Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-28-2010, 08:20 AM   #41
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Yes, 13M3 is my AFSC. ATC KH is right though, the 13M world is a very small one, yet overmanned. The Air Force is going through a tough time for officers and many are getting force shaped out. I am at high risk for that right now. The 13M rarely goes higher than Major without having to switch to a different career. I commissioned through ROTC and at the time, only 6 out of 1600 graduates became 13M's, so you can see how small the field is. I have considered staying active duty, but I have about 4 years in right now, which means I have another 16 years active before I'm eligible to retire. The DW and I have decided to "settle down" before having a family. Don't get me wrong, I love to Air Force and every second I've been here.

The reason I'm getting my MBA is more to open my future options. If I stayed active, it helps with career progression. Business world it is obvious. In ATC, I'd like to move into a management position if the opportunity presents itself and an MBA can't hurt. A lot of it is paid for either through tuition assistance, GI bill, and scholarships, so I'll never consider it a waste.

After a lot of thought and everyone's advice and input, I think I'm going to try and get something in ATC. I liked jIMoh's idea of starting a small business on the side, which I may try to get into real estate investing eventually, perhaps once I'm in a routine. I would like to eventually get into a supervisory or management role just because I love the aspect of leading others. Obvious there are a lot of "ifs" there such as if there is an ATC opening at my facility choices, if a management position opens up, and if I have time to open a small business, but all-in-all I will take those "ifs" as they come.

Again, thank you all very much for your insight, it really got me to look at the problem from a few different angles. I do like the security of a government job, as well as the idea of working for something and not someone. Plus a pension at age 46 in addition to whatever I can save and invest up to that point doesn't hurt either. After all, I wouldn't be on this website if I didn't want an early retirement!
__________________

__________________
usafLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-28-2010, 09:42 AM   #42
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
I vote ATC. There are several reasons. Lot's of money does not necessarily make you happy. There is usually a reason why businesses pay large salaries, and you can read between the lines of this forum and it is the reason most on here want out. There are a few, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals that are happy in their work, and those are happy to continue to work. I know several people that make lots of money and are constantly searching for job stress relief.

Another thing to consider about ATC, is the demand for controllers. It seems I read recently that they are expecting a shortage due to retirements of the Regan era controllers. This should provide great job security and advancement. The security of the job will allow you to grow rich slowly, while you do something you enjoy.
__________________

__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 09:49 AM   #43
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
I vote ATC. There are several reasons. Lot's of money does not necessarily make you happy. There is usually a reason why businesses pay large salaries, and you can read between the lines of this forum and it is the reason most on here want out. There are a few, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals that are happy in their work, and those are happy to continue to work. I know several people that make lots of money and are constantly searching for job stress relief.
True. When a job pays really well, it's because that's the only way they can keep qualified people doing it. Conversely, some jobs may pay dirt even though they are skilled and demanding, and that's because these are jobs that many people want to do and find personally fulfilling.

Not too many jobs will pay you $100K and up if it's something a lot of people just love doing for 40 years. The market will take care of that. Usually there's enough danger, stress or corporate BS in these jobs to make people want an early exit, and the pay is the only thing stopping it.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 10:04 AM   #44
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alberta/Ontario/ Arizona
Posts: 3,124
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
A job is a job is a job. I wish I had known this back in my 20's.
And your point is? Getting back to the OP. Why did you get your MBA? You must have been quite motivated towards a career in business at one point? Did you enjoy the process of getting the MBA? If so maybe business would be fun also? Sorry missed your last post-probably answered this already
__________________
Danmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 11:15 AM   #45
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,705
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
ATC is relatively high paying because of the minute-by-minute pressure that lives depend on. It is a high pressure environment. It is the familiar path, so if you are uncomfortable taking risk, then it is the best choice.

A similar job is being a FX trader for an investment bank. It requires the same mindset. Spilt-second decison-making with huge impacts. And the rewards are enormous for successful traders.

The benefit of the latter path is that there are career options beyond the trading desk. With the former, if(when) burnout happens, and it will, the only option is a lower paid position.

I think you should give the FX trading job a shot. If it does not work out, I am sure you could find your way back to an ATC job. At least you will have used the leverage of your MBA.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 11:26 AM   #46
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
ATC is relatively high paying because of the minute-by-minute pressure that lives depend on. It is a high pressure environment. It is the familiar path, so if you are uncomfortable taking risk, then it is the best choice.

