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Parr0thead98 11-16-2011 06:51 AM

Nearing the End of a Military Career
 
Hi all. I'm approaching the 24-year mark in my career and starting to wonder "what I want to do when I grow up" as we like to say in the military. I am very glad I found this forum as well as Nord's blog and book/reading list. Honestly, not much on early retirement at local libraries...go figure.

I'm at what I consider the pinnacle of my career. I'm an O-6 that's not in the rat race anymore for further promotions. I'm in a command billet with an O-7 boss who gives me complete reign, just update him when I think necessary. This job will take me to my 25 yr point. Military pension at that point will be around $6,100/mo or $73K/yr.

Up until a few months ago, I had been planning on just taking another assignment and planning for a second career/full-time job after the military. However, something keeps nagging at me as I don;t feel any excitement when I think about that option. I can do it, definitely, but is that what I really want??

My dread is any assignment after this one will be a mental letdown...after running your own organization for 3 yrs and then to go to the "land of cubicle dwellers"...really??

Assets wise, not flush right now, but rapidly building. Have approx $60K in TSP (gov't 401K), 1 rental property with a solid $40K in equity if I had to sell it today, it c/f $140/mo free and clear ($200/mo after tax deductions), 2 cars paid for, live in base housing, and 2 mos ago, have started socking away $4,500 mo after running across this forum and other blogs.

Have 2 school-age kids, but the Post=9/11 GI Bill will take care of their college costs for the first 2 yrs each. We've explained they will need to pay for the other 2 yrs like thier Mom & Dad did when they went thru college!

Options, options, options. At least now, I'm realizing I have them!

braumeister 11-16-2011 07:10 AM

Welcome, and congratulations on getting properly prepared. That can be a very wrenching mental exercise.

As a retired (21-year) O5, my experience might be instructive. The first thing I did was to do a lot of research in the base library to figure out what I wanted to do after hanging up the uniform. Eventually I found a career field that suited my talents and personality well, and had a good outlook (a high need for it, with good hiring prospects). I found it easy to get a good job in my preferred location with a small company.

As a 25-year O6, I think you should set your sights higher than that, and you probably have an excellent chance of getting a good executive level job that would suit you better.

Of course, that's assuming you want one. But a few years of that, along with a LBYM lifestyle, could provide you with all the nest egg you need.

justplainbll 11-16-2011 08:05 AM

Are you eligible for military sponsored advanced training / education?

Ed_The_Gypsy 11-16-2011 09:16 AM

Nords, you are having an impact on the world! The line is forming!:dance:

Ed_The_Gypsy 11-16-2011 09:20 AM

Parr0thead98,

Somehow I think you have been preparing mentally for a while.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville :: Jimmy Buffett Tour Dates, Margaritaville Restaurants, Song Lyrics and more!

FinanceDude 11-16-2011 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1131108)
Hi all. I'm approaching the 24-year mark in my career and starting to wonder "what I want to do when I grow up" as we like to say in the military. I am very glad I found this forum as well as Nord's blog and book/reading list. Honestly, not much on early retirement at local libraries...go figure.

I'm at what I consider the pinnacle of my career. I'm an O-6 that's not in the rat race anymore for further promotions. I'm in a command billet with an O-7 boss who gives me complete reign, just update him when I think necessary. This job will take me to my 25 yr point. Military pension at that point will be around $6,100/mo or $73K/yr.

Up until a few months ago, I had been planning on just taking another assignment and planning for a second career/full-time job after the military. However, something keeps nagging at me as I don;t feel any excitement when I think about that option. I can do it, definitely, but is that what I really want??

My dread is any assignment after this one will be a mental letdown...after running your own organization for 3 yrs and then to go to the "land of cubicle dwellers"...really??

Assets wise, not flush right now, but rapidly building. Have approx $60K in TSP (gov't 401K), 1 rental property with a solid $40K in equity if I had to sell it today, it c/f $140/mo free and clear ($200/mo after tax deductions), 2 cars paid for, live in base housing, and 2 mos ago, have started socking away $4,500 mo after running across this forum and other blogs.

