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Old 12-10-2020, 02:20 PM   #121
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So I joined the Blue ID card club on 1 December. 100ish days on terminal leave was nice. Getting my first haircut since August tomorrow and haven't shaved since August 20. The hair is driving me nuts-keeping the beard though.

Received ridiculously good news from the VA on the 3rd with regards to a rating-and I haven't even completed all my exams. Although the exams I completed captured most of the things a 28+ year artilleryman with some deployments and most of a career on jump status would have, so I guess it isn't a huge surprise.

Spoke to the TSP yesterday via email. They are still waiting for the Army to tell them I'm done. They said it could take up to 60 days for that to happen. Slightly annoyed as I want to roll it into Fidelity, but oh well.

Went through the Tricare enrollment-apparently the USFHP with Martins Point is essentially Tricare Prime with a different name. I've already changed PCMs with them twice lol. The first one turns out wasn't accepting new patients, so I called a different one. Then I went and looked at bios and one of the other Docs was retired Army, airborne qualified, and had done a deployment with an airborne BCT that I also did a couple deployment with. He did the Iraq tour where they had 50+ KIA in the BCT and I did the two following Afghanistan tours. He'll either be a good doc or it will be one of those-take some motrin, change your socks, and drink water deals. At least we may have something to talk about.

Now I just need to find some land to buy. Sort of waiting until after 1 Jan so I don't have to take a capital gains hit this year when I move money for the purchase.

10 days into it, life is good so far. Not seeing any need to seek any future employment.
Congrats and welcome to the club! It is one of the most exclusive clubs out there and only blood, sweat, and tears (and the required time) is the ONLY way to get in...even if you had all the $$$ in the world, you can't buy that membership. And the privileges!? Worth more than what you can get with the Amex Black Card!

Any reason you want to move the TSP over to FIDO? I considered moving mine, but figured that it was more of a pain to get it moved, so I let it be.
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Old 12-10-2020, 02:23 PM   #122
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So I joined the Blue ID card club on 1 December. ...
10 days into it, life is good so far. Not seeing any need to seek any future employment.
Congratulations and welcome!
When I got mine, the photographer said issuing retired ID cards was one of his favorite things to do, because everyone had a smile a mile wide.
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Old 12-10-2020, 02:27 PM   #123
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Congratulations and welcome!
When I got mine, the photographer said issuing retired ID cards was one of his favorite things to do, because everyone had a smile a mile wide.
Too funny...you made me look at mine...and yep...HUGE smile. I am NOT one to smile for pictures, either.
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Old 12-10-2020, 02:29 PM   #124
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So I joined the Blue ID card club on 1 December.
Congratulations. I got my Blue ID in March of 2001.



Quote:
... Went through the Tricare enrollment-apparently the USFHP with Martins Point is essentially Tricare Prime with a different name.
We use Martin's Point. It does seem to be Tricare with a different name.




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... 10 days into it, life is good so far. Not seeing any need to seek any future employment.
19 years into it here. I have not seen any 'need' for employment. With this pandemic going on, and so many being forced out-of-work, so many businesses forced to go under. I am thankful that I have a pension and I am not 'out-of-work'.
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Old 12-10-2020, 02:31 PM   #125
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Any reason you want to move the TSP over to FIDO? I considered moving mine, but figured that it was more of a pain to get it moved, so I let it be.

Thanks!

I don't like the complexity of the TSP and would prefer what Fido or Vanguard can provide. Yes, it looks like a royal pain to do.

Besides-my TSP is in 3 pots of money. Pre tax, pre tax but tax free, and post tax. Time to turn that into normal money.
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Old 12-10-2020, 03:26 PM   #126
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Keep a small amount in your TSP to keep it open. I did that 12 years ago just to keep access to the G fund.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:18 PM   #127
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Congarats!

I'm trying to convince my kid to go career...since he's in for a decade anyway...
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:18 PM   #128
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Welcome to the check of the month club. That blue card is worth a lot. I kept my TSP open and am happy with how it has done. I remember going thru the VA nut roll. Won’t go back that’s for sure even though I have some additional 0 ratings. I anticipate knees will have to be done one day. Every year I go back to Bragg for AA week.
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:02 PM   #129
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Every year I go back to Bragg for AA week.

