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Old 05-27-2020, 05:27 AM   #61
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Not retired yet but ever so near the goal. Currently an E-8 at 18.5 years of service in the AF. I really don't know how long I will stay in but I think until 22 or 23 years.

If you were Army and on that timeline, getting pulled for E-9 would be a consideration that you would either have to dodge or go forward with. In general, that adds about 4.5 to 5 years to your timeline. List comes out->12-6 months later attend PME->11ish months later graduate->sometime within 12 months start getting paid E-9->start 3 year service remaining requirement from that date.
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:23 PM   #62
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+1.

I did 30 years split almost equal between active army and AR and exited as an E-8. I retired from mega-c*rp 26 days after turning 60. Life-changing is a over-used phrase. But not for Tricare and Mil pension. DW is a few years older than I, and is on Medicare. After Tricare covers the 20%, we get regular EOB's for $0.
Amen to the Medicare/TFL combo. In my experience the only copays I've ever had are on prescriptions and chiropractic care (Medicare covers it to a point but Tricare doesn't so you pay the copay.) I can sure live with that.
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:25 PM   #63
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How many military retirees are on here?
Not that I am counting down, but I plan to be on terminal in 48 mos, 2 wks, 3 days.


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Did your pension and any saving cover your lifestyle?
I hope and am interested in others. I plan to make more in retirement off pension than I do now. Only because I live well below the means now ~36K p/year and retired pay is well above that annually.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:00 PM   #64
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How many military retirees are on here?
DW and I are both retired Army...I retired at age 44 in 2013 after 20+ years on AD and DW retired in 2015 after 22+ years on AD.



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Did you work after military retirement? If so, did you really HAVE to work?
Prior to retirement, we realized we were financially independent and didn't need a bridge career after our military retirement. Reading Nords' book and blogs helped us realize we were FI and can RE if we wanted to...and during terminal leave, DW and I both realized we didn't want nor need to get another paying job...so we mainly did some volunteer gigs that we found interesting and were fulfilling for us. Just like Nords, our high savings rate and years of living below our means set us up for good.



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Where did you retire to?
We retired in Hawaii (last duty station), but after living there for 8+ years, we realized friends and family stopped visiting (novelty must've worn off) and we found ourselves flying more and more to the mainland to attend events and visit family...so in 2018, we made the move to Central Texas and we haven't looked back.


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Did your pension and any saving cover your lifestyle?
Yes it has. We didn't need to tap into our nest egg at all with our pension and VA disability covering all our expenses. I guess it also helped owning and selling a house in HI and buying a house with cash here in TX...so no mortgage to worry about.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:14 PM   #65
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If you were Army and on that timeline, getting pulled for E-9 would be a consideration that you would either have to dodge or go forward with. In general, that adds about 4.5 to 5 years to your timeline. List comes out->12-6 months later attend PME->11ish months later graduate->sometime within 12 months start getting paid E-9->start 3 year service remaining requirement from that date.
The timeline is essentially the same in the AF. It is a conundrum that I have definitely considered and don't particularly have a good answer. Gotta love service commitments We have an option to opt out of promotion consideration but who really wants to do that...
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Military retirees?
Old 05-29-2020, 01:00 AM   #66
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Military retirees?

I retired from the USAF after a combined 26 years in the Army/AF (enlisted/warrant/commissioned). I was hired into a GS position while still on terminal leave at the same duty station. Stayed in that job way longer than I should have for another 7 years.

We didn’t really need the money, just couldn’t imagine not working. Ultimately the daily grind became more trouble than it was worth, our kids grew up, and we had no real excuse not to retire.

We retired in place and have been living in Europe ever since.

We’ve been down the home ownership rabbit hole and never want to do that again. However, Renter laws and protections are significantly different (favorable) in Europe. Not sure we’d stay renters if we returned to the US depending on which state.

My retirement pay more than covers our annual living expenses. We haven’t had to touch any investments (yet) and we travel quite a bit and aren’t consciously LBYMing it.

Tri-Care is a PITA overseas but covers 100% of our health care issues.

The US Military is one of the last, great career opportunities available to young people today. Even with the recent changes to the military retirement system there is no greater opportunity to become wealthy and “retire early”. Especially for those young people coming from underprivileged backgrounds/situations.
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:47 AM   #67
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Spent 17.25 years AD USAF, retired under TERA in 2014 as an O-4. Was retired for one week before starting at a large corporation (where I met Nords once when he was visiting). Moved on after two years to my current job. Could retire, but wasn't ready in 2014 and not ready now, even though I spent years thinking I would be. Current plan is to retire at age 52 or 53 when the last kid finishes college. Maybe.

