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AF Sergeant...18 years in...6 more and then ER
Old 08-18-2007, 12:11 AM   #1
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AF Sergeant...18 years in...6 more and then ER

Hello all! I've lurked for awhile and have learned alot already.

I got turned on to the whole ER thing after reading about Billy and Akaisha Kaderli...that took me to their website...where I read about Nords--a real inspiration to every military member who dares think of early retirement. Anyway, Ive been reading everything I can about the idea: the Paul Terhorst book, this forum, the RADDR forum. And Ive been crunching the numbers since day one. I know we can do this!

What I am really surprised about is the number of people who dont think this can work...I think its just engrained in most folks in the military that you retire from the military and then you go out and get a second job. Have any other ER military folks had this experience? I know Nords had a similar experience. We live pretty simply already and we definately are not materialistic. We just want to be comfortable.

We are looking to have a condo back in San Antonio paid for by the time we retire. We will have our military pension (that keeps up with inflation) and a thrift savings plan annuity to keep us in the black until any social security payout at 62. I also have an Roth IRA, but I have stopped contributing funds there because of all the penalties for accessing this when I retire. Right now I am 42...looking to retire at 48.

We are looking to have a condo paid for in San Antonio by the time we actually retire. Is anyone else ERed in San Antonio? I am from there originally, but havent been back since my pre-military/college days almost 18 years ago. I'm thinking its a good place due to the low cost of living (we are in central coastal California right now---anything is cheaper!) and nearby military bases.

Any thoughts or inputs any of you might have would be appreciated.
Thanks for the great forum!
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Glad you found your way here. There are a number of ex-military early retirees here in addition to NORDS. I hope some will find this thread and give you their perspective.

You can also use the Search function to find specific discussions on this and any other topic where you wish to find out more information.

Most early retirees, including myself, would say that living below your means, saving as much as possible without undue pain and suffering, investing wisely, being tax wise, and taking advantage of all retirement accounts offered by your employer; have been the major requirements to get to ER (early retirement). Along with this is knowing your expense history and accurately predicting what it will be in retirement and then checking all the numbers to make sure you can afford to retire.

Sounds like you are well on your way. Good luck and again welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
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Welcome to the board! I have 17+ yrs in the AF then I intend to hang it up also as soon as I can. There is a lot of good info here and several military members and ex members that can help you along the way. Of course there are many others here that are good role models also. I think in some ways the military folks have a leg up retiring at times with the inflation adjusted pension and the healthcare as compared to some. Having that p-nut butter money coming in from Uncle Sam takes some worries off the table.

I hear what you are saying about folks thinking they have to work once they leave the military. It tends to be drilled into us as we are usually very a very driven group of folks. How many times have you told someone you intend to retire and they say that is great you will be young enough to start a second career? That is what I hear a couple of times a week.

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Originally Posted by cmonkjr View Post
I also have an Roth IRA, but I have stopped contributing funds there because of all the penalties for accessing this when I retire.
Look at this closer and check out the IRS Rule 72T. It outlines provisions to take the money out before 59 1/2 without penalty. You can do a forum search to read about it. There are several folks that post here that use this provision.

Again welcome to the board. Looking forward to seeing your contributions and hearing your perspectives!

Tomcat98
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:22 AM   #5
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From the little I know of military people (and it is little)...

The ones who stay that are officers are driven and will more than likely work until they are thrown out... my sister works with a former Colonel who right now is double dipping (right NOW) and working so he can triple dip.. he does not need the money nor a triple dip, but seems to think so...

And then there are the people who 'blew' their money (just like some civis) on the Corvette or something similar... and only have their pension... since they have a materialistic lifestyle, they need more money...
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Old 08-18-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the welcome!
Quote:
Look at this closer and check out the IRS Rule 72T. It outlines provisions to take the money out before 59 1/2 without penalty. You can do a forum search to read about it. There are several folks that post here that use this provision.
Thanks, to Tomcat98 for that bit of advice. I have found quite a bit on it already this morning...
Looking forward to posting and learning more!
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Old 08-18-2007, 02:11 PM   #7
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Welcome to the board, cmonk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmonkjr View Post
I also have an Roth IRA, but I have stopped contributing funds there because of all the penalties for accessing this when I retire. Right now I am 42...looking to retire at 48.
Keep in mind that you can withdraw Roth contributions at any time without penalty. Spouse and I are still discussing her TSP options after she retires, too, but she continues to max out those contributions because of the low expenses.

