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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-03-2005, 07:15 PM   #21
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy
I never knew that a military pension was supposed to let you live without a job from age 38 or 40 until you die. I spent 8 years in the army and always assumed that a military pension was a thank you for 20 years of your life. Kind of like the romans used to do.
Well I don't think a military pension is supposed to let you live the rest of your life without a job, but if you can save a little during those 20+ years and make the numbers work, why not retire at 40?

Quote:
Who wants to retire at 38 anyway and do nothing for the next 4 decades or longer?
Hmm... there's more things on our "life list" than the spouse and I could possibly fit into 2 or 3 lifetimes, let alone in the 20-40 years of good, active health one has after retiring as early as 40. For most of these things having a job is a real barrier - and I'm not just talking about big "travel the world" type stuff, but the little stuff too like oh... spending time with family and friends.

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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-03-2005, 08:19 PM   #22
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Hmmm

Doing 'nothing' for four decades - just might be preferable to going over to the 'dark side' - say becoming a financial planner or some other job - that is a plague on humanity.

heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh!
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-03-2005, 08:33 PM   #23
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

This is astonishing. *Clearly the AF is more desperate than the submarine force, and I'm amazed that there's not a similar Navy program.

Can you give me an instruction or a reference to educate myself?
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2001 added Section 12741 to Chapter 1223, Title 10 USC, which permits retired active-component service members who later serve in the Air Force Reserve to elect retirement as members of the retired reserve.

I have an article at work I will get to you and also the website info that you can see the 30 sec version.*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I retired at 41 and we're managing just fine on an O-4 pension + savings.* A govt pension goes a long way toward solving two of ER's biggest challenges-- inflation (at least the CPI version) and health care.
*
I have some prior service time and if I make 0-5 I will have to stay a little longer.* *I suppose I might but I think we would do just fine with 0-4 pension and savings.* The healthcare is huge for us.* One of our sons has some health issues and I couldn't ask for better care.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
Well I don't think a military pension is supposed to let you live the rest of your life without a job, but if you can save a little during those 20+ years and make the numbers work, why not retire at 40?
I hear you. *I know 3 *that could retire at 40 after their military service but they are talking about working for various charities and taking a small salary. *For these folks they are all fast burners and thrive on success. * *For me it is the ability to spend time with family and do things more on a whim than having to plan it. *

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

You would also think that those officers would be steenking rich with the combination of gargantuan pay (OK, so I'm exaggerating) and no opportunity to spend it (this time I'm not). *What I've seen far more often is the guy who's raised a family in base housing for over two decades and doesn't even own much of a TSP account, let alone an IRA. *They drive great SUVs & sports cars but don't know the first thing about buying a house, let alone paying utility bills. *They're desperate to get a job to (a) pay for the kid's college tuition and (b) find something to do with the vast wasteland of free time stretching out in front of them.
This is so true.* I had a friend* (O-4)who was retiring a few months ago and was just buying his first house,* had never lived anywhere but base housing, and was scraping to get enough for a down payment.* He was mortified about having a mortgage.* He also put different colored dots in his clothes so he would know what matched

Back in my single days as a young enlisted soldier I dated a girl who's dad was a warrant officer.* For some reason he didn't like me ...anyway after he retired and I left the service for college we started getting along.* They moved to Tennessee. I visited one weekend and he told me that after 25+ yrs in the Army they left with only their personal belongings and the old furniture the movers damaged every PCS.* His retirement income covered about 90% of his mortgage.


Bottom line: I think if you plan your work and work your plan you will be just fine.

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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-04-2005, 12:48 PM   #24
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

This has been a great thread. Both my wife and I are in the Army (0-3s) with 10 years in. In those 10 years I know of only one E7 the retired and lived off her retirement check. So it can be done if you plan right BEFORE you get out. We've put in our REFRAD to get out this Dec. and as I have written before, we plan to move to Panama and semi retire. After multiple deployments and unaccompanied tours we decided to call it quites once our son was born. We decided about 5 years ago to create our own pension instead of going the full 20 yrs. So far so good.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-04-2005, 07:14 PM   #25
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

USAF, 21 years; Mega Corp, 22 years. Total=43 years. Results: Two pensions, lifetime healthcare, three kids raised and sent off into the world;
Never crossed my mind to quit right after the military.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-04-2005, 11:15 PM   #26
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Never crossed my mind to quit right after the military.
No sarcasm or humor intended here, Eagle, but according to one USAF retiree's PhD thesis it never occurred to 75% of military retirees-- especially the more senior officers.