Nords follower since 2012, maybe earlier. The book and blog literally changed my life.
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:32 AM   #68
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I went to Navy OCS in Pensacola in '97 when I was 24, then received a commission and went to flight school in '98. Never originally intended to be a career, but I ended up serving 20 years until retirement in '17. Could have lived off of the retirement pay and investments, but we decided to tear down our house and build a new one. So I took a Beltway Bandit job in '18 to cover the additional expenses, and I'm still working there now. Hoping to retire for good in the next year or 2.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:11 AM   #69
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Tri-Care is a PITA overseas but covers 100% of our health care issues.


The US Military is one of the last, great career opportunities available to young people today. Even with the recent changes to the military retirement system there is no greater opportunity to become wealthy and “retire early”. Especially for those young people coming from underprivileged backgrounds/situations.
Just curious which flavor of TRICARE you are on?
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:28 AM   #70
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I have been planning to at least be financially independent after retiring from the military since 2004 when I first started reading some of Nords posts.
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Originally Posted by Van-Guard23 View Post
Reading Nords' book and blogs helped us realize we were FI and can RE if we wanted to...and during terminal leave, DW and I both realized we didn't want nor need to get another paying job...so we mainly did some volunteer gigs that we found interesting and were fulfilling for us. Just like Nords, our high savings rate and years of living below our means set us up for good.
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Was retired for one week before starting at a large corporation (where I met Nords once when he was visiting). Moved on after two years to my current job. Could retire, but wasn't ready in 2014 and not ready now, even though I spent years thinking I would be. Current plan is to retire at age 52 or 53 when the last kid finishes college. Maybe.
Nords follower since 2012, maybe earlier. The book and blog literally changed my life.
Thanks, everyone, and I really appreciate all the help we put together here to build the book!
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:44 PM   #71
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21 Years of Army AD, E1 (HS Dropout) to CW4 (College Graduate). Great organization (US Army) lots of opportunity (if taken).

In 31 days I will be entering my 42d year of "retirement".

BTW Great to "see" you Nords, have followed you for a lot of years.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:22 PM   #72
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Just curious which flavor of TRICARE you are on?

TRICARE Select Overseas.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:18 AM   #73
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Twenty years AF, retired in 87 after 20 years. I was lucky to have 20 years flying. Both dw and I worked after retirement. Why, well with two kids one starting college, that’s what you did! And, this site did not exist. Tricare for life did not exist.

I had figured I had to make about $1,000 net a month to supplement retirement pay, and I could work at Walmart or McDonalds and make that. As is DW, a teacher, and I went in to Real Estate appraising (family business). I could have gone the airline pilot route, but was tired of TDYs and the effect on the family. In hind sight, the airline travel retirement benefit would be nice.

I believe if this site, and Nords book had existed, we would have retired earlier. The decision to retire was actually made when we bought a lot on a lake, and built a “lake home”. Less than three months after it was completed we both decided we want to retire and move there.

Having said all that, I am glad we did it that way. Working has greatly padded our retirement accounts, to the points that the house is paid off, and we have no financial worries. Yes we both worked an additional 15 years, but we both enjoyed what we were doing.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:32 AM   #74
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TRICARE Select Overseas.
Thank you.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:34 AM   #75
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The timeline is essentially the same in the AF. It is a conundrum that I have definitely considered and don't particularly have a good answer. Gotta love service commitments We have an option to opt out of promotion consideration but who really wants to do that...
I did exactly that. My last assignment was the best by far (doing flight test w/ large DoD contractor outside the purview of the Air Force which meant lots of excitement and fun!) but was a limited duration due to the contract being fulfilled. I could have tested for promotion, but even if I was selected, I would have declined since I was NOT going to PCS. It was a great decision for me and the folks that I flew with went on to doing "regular AF" stuff and they were miserable. All retired when their service commitments (PCS) were up.

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Spent 17.25 years AD USAF, retired under TERA in 2014 as an O-4. Was retired for one week before starting at a large corporation (where I met Nords once when he was visiting). Moved on after two years to my current job. Could retire, but wasn't ready in 2014 and not ready now, even though I spent years thinking I would be. Current plan is to retire at age 52 or 53 when the last kid finishes college. Maybe.

Nords follower since 2012, maybe earlier. The book and blog literally changed my life.
Your story reminds me of one of the guys I flew with at my last assignment. He was an O-4 and applied for TERA twice and was denied. Well, he was a non-select for O-5 and was forced out. Lucky for him, he had over 15 years TOS and was able to retire anyway. He went on to get a cush job flying for FedEx and loves it. About a year ago, he got a letter from big blue asking him to come back. You can guess what his answer was.