Have 2 school-age kids, but the Post=9/11 GI Bill will take care of their college costs for the first 2 yrs each. We've explained they will need to pay for the other 2 yrs like thier Mom & Dad did when they went thru college!

Options, options, options. At least now, I'm realizing I have them!

Keep Nords book close by. Sounds like you are on a mission to build up investments. Can you live on the pension while you look at options? A good friend on mine retired after 25 years and got a very good job with the CDC.........

Parr0thead98 11-16-2011 06:47 PM

Finance: yes, I believe we can just live off my pension, but I printed out my last 6 mos of bank transactions to total it up for sure. I feel we can easily do it if I pause the $4,500 svgs/mo until I decide what I want to do next. And, honestly, that spending/expenses estimate also includes some pretty sweet vacations ea year. So, I want to analyze my "needs" expenses and separate them from the last several months of "wants" expenses.

I also just bought "Extreme Retirement" book that Nords recommended.

JustplainBill: yes, I could take more schooling, but I think my brain is full of classroom knowledge! I should mention I also have my certification in Program Management which is directly relatable to "the outside." But I keep thinking about a corporate job and I'm just not getting excited...does that make me a bad person?! lol

The good news is my wife is along with me on this "life after the military" journey too. I actually made up a PowerPoint briefing for her the other day, outlining 3 COAs for retirement. Yes, I r a PPT Ranger, sir! She luved it because it actually forced me to organize the many thoughts boucning around in my head.

I am soooo glad to have found this forum as I was truly feeling like the weirdo around base. "What do you mean you're thinking of retiring, sir? What are you going to do next?" I just feel weird right now because after I ran the estimated numbers for my briefing to CINC Home (wife), I realized that we are very comfortable living the lifestyle we have and maybe I should just focus on a bridge career that just make up the difference between my retired pay and my active duty pay + allowances. And there should be lots of jobs in THAT pay range!

Ed_The_Gypsy 11-16-2011 08:43 PM

Sounds like beach time comin'.

Nords 11-18-2011 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1131420)
Finance: yes, I believe we can just live off my pension, but I printed out my last 6 mos of bank transactions to total it up for sure. I feel we can easily do it if I pause the $4,500 svgs/mo until I decide what I want to do next. And, honestly, that spending/expenses estimate also includes some pretty sweet vacations ea year. So, I want to analyze my "needs" expenses and separate them from the last several months of "wants" expenses.
I realized that we are very comfortable living the lifestyle we have and maybe I should just focus on a bridge career that just make up the difference between my retired pay and my active duty pay + allowances. And there should be lots of jobs in THAT pay range!

Welcome to the board, PH!

Once you get a handle on your expenses vs retirement income, you have choices on how you want to make up the difference... by working for pay or by cutting your spending. I doubt you'll find it worth hanging around for the 26 YOS pay raise, and the assignment officer might come up with an ugly one.

I should point out that when you get to terminal leave the job offers will start coming from old battle buddies (whether you're seeking a job or not). And six months after you retire, another round of civil-service job offers will start rolling in. Usually the implicit assumption in their offers is that they're doing you a favor-- they figure you're spending more than your pension and you're bored out of your skull. You could no doubt negotiate something part-time or temporary and decide if you really want to do that.

But you might find that you're perfectly happy living with in your pension!

lhamo 11-18-2011 10:43 PM

If there is a cause or an issue that you are particularly passionate about, you might consider going the non-profit management route. Salaries aren't high, but the work can be meaningful, interesting, and not too onorous if you are in a solid and functional organization. Maybe something related to veterans or military families? Just a thought of another option to explore if you aren't ready to fully retire yet. I work in the non-profit sector and while I have had my personal ups and downs for the most part I have found it to be a good place to be professionally.

lhamo

Parr0thead98 11-19-2011 06:20 AM

Thx all. Glad to be on board! Have ETAPS seminar in 3 weeks and started working on my first-ever resume yesterday since that's part of the seminar. Thx for your thoughts, Nords...reading your book right now :-)

utrecht 11-19-2011 07:15 AM

A PowerPoint presentation for the wifey? Mine would never let me live that down.

