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Old 09-22-2017, 05:32 AM   #1
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Hello, I'm new!

I'm happy to have found this board- I didn't know there was a name for what I've long strived for!
I'm currently an active duty military JAG. My husband is also AD (but not a lawyer). He is pension-eligible in 4 years and I'll be eligible in 6 years. I have prior enlisted Guard time so I am already eligible for a delayed pension that starts at age 60. I hate practicing law but the thought of giving up a pension that starts at age 47 is crazy. My husband will be 42 when he can retire and he wants to continue working as a civilian chief of police or sheriff. His pension will be a little over $5,000/month. Mine will be a little less than his because I'll retire at the next lower rank.
We (I) delved into real estate about 15 years ago. Through some luck and some research we've done fairly well and now own around 145 doors worth about $4M. I'm not exactly sure what we currently owe since our management company handles everything and I haven't tallied it up recently.
My immediate goal is to get a better handle on our numbers from the apartments and see where we currently stand. I had our fourth baby a couple months ago and I've been busy. Long term I want to garden and sit on a boat.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:05 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard! Retired E-8 here. Reservist, but had 15 years AD and heavy reserve schedule has my retired pay almost same as active retiree.

You'll need a big pontoon or a house boat for the garden.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:46 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. With both of your pensions, and your husband continuing work, it seems you can stay home with the kids once you retire. Tough out the time to get that pension and the other benefits.

You do need to understand the apartments cash flow situation and expenses.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:19 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your service and dedication to country! Good luck!
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard! Retired E-8 here. Reservist, but had 15 years AD and heavy reserve schedule has my retired pay almost same as active retiree.



You'll need a big pontoon or a house boat for the garden.


Haha, good point!!! Maybe this lol?!?
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/44/02/4b/4...ardens-moo.jpg
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:46 AM   #6
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Thank you both for your service and dedication to country! Good luck!


Thank you!
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:57 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. With both of your pensions, and your husband continuing work, it seems you can stay home with the kids once you retire. Tough out the time to get that pension and the other benefits.

You do need to understand the apartments cash flow situation and expenses.


I am trying to tough it out...it would take a lot for me to call it quits. I'm glad to hear you say that though since MANY of my peers separated once they had children. I often feel the mommy guilt for working. I've had bosses say things like "My wife quit once she learned she didn't love money more than her children" and also so many comments about letting daycare raise my kids and "never getting these years back." Which isn't get....but my goal is to have complete flexibility when my youngest is 6 and oldest is 15. And frankly we've been very lucky with deployments. My husband has missed 16 months total and I haven't deployed since we've had children between non-deployable positions and pregnancy. I've never avoided my duty, but it just has worked out that I haven't deployed since 2003-2004.

Totally concur on the apartment expenses. I check the online real-time owner statements multiple times a month so I know the day to day expenses, but my memory has faded as to how much we put down and interest rates, etc. I'd like to figure out our actual returns.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:47 AM   #8
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... and I'll be eligible in 6 years. I have prior enlisted Guard time so I am already eligible for a delayed pension that starts at age 60. I hate practicing law but the thought of giving up a pension that starts at age 47 is crazy.
My immediate goal is to get a better handle on our numbers from the apartments and see where we currently stand. I had our fourth baby a couple months ago and I've been busy. Long term I want to garden and sit on a boat.
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Originally Posted by ohyouknow View Post
I am trying to tough it out...it would take a lot for me to call it quits. I'm glad to hear you say that though since MANY of my peers separated once they had children. I often feel the mommy guilt for working. I've had bosses say things like "My wife quit once she learned she didn't love money more than her children" and also so many comments about letting daycare raise my kids and "never getting these years back."
Totally concur on the apartment expenses. I check the online real-time owner statements multiple times a month so I know the day to day expenses, but my memory has faded as to how much we put down and interest rates, etc. I'd like to figure out our actual returns.
On one hand you say you hate practicing law and it would take a lot for you to call it quits. On the other hand you're getting mommy guilt and you have four kids.

Lawyers (and doctors, and professors, and a few other avocations) have no compelling reason to retire as long as they're feeling challenged & fulfilled.

But when you "tough it out", you're placing a very real stress on yourself. You're risking your physical, emotional, and even mental health. Your family might find you less enjoyable to be around. You'd be a real fun lawyer for your clients (some of whom are probably already under considerable stress from a legal situation).