A similar job is being a FX trader for an investment bank. It requires the same mindset. Spilt-second decison-making with huge impacts. And the rewards are enormous for successful traders.

The benefit of the latter path is that there are career options beyond the trading desk. With the former, if(when) burnout happens, and it will, the only option is a lower paid position.

I think you should give the FX trading job a shot. If it does not work out, I am sure you could find your way back to an ATC job. At least you will have used the leverage of your MBA.
Actually, the situation is exactly opposite of that. ATC has certain requirements to get into it. There are age restrictions for new hires and over time my ATC experience will wear off and the ATC shortage will be disappearing. If I went into ATC first and got burned out, I could then go into corporate a lot easier than the other way around. I would be a former military officer with an MBA and x number of years as a controller, so stress shouldn't be an issue. Most higher corporate positions want experience as well as education. This is especially true if I eventually got an ATC supervisor or manager position.

If I'm going to make the wrong decision, it'd be best to start in ATC then try to move to business v. the other way around.
__________________
usafLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #47
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by usafLT View Post
I have considered staying active duty, but I have about 4 years in right now, which means I have another 16 years active before I'm eligible to retire. The DW and I have decided to "settle down" before having a family. Don't get me wrong, I love to Air Force and every second I've been here.
When spouse and I went through the post-Cold-War drawdown, one of the reasons I stayed on active duty was because she faced the possibility of being deployed on an unaccompanied tour for a year or two. I also stayed on active duty because the thought of "getting out" was more terrifying than the pointy-haired-bosses I was working for. I looked at several other Navy communities (other than submarines) but they all involved a large dose of "starting over" with no guarantee that spouse & I would be stationed together. There was also the aspect of being greeted by those communities with the sentiment of "Oh, great, another %$#@ing nuke." Not that your community would necessarily be treated this way.

Since then I've learned that the military has no more concern for your career or "covenant leadership" than any other Megacorps with fungible assets "highly valued headcount". The fact that your small community is already on the radar (so to speak) doesn't make 20 years seem very likely. The only "good" thing about your community's dead end is that you may be paid to leave.

When I was on active duty I was largely clueless about the Reserve and the National Guard. The submarine force doesn't use their Reservists very well but I was good friends with a number of guys who could've mentored me, had I pulled my head out of my IN box for a few weeks of thoughtful contemplation.

With today's 20/20 hindsight, staying to 20 years was a mistake. I should've punched for the Reserves, taken whatever local Reserve active-duty orders or contracting/teaching/civil service jobs came my way, and enjoyed a much higher quality of life. Spouse's chances of remote-location duty were more speculative than I realized, and she could've also easily punched out for the Reserves. Even doing a year or two unaccompanied would have been far more tolerable than some of the crap we put up with to stay on active duty together. I abdicated my QOL for a guaranteed paycheck (assuming that nukes can even discern such a concept as "quality of life") but there's no assurance that the nuke pay was higher than anything I'd earn as a Reservist or a civilian. I'm probably pretty obstinate lucky that my genes were able to cope with the workplace stress that I placed on my body, mind, & spirit.

My vote is that, once you've carefully added up the pros & cons, you should opt for quality of life over paycheck tonnage. As W2R says, a job is just a job.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "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.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 12:52 PM   #48
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by usafLT View Post
Actually, the situation is exactly opposite of that. ATC has certain requirements to get into it. There are age restrictions for new hires and over time my ATC experience will wear off and the ATC shortage will be disappearing. If I went into ATC first and got burned out, I could then go into corporate a lot easier than the other way around. I would be a former military officer with an MBA and x number of years as a controller, so stress shouldn't be an issue. Most higher corporate positions want experience as well as education. This is especially true if I eventually got an ATC supervisor or manager position.

If I'm going to make the wrong decision, it'd be best to start in ATC then try to move to business v. the other way around.
I think this is a good strategy. You like ATC! It pays well.

Those salary numbers from the article are not accurate for most people. Plus they include bonus money - I think starting at $95K is not even a given at a corporate job with an MBA. These days - unemployment is high, and there are plenty of people with management experience competing for the good jobs. I didn't see anything stating how current the data was.

But the other thing is - you enjoy the work. Don't get sucked in by the theoretical money - it's not like you are choosing to take a $25K/year job. You will be well-paid in either case, apparently.