Parr0thead98 11-21-2011 06:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by utrecht (Post 1132293)
A PowerPoint presentation for the wifey? Mine would never let me live that down.

She actually loved it! She liked how she could read at her pace, compare the 3 options I laid out...was pretty humorous, I must admit :-)

OK, I'm getting a bit paranoid...I'm wondering if I'm getting some "signs" sent my way or if I'm just reading into daily things because I'm so focused on whether or not I should retire in 19 mos. I think these events have always been going around me, it's just now I've opened my eyes to see them!

This weekend, I ran into one of my former Sr NCOs who I retired back in June. He was running his wife's booth at a craft show this weekend and loving it! He said," Sir, you gotta try this retirement thing out, it's awesome."

Then, no religious statements intended here, but at church yesterday, I usually read the bible during mass as I find Catholic mass a little on the drier side. I flip open the good book at random...right to Ecclesiasties. This section talks about how life is short, so enjoy it as your time on earth is "useless" and the world will continue to go on without you when you pass. Wow!

Then last night while saying our dinner prayers, my son says," and thanks for letting Dad be around to enjoy time together." OK, somebody hand me a tissue after that one!

Spent yesterday watching my Bengals lose a close game (but I am impressed with how well they played) and researching schools/real estate in the area we would retire. I am surprised at the # of short sales avail in some of the "rich neighborhoods"...looks like the Joneses had trouble keeping up!

Nords 11-21-2011 02:41 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1132832)
This weekend, I ran into one of my former Sr NCOs who I retired back in June. He was running his wife's booth at a craft show this weekend and loving it! He said," Sir, you gotta try this retirement thing out, it's awesome."

This is how it works in the Marine Corps:

friar1610 11-25-2011 02:54 PM

I was in the OP's situation in the early 90's. I was finishing a command tour in New England (where I wanted to retire) and was planning to retire from there and remain in NE. The only problem was that there was a big recession which was hitting NE particularly hard. I got to thinking: why would anyone want to hire me without any private sector experience when there are all these guys my age who have had as much private sector experience as I have had in the Navy? So I opted for "one more tour" and went to the greater DC area for a job in a Defense Agency where I had both staff and line responsibilities and which was really a very good and enjoyable job for me for the first two years. The third year wasn't as good as things had changed organizationally. So one day after I had been to a particularly bad meeting, I walked over to the Navy admin office and put in my retirement papers. (This wasn't as abrupt as it sounds as I had been thinking of retiring for a while and had been saving like crazy so I could when I wanted.)

What I really wanted for a "second career" job was something that was unrelated to the military but which would use my experience which, I suspect, is roughly similar to yours. I felt that if I could get a job that would pay me enough to make that salary plus my military retirement pay equal to what I was making as an O-6, I would be happy. I was not successful in finding such a job although and ended up, as many in my situation did, working for Beltway Bandits. The pay was pretty good but I never did really enjoy the work that much. I managed to save/invest quite a bit during those 6 years between Navy retirement and early retirement (at 58) and that, plus the pension, has made retirement quite pleasant.