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21 Years of Army AD, E1 (HS Dropout) to CW4 (College Graduate). Great organization (US Army) lots of opportunity (if taken).

In 31 days I will be entering my 42d year of "retirement".

BTW Great to "see" you Nords, have followed you for a lot of years.
The AF was very good to me. I was also a HS drop out and was able to get in through a waiver...by the skin of my teeth. After 22 years I had gotten my GED, three associate degrees, a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. After I retired, I went to law school that was fully paid for with the GI Bill. I haven't w*rked for a single dime since I retired from the AF. Oh, and I got to do some really, REALLY cool stuff that many folks can only dream about doing. So yes, I was truly blessed.
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:09 AM   #76
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BTW Great to "see" you Nords, have followed you for a lot of years.
Thanks, OAG, good to hear from you. I stop by here every week or so and search for the keywords "Nords" and "military."

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I believe if this site, and Nords book had existed, we would have retired earlier.
I wish I'd read this site and my book 20 30 40 years ago!

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Your story reminds me of one of the guys I flew with at my last assignment. He was an O-4 and applied for TERA twice and was denied. Well, he was a non-select for O-5 and was forced out. Lucky for him, he had over 15 years TOS and was able to retire anyway. He went on to get a cush job flying for FedEx and loves it. About a year ago, he got a letter from big blue asking him to come back.
Same here-- by my third TERA application the submarine force realized that it had cut too deeply. I was continued to 20 and even left to "rot in place" at a training command for 55 months.

Right after 9/11, about eight months before my June retirement, I was notified that if I applied for an extension past 20 years then BUPERS would certainly ask Congress for a waiver. (Note that I wasn't offered a waiver. I was told that I'd have to put in a bunch of paperwork and get multiple levels of approvals, and then my "request" would be "considered.") By that point it was clear that the personnel staffs were grasping at any possibility short of stop loss, and I had no faith in their ability to figure out the new rules.

They'd already had their chances in the 1990s, and I was ready to move on in my life.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:01 AM   #77
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I'll jump in the water...

Retired awaiting pay in Dec 2015 after 30 years combined active and Reserve for USAF (will receive in 2024). By then had racked up 5 AFSCs doing everything but flying and fixing planes (for military). Got to O-6 and my Reserve points retired pay will match close to what an O-3 gets with 20 years.

Awaiting retiree TRICARE at age 60 - have had either dependent TRICARE (courtesy of now ex-husband), paid for TRICARE Retired Reserve (very expensive as you pay the full amount - basically use of TRICARE in a COBRA status), and now have FEHB as took a GS position a year ago.

Have a fairly successful (has tapered off due to employment) self-employed consulting gig, do online teaching at graduate level engineering, and had a fairly successful career at large healthcare enterprise and have very small non-COLA pension from them right now.

Military has been main constant in my life: birth, moving around as dependent under military father, ROTC scholarship, 30 years active and Reserve, and now with GS. Most of my education and international experiences (the first ones) have been courtesy of the military. Most follow-on education and/or international experiences have been because of the initial experiences in military.

With regard to retirement, as some of you all know in the background, I have been running my numbers and the military pension, which was not the plan when I started the idea for FI/RE, will allow/can allow me to have a much nicer retirement lifestyle budget as it takes the pressure off of the portfolio performance expectations. Add to that the access to a relatively inexpensive health care insurance alternative, and the decision I made over that 30 years to not quit the military fully and go Reserve and stay Reserve (so a negative decision in a sense) will turn out to have been one of if not the most significant decisions in my life.

I am very thankful that my parents helped to set that expectation as well as my father demonstrating the willingness to serve. The payout has been much greater than what I have invested.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:52 AM   #78
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Okay, just so ya knows. If you are in receipt of military retired pay, you are also subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). So all you slackers, malingerers, and criminals better lawyer up ASAP!
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:15 AM   #79
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Okay, just so ya knows. If you are in receipt of military retired pay, you are also subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). So all you slackers, malingerers, and criminals better lawyer up ASAP!
As I understand it, this is not true for most. Only true if you are part of the inactive reserve. If you're on the regular retired list, you're not. Usually if you have more than 30 years from your start date, you're clear.

Since I retired 5 months ago after 20 years, and I was transferred to the Fleet Reserve List according to my DD-214, specifically subject to recall by SECNAV, I still technically am for 9 years and 7 more months, at which point I transfer to the Regular Retired List. Then I can pillage and plunder to my heart's content.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:19 AM   #80
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and now have FEHB as took a GS position a year ago.



are you going to keep the FEHB into retirement? assuming you keep the GS job
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