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Military Retirement - TAP class tomorrow
Old 09-18-2016, 04:50 PM   #1
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Military Retirement - TAP class tomorrow

So this week is my transition assistance program from the DoD. Official retirement date is 1 Oct 2017. They gave me some homework, and a list of things to bring this week. No uniforms, instead it is business or business-casual.

I know the class is for everyone leaving the military, even the 21 year-old leaving after 4 years, but I am curious to see how much of a one-size-fits-all approach is taken during the class this week. The tasking I was asked to complete before the first day seems to be leaning in the direction that I should be preparing to go find a civilian job, which is probably appropriate for most attendees, so I'll see how tough it becomes to "agree to disagree" and not argue this week.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:09 PM   #2
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Congrats.

Be interesting to get your opinion on the process. There was nothing of that sort in 1970 when I exited active duty in Fort Dix, NJ. The whole exit affair lasted about three hours before handing me my DD214.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:22 PM   #3
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I remember going through that in 1994. They had some decent advice, but the job recruiters they brought in were typically sales positions for Ameriprise Financial or some insurance.companies. Commission pay type jobs and not many salaried positions. Hopefully they've improved over the years.


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Old 09-20-2016, 07:21 AM   #4
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hawkeyenfo, i had to give you a shout. I was in west va last week on a little vacation and i met on officer from VAW125. had a nice chat. I was in VAW121 back in 77. I don't meet hummers very often.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:36 AM   #5
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Hawkeye, I went thru 3 years ago. They had 2 different set ups. One for the 4 and out guys and another for the 20 plus guys. Lot's of good info even if you are FI and do not plan a bridge career. VA, survivor benefit, post 9-11 GI bill, etc... A lot can change for you between now and 1 Oct 2017. Also fam services has classes on starting your own business (consulting?) and other topics. Good luck Sailor
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:37 AM   #6
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Hawkeye, I went thru 3 years ago. They had 2 different set ups. One for the 4 and out guys and another for the 20 plus guys. Lot's of good info even if you are FI and do not plan a bridge career. VA, survivor benefit, post 9-11 GI bill, etc... A lot can change for you between now and 1 Oct 2017. Also fam services has classes on starting your own business (consulting?) and other topics. Good luck Sailor
or just read Nord's book.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:34 AM   #7
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I did the "remote" version in 2014 and was able to "pick and chose" which modules to complete (that was one of the great things at being at a GSU). They have made great strides in making it relevant, especially making sure you will have access to the IT stuff that matters once you are out (like E-benefits). Also, the VA briefings were quite useful.

Congrats...one step closer!
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:29 PM   #8
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Go twice if you can. I went once, 18 months ago and need to schedule my next one in next few months.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:32 PM   #9
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2 days complete, 3 to go. So far it is all just about how to get a civilian job. Nothing yet on SBP or how to roll-over the TSP. It's ok I guess, but it really is a one-size-fits-all mentality. Tomorrow I meet with the VA rep, which should be more of what I am looking for. I am feeling much less stress than some of the others in the class. One guy was very nervous: "this is all I've done for 24 years, ever since high school. I don't know what I am gonna do!" Having worked in the civilian world after college, then joining the Navy at 24 years old, I bring a slightly different perspective.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:10 AM   #10
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HawkeyeNFO, Congrat's on another step in your future after the military. I attended Senior TAP and thought it was very good; specifically, if you are going to file a VA claim and wanted to get a good overview of all VA benefits. Most of the other info was focused on getting a job after the military, budgeting, etc... Best of luck to you!
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:11 AM   #11
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Everything I've heard from people is that it is not helpful for people actually retiring at all. Nothing about SBP, nothing about transition to civilian life that doesn't involve finding a job. The vast, vast majority of attendees are going into work, so that makes sense. There is a retirement TAP class offered periodically, but I've heard not-great things about it as well.

One of my favorite stories about TAP is from a friend who retired after 20 as an O4. He was commenting on the days where they have you dress as you would for civilian life. He was the only person in his class wearing a full business suit, and commented, "Don't these people know? You dress for the job you want!!"

I immediately thought that I'd attend that day in flip-flops and a t-shirt.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:26 PM   #12
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Everything I've heard from people is that it is not helpful for people actually retiring at all. Nothing about SBP, nothing about transition to civilian life that doesn't involve finding a job. The vast, vast majority of attendees are going into work, so that makes sense. There is a retirement TAP class offered periodically, but I've heard not-great things about it as well.