Most people just do not make huge (>$120K ) salaries, even with an MBA. MBA degrees are very common now - a good school means something in most cities but not all. I have co-workers who got MBAs in their spare time and they really are churning them out. Having lower stress and normal working hours is a great benefit to living a happy life.

Also - I know an ATC who had to start some medication and could not do the job any more - retirement with a pension at an early age is a lovely thing that I'm not going to have. But retirement - that I'm GOING to have!
__________________
Retired July 2, 2010 at 62. My only regret is that I couldn't do it sooner.
thinker25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 03:11 PM   #49
Recycles dryer sheets
leftbucket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 79
Nords-

Sorry, this might derail the topic, but I think it's relevant to the OP's situation.

I've heard you say before that you wish you had not stayed 20 and I can't help
but wonder why. Do you really wish you had left at 10 yrs (I think you've said
that before) and gone into the reserves?

Wouldn't you say that your overall quality of life having been able to be retired for
the last several years is better because you stayed on for 20?

I'm not in the military, but I think if I hit 10 years (not necessarily 4 like the OP)
only serious marriage/family jeopardy would get me to leave before 20.

Again I'm not in the military, but in my own line of work, very few
folks with >5 yrs leave before 20 yrs on any kind of voluntary basis.

-LB
__________________
leftbucket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 03:26 PM   #50
Moderator Emeritus
laurence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5,234
You have a $200k offer in hand? Where do you live that $150k is not sufficient for a comfortable lifestyle? I have my Masters and years experience and only make $105k in San Diego, and I consider myself fortunate! LOL!
__________________
laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 04:06 PM   #51
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbucket View Post
Nords-
Sorry, this might derail the topic, but I think it's relevant to the OP's situation.
I've heard you say before that you wish you had not stayed 20 and I can't help
but wonder why. Do you really wish you had left at 10 yrs (I think you've said
that before) and gone into the reserves?
Wouldn't you say that your overall quality of life having been able to be retired for
the last several years is better because you stayed on for 20?
I'm not in the military, but I think if I hit 10 years (not necessarily 4 like the OP)
only serious marriage/family jeopardy would get me to leave before 20.
Again I'm not in the military, but in my own line of work, very few
folks with >5 yrs leave before 20 yrs on any kind of voluntary basis.
-LB
You make good points. I need to distill 20+ years of experiences into a few paragraphs. Let me do some writing and get back to this in a couple days.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "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.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 01:29 PM   #52
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,705
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by usafLT View Post
Actually, the situation is exactly opposite of that. ATC has certain requirements to get into it. There are age restrictions for new hires and over time my ATC experience will wear off and the ATC shortage will be disappearing. If I went into ATC first and got burned out, I could then go into corporate a lot easier than the other way around. I would be a former military officer with an MBA and x number of years as a controller, so stress shouldn't be an issue. Most higher corporate positions want experience as well as education. This is especially true if I eventually got an ATC supervisor or manager position.

If I'm going to make the wrong decision, it'd be best to start in ATC then try to move to business v. the other way around.
I don't get this at all! You seem to be saying that this $200k position is not really available to you ("Most higher corporate positions want experience as well as education."). A $200k position would not be available to you if you were a burned out ATC either!

When you get your facts straight, we might be able to help.

(I think you are looking for corroboration of the ATC position. Watch for Nords posting on life in the navy.)
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #53
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 269
To the topic heading, I will note that my job satisfaction has increased when my salary went up. Work is still work, but a bigger bonus check cured a lot of what ails me. I used to think about retraining and switching fields, but now the golden hancuffs allow my wife to stay home and I get a lot of satisfaction from my family.
__________________
Sesq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 02:23 PM   #54
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,253
I also was wondering how someone just coming out with an MBA could get $200K... as others have said, there are many MBAs who make half that...


As for what to do... we are not the people to help you... there are many things to think about when choosing a job.. and only one of them is money...

What 'job' is it that is $200 Are you expected to work 80 hours a week.. and travel all the time... or pull stints of 48 plus hours if needed.. when you start to figure out the cost to you to earn this possible $200... then maybe the smaller salary with known items might be better...

Also, do you work better in a job that is 'fixed'... IOW, you do the same thing over and over and over... some people are really good at this... others are bored in a few says... or do you like putting out fires... dealing with bosses that don't know crap that tell you to cut your budget 20% even though you are already cutting bone.... dealing with clients that want the revisions by tomorrow morning at 8AM... so you have to pull an all nighter... if you like this... the go for it..

