the time is you can sue for more, maybe even win, but that doesn't mean you can actually collect. You can't collect money someone doesn't have.
My wife's attorney told her that they would sue the insurance company for anything above the policy limit. Maybe the rules here in Virginia are different or maybe since it happened on a military base?

I wish the lawyer would give us a ballpark estimate of how much we could realistically expect to receive. I like to plan things out and consider various scenarios. It's impossible to due without knowing the amount, but I still can't stop myself from all the what ifs.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:04 PM
 
149 posts, read 48,367 times
Reputation: 419
OP. You need to go with your wife to one of those free retirement seminars your agencies should be sponsoring every year and ask your questions. With DOD, it was a two day course. If you can not do that, you need to have a sit down and/or phone call with someone from OPM to ask your questions. And if you can not do that, there are financial planners that specialize in federal employees that can answer your questions (but we got the list from attending the free retirement seminar).


I read where you are considering moving overseas to boost your salary and high three? You retirement pay is based upon your base pay plus locality pay. You do not get locality pay overseas. If you want to boost your pay without a promotion, you need to move to a location with a higher locality pay. For example, in Colorado Springs, the locality pay is about 15%. In southern California, it is close to 30%.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Mexico City (at the moment)
1,345 posts, read 468,102 times
Reputation: 1963
Quote:
Originally Posted by djplourd View Post
If you pay back your military time doesn't that mean that you forfeit your retirement pay? I couldn't take the loss of the retirement pay. I'm currently rated at 40%, so I do get the VA offset. I'm hoping that between my knee and back that I'll get at least another 10% so I can hit the magic 50% mark.
Yes, you forfeit the military retirement pay, but only when you retire from fed service. The military years are added to your fed service. The VA offset is not touched. I'm at 40% VA also, so it was a no brainer for me.



You have to run the numbers for your self, to see if the fed retirement would be better for you.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:17 AM
 
Location: R.I.
970 posts, read 602,748 times
Reputation: 4165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
We lived close to a military base as retirees for four years, and we have lived away from military bases now for thirteen years. The difference is night and day. It would take a team of wild horses to drag me to get me to live near a military base again.
I was born at the Newport, R.I. Naval Base Hospital where my father was stationed there when I was born. Like you my father was career Navy and retired after 25 years of service with the rank of BMC and his last duty was back in Newport as skipper of the Admiral's barge. Following my father's Navy retirement my parents decided to stay in R.I. not because it was close to the base but because my mother and her large family was from a town a few towns over from Newport where I have also lived my entire life. I have so many fond memories of growing up near the base where I spent a great deal of time, and those memories spilled over into my adult years most notably following my mother's death where my now late father and I had an every Saturday date of me taking him to the commissary to grocery shop, then we would ride around the base and he would share stories about his adventures there, and then he would treat me to lunch at the Chief's Club. So many of my father's Navy buddies also chose to stay in the area, and they and their families became close lifelong friends of my parents who were there if you needed them at the drop of a hat. Sadly a few months back I attended the funeral of the last of these close Navy friends of my parents.

I honestly don't think a military retiree should base where they decide to live in retirement needing to be close proximity to a base, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with living near one as I have my entire life which has had zero negative impact on me but quite the opposite.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:53 AM
 
1,946 posts, read 2,708,224 times
Reputation: 3366
I absolutely am not making light of all your concerns. You have a lot on your plate, and I feel for you. I would just like you to take a deep breath and try to relax a little. You're only 54. A lot -- good and bad -- can happen between now and your retirement. You cannot begin to plan for every scenario that will come along between now and retirement. And I think I know how you feel -- a little, if not a lot -- I absolutely hate not being in control of most (ok, all) of my life. However, I know, from too much experience, that that's just not possible. I can tell you this: you've planned well, and you're going to be all right. You and your wife will always have all that you need (except good health -- that can change for you too in an instant). I suggest you start making a tentative, feasible, basic budget for retirement; and then everything above that will be a big plus. Secondly, get another lawyer -- or at least get a second legal opinion. I worked in the legal field for almost 30 years, and, although I may be wrong, something isn't quite right (to me) with what your lawyer is doing. Just get a second -- or even third -- legal opinion. It certainly won't hurt anything. And last but not least -- know that you're not alone. It may seem that everyone who you know is doing better than you but you really don't know that for a fact. And even if they are doing better at this time, no one knows what the future holds for them too. None of us get through life without some serious problems. On a somewhat humorous note: some years ago I read that a Buddhist master had once said: "Life is mostly difficult and painful. And once we accept that, we have half the battle licked." :-) I think that's very true, and I think about that at least several times a week, if not every day. Sure has made my life a lot better. The curve balls don't upset me nearly as much anymore. I wish you and your wife well.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,607,822 times
Reputation: 6273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
After I retired from the US Navy, we returned stateside and we lived near Groton Subase for 4 years. My Dw got a job on-base at the commissary, we went on-base for our medical care, and we continued shopping on-base for most of what we needed.

