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Old 05-07-2009, 09:08 AM   #21
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Tricare isn't what it was advertized to be at first either.....people seem to be getting more irritated with it. Then again......FERS isn't what they told me it would be either. Hmmmm, could the govt be telling fibs?? Nahhhh
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:50 AM   #22
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huusom,
I do understand that universal does not mean free...my point, which I did not make very well, is that I believe there should be some payment by the person at the time of service...when everything is "prepaid" is when it results in unlimited demand.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:21 PM   #23
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For those of you griping about those individuals with retiree health care, for many it was something worked for, and given in payment in lieu of a greater salary. It is no more right to begrudge someone their retiree health care than it would be begrudge someone a greater retirement income based on the fact that they had an opportunity to earn it that you did not.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:54 PM   #24
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The issue with me is that some promises were made...and now they are not sticking up to the promises. Both with military.....civilian.....and general US population.....It's not ok if I mess up, but if the head honcho's in DC keep covering their butts.........argggggg....deep breath....deep breath....
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:46 PM   #25
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Whatever they come up with, it won't be this. Just like not everyone can drive a Mercedes, only the favored have Tricare.

Ha
All it took me to be "favored" was 28 years of active duty, a lot of time away from home, moves when I didn't necessarily want them (with no choice of quitting) and other unpleasant situations like long periods at sea, overseas living conditions, etc. I understand that I chose this career. I also understand that corporate life isn't always pleasant (as I did that for a while after the Navy) but, by comparison, to characterize military retirees as being "favored" for their medical care obviously touches a nerve. And, you may or may not be aware, that TRICARE is not "free" medical care. To be sure, it is cheaper than many other plans, but retirees (who, years ago, were promised lifetime free medical care) still ante up some of the costs.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:30 PM   #26
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All it took me to be "favored" was 28 years of active duty, a lot of time away from home, moves when I didn't necessarily want them (with no choice of quitting) and other unpleasant situations like long periods at sea, overseas living conditions, etc. I understand that I chose this career. I also understand that corporate life isn't always pleasant (as I did that for a while after the Navy) but, by comparison, to characterize military retirees as being "favored" for their medical care obviously touches a nerve. And, you may or may not be aware, that TRICARE is not "free" medical care. To be sure, it is cheaper than many other plans, but retirees (who, years ago, were promised lifetime free medical care) still ante up some of the costs.
I understand your desire to defend that which is very good for you. I would do the same. However, if the system where being designed de novo by a rational actor, it would be quite different.

Ha
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:53 AM   #27
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I understand your desire to defend that which is very good for you. I would do the same. However, if the system where being designed de novo by a rational actor, it would be quite different.
Ha
I agree that it might be different if it were started from scratch tomorrow. What I disagree with is the characterization of an earned benefit (medical coverage in retirement) as privilege.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:38 PM   #28
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All it took me to be "favored" was 28 years of active duty, a lot of time away from home, moves when I didn't necessarily want them (with no choice of quitting) and other unpleasant situations like long periods at sea, overseas living conditions, etc. I understand that I chose this career. I also understand that corporate life isn't always pleasant (as I did that for a while after the Navy) but, by comparison, to characterize military retirees as being "favored" for their medical care obviously touches a nerve. And, you may or may not be aware, that TRICARE is not "free" medical care. To be sure, it is cheaper than many other plans, but retirees (who, years ago, were promised lifetime free medical care) still ante up some of the costs.
In your case, I think you deserve everthing you're getting. But what about the accountants, the book keepers, the school teachers, the civil engineers, etc. they all perform the same works we do in the private sectors and yet, after 20 years they get full pay and benefits as while they were working at our expenses. Should we all get the same benefits for doing the kind of work?
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:18 PM   #29
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In your case, I think you deserve everthing you're getting. But what about the accountants, the book keepers, the school teachers, the civil engineers, etc. they all perform the same works we do in the private sectors and yet, after 20 years they get full pay and benefits as while they were working at our expenses. Should we all get the same benefits for doing the kind of work?
The true accountants, book keepers, school teachers and engineers who support the military are civilian employees of the government, not uniformed military personnel. As such, they would be under the Federal civilian retirement system which requires more than 20 years. (There are civil engineers in uniform - the Navy Civil Engineer Corps and the Army Corps of Engineers, for example - but many of their assignments revolve around combat support in situations not analogous to civilian CE's.)