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Originally Posted by cmonkjr View Post
We are looking to have a condo paid for in San Antonio by the time we actually retire. Is anyone else ERed in San Antonio? I am from there originally, but havent been back since my pre-military/college days almost 18 years ago. I'm thinking its a good place due to the low cost of living (we are in central coastal California right now---anything is cheaper!) and nearby military bases.
We would've retired in Monterey if it wasn't so darn cold in the summers, let alone the winters! We're going to have to go back someday to see how Seaside & Salinas have gentrified.

REWahoo! will be along shortly to explain how San Antonio has turned into a living hell during your absence... especially since you may be turned back at the Texas border when mistaken for a Californian.
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Old 08-18-2007, 02:42 PM   #8
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cmonk,
Welcome! Sounds like you're well on your way and have already done most of the essential stuff (crunched the numbers, LBYM lifestyle).
- I retired after 21 years in the USAF and now work part time as a consultant. The COLA'd check and the health care are an ideal springboard for ER, but most of our compatriots don't jump off the train (and I guess I haven't, fully, either). I don't think it occurs to most people to be a viable option.

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Old 08-18-2007, 06:00 PM   #9
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most of our compatriots don't jump off the train (and I guess I haven't, fully, either). I don't think it occurs to most people to be a viable option.

samclem

I can relate...I didn't think about it much. I guess I didnt even consider it because everyone I knew got out and got another job. I was a lemming! Then I started researching and thinking outside of the box. Now that I know it is possible, I'm just trying to get the next few years to line up...and hopefully we will be all set!
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:14 PM   #10
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We would've retired in Monterey if it wasn't so darn cold in the summers, let alone the winters! We're going to have to go back someday to see how Seaside & Salinas have gentrified.

REWahoo! will be along shortly to explain how San Antonio has turned into a living hell during your absence... especially since you may be turned back at the Texas border when mistaken for a Californian.
Ah yes, we live closer to San Luis Obispo, and its cold and foggy here all the time! I think you made the right move with Hawaii! Today is a real scorcher...66 degrees! As for REWahoo!, I've read his posts. I just feel sorry for him, obviously the Texas heat made him delirious...
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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Do you already own a condo in San Antonio? Or are you thinking of buying one?...

We ended up settling in a small West Texas town.

During my time we did not save as much as we could but we invested the $$$$ in our family and I saved enough $$$$ to pay cash for a house, get it renovated and buy a new 2007 truck (in aug 06)...

I have relatives who live in San Antonio and they love it. My sister, an E-8 in the Army, will be retiring in San Antonio because of the health care facilities, the commissaries, etc.., etc.. that are available to military retirees. There is also the universities which will allow her to finish her master's degree. Then there is also all the AF and Army bases which might be a source of employment if one chooses to work.

GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS
Thanks Wags!

No, we haven't already bought our condo yet. We should be able to grab one for cash in a few years.

I lived in West Texas growing up...went to high school in both Abilene and Lubbock. Although I liked it there, I really enjoyed the "fiesta" lifestyle in San Antonio.

I read your thread the other day "Hello--retired in TX"...so I was prepared for REWahoo's previous comments...I am going to have to write him and find out what he experienced to have such a negative opinion of a place. I have been all over the world (Korea, UK, Turkey, even Iraq) and I dont dislike anyplace that badly...not even California...and Im not crazy about California!