Why?
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 09:08 AM   #27
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
USAF, 21 years; Mega Corp, 22 years.* Total=43 years.* Results:* Two pensions, lifetime healthcare, three kids raised and sent off into the world;
Never crossed my mind to quit right after the military.
Eagle 43: You done good.

My guess is the reason you didn't quit, is during your time frame, and the difference in pay between the "conscription" period, and todays volunteer military was quite large.

None of my business, but hell, just between you and I, what was your rank, and how much retirement were you able to draw after 21 years.?

I do recall that I had an advantage over most of the other guys that I was in Marine Corps. Boot Camp with. I had no expense for smoking. We were paid just enough to keep body and soul together. Even at my 4 year level, and E-5 rank, the idea of having enough income to be able to afford an old beat-up car was out of the question. (1954-1958).

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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 09:12 AM   #28
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
No sarcasm or humor intended here, Eagle, but according to one USAF retiree's PhD thesis it never occurred to 75% of military retirees-- especially the more senior officers.

Why?
I don't know the answer to that. I have met a few who stayed in 30 years who never went back to work, but I can't remember anyone who only stayed 20, and never got another job. You know, from about year 10 on, military people constantly talk retirement, but it's from their current status, not permanently

I never thought of EVER retiring, much less early retiring. This board is an eye-opener to me, that people in their 20s and 30s would be thinking of retiring. It puts a whole different light on saving and planning. I just thought you would roll up and die, if you retired. Turns out I was wrong, and I'm happy I walked. With planning, I could have quit at 55.

Military retirees who have traveled the world could retire anywhere. They know they can live and make do because they have done it, albeit with the support system of the commissary and the base hospital, etc. Thailand, Korea, Southern Spain, South America, all of these places with a lower cost of living are just made for the military retiree.

BYW: While you were in Thailand, did you run into any Vietnam Vets who just never left; stayed in Bangkok or wherever. They must be a motley looking bunch by now.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 10:08 AM   #29
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

For those of you who live in areas that are not near military installations (in the US), how do you find the availability of health care using Tricare? Do you find you need to purchase a supplemental policy?*
I had looked at one spot that had several hundred docs in the area and a grand total of one accepted Tricare
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 11:12 AM   #30
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

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Originally Posted by Eagle43
I don't know the answer to that.* I have met a few who stayed in 30 years who never went back to work, but I can't remember anyone who only stayed 20, and never got another job. You know, from about year 10 on, military people constantly talk retirement, but it's from their current status, not permanently

I never thought of EVER retiring, much less early retiring.* This board is an eye-opener to me, that people in their 20s and 30s would be thinking of retiring.* It puts a whole different light on saving and planning.* I just thought you would roll up and die, if you retired.* Turns out I was wrong, and I'm happy I walked.* With planning, I could have quit at 55.

Military retirees who have traveled the world could retire anywhere.* They know they can live and make do because they have done it, albeit with the support system of the commissary and the base hospital, etc.* Thailand, Korea, Southern Spain, South America, all of these places with a lower cost of living are just made for the military retiree.

BYW:* While you were in Thailand, did you run into any Vietnam Vets who just never left; stayed in Bangkok or wherever.* They must be a motley looking bunch by now.*
I know what you mean, spouse & I were comfortably brainwashed to find second careers until I noticed my father & FIL seemed perfectly happy without them. After that epiphany the entire "market yourself for a second career" process seemed progressively more silly & miserable. It took a looooong time to find Financial Engines; wish I'd known about FIRECalc back then.

I know a couple of Vietnam POWs & other vets. I know one retired O-4 F-4 RIO who's still fighting the war. He was flying sorties with Randy Cunningham's squadron on 10 May 72 and he eventually let Vietnam ruin the rest of his career. (Those of you wearing "Hunh?!?" expressions can read about Operation LINEBACKER in "One Day in a Long War". He visits the U.S. every 5-10 years to check his parents but since his divorce he's been living in Japan. He's getting ready to retire next year and he's talking about relocating to Hawaii but even that might be too "American" for him.

I ran into a couple Vietnam vets in Bangkok (I kinda stick out in that crowd) in 2004 and some of them have lived hard & been put away wet. I don't know if they were really what they claimed to be but they seemed legit. I didn't meet any who'd stayed in-country the entire time, they'd gone back to the U.S. and then returned to Thailand. I was "negotiating" with a street vendor when a guy sitting next to him helped interpret-- it turned out he was a vet. After we'd talked for a while I asked him why he was living in Bangkok. He smiled at the girls in front of the massage parlor and said to me "I'm a 58-year-old fat bald guy-- where else can I live a life like this?!?"