I've been stationed at Bragg 4 different times. My last AA week was hands down the best one. Not because it was my last. It was the 2015 AA Week where we did the Airborne Review on Sicily instead of the Division Review on Pikes Field.

I'll take a nice comfy C-17 ride over a walk down Ardennes to stand in the sun any day of the week. Although I will say there was something amusing about watching people in formation with fixed bayonets pass out and then everyone running off the field in Corcoran 1s.
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:55 PM   #130
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I've been stationed at Bragg 4 different times. My last AA week was hands down the best one. Not because it was my last. It was the 2015 AA Week where we did the Airborne Review on Sicily instead of the Division Review on Pikes Field.

I'll take a nice comfy C-17 ride over a walk down Ardennes to stand in the sun any day of the week. Although I will say there was something amusing about watching people in formation with fixed bayonets pass out and then everyone running off the field in Corcoran 1s.


I was always to short to stand in the Div review so I was in the tree line to fill in when someone fell out from locking their knees which was followed by the bayonet wound. Funny stuff. I shouldn’t say that lol
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Old 01-30-2021, 02:15 PM   #131
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How many military retirees are on here?

I retired in 2014 with nearly 37 total years and 27 years active duty both active Army 8 years and 20 years AGR in 2 states ND and GA also deployment to desert Shield and desert storm 90-91, a stateside deployment of 1 year at NTC and 1 yr deployment to Iraq in 07 so just over 3 years spent deployed 2 warzone deployments.

Did you work after military retirement? If so, did you really HAVE to work?

I did work for 2 years about 25 hrs per weeks as part time custodian at University of Nebraska Lincoln. I could have chosen not to work but still had a daughter in HS and 1 kid in college. Did it to help them out with expenses in HS and college. Did not have to work as retired E-7 with over 30 years years so that put me at nearly 75% of my base pay instead of the usual 50% of base pay that those who retire with only 20 years get. I also got 100% VA disability from 2014 to 2019 but now am at 80% as my VA disabilty was reduced from 100% to 80%. It was reduced because I had severe migraine headaches and I went 2 years without any episodes or ER visits. My migraine part of disability was rated at 50% but is now rated at 0% I am ok with that as I would rather NOT have migraines than have the extra $ that a 100% disabilty provides. 100% VA disability was about 3K and now I get about $1730 per month for 80% VA Disability. Should migraines come back I can file for increase, VA doc tried numerous drugs over years ,but finally with ZOMIG the migraines have stopped. I will be temporary 100% again soon,as I will need a knee replacement surgery within the next year. surgery is on delay now because of covid backlogs. rating will go to 100% for a year after surgery and might remain at 100% depending on how knee mobility is after that year is up

Where did you retire to? Lincoln Nebraska, since wife grew up here. I am from Fargo grew up there but parents are long gone and wife likes Nebraska winters better.. much less severe than Fargo.

Did your pension and any saving cover your lifestyle?


Yes, I get about $3,300 after tax military retirement, VA disability @80% will be about $1772 per month ( it is not taxed). Our mortgage is low 750 per month with 11 years left and I plan to take my SS at earliest age 62 and invest it all.should be about 1100 or so after taxes. I dont use many of the benefits besides Tricare, I could drive to Offutt AFB and use the BX and commisary, but nothing there that we cant find at a regular grocery store and besides Nebraska does not have a food tax and going through the gate is more hassle than it's worth IMO. Maybe if I lived 5 miles or less from the gate but I live in Lincoln 50 miles away so i's not worth the drive. I can order online from AFEES, but they really dont have anything that I cant get locally. Fianlly at a point where we can do some serious investing starting this month we are dumping over 1k per month into Vanguard balanced index fund. it may ramp up to 2k per month when i get SS retirement and toss that into the mix Anyways, No regrets about retiring and no alarm clocks LOL!
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Old 01-31-2021, 10:29 AM   #132
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Add another retired vet to the tally. I retired from a 30yr USAF career in 2016, when we moved from an overseas post to our current location. When I was commissioned in 1985, the thought that I would do 30 years never crossed my mind. After a series of overwhelmingly positive assignments, getting married and having children, the years flew by and retirement snuck up on us. Joined this site in August 2019 and have found the content extremely helpful.

Did I work after retirement? Yes - currently in year 3 of what will be a 4 year post retirement job; currently at the OMY point right now.