Here are my major takeaways from my experience:
- If you do opt for a second career, particularly if you go for the big bucks, try to keep your lifestyle as it was as an O-6 and save the rest. I’ve seen lots of my contemporaries with the O-6 pension take high paying jobs with BB’s and then go out and buy the McMansion, (after all, the wife “deserves” the dream home/kitchen after all those years of base housing) the BMW and the second home on the Outer Banks. Then they’re trapped into staying with the BB indefinitely.
- I was surprised how far just my Navy pension went. (I had planned to take 90 days off between Navy retirement and getting a job; it turned into about 110 days, so I had a chance to see what it was like living on just the pension and it wasn’t that tough.
- If you decide you want to retire for good early, bite the bullet and take the BB job for as long as you can stand it and rack up all the savings you can. If you decide you want a true second career, work really hard at finding something you will want to get up and do every day because you’ll be doing it for more than just the bucks. (And, who knows, you might start with a BB and decide you really like it and then you’ll have a good salary plus and enjoyable job.)
- Volunteer work is a good way to split the difference between working and being retired (albeit you don’t get paid.) When I retired for good, I spent 2 years “working” 2 days per week, 6 hours per day doing adult literacy tutoring. I really enjoyed it, found it rewarding and it was just enough to keep me interested but not overtaxed. (I’ve since moved to a new area and haven’t been as successful in finding satisfying

Best wishes to you in whatever way you decide to go.

Parr0thead98 11-27-2011 07:43 AM

Friar: Thanks for the very useful words, and sharing your experience! If I had to guess right now, your recommendation about working for a BB for a few years is probably the route we'd take today. As you said, sock away the $$ for those few years.

Nords: in our house over Thanksgiving, we've been discussing parts of your book, pgs 118-120, about rediscovering who you are, and esp the changing dynamics in a family. My wife and I have been discussing me retiring in 19 more mos and how I would want to take on more of the household responsibilities as that would only be fair. I've been doing laundry and dishes most of this 4-day break and she commented, "boy, if this is what retirement's going to be like, I'm ready for you to retire now!" (see, my Jedi mind trick is powerful, lol).

On the laundry front, I used to joke w/ people that every 2-3 years, I'll throw a new red towel in w/ a load of whites just to remind the wife that I don't do laundry! Now I'm Mr Fluff-n-Fold!

Wife and I have been discussing my wanting to retire w/ our school age kids. We've also been spending a ton of time online looking at schools and nearby real estate until our eyes got blurry!

Since my last post, I've been running #'s and gave her "our" threshold on house price to stay within our means and not have the mortgage eat up a huge chunk of the retirement check. I explained to her my view that we were mitigating our risks of being out of work in our new location because we could cut back but still have a roof over our head and food on the table w/ just my pension.

Friar, your advice is right on point for us. A few years ago, we bought a small lot in a gated/24-hr-guarded golf community w/ homes from $450K - $8M...the McMansion w/ the large order of fries too! We thought that's what we wanted, but realize that I'd have to get the big $$ job w/ the associated hours and travel...no real change, in other words. Now, we realize that we just need a reasonable house near the right schools for our kids w/ room for half the neighborhood kids to play at our house :-)

Yesterday, while going out for the Christmas tree...which, by the way, a poor way to figure out just how high your base housing ceilings are would be to buy the biggest tree you find and declare "oh sure it will fit, we have high ceilings." My daughter is concerned there's no room for the star on top and what Christmas tree doesn"t have a star? I'll be on the ladder this morning, trimming the top down enough to fit a star....Any-hoo, while tree shopping, the wife and I were actually discussing a timeline for how this would work, going on terminal leave in 2013, using our 10-days permissive TDY over that Spring Break to go house hunting vs our usual big vacation, and putting in an offer on a house w/ the closing being right around the time my terminal leave would start.

I mentioned to her yesterday, the thought of retiring in 19 mos doesn't scare me as much as it did just a couple of months ago...I think we could actually do this! It's been the ordering/reading of a couple of books, actually sitting down and running #'s on expenses and projected expenses, and then just talking about it as a team. I'm feeling pretty excited vs scared now. Thx to the folks on this board and esp Nord's blod & book, I realize that folks have been doing this for years, but you just don't find a lot of info in your library or on TV.

