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Old 12-01-2014, 11:19 PM   #21
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If you're a pilot, I would stay in for the 20 years. As I'm sure you know, the pilot career field is quite unstable on the outside. Unfortunately, the golden days of aviation are long gone for both passenger and crew. I for one don't expect them to return. But that's a different subject.

If you stay till 43, you'll still have time to start a second aviation career should you decide to go that route. But it won't be easy.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:39 AM   #22
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Retired in 2011 with over 21 yrs as an 0-5. 4 yrs were enlisted. Looking back had I had a bad boss around the 10 yr point I might have bailed. But with a good boss an assignment I liked the next time I looked up I had 12 yrs. At about the 16 yr point the assignment gurus came knocking. I remember thinking would I want my bosses job? Of course that is exactly what I got and hated it but you do what you have to do. Family separations, deployments, etc added to the mix.

And coming out at after 21 yrs I walked into a high paying bridge career which will be ending soon. 3 yrs is enough. I was FI before I left AD and just wanted to see the other side. Been there done that. Multiple income streams and FI makes my BS meter set pretty low.

As a flyer your carer path is going to be pretty set with meeting your gates, etc. Is it something you want to continue? Would you want your bosses job? What about that flying bonus? You adding it to your TSP? I had tenants last year who the wife stayed home with the kids and the husband was on a remote. Upon his return 2 50K vehicles were purchased. I am guessing FI is not in their future. They felt the cars were owed to them since there was a year of family separation.

I say stay until you have had enough and then think about other options ie reserves, etc. Family does change things and being in the check of the month club is nice. But make no doubt about it as its not free. The military is very demanding on an individual so go into it eyes wide open. I dont keep u with what is occurring now and have no interest. Military helped me sharpen my skills however that chapter of my life is closed.

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Old 12-03-2014, 02:38 PM   #23
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My DH and I had this discussion at the outside bar at the Hale Koa when we were 29 and his initial training commitment was coming to a close. Airlines were going crazy hiring at the time. Folks thought we were nuts, but we decided to stay. We have never regretted the decision. We are now enjoying a lifetime of benefits...pension, medical care, VA comp, tax breaks, discounts, free prescriptions! Plus access to all base amenities and services for life. Stay in!
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:31 PM   #24
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I thought that seemed a bit high but it's still a large pension that shouldn't be underrated or under-appreciated. It reduces the amount of money you need to save by about $2,000,000.
When I did the math last year for an equivalent O5 pension after 20 years (starting at roughly $55,000 in 2020), I came out with $2.2M additional savings (either via principal or accrued interest/gains) to close the pension gap. Now at 15, obviously I'm staying, but I gave consideration earlier. The pension makes retirement at 42 a possibility. Without it, I'd be hard-pressed to retire by 50. Could be that the pension just makes our living standard much higher (if we continue to work), or it could be that we get out a lot earlier. Either way, it's tough to turn down once you're on the downhill side.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #25
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And coming out at after 21 yrs I walked into a high paying bridge career which will be ending soon. 3 yrs is enough. I was FI before I left AD and just wanted to see the other side. Been there done that. Multiple income streams and FI makes my BS meter set pretty low.
Thanks for sharing this. I'm surprised by the number of retired military officers who work for long durations after military retirement, though I'm not sure how many are due to need and how many are due to enjoying what they're doing. It's good to read about someone who was FI before leaving AD (including the pension) and how they handled it. I can see a very similar situation on the horizon for me... hopefully we hit our "number" before I punch. It would open up a world of options for us.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:42 PM   #26
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And to Jimnjana... doesn't matter whether you're an officer or enlisted the general term reenlist applies for both. It's just the decision to extend your stay with the military.
It could be different in other services, but in the Navy, I've never "enlisted" nor "re-enlisted", and there is a distinct difference in officer and enlisted career progression/extension.

I can work tour to tour right now if I elected to. If you're signing up for a bonus, such as nuclear continuation pay, department head bonus, or a career status bonus, yes, you sign up for a term of years. But since I hit 12, I could've elected to work under no service obligation other than the orders I was currently under, I just would've been throwing away about $18,000 per year doing so.

My continuation pay contract says nothing about reenlisting. I agree not to tender a resignation for a period of years. Once that period of years is over, as an officer you still have to finish out your orders up to one or two years, depending on the type of assignment. In fact, this is how BUPERS retains a lot of due-course, direct-accession officers. They end certain tours (SWO command tours, for example) at the 19 year point, and are forced to take a set of follow-on orders to hit 20. Once they accept those orders, they are obligated for two years. During that tour, they might screen for O6 and put it on near the end of YCS 21. In order to obtain the O6 high-three pension, they have to stay in until they reach 24 or 25 years... and so on.

In most cases, enlisted hit their EAOS and can exit the service regardless of what their orders say. We just don't make it a habit of transferring Sailors with short periods until their EAOS so as not to gap their next command.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:32 PM   #27
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My DH and I had this discussion at the outside bar at the Hale Koa when we were 29 and his initial training commitment was coming to a close. Airlines were going crazy hiring at the time. Folks thought we were nuts, but we decided to stay.
You were probably wise to do that. I'm retired law enforcement, but do remember a guy I trained (I was a field training officer, I got them right out of the academy for six months) and years later one of my rookies (they're always a rookie to me) came in to the office with his rookie. He knew I had an interest in aviation (private ticket) and mentioned that his guy used to fly Air Force F-15s.