One of my favorite stories about TAP is from a friend who retired after 20 as an O4. He was commenting on the days where they have you dress as you would for civilian life. He was the only person in his class wearing a full business suit, and commented, "Don't these people know? You dress for the job you want!!"

I immediately thought that I'd attend that day in flip-flops and a t-shirt.
5 bucks says that's what Nords wore at his TAP class. He probably already had a good start on the pony tail.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:00 PM   #13
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Everything I've heard from people is that it is not helpful for people actually retiring at all. Nothing about SBP, nothing about transition to civilian life that doesn't involve finding a job. The vast, vast majority of attendees are going into work, so that makes sense. There is a retirement TAP class offered periodically, but I've heard not-great things about it as well.
It really depends on where the TAP course is. TAP course I took last year covered SBP. That said, it was mostly aimed at people separating, not retiring. Of course, a lot of it depends on the local organization that hosts the course. If they don't put any work into the course, then it's not going to be very worthwhile.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:55 PM   #14
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It really depends on where the TAP course is. TAP course I took last year covered SBP. That said, it was mostly aimed at people separating, not retiring. Of course, a lot of it depends on the local organization that hosts the course. If they don't put any work into the course, then it's not going to be very worthwhile.
Also (at least in the AF), there is a pretty comprehensive briefing you are REQUIRED to attend before making the choice (SBP that is).
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #15
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It makes sense to focus on getting a job. That's what the majority are looking for when they get out. The percent of people that make it to a retirement is pretty low. I have 7 more years to go, and I have no desire to work when I get out. I am looking forward to my non-compliance during TAPS.

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Old 09-22-2016, 04:29 PM   #16
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After 4 days of "how to find a job," tomorrow the VA guy is coming. The advice on job-seeking has been good, and the instructor was pretty good as well, even if I placed less importance on her instruction than most of my classmates. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, but the one piece I really was hoping to hear about was SBP. Like Nash points out, maybe that's just not included in TAP class at this USAF base.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:55 AM   #17
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Just as BigDawg indicated, there are two versions of the TAP class, one aimed at those who are retiring and another aimed at those just separating prior to retirement. The one aimed at retiring personnel aren't held that often.
I attended the vanilla version and didn't really get much out of it...my wife (retired Army officer as well) attended the one for retiring personnel...and she said she really didn't get much out of that either. I guess when we both knew we were Financially Independent, there was not much the TAP class (except maybe for the VA and Tricare portion) offered us that we were keenly interested in.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:27 PM   #18
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After 4 days of "how to find a job," tomorrow the VA guy is coming. The advice on job-seeking has been good, and the instructor was pretty good as well, even if I placed less importance on her instruction than most of my classmates. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, but the one piece I really was hoping to hear about was SBP. Like Nash points out, maybe that's just not included in TAP class at this USAF base.
They don't cover it in TAP because you will a pretty lengthy briefing prior to making the election. It's done by a the SBP rep on your base.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:32 PM   #19
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Many of my friends that have retired elected to purchase life insurance instead of paying for SBP due to the cost difference. If they don't mention it, I'd recommend analyzing the different scenarios before making a selection.

My TAP class was 8 years ago, but wasn't very important and avoided stressing some things. The "get everything documented now" and "double-check every piece of paper you sign" are very important things that failure to do now can result in a lot more work later (or loss of potential benefits/difficulty getting those benefits if you don't get some things taken care of while you're still in). Friend has sleep apnea, snored like crazy on the boat, etc. Didn't get diagnosed and treatment until he'd been out for 7 years. Thus he gets no benefits for his condition, despite a huge probability that if he'd been seen while he was still in it would be service connected.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:28 PM   #20
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Many of my friends that have retired elected to purchase life insurance instead of paying for SBP due to the cost difference. If they don't mention it, I'd recommend analyzing the different scenarios before making a selection.

My TAP class was 8 years ago, but wasn't very important and avoided stressing some things. The "get everything documented now" and "double-check every piece of paper you sign" are very important things that failure to do now can result in a lot more work later (or loss of potential benefits/difficulty getting those benefits if you don't get some things taken care of while you're still in). Friend has sleep apnea, snored like crazy on the boat, etc. Didn't get diagnosed and treatment until he'd been out for 7 years. Thus he gets no benefits for his condition, despite a huge probability that if he'd been seen while he was still in it would be service connected.
Used to be that sleep apnea was the ticket to disability. That loophole has become much smaller under the recent VA scrutiny.
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