Military retirement does not award "full pay and benefits" after 20 years of service. Depending on the specific system under which you retire (that is, what time frame), you will get either 2% or 2.5% of your base pay or the average of your high 3 years base pay for each year you served (20 and beyond.) Base pay constitutes between 2/3 and 3/4 of total compensation. Special pays (eg., flight pay, combat pay, sea duty pay) are not used in the computation of retired pay. Nor are "allowances" which are paid in lieu of housing, for example.

While you might characterize the military as working at "our expense" I would characterize them as working in "your defense". I think if the civilian occupations you cite have true military counterparts and if those doing those jobs are willing to accept relatively lower pay, frequent moves, family separations, many lousy locations, no freedom to quit, mandated physical fitness/weight standards and sometimes very dangerous working conditions, they should get some good benefits. Cops and firemen, for example, endure many conditions similar to the military and can generally retire after 20 or 25 years.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:32 AM   #30
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There are approximately 1.4 million people serving in today's military along with 1.9 million family members. Of those 1.4 million, fewer than 15% will stick around at least 20 years. The highest rate is the Air Force at almost 30% and the lowest is in the Marine Corps, close to single digits. America's Military Population - Population Reference Bureau

So your taxes are supporting maybe 200,000 pensions. Not bad considering that Americans haven't been drafted since 1973 and American soil hasn't been invaded since about 1942. It's hard to put a cost-effectiveness assessment on a guided-missile cruiser that costs billions to build & operate for 30 years and never fires a shot in anger. And I don't think we want to try to assess the cost-effectiveness of a ballistic missile submarine.

Here's some more numbers. In 2001, my last full year of military duty, my taxable pay was $59,839 and my untaxed allowances were $27,788. That year I was not eligible for a nuclear bonus, which back then was a taxable $25K/year. When I retired under the military's "Final Pay" system, my monthly check was $2568/month or $30,816/year. So in other words my "50% pension" was about 35% of my previous compensation, and 27% of what the average nuke rated. Note that the vast majority of today's military retire under the "High Three" system, which reduces the check by an additional 5%. And that's not counting deductions for the Survivor's Benefit Plan annuity.

Here's another interesting observation that needs further study. If the military's healthcare system is so good, then why are military retirees dying before the rest of the members of their demographic group? It's possible that the long hours and high-stress lifestyle are making us a taxpayer's bargain because we're not sucking up those pensions and healthcare benefits for as long as our contemporaries. And I'm still not sure that medical science really knows what 311 millirem of documented exposure to ionizing radiation will do to my longevity.

Those of you with "military benefits envy" could join occupations with the same disability/death rate. Then you, too, may be able to reap the benefits from being one of the survivors. Assuming, of course, that you're not tapped to volunteer to fill the ranks of the disabled or dead. And assuming that you live as long as you would have been expected to live if you hadn't embarked on such a hazardous lifestyle.

And if you want a COLA pension then go buy one from Vanguard. It might cost a bit more than the federal version because Vanguard doesn't injure or kill every umpteen thousandth applicant. But it's not outrageously expensive and it's these days it's actually recommended by former anti-annuity economists like Milevsky.

Nobody should join the military for the healthcare or the pension benefits. And those who don't join the military shouldn't whinge about the benefits.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:10 AM   #31
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Those of you with "military benefits envy" could join occupations with the same disability/death rate. Then you, too, may be able to reap the benefits from being one of the survivors.
As a disabled vet (10%) I certainly would give up my $123/month for the "inconvenience" I have to live with for the rest of my life ...
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:06 AM   #32
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Patsweb.


Hi. I am in the same boat with you. If there were some health plan for say, $200 a month that would stay $200 a month, with reasonable deductibles, like $5000 annually, I would probably quit my job and happily retire.

Like you, I have a "harmless" condition, in my case, hypothyroidism. I take cheap pills for it, and pay cash for them. Now I wonder if my hypothyroid condition, which all the doctors say does NOT indicate that other ailments await me, will be an excuse for insurance companies to deny me coverage.

As someone mentioned, perhaps my state has laws protecting me. I haven't taken the time to check. I should.

I'll be watching the site to see how you make out. Good Luck.

JG
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:04 AM   #33
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thanks, John GaltIII...
I am hoping that healthcare reform will pass this year and enable those of us with pre-existing conditions to obtain insurance at a reasonable cost. I think that if it does, many who are just working to keep their insurance will retire and give up their jobs to someone who really needs to work...sounds like a way to improve the unemployment problem our country is having right now.
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