I'd suggest that you do the math. How much do you need for financial independence? How much additional savings would your next six years give you? How much pension are you giving up between ages 47 and 60?

You could take another look at your expenses. Your spouse's prospective pension and your (eventual) Guard pension might mean that your assets would only have to bridge the gap to age 60. I suspect that your rental-property cashflow might already cover much of your expenses, let alone any employment he's considering.

My spouse left active duty for the Reserves just short of 18 years. She gave up an estimated $750K of salary and pension, and that was in 2001 dollars. At the time we were FI on assets alone, and my projected active-duty pension would allow for more discretionary spending. The reduced OPTEMPO in our house meant that family life immediately became awesome.

She tremendously enjoyed her Reserve time and in late 2008 she retired awaiting pay. Over the last 15 years my active-duty pension has grown by 40% and our assets have more than doubled. (That's in spite of two recessions and after considerable charitable donations.) My pension is still not necessary for our quality of life, and now we know that hers isn't necessary either. She would've been mightily annoyed to "tough it out" for that extra time when it's only money.

While you're doing the numbers you'd also want to make sure that you have your Guard Notice Of Eligibility letter. The services are very bad at tracking Reserve/Guard time before active duty, especially if it's in a different service. They may have to audit your record to make sure you had credit for your Guard good years and then add in your active duty before they'll be able to issue the NOE.

Once you've checked your finances and have your NOE, is the extra money worth your life energy?
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
On one hand you say you hate practicing law and it would take a lot for you to call it quits. On the other hand you're getting mommy guilt and you have four kids.

Lawyers (and doctors, and professors, and a few other avocations) have no compelling reason to retire as long as they're feeling challenged & fulfilled.

But when you "tough it out", you're placing a very real stress on yourself. You're risking your physical, emotional, and even mental health. Your family might find you less enjoyable to be around. You'd be a real fun lawyer for your clients (some of whom are probably already under considerable stress from a legal situation).

I'd suggest that you do the math. How much do you need for financial independence? How much additional savings would your next six years give you? How much pension are you giving up between ages 47 and 60?

You could take another look at your expenses. Your spouse's prospective pension and your (eventual) Guard pension might mean that your assets would only have to bridge the gap to age 60. I suspect that your rental-property cashflow might already cover much of your expenses, let alone any employment he's considering.

My spouse left active duty for the Reserves just short of 18 years. She gave up an estimated $750K of salary and pension, and that was in 2001 dollars. At the time we were FI on assets alone, and my projected active-duty pension would allow for more discretionary spending. The reduced OPTEMPO in our house meant that family life immediately became awesome.

She tremendously enjoyed her Reserve time and in late 2008 she retired awaiting pay. Over the last 15 years my active-duty pension has grown by 40% and our assets have more than doubled. (That's in spite of two recessions and after considerable charitable donations.) My pension is still not necessary for our quality of life, and now we know that hers isn't necessary either. She would've been mightily annoyed to "tough it out" for that extra time when it's only money.

While you're doing the numbers you'd also want to make sure that you have your Guard Notice Of Eligibility letter. The services are very bad at tracking Reserve/Guard time before active duty, especially if it's in a different service. They may have to audit your record to make sure you had credit for your Guard good years and then add in your active duty before they'll be able to issue the NOE.

Once you've checked your finances and have your NOE, is the extra money worth your life energy?



I look at putting in this last 6 years as delayed gratification. Sure, I could punch now and spend the next 20 years sitting around waiting for a pension to start and feeling like I should be working even though technically we could survive on our current income/savings. Or, I can put in 6 years and live the life we want to live completely guilt free and without any financial worries whatsoever. I also have a few more real estate goals I plan on reaching before I give up my W-2, plus I need to wait for DH to retire before we can really live out our dreams.

My kids are happy and well-adjusted little rug rats. No clients are suffering under me, only other attorneys since Iím at the career stage where Iím in only supervisory/leadership roles. I jest...I think Iím a pretty good boss to work for actually. :-)

While sure I have some regrets (wish I had joined the military right out of college and was retiring in 18 months instead of 6 years), I really would rather push through this right now and then have a carefree financial lifestyle starting at age 47.

ETA: My lost wages and pension over those years would be over $1.5M, part of which is tax free. We will likely be going back to the NCR again where my BAH is around $33,000/year (without dependents so it will stay that even if congress changes the dual-mil law).
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