The guy saw what I was thinking (what are YOU doing HERE?!) and he said "I've got a wife and two kids, and I've had five jobs in the last six years. I need a steady paycheck".

Apparently that green grass on the other side can turn brown in a hurry.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:35 PM   #28
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Thanks for sharing this. I'm surprised by the number of retired military officers who work for long durations after military retirement, though I'm not sure how many are due to need and how many are due to enjoying what they're doing.
My situation is a little need, lot of enjoy. I've lucked into a very good post-military work situation, and we're saving for the targeted date, enjoying some more ambitious travel and knocking out home maintenance/improvements while I'm still on salary.

But really, the primary motivation to work past the military retirement has been to accrue multiple retirement income sources, to mitigate the risk of any one of them tanking or being messed with. 20-year O4 retirement isn't as good as 30-year O6, but I've managed to more than make up for it with a second pension and a decent 401k balance.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:55 PM   #29
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Thanks for sharing this. I'm surprised by the number of retired military officers who work for long durations after military retirement, though I'm not sure how many are due to need and how many are due to enjoying what they're doing. It's good to read about someone who was FI before leaving AD (including the pension) and how they handled it. I can see a very similar situation on the horizon for me... hopefully we hit our "number" before I punch. It would open up a world of options for us.
I'm surprised at the number of officers who HAVE to work after a 24+ year career! For goodness sake, if a 40 year old enlisted dude can do it at 22 years, then certainly a 24 year O-6 should be able to!

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:27 AM   #30
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I'm surprised at the number of officers who HAVE to work after a 24+ year career! For goodness sake, if a 40 year old enlisted dude can do it at 22 years, then certainly a 24 year O-6 should be able to!

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
I suspect different lifestyle choices and what they view as a standard of living. How many Os do you know where their rank is their identity? And one day you go from being the Wing King to a 6 figure belt way bandit? Money is still good but prestige is probably a little different. With rare exceptions what I have seen assuming the same industry the guy that leaves at 20 will be the boss of the guy that leaves at 24-30. Now in fairness there are exceptions as they bring a perceived "ringer" in for his connections however he fades away in a few years. In my case I made the leap to a completely different industry. I miss the collective expertise that I was privileged to be around with senior enlisted and officers. Do not take that for granted. I get a couple of calls a month from 24-30 yr guys that want to know how I made the transition and they just cant get out of their comfort zone or are concerned they are going to lose money and "they can't go backwards." What they fail to realize is the cream rises to the top and the opportunities are there.

In retrospect I am glad I stayed as long as I did from a pure financial safety net point of view. But my rank was never my identity and I always tried to have a good time despite some crappy situations. You can't always pick your assignment but you can pick the attitude you bring to that assignment. Enjoy the things that only you can do in the military as those are the lasting memories. Take the skills you have garnered and follow your bliss. If your bliss is to stay 30 yrs in uniform go for it. If not you will know when the time is right.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #31
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I am a pilot and I do not actually have 10 years left... I have 13-ish. However, due to the way certain career paths work, I will need to make the decision shortly as I put packages in to certain follow on orders. If accepted, I basically make the decision to stay in now.

And to Jimnjana... doesn't matter whether you're an officer or enlisted the general term reenlist applies for both. It's just the decision to extend your stay with the military.
EXOS,
I was in your shoes at the 12yr point. Airlines were hiring and it was an awesome job pay and quality of life. I punched but stayed in the reserves. I wasn't about to give up 12 yrs equity in an all or nothing position. Post 9/11 changed all that. Bankruptcy, pay cuts, defined retirement gone,furloughs (I was lucky it didn't get to me)increased flying hours and days working kind of took the glamour and excitement out of it. I took mil leave from mega airline finished up my active duty. I'm back in training to fly mega plane at mega airline. My target like you 100k and Fire at 55. This ought to make the junior pilots happy. LOL

Kids are expensive but wouldn't change it for all the money in the world. If you plan on having kids, IMO having them under 12 when you retire gives you time to pick a place for schools, cost of living etc. before they reach their teens and HS. Being DINKs save,save,save. TSP is a great deal. Questions shoot me a message. It's a tough choice but don't let fear of the unknown dictate your decision.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #32
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I'm surprised at the number of officers who HAVE to work after a 24+ year career! For goodness sake, if a 40 year old enlisted dude can do it at 22 years, then certainly a 24 year O-6 should be able to!
I was a 42 year old O-5 when I retired, and it would have been possible to simply be retired at that point, but it also would have meant a very frugal lifestyle. I had not been a very serious saver during those years.

I took six months off to just rest and recharge, then took up a second career for a while, most of which I enjoyed (completely different from what I did in uniform). During that period, I was definitely a very serious saver.

Finally retired for good at 55, with a much more comfortable lifestyle.
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