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Old 04-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
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New guy introduction

Hello everyone! I just joined the group and am looking forward to discovering the many aspects of the site. I am a Active Army Reserve veteran, 29 years in and will be forced to retire next July 2013 due to hitting the 30 year wall. I will retire as an O6 with actual pay computed on the 28+ years of active service since I had about 14 months in the Inactive Reserves. My wife retired in 2006 with 20 years of active service as a Army E8. She has VA as well and I have no idea if I will get anything worth counting on from VA. We have an 7 and 11 years old kids so the house will continue to be busy for the nest 10 years or so with school etc. Still trying to decide what to do after the Army but have been working on the retirement and getting ready for TAP/ ACAP paperwork etc for about the last 2 years or so. The wife works for HR Block and volunteers alot but from that aspect I am clueless. One ACAP worker asked me what my passion was before coming into the Army so she could help me look for retirement employment. I told her the Army. That stumped her. Airplane flying was always a close number 2 but at age 52 with only 150 odd flight hours, that will not be a real viable option for a job. Also, at this point I really can't bear the thought of working for the DoD again even in a suit. Too much like working in the green suit with all the same hassles. Anyone have some thoughts and/ or recommendations? Looking forward to the feedback and looking thru the rest of the website.

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #2
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Welcome! I wasn't military so can't really appreciate what your sources are likely to be. Plenty on this board who will be able to help there.

I too am looking for that "passion" and can well understand the desire to leave your 30 year career in the rear view mirror. I've spent I guess 35 years doing mine and have pretty much decided that I do want to do something meaningful after retirement, but different. From my reading and endless contemplation I'd say it's best to consider lots of options, be prepared to make changes. If you have the finances covered, it's nice to be able to consider volunteer or lower paid fun stuff. I was an engineer/manager for most of my career, I'm toying with doing something like sailboat maintenance, more on the woodworking side. If it pays minimum wage that's fine. It's one of those things on my list that...sounds like fun. Actually seeing the product of ones efforts. Anyway, good luck and take your time, and don't be afraid to chase something others may think makes no sense.

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard.

No military experience here. but several ex-military folks frequent this board and may have some suggestions for you when they stop by.

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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Welcome Powersmo! I'm an O6 in the Navy, retiring on June 1st (11+ active & 16 reserve). There are several veterans on this site, so you should get some good advice. Recommend getting Nord's {Doug Nordman} book "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement" (all profits go to military charities) as a starting point. With 2 military COLA'd pensions and Tricare medical, I would seriously consider complete retirement or just part time w*rk.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. I retired from the army in 1993. I wanted to do something VERY different than flying helicopters so I went back to school and got a degree in nursing. I worked at that for 14 years, much of it parttime and retired for good in 2009. You are in a position where you have lots of options. My advice is to pick something (maybe even retirement) and give it a try. If it turns out to not be the right choice you can try something else.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Apr 2012
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View from the new guy

Thanks guys. I am looking at stuff that would be fun and interesting. For my whole life I was wanting to build an experimental airplane as well as restore a classic car. That alone should keep me busy for a couple of years but it want keep a minimum wage coming in so I am still in research mode. Unfortunately, I am also still in the A or A+ attitude of having to be doing something in order to not go the rest of the way over the cliff. I have picked up Nords book and saved a link to his website. Lots of good poop in both. We invest with Vanguard and both have some money in the TSP so I guess we won't starve .
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by powersmo View Post
I have picked up Nords book and saved a link to his website. Lots of good poop in both.
Thanks, we're full of it!

One of the blog's posters is a retired Marine who took over the JROTC billet at his local high school.

It might be worth your time to join one of your area's veteran's organizations: MOAA, VFW, IAVA. Does the Army have an equivalent of the Navy League? If you're looking for something to do, they're looking for someone to do it.

The TAP system gives you a chance to use all sorts of self-assessment and interest-discovery software. The "problem" I had was that it told me I'd make an excellent nuclear engineer. Or a middle manager. However you might find something that triggers your interest.

If you're not happy with one of Ernie Zelinski's books then you could try "Your Retirement Quest".
Book review: Your Retirement Quest | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

Another essential tool is Zelinski's "Get-A-Life Tree" planner:
Retirement Planning Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor: The Get-a-Life Tree: A Great Retirement Planning Tool!

I've had one on my desk for over a decade now, but I've never gotten around to filling it out...

The book written on, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:04 PM   #8
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I had actually considered teaching J/SROTC after retirement if I could find a good school. I taught in the Univ. of Wisconsin system as a APMS for 2 years and got spoiled. After that, I haven't really had a job that I could stand for more than about 6 months. That was from 1994-96. I always felt that you had the best chance to effect the future of our military's leaders and Enlisted Corps by being good at teaching the Cadets. As for VFW etc, my wife and I are both VFW members. She joined after retirement as a Life Member and I still have mine paid by the VFW in her home town as long as I remain on AD as a Thanks for your Service type of thing. Nords, I'm not sure what the Navy League is meant to do but I bet if there is one in the Navy the Army would feel compelled to have one as well so as not to be outdone. My Dad always thought I would join the Navy when I got old enough since he was a Pearl Harbor Survivor. But, I could only do that if I was allowed to fly and wearing glasses 35 years ago was a non-starter. So the Army got me instead.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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Welcome powersmo.

DW's cousin retired from the USAF and is teaching ROTC at a local HS and loving it. He has gone back to school to become credentialed to become an administrator at the school.

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