It's good to hear how much you are enjoying your ER...I hope to follow!
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:29 AM   #12
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I read your thread the other day "Hello--retired in TX"...so I was prepared for REWahoo's previous comments...I am going to have to write him and find out what he experienced to have such a negative opinion of a place. I have been all over the world (Korea, UK, Turkey, even Iraq) and I dont dislike anyplace that badly...not even California...and Im not crazy about California!
REWahoo hates all the people that keep coming to Texas... it is getting CROWDED!!!... He thinks if he keeps telling people how BAD it is they will go someplace else like Florida or California... I kind of agree.... I am in Houston and man it is crazy on the roads now.... and going to a mall or anyplace is just crazy... but, it doesn't work, y'all keep coming....
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:20 PM   #13
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How about we move the Tejas-knocking part of this thread to Other Topics? I think there is one there already that looks a lot like this one.

I think the Hi, I Am... aspects of this forum are no longer being well served.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:31 PM   #14
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How about we move the Tejas-knocking part of this thread to Other Topics? I think there is one there already that looks a lot like this one.

I think the Hi, I Am... aspects of this forum are no longer being well served.
Whatever...
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:40 PM   #15
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The Texas bashing can now be continued in the Other Topics forum in the Texas...Love it or Whatever thread.

Good luck and may the eyes of Texas be upon Y'all.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:40 PM   #16
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Well thanks again to everyone...I have felt appropriately welcomed! (and entertained!)
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:07 AM   #17
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Early congratulations for achieving what youíre well on your way to. It sounds like you are refining the plan in plenty of time to be prepared. I also found this forum while researching ER as military retiree. I didnít start very seriously thinking ER and crunching numbers until I hit the 20 year mark and started developing plans with a timeline similar to yours. Google led me to some threads Nords posted, and they were inspirational.
Youíve likely already considered this cautionary note but Iíll tell the tale so you can see how it played out (so far) in my example. Past 20, unless you like your work situation or have a future career related adventure you look forward to, raw deals may be hard to accept because youíll have another option with a pension. I was a little surprised by the extent of changes in my thinking that took shape during an alignment of events following my crossing the 20 year mark. I got an assignment Iíd always had on my ďwould really like to do list.Ē But it was the last one on that list. Oddly, achieving it came with the disappointment of no longer having something like that on my career horizon. Future promotion sounded nice but thatís not the same. The assignment gave me more time at home than Iíd had in a long while and in that time my children became children (vice infants and toddlers). I knew from past experience that I could be gone overnight and for a long time. I started to have one eye on the door and paid more attention to what opportunities were available outside. Then I got a very short notice assignment for a year deployed. I had my IPZ board for promotion coming up and a spreadsheet telling me that staying the course was worth a considerable sum. I felt pretty sure I knew what I was giving up. I was less sure but nevertheless optimistic about what I could replace it with. I opted out.
Iím on terminal leave now and my timeline to ER may end up about the same as it would have if Iíd have stayed on active duty. I start my civilian job (and moving to a place Iíd much rather be!) the same day I start being a military retiree. The immediate future is exciting again. Itís new territory, and I of course realize that disappointment is a possibility. Nevertheless Iím happy and optimistic about it. Itís not as exciting as thinking about declaring myself 100% FIRE-ed, but it beats what I was ďlooking forward toĒ slogging through to the next promotion and three years beyond.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cmonkjr View Post

We will have our military pension (that keeps up with inflation) and a thrift savings plan annuity to keep us in the black until any social security payout at 62. I also have an Roth IRA, but I have stopped contributing funds there because of all the penalties for accessing this when I retire. Right now I am 42...looking to retire at 48.
Welcome cmonkjr,

Being a retired (1 year) SCPO and DoD civ, I have some idea of your benefits in retirement. Personally, I would renew the ROTH contributions to the maximum. Your pension will cover your basic needs if you truly LBYM. Tricare Prime is cheap.

ROTH IRA should be looked upon as the last item to draw from in most cases (there are a few exceptions). Since you have prepaid the taxes, you could have considerable gain much later in life. Let it ride, it could be a very a very good ride. My DW and I have made maximum contributions to our ROTHs besides contributing to TSP and 403(b). I rolled by TSP to a traditional IRA upon retirement and am converting it to a ROTH IRA. Doing the same with DW 403(b). This will take several years so as not to create undo taxes. I feel very strongly that our taxes will be escalating and that having retirement funds in a ROTH for the long haul will be a wise choice.
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