Did I really HAVE to work? No, but we chose to in order to continue to grow our retirement assets.

Did your pension and any savings cover your lifestyle? They could have, but I enjoyed the job (boss is phenomenal and a pleasure to work for…wouldn’t have lasted as long as I have if it was anyone less capable) and the financial compensation. A career of living well below our means enabled DW and I to amass a sizeable nest egg. Our pension, Tricare medical coverage and New GI Bill benefit (paid for 4yrs of DD’s in state university), contributed to our solid financial situation.

Straying a little off topic, it was only in the past 6 months or so that we turned our attention from accumulating wealth to serious consideration of how to manage our assets in retirement. The good news is that this site has been invaluable to DW and I in identifying the fact that we DO NOT need to work anymore - Firecalc, ORP, New Retirement, Flexible Retirement Planner and Fidelity’s planning tools all confirm we are going to be able to live very comfortably and securely into our late 90s and beyond should we be so lucky. Travel, volunteering, and time with family and friends will fill up our days after we finish up our work life.

The bad news is that our previous fixation on asset accumulation skewed our assets heavily towards tIRAs (TSP and Vanguard), creating the first world problem of managing our assets, particularly our large tIRA balance. Since our pension takes us into the current 22% MFJ bracket before any distributions or other income, were still mulling over whether, when, and how much of our tIRA we should roll over into a Roth or not. We also have considerable Roth IRAs, but with hindsight being 20/20, we would have beefed up our Roth savings in lieu of tIRA savings in our earlier years when our tax bracket was lower.
This seems to be a good problem to have lol. Congrats
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:19 AM   #133
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So I joined the Blue ID card club on 1 December. 100ish days on terminal leave was nice. Getting my first haircut since August tomorrow and haven't shaved since August 20. The hair is driving me nuts-keeping the beard though.

Received ridiculously good news from the VA on the 3rd with regards to a rating-and I haven't even completed all my exams. Although the exams I completed captured most of the things a 28+ year artilleryman with some deployments and most of a career on jump status would have, so I guess it isn't a huge surprise.

Spoke to the TSP yesterday via email. They are still waiting for the Army to tell them I'm done. They said it could take up to 60 days for that to happen. Slightly annoyed as I want to roll it into Fidelity, but oh well.

Went through the Tricare enrollment-apparently the USFHP with Martins Point is essentially Tricare Prime with a different name. I've already changed PCMs with them twice lol. The first one turns out wasn't accepting new patients, so I called a different one. Then I went and looked at bios and one of the other Docs was retired Army, airborne qualified, and had done a deployment with an airborne BCT that I also did a couple deployment with. He did the Iraq tour where they had 50+ KIA in the BCT and I did the two following Afghanistan tours. He'll either be a good doc or it will be one of those-take some motrin, change your socks, and drink water deals. At least we may have something to talk about.

Now I just need to find some land to buy. Sort of waiting until after 1 Jan so I don't have to take a capital gains hit this year when I move money for the purchase.

10 days into it, life is good so far. Not seeing any need to seek any future employment.
Glad to hear the VA thing worked out for you. It took me 15 years to get something. It just seemed harder because I retired in 2004 and back then, it just seemed the VA was in disarray? Since I still W**K for the USN, these days everyone I talk too who have recently retired are getting between 70-100% disability which I find amazing and glad they are able to get what they deserve. VA has come a long way indeed.
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:45 AM   #134
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[/B]