To me, both jobs make more than enough money to pay for a very good lifestyle... and if it will not... then you need to look in a mirror to see the problem...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 02:46 PM   #55
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,253
OK... read more... it is tough to get one of those high paying MBA jobs unless you are in the top top school... are you

The burn out rate for I bank and consultants is probably higher than ATC...

With the recent problems in the finance industry... I doubt that those really high salaries are available now... like $1 mill in 8 years... the way the article sounds it is a given...


What does a top general make Why not go that route? To me, it is about the same as the article... lots of people try, but not many get there..
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 04:25 PM   #56
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
I don't get this at all! You seem to be saying that this $200k position is not really available to you ("Most higher corporate positions want experience as well as education."). A $200k position would not be available to you if you were a burned out ATC either!

When you get your facts straight, we might be able to help.

(I think you are looking for corroboration of the ATC position. Watch for Nords posting on life in the navy.)
I believe 5 years as a military officer and x years as a civilian controller are work experience. If you aren't aware, military officers are managers, very often in charge of million dollar budgets and as many as 100 people very early in their careers. Not sure if you read this whole thread or not, but I already previously stated I have made my decision, so I suppose my last statement would be more favorable to ATC.

Again, not sure if you read the whole thread, I stated these are salary estimates. I said most military MBAs have an average salary of low 100's to a possible 200k. This is very accurate. I can post several sources on that. Yes, I admit that currently the financial system is between a rock and a hard place so it may be harder currently to find that job. Lastly, the point is that the MBA has a lot more potential for future earnings increases, whereas the ATC can max out fairly early on with increases mostly just to offset inflation. That is where I was going with this thread, not to verify the exact starting salary of a military mba.

But, this is all a moot point as again, I've already decided a direction I am heading in. I have appreciated all those with productive advice who have helped me think about the issue from a few different perspectives and lead me to make a decision.

On a side note, I think this thread is more burned out than an ATC with 25 years in.
__________________
usafLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 06:34 PM   #57
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by usafLT View Post
I believe 5 years as a military officer and x years as a civilian controller are work experience. If you aren't aware, military officers are managers, very often in charge of million dollar budgets and as many as 100 people very early in their careers.
Unfortunately, many (most?) civilian employers have little respect for the managerial / leadership experience of ex-officers. Partly this is due to ignorance, and partly because the military environment is different from civilian employment in many ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usafLT View Post
Most military MBAs have an average salary of low 100's to a possible 200k. This is very accurate. I can post several sources on that.
I would appreciate it if you would please post those sources. Thanks in advance.
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 08:15 PM   #58
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by usafLT View Post
IAgain, not sure if you read the whole thread, I stated these are salary estimates. I said most military MBAs have an average salary of low 100's to a possible 200k. This is very accurate. I can post several sources on that
You are naive about the private sector. I work for one of the largest defense contractors in the country, military MBAs would do well, but you need to be VP level to crack $200k. No one with 5 years experience and nothing in the business is going to get close to that unless they are a real rainmaker in new business with contacts that bring contracts.

The other jobs: investment banking is 80-100 hour weeks until you hit partner, if ever. Consulting is 100% travel if you can handle that lifestyle.

I think you are making the best decision.
__________________
David

I get up at 7 yeah, and I go to work at 9. Got no time for livin yes I'm workin all the time. Seems to me I could live my life a lot better than I think I am. I guess thats why they call me the Working Man.
DJRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 09:15 PM   #59
Dryer sheet aficionado
DivinDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 36
In university we used to have a saying. Life is a $h!t sandwidge. The more bread you've got, the less $h!t you have to taste.
__________________
Gettin old, getting grey, gettin ripped off, underpaid, gettin had, gettin took . . . let me tell you people, it's harder than it looks (Long Way to the Top - AC/DC)
Divin Dave
DivinDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 10:46 PM   #60
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
Watch for Nords posting on life in the navy.)
OK, LeftBucket and everybody else, here you go:
Military retention considerations: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" (very long post)
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "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.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What does '70% of salary' mean?!? randall FIRE and Money 28 11-17-2009 10:29 PM
Salary, W-2, or contractor? SecondCor521 FIRE and Money 18 07-10-2008 07:40 PM
salary increase trying2save Young Dreamers 65 02-25-2008 03:35 PM
Can you guess the salary? Sandy Young Dreamers 28 03-06-2007 11:01 AM
what % of salary do you live on nun FIRE and Money 61 02-21-2006 04:42 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:14 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.