Gosh, Lance, I sure hope that wasn't you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick
For those of you who live in areas that are not near military installations (in the US), how do you find the availability of health care using Tricare? Do you find you need to purchase a supplemental policy?
I had looked at one spot that had several hundred docs in the area and a grand total of one accepted Tricare
We live about 10 miles from Crippler Tripler Army Medical Center but I'll do anything to avoid going there.

I go to a clinic in our local low-rent shopping center and I've been perfectly happy with the service. (Other than the annual visit, I usually need a sports physician who understands martial artists and the dumb things we do.) The clinic and its clientele are generally pretty scruffy but the doctors have been good. Most of the staff are still finishing their medical degrees and after examining me they have to review their diagnosis with a "real" doc. The doc usually comes back for a couple more questions and it's practically a doctor's convention on my favorite medical subject (me). It's taught me to read up on the problem before I go. Referrals have been no problem, either.

So maybe what you need is a place where the doctors are too interested in practicing medicine to have learned to behave as the HMOs want them to act.

I haven't needed a supplemental policy (it's been "mainstream" care) but I sure hope I never have to use a military clinic as my PCM. I agree that TRICARE has been throttling a doctor's incentive to accept patients. Something's gonna give in the next decade-- or maybe it's already happening.

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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 12:26 PM   #31
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

[quote
I haven't needed a supplemental policy (it's been "mainstream" care) but I sure hope I never have to use a military clinic as my PCM.* I agree that TRICARE has been throttling a doctor's incentive to accept patients.* Something's gonna give in the next decade-- or maybe it's already happening.*


A partial fix is in the works. A bill (I forget the details) that would kick up the rates a bit is floating around for action sometime this year.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 03:29 PM   #32
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Nords,

Yet more to a great thread. Very interesting on the AF wanting retired personnel to come back as Reservists - I remember a Lt Col doing just that at Ramstein. As for HQ staff and Reservists - let's just say there was a large staff at USAFE that was almost totally manned by Reservists and at EUCOM - sheesh, I'd call it Army Reserve Central---with a few of the other service flavors to keep up the semblance of a joint command.

Our plan - spouse is active duty - prior enlisted - prior married = obligations. However, due to new spouse (me), huge change in money philosphy and on plan to *really* retire in 10 years, at his 30 year active duty point and my 30 year in the Reserves point. With his retirement, we only need to cover the difference with after tax savings for ten years until 60 for my Reserve retirement to kick in. All the rest is gravy (my current civilian retirement pension as well as 403B, Roth, IRA, TSP savings).

Bad part - deployments possible for both of us to not so nice places, BUT, when we both raised our hands for the oath, we both realized what we were getting into. Only wish, to have started really saving more money even earlier and to have been a bit smarter in the personal relationship department.....picked better the first time.

As for healthcare - I currently use my employer's. It's OK - I truly believe I need to take care of myself as best as I can first. Plus, I work with doctors.....I can read the books and websites and research papers as well as them and I know what technology is working----guess I'm lucky that way to be in the industry. Plus, the human body does a great job of healing itself without outside intervention for the most part.

In any case - great thread and best of luck to the guy retiring and going into the Reserves. I will be doing some more time myself in a few years - hope to get PME in residence and then a series of MPA days part-time for income augmentation while with the spouse at his duty station.

Rgards - Bridget
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 07:58 PM   #33
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick

I haven't needed a supplemental policy (it's been "mainstream" care) but I sure hope I never have to use a military clinic as my PCM.* I agree that TRICARE has been throttling a doctor's incentive to accept patients.* Something's gonna give in the next decade-- or maybe it's already happening.*

Does anyone on the board use a supplemental policy?* We are in TRICARE Prime and it works great here in Colorado.* My oldest son is 6 month post heart transplant and all his care is in the network.* The transplant team tells me they can't believe the support we get compared to other insurance programs they deal with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deserat
Nords,

Yet more to a great thread.* Very interesting on the AF wanting retired personnel to come back as Reservists*
Here is the link to the info on the program* http://www.afreserve.com/retiree_adaf.asp

I talked to an inservice recruiter today and he said its just paperwork and he recommended that I start if 7 months before retirement.* In 3+ yrs he has only done 5 packages.*



Quote:
Originally Posted by deserat

In any case - great thread and best of luck to the guy retiring and going into the Reserves.*
Well I am not there yet.* I need to do a deployment assigned to the Navy working with our guest at GITMO then one more assignment, but I think this is definately an option for a while once I leave AD.