OK, sun's coming over the trees now, taking a my coffe outside to go enjoy it...this time of year, still dark when I go to work....

target2019 11-27-2011 08:17 AM

Un-employment is high, and that will affect you in trying out with the large bandits. I toil in one, and the downsizing pressure is enormous. But...consider what happens in this environment. The opportunity for small business is rising. The large bandits give way to the small bandits. For instance, I am billed to the gov't at $150/hr. My pay + benefits is less than $50/hour. When the gov't wakes up, the services contract for my talent will go to the small business services firm for $100/hr or less. I will get slightly more pay, but less benefits in that scenario.

With your pension and medical coverage, you can afford to take off a year, but start looking at the short term (1-3 months) contracting jobs out there. You can easily find one if you are near a base. If you have MBA, then you can call shots.

JDARNELL 11-27-2011 09:47 AM

If you are retiring you will get 20 days PTDY. I used these in conjunction with 103 days of terminal leave for a nice long break. I bit the bullet and returned as a GS worker while my marketability was still good. Its all about networking and people you have worked with knowing your capabilities. I am hoping for the RIF so I can leave due to the "system" and not hose my co workers as I have known for many years. Any how, Entire check is going to pay off the house. So if I am able to stay I have a 5, 7, 10 yr plan centered around vesting, vesting plus 2 yrs building cash, 10 yrs in order to be able to draw FERS early if needed.

JDARNELL

Nords 11-27-2011 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1134682)
I mentioned to her yesterday, the thought of retiring in 19 mos doesn't scare me as much as it did just a couple of months ago...I think we could actually do this! It's been the ordering/reading of a couple of books, actually sitting down and running #'s on expenses and projected expenses, and then just talking about it as a team. I'm feeling pretty excited vs scared now. Thx to the folks on this board and esp Nord's blod & book, I realize that folks have been doing this for years, but you just don't find a lot of info in your library or on TV.

You can do this. As we're occasionally reminded by others on this board, the COLA pension and Tricare have dumbed down the process quite a bit. Considering all the other things you've encountered during a military career, this is a speed bump... but this time you're the driver.

Please keep us posted, and let me know if you want to share your story on the blog or in the book! The blog also lists a ton of websites for your spouse (some of which she may already be familiar with) to help everyone through this transition.

To add to JDarnell's employment comments, you should let your contact network know your relocation plans. If you're firm about ending up in a specific location then they'll tailor their (unsolicited) job offers to that area. If you're open to suggestions then let them know that too, and they'll pelt you with even more unsolicited job offers. No need to be coy. And once you get settled in your new location and meet more people, the job offers will continue to roll in from unexpected directions. Despite what your supervisors have written in your OERs, military veterans really do have skills that businesses are seeking. After nine years I'm still getting queries from employers who apparently don't surf.

I should add that no matter how supportive your kids are of your retirement, it's still a bad idea to drive by the school bus stop with your longboard strapped to the roof rack. I don't want to get into how I learned that.

Leonidas 11-27-2011 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords (Post 1134763)
I should add that no matter how supportive your kids are of your retirement, it's still a bad idea to drive by the school bus stop with your longboard strapped to the roof rack. I don't want to get into how I learned that.

Yep, I heard former Sec of Labor Richard Reich talking about how he retired from the government to spend more time with his teenage sons. He learned that just because you suddenly have a lot of free time to spend with your kids does not mean that they want to fill their free time with dad.

The fact that the money all came together at one moment was the spark behind my decision to go for early retirement, but ninety percent of the motivation for retiring was to make up for all the time I was off making the world a safer place while my wife and kids did their own thing. You have to be careful about throwing too much change in their lives just because you threw off your chains.

JDARNELL 11-27-2011 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leonidas (Post 1134785)
You have to be careful about throwing too much change in their lives just because you threw off your chains.

This is good advice. For years part of my motivation for ER was to spend more time with the kids. This last year I spent a lot of time at the baseball field with them which was great. The last few months I realized that they have a pretty good routine (school, homework, a little down time, family dinner, more down time playing with their friends etc) and I didn't want to be a third wheel. It is good to see them maturing.