Then we decided to move away.

We have been outside of that environment for 13 years now.

My Dw held her job working for DECA until her qualified for their retirement. Her last position at DECA was as Produce Manager, one of the things that she oversaw was the weekly price comparisons with off-base grocery stores. You can do much better by shopping off-base.

Tricare Prime in this area has a regional underwriter called Martin's Point, that has been wonderful to us. They integrate with all the hospital networks in this area. We can walk into any doctors office, any hospital, any ER without a care in the world, it is all covered.

My Dw has gone through five heart attacks. The first 2 were when we were living near the Subase. And we had to fight with the Navy Hospital to get her treated. But up here, she is treated right away, and there has never been any question of coverage.

I have had prostate cancer surgery, and four year later it came back on me. Now I am going to a cancer center for radiation treatment, coverage is like automatic and co-pays are very low.



We lived close to a military base as retirees for four years, and we have lived away from military bases now for thirteen years. The difference is night and day. It would take a team of wild horses to drag me to get me to live near a military base again.
So IOW, the quality of retiree services offered by the bases aren't as good as going to other providers with your benefits, is that correct?

You've always impressed me with your extensive financial planning.
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19124
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
So IOW, the quality of retiree services offered by the bases aren't as good as going to other providers with your benefits, is that correct?
I have known military-retirees who place a very high regard for the Auto Hobby shops on-base. I have never really been much of a grease-monkey. Here on my farm, I do most of the work on my tractor. But my cars, go to mechanics.

I know a lot of military-retirees view the Commissary highly. My Dw worked for DECA and she retired from that career. She says that she can get better deals off-base, so I trust her.

I have never held AFEES in very high regard.

Mil-Med; during my 20-year career, [1] I was seen by a MD doctor once at MEPS, [2] at 6 years I was referred to an off-base ophthalmologist to remove a piece of brass that had lodged in the cornea of my eye; [3] at 15 years I was referred to an off-base civilian MD to do an upper GI to look at my duodenal ulcer, [4] and once again during my retirement physical. Otherwise all of my medical care was provided by HM Corpsmen.

I have nothing against HM corpsmen, they have set my broken bones, they have given me stitches, they have delivered my children. But they learn to practice medicine through OJT, whereas MD doctors had to get college degrees.

I have seen HM corpsmen who wanted to perform surgery on me, and I had to go up my chain-of-command to get the HMs to stop from cutting me open. I know that most of the other servicemembers have done okay with HMs cutting of them. But I want my medical to be provided by MD doctors.

Here in this state, I can walk into any doctors office and I will be scheduled to be seen. There is no shortage of hospitals and I can be treated in every one of them.

My Dw has been through a series of heart attacks, each time she has spent a week in a cardiac ward. Her care each time has been provided by MD cardiologists [not HM corpsmen].

I am dealing with prostate cancer. My prostate was removed in 2014 by a surgeon [not a HM corpsman]. This year my cancer returned and I am going to an oncologist, my oncologist is first an MD.

My experiences with our regional Tricare underwriter has been fantastic.

When I first retired, we lived near a Navy base. As a retiree I could not get appointments, Active Duty are the first priority. A few times I went to the Navy hospital, the routine was to put your name on a list and sit there. If a scheduled appointment gets canceled, then they would look at the sign-up list and call in one of the waiting retirees. One time, I waited until after business hours and I was told to stay there, and eventually, the night-shift duty Hm corpsman saw me and stitched me up.

Air Force bases are great for their Space A benefits. I have attended schools that were located on AF bases, and I have enjoyed long conversations with retirees using Space A. That is a wonderful benefit [especially for the officers].
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