JDW
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 08:14 PM   #34
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

QUOTEoes anyone on the board use a supplemental policy?* We are in TRICARE Prime and it works great here in Colorado.* My oldest son is 6 month post heart transplant and all his care is in the network.* The transplant team tells me they can't believe the support we get compared to other insurance programs they deal with.QUOTE:

I'm glad to hear you are getting good support in Colorado.
Especially glad to hear your son is doing well. 8)
Before Tricare days, my daughter developed childhood leukemia.* We chose to use a civilian hospital under the old CHAMPUS program.* I quickly got a supplemental policy and afetr the 6 week wait for existing conditions it bought us the best of care and saved us thousands and thousands. 15 years later she's in perfect condition and has been for a long time.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 08:25 PM   #35
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

I have never used anything but the TRICARE Standard/Extra option. I used to have a supplemental policy but then they lowered the annual out of pocket cap for TRICARE and I deemed it no longer necessary.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-05-2005, 09:31 PM   #36
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

All I've got is TRICARE Prime. With no medical catastrophes, that will be all I have until Medicare in 3 more years.
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-06-2005, 07:57 PM   #37
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

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Originally Posted by JPatrick
I'm glad to hear you are getting good support in Colorado.
Especially glad to hear your son is doing well. 8)
Thanks he is doing very well.* We are truly blessed.* Spending time with him and his brother is my incentive for ER.

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
I have never used anything but the TRICARE Standard/Extra* option. I used to have a supplemental policy but then they lowered the annual out of pocket cap for TRICARE and I deemed it no longer necessary.
For the life of me I can't figure out or find someone to tell me the advantage of a supplimental policy.* Even during the first year after my son was born and over 100 Dr appts I didn't hit the out of pocket $1000 cap.* I know its $3000 for retirees but I think that is my max exposure?

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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-06-2005, 08:30 PM   #38
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
For the life of me I can't figure out or find someone to tell me the advantage of a supplimental policy. Even during the first year after my son was born and over 100 Dr appts I didn't hit the out of pocket $1000 cap. I know its $3000 for retirees but I think that is my max exposure?

JDW
Back when i first retired the annual out of pocket cap was like almost $8,000.00 and a supplemental policy was only $150.00-$250.00 per yr. AT that time i wa sdealing with some medical issues and I had NO INTENTION of ever getting near a VA hospital so I thought...well, maybe a supplemental policy would be in order.

Irony... since then my health has gone way down hill. MAny dr vsiits, many tests etc etc. (Btw, MOST of the expenses have been for MIS-diagnoses and Doctor F*ck-ups!) but as you noticed I never got near even the 3000 bucks that they subsequently lowered the annual cap to. And of cours ethe supplenemntal policies kept going up by leaps and bounds. Diminishing returns and all that.

I can handle an additional 3,000 clams a year now and then we ever get that far
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-06-2005, 08:42 PM   #39
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
Back when i first retired the annual out of pocket cap was like almost $8,000.00 and a supplemental policy was only $150.00-$250.00 per yr. AT that time i wa sdealing with some medical issues and I had NO INTENTION of ever getting near a VA hospital so I thought...well, maybe a supplemental policy would be in order.

Irony... since then my health has gone way down hill. MAny dr vsiits, many tests etc etc. (Btw, MOST of the expenses have been for MIS-diagnoses and Doctor F*ck-ups!)* but as you noticed I never got near even the 3000 bucks that they subsequently lowered the annual cap to.* And of cours ethe supplenemntal policies kept going up by leaps and bounds. Diminishing returns and all that.

I can handle an additional 3,000 clams a year now and then we ever get that far
I had a very similar experience, i.e. I started with high deductible coverage,
my health went downhill, and most of the health care I received (not all)
produced little in positive results. Most of what helped me I found on my own
through research and study, etc. I didn't have a lot of physician errors
or misdiagnosis, it was just that no one was as focused and concerned about
my health as I was.

JG
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic
Old 07-06-2005, 09:53 PM   #40
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Re: "Military retirement" may be oxymoronic

<i> I didn't have a lot of physician errors
or misdiagnosis, it was just that no one was as focused and concerned about my health as I was.JG </i>

I can dig that., In fact THAT is how I determined that "Dr Kildare" was killing ME. Now, I just use the DR's and the "system," for "Access" . I dont have an MRI machine and I don't own a lab to do tests, so if I need information I use them. I take what he says and if it fits MY diagnosis , fine. If not I don't keep going back because he has a case of cholesterol neurosis or what ever it is he might be hung up on and thinks he needs to keep treating me.
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