There are times that I want to spend more time with them however I can tell I am in the way with what they are doing with their friends. I do spend more time with them each day just talking, letting them set in my lap, being silly with them etc. I find the family dynamic is better if I get home about an hour after they do so they have some decompress time. If I get home any later than this then I am ticked and need decompress time. It is a balancing act.

Today my older son and I are working on a "To Kill A Mocking Bird" school scrap book project. A lot of teachable moments as we talk through some of quotes from Atticus. In fact my son even said Dad this is the stuff you tell me. I get it. We'll see how far that goes ;)

JDARNELL

friar1610 11-27-2011 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1134682)
... in our house over Thanksgiving, we've been discussing parts of your book, pgs 118-120, about rediscovering who you are, and esp the changing dynamics in a family. My wife and I have been discussing me retiring in 19 more mos and how I would want to take on more of the household responsibilities as that would only be fair. I've been doing laundry and dishes most of this 4-day break and she commented, "boy, if this is what retirement's going to be like, I'm ready for you to retire now!" (see, my Jedi mind trick is powerful, lol).

On the laundry front, I used to joke w/ people that every 2-3 years, I'll throw a new red towel in w/ a load of whites just to remind the wife that I don't do laundry! Now I'm Mr Fluff-n-Fold!

We had a cleaning lady come once a week the last few years I was working (and my wife was too.) I also had a guy mow the lawn. When I retired for good I took over house cleaning and reverted to doing all the yard work since I had more time and less money. If one's wife is still working, I think it could be very dangerous not to take on some of the housework. ;D

Something else I discovered and quickly adjusted my behavior accordingly... If your wife is still working, even though there's no reason for you to get up when she does, it's a really good idea to do so anyway. My wife had to get up at 0530 to be able to get a walk/jog in before work, eat breakfast and get to work on time. Getting up and walking/jogging with her and then having breakfast together was an enhancer of matrimonial harmony. (I won't say I never went back to bed once she had pulled out of the driveway, but that's a different issue.)

Parr0thead98 11-27-2011 07:45 PM

Friar: great advice! Coffee Boy I can be!!

After getting the tree up, just put the lights and decos on it. Wife and I have been getting addicted to looking at houses online. I think she's liking this ER concept...hehehe :-)

leftbucket 11-27-2011 09:57 PM

PH-

As an O-1 with 1 month in, I have little to add except to thank you for sharing your story and to thank you for mentioning Ecclesiastes.

I think this country's collective view on retirement would be quite a bit different if more people read that book (Make sure you read the last chapter if you missed it).

R/
LB

Nords 11-27-2011 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDARNELL (Post 1134800)
There are times that I want to spend more time with them however I can tell I am in the way with what they are doing with their friends. I do spend more time with them each day just talking, letting them set in my lap, being silly with them etc. I find the family dynamic is better if I get home about an hour after they do so they have some decompress time. If I get home any later than this then I am ticked and need decompress time. It is a balancing act.

When our daughter hit the teen years I was just an on-call chauffeur with a mobile wallet, but I was expected to be available 24/7 for crisis consultation and resolution. Occasional combat search & rescue, maybe one or two silver bullets per year.

Worked for her, although I felt like I was standing watch during a drill set again. Some of our best talks were in the car, where both of us could talk while looking out the windows with no eye contact. Of course even better was doing so on the way to/from taekwondo, where we were legally permitted to kick the crap out of each other.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1134682)
Nords: in our house over Thanksgiving, we've been discussing parts of your book, pgs 118-120, about rediscovering who you are, and esp the changing dynamics in a family.

My apologies to the guy who pointed out that others might want to know what's on those pages-- Amazon.com may let you "search inside the book" for the topic titles of "Forget about who you were: Discover who you are", "Dealing with retiree guilt", and "Volunteering for charity & neighbors".