Yes, I get about $3,300 after tax military retirement, VA disability @80% will be about $1772 per month ( it is not taxed). Our mortgage is low 750 per month with 11 years left and I plan to take my SS at earliest age 62 and invest it all.should be about 1100 or so after taxes. I dont use many of the benefits besides Tricare, I could drive to Offutt AFB and use the BX and commisary, but nothing there that we cant find at a regular grocery store and besides Nebraska does not have a food tax and going through the gate is more hassle than it's worth IMO. Maybe if I lived 5 miles or less from the gate but I live in Lincoln 50 miles away so i's not worth the drive. I can order online from AFEES, but they really dont have anything that I cant get locally. Fianlly at a point where we can do some serious investing starting this month we are dumping over 1k per month into Vanguard balanced index fund. it may ramp up to 2k per month when i get SS retirement and toss that into the mix Anyways, No regrets about retiring and no alarm clocks LOL!
Thanks for your service. I would recommend maxing out everything you can although try not to stress out since after reading your thread, you already have your basic monthly bills covered. These investments you are striving for are extra $$$$. Life is short my friend and enjoy. Just strive for an emergency fund for Housing, Car maintenance, some extra cash, and you will be fine. Medical is covered and if you are 80% VA disabled or more a lot of your LTC issues should be covered as well. I will say, I would recommend (as others have) focusing on Spousal income if you were to pass away 1st? I do like the fact that you have life insurance until age 75. Personally,
I retired as a Command Master Chief in 04 and I had to continue to work. I had an EX-wife and lots of bills; and re-married 6 years prior. To your point, it is tough on an enlisted person (salary wise). Like most, a lot sacrifice and moves, etc. When I re-married 97 we had about 10K to our names, and as of 2020 we were at 1.2M in investments and 200K in cash. Actually made the most money ever working as a gov contractor and Gov GS and banked 40% of income between cash and 401K's over the past 15 +years. Hopefully, 2021 will be the year at age 61 I walk away. Just padding the accounts while COVID still plays out. Working from home most of the time so (in my view) no sense giving up the salary while in this environment.
Best of luck to you and the family
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:16 PM   #135
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After Tricare covers the 20%, we get regular EOB's for $0.
In addition, if you are near a MTF, all medical prescriptions can be obtained at no cost forever for you and spouse. Thank your fellow citizens for these great benefits that we have been able to earn.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:54 PM   #136
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Thanks for your service. I would recommend maxing out everything you can although try not to stress out since after reading your thread, you already have your basic monthly bills covered. These investments you are striving for are extra $$$$. Life is short my friend and enjoy. Just strive for an emergency fund for Housing, Car maintenance, some extra cash, and you will be fine. Medical is covered and if you are 80% VA disabled or more a lot of your LTC issues should be covered as well. I will say, I would recommend (as others have) focusing on Spousal income if you were to pass away 1st? I do like the fact that you have life insurance until age 75. Personally,
I retired as a Command Master Chief in 04 and I had to continue to work. I had an EX-wife and lots of bills; and re-married 6 years prior. To your point, it is tough on an enlisted person (salary wise). Like most, a lot sacrifice and moves, etc. When I re-married 97 we had about 10K to our names, and as of 2020 we were at 1.2M in investments and 200K in cash. Actually made the most money ever working as a gov contractor and Gov GS and banked 40% of income between cash and 401K's over the past 15 +years. Hopefully, 2021 will be the year at age 61 I walk away. Just padding the accounts while COVID still plays out. Working from home most of the time so (in my view) no sense giving up the salary while in this environment.
Best of luck to you and the family
Thanks as well for your many years, we have an emergency fund of about 10K and toss about $200 a month in it, finally got it built back up after spending 12k on a roof,new shingles for house and garage and replacing old sewer and water p ipes which resulted in redoing some walls and ceilings. Now finally have a decent emergency fund and can finally get serious about saving for our own retirements. I wasted 20's and 30s was in a Royal neighbor annuity( a waste of $$ basically) 3 kids, a few moves, caring for ailing parents , and we just did not manage to save much..

Congrats on you and family for making it into "the Land of Critical Mass" as Bob Brinker used to say on his Radio program years ago Known as "Money talk" Anyone withy a worth of 1 million or more he called critical mass. At 1.2 mill ion that is amazing. Anyway at my age 60 wife and I may not make it into the millionaire club, but "God willing and the creek dont rise" we hope to crack the 1/2 million club in about 15-16 years. Riding the Vanguard VBIAX balanced fund as far as we can. We don't have IRA or 401 or any tax advantage accounts so it is all taxable and since we don't have "earned income' only option is a taxable account. VBIAX has averaged about 7% and after tax about 5.4. Of course past performance does not indicate future performance, but that fund with it's 60% stock 40% bond seems to me to be acceptable risk at my age. One advantage retirees have and it is a huge one is that Tricare is very good, wife and I do not have dental we just pay out of pocket for that which is basically about 500 a year for us each to have a teeth cleaning, I can get glasses at VA and we just pay out of pocket for my wife's glasses.
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Old 01-31-2021, 08:33 PM   #137
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Thanks as well for your many years, we have an emergency fund of about 10K and toss about $200 a month in it, finally got it built back up after spending 12k on a roof,new shingles for house and garage and replacing old sewer and water p ipes which resulted in redoing some walls and ceilings. Now finally have a decent emergency fund and can finally get serious about saving for our own retirements. I wasted 20's and 30s was in a Royal neighbor annuity( a waste of $$ basically) 3 kids, a few moves, caring for ailing parents , and we just did not manage to save much..