They're also in the blog as posts:
Forget about who you were and discover who you are | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Dealing with “retiree guilt” | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Volunteering for charity or neighbors | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

Yeah, I excerpted most of the book into the first few months of the blog. But I left out all the cool personal stories and the checklists... you'll have to go to the library or buy the book to get those!

Parr0thead98 11-28-2011 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords (Post 1135005)
Yeah, I excerpted most of the book into the first few months of the blog. But I left out all the cool personal stories and the checklists... you'll have to go to the library or buy the book to get those!

For those in the military, to incl just starting out, buy Nords book! Yes, shameless plug intended! You'll find many financial books on retirement, and some on military retirement that focus on getting a second career, but few/none discuss how to exploit the big advantage a military retirement and Tricare provide. I'm slowly getting thru his book because each page usually ends up in "Hey honey, did you realize..." type conversation in house!

ziggy29 11-28-2011 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1135035)
For those in the military, to incl just starting out, buy Nords book! Yes, shameless plug intended! You'll find many financial books on retirement, and some on military retirement that focus on getting a second career, but few/none discuss how to exploit the big advantage a military retirement and Tricare provide.

One of the biggest advantages I can think of is that you aren't locked into a "second career" that is full time or provides health insurance. You are a lot more free to find something more enjoyable and perhaps even part-time than most folks who don't have at least some income and health insurance already in the bag.

friar1610 11-28-2011 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 1135048)
One of the biggest advantages I can think of is that you aren't locked into a "second career" that is full time or provides health insurance. You are a lot more free to find something more enjoyable and perhaps even part-time than most folks who don't have at least some income and health insurance already in the bag.

Amen to that. During the 6+ years I worked after my military career, I held several jobs. When I got fed up/bored with one, normally after about 18 - 24 months, I would quit, take a hiatus of a couple of months and then get another job, generally for more pay. Never had a new job lined up when I quit. People who didn't have military retirement/TRICARE thought I was completely nuts. But it always worked out thanks to the safety net I had.

BTW, re: part time jobs...at least in the Beltway Bandit area, I don't think they work out. I had friends who went the part-time route and always got sucked into working more hours/days than they had originally intended or had been promised. There would inevitably be a crisis or a proposal due and they were asked to "step up," be "team players," or whatever the euphemism of the day was. It might work in a hardware store or something relatively low paying, but I think it's really hard to sustain a part-time job in a fairly high paying field for too long. They eventually had to decide whether to move to full-time and be back in the rat race or be let go because they couldn't meet the company's expectations. I hope others might have more favorable experiences, but that's what I observed.

REWahoo 11-28-2011 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friar1610 (Post 1135273)
Amen to that. During the 6+ years I worked after my military career, I held several jobs. When I got fed up/bored with one, normally after about 18 - 24 months, I would quit, take a hiatus of a couple of months and then get another job, generally for more pay. Never had a new job lined up when I quit. People who didn't have military retirement/TRICARE thought I was completely nuts. But it always worked out thanks to the safety net I had.

A good friend retired from the military at age 40 and had a series of 'second career' jobs until he died at age 60. I tried to count them at one point and came up with 18, and I know I didn't recall all of them.

Nords 11-28-2011 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by REWahoo (Post 1135282)
A good friend retired from the military at age 40 and had a series of 'second career' jobs until he died at age 60. I tried to count them at one point and came up with 18, and I know I didn't recall all of them.

Holy cow. Which one of the jobs killed him?

REWahoo 11-28-2011 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords (Post 1135316)
Holy cow. Which one of the jobs killed him?

The ones that allowed him to smoke...

ziggy29 11-28-2011 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friar1610 (Post 1135273)
BTW, re: part time jobs...at least in the Beltway Bandit area, I don't think they work out. I had friends who went the part-time route and always got sucked into working more hours/days than they had originally intended or had been promised. There would inevitably be a crisis or a proposal due and they were asked to "step up," be "team players," or whatever the euphemism of the day was. It might work in a hardware store or something relatively low paying, but I think it's really hard to sustain a part-time job in a fairly high paying field for too long. They eventually had to decide whether to move to full-time and be back in the rat race or be let go because they couldn't meet the company's expectations. I hope others might have more favorable experiences, but that's what I observed.

I'm mostly talking about low-risk, low-responsibility stuff that isn't usually seen as "career-oriented" work. Today's workplace doesn't allow this to anyone -- they expect you to be "all in" with their corporation-uber-alles BS or they want nothing to do with you.

Again, I'm assuming that neither the pay nor the benefits are the primary factor in some cases, so you have a lot more options that aren't necessarily related to your past training, education and experience. At least in relatively normal job markets. These days corporate America has no interest in anyone who isn't desperate for a j*b because they can't be overworked and underappreciated like slaves. If they can't be controlled and dominated because they aren't desperate, the organization doesn't want them because there are plenty of other people who are desperate and can be dominated and controlled.

Parr0thead98 12-01-2011 05:56 AM

Morning all, just got back from another work trip...have racked up about 78,000 miles on American Airlines so far this year...gets old. Have my TAPS seminar for sr officers next week, have my first-ever resume' written and now need to do a cover letter. Went to Jos A Banks and bought an "interview suit", shoes, shirt, etc since I don't own one...pick that up tomorrow eve for my mock interview during the course. Man, Nords only has to decide which Hawaiian shirt to wear...that's a worthy motivational goal to get to ER! This suit stuff gets expensive!

deserat 12-01-2011 08:42 AM

PH - congratulations on your decision - my husband and I are in a sort of similar situation - in fact, he is officially retired as of today (he is Mr DH instead of Maj DH). He looked quite hard for a GS job - those are becoming less and less available due to the restructuring going on - networking is key. We are fortunate in that my husband was actively recruited for a contract position which works like the airlines - they don't want anyone working more than 12 days a month (although those are intense days), so he will have something similar to what I have: a part-time consulting gig to augment the pension income. We are fortunate in that we will be purchasing a house soon but with no mortgage, so that will drive down the monthly lifestyle costs even more. Amazing how little you really need to live on when you take out the mortgage payment.

Again - congrats on the decision and enjoy the journey.

Nords 12-01-2011 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1135952)
Have my TAPS seminar for sr officers next week, have my first-ever resume' written and now need to do a cover letter.

I'm always looking for good TAPS info, and I'd appreciate any war stories or curriculum that you pick up from there.

You could tell the TAPS instructors that I'd be delighted to discuss "The Military Guide" or the pocket guide with their staff...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1135952)
Went to Jos A Banks and bought an "interview suit", shoes, shirt, etc since I don't own one...pick that up tomorrow eve for my mock interview during the course. Man, Nords only has to decide which Hawaiian shirt to wear...that's a worthy motivational goal to get to ER! This suit stuff gets expensive!

IIRC "Millionaire Next Door" says that Banks ranks highly among that demographic.

I rotate eight aloha shirts ($6.99 each at Goodwill) among two pairs of slacks and two pairs of jeans.

I think I have two neckties-- one red and one blue? I guess I'd need at least 24 hours' advance notice to produce the ties.

But I have over 50 surfing t-shirts!

Quote:

Originally Posted by deserat (Post 1135987)
PH - congratulations on your decision - my husband and I are in a sort of similar situation - in fact, he is officially retired as of today (he is Mr DH instead of Maj DH).

Tell him I said congratulations, and welcome to the club!

JDARNELL 12-01-2011 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1135952)
Went to Jos A Banks and bought an "interview suit", shoes, shirt, etc since I don't own one...pick that up tomorrow eve for my mock interview during the course. Man, Nords only has to decide which Hawaiian shirt to wear...that's a worthy motivational goal to get to ER! This suit stuff gets expensive!

Yep get on their corporate account program. Then you get invites to members only events where stuff is 70% off. I think I spend about $1500 total

JDARNELL

HawkeyeNFO 12-01-2011 07:45 PM

Please tell me