Congrats on you and family for making it into "the Land of Critical Mass" as Bob Brinker used to say on his Radio program years ago Known as "Money talk" Anyone withy a worth of 1 million or more he called critical mass. At 1.2 mill ion that is amazing. Anyway at my age 60 wife and I may not make it into the millionaire club, but "God willing and the creek dont rise" we hope to crack the 1/2 million club in about 15-16 years. Riding the Vanguard VBIAX balanced fund as far as we can. We don't have IRA or 401 or any tax advantage accounts so it is all taxable and since we don't have "earned income' only option is a taxable account. VBIAX has averaged about 7% and after tax about 5.4. Of course past performance does not indicate future performance, but that fund with it's 60% stock 40% bond seems to me to be acceptable risk at my age. One advantage retirees have and it is a huge one is that Tricare is very good, wife and I do not have dental we just pay out of pocket for that which is basically about 500 a year for us each to have a teeth cleaning, I can get glasses at VA and we just pay out of pocket for my wife's glasses.
Yep , you are my age and it seems you will be fine.
Enjoy retirement, I know I will!
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Old 07-06-2021, 08:37 PM   #138
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I'll revive this post. I'll be retiring 1 Jan 23, after 21 years 3 months in the AF. Deployed now but back in October and after leave, R&R, TAP, I won't be seen much till after 1st of the year 2023. I start the skillbridge program in July so I'm pretty much done in June of next year. I'm super excited about it, I was always told by the ole timers that I'd know when it was time, well I know for sure I'm ready to go, after 8 deployments and several more TDY's and 2 short tours, I'm ready to have some stability. I've been planning this heavily and building income sources on the side for about 10 years now. My goal was 10 sources of income I am now at 7 not counting my fiancés income. I can proudly say that I am and have been living off my side income for several years now. The mil pay has been invested and thrown at the mortgage the last few years. I found my dream home that came with a rental property back in 2019 and will have it paid off in a few months so I'll be 100% debt free with around 800K invested. I plan to continue to do my side business/s which are online sales, buying and selling ATV's or whatever I can find (this is what I love to do by the way) and the rental. I value freedom and flexibility and the ability to do what I want with my time and I can't wait to see what that feels like. I should pull in right at $32K a year after taxes from mil retirement not counting any disability (that's a wildcard for me), and of course Tricare is a big perk. Any advice from those that have gone before, any thing you wish you'd known a year out?
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Old 07-06-2021, 09:25 PM   #139
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I retired from the US Navy as an E6 after completing 20 years on Active Duty. I had the Navy pension and some investments at that time.

That was 20 years ago, this past Spring.

Last month I got my first Social Security check.

I did some research on my SS account. and I found that since I was 15yo I have paid $22k into my SS account [and a matching $22k has been paid by my various employers]. If I live to be 80yo I will have collected $194k from SS.

I had half expected Social Security to not exist by the time that I was finally old enough for it. But it does exist, WooHoo!

I could have done better, by investing on my own that $22k. But realistically I could have also lost it.

For the past 20 years, we have done okay with $1580 a month as our family income. And now I am getting an additional $923 a month. WooHoo!

I have my eye on a new .50 caliber rifle and my wife wants a new CCW pistol. Beyond that I have no idea what I will find to spend money on.

We own 150-acres of forest land, a huge house, multiple vehicles, and a commercial/residential rental property. We can grow most of our food, our house is on solar power, my car is hybrid electric and it recharges from our solar power system. Our living expenses are extremely low. I do not earn a high enough income to pay any income taxes, our property taxes are around $800 a year. So I think we have worked out an optimum lifestyle. For a military retiree.

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Old 07-07-2021, 04:12 AM   #140
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Had family friends retired from the Navy after serving 20 years. They currently live in the Philippines and their Navy pension and social security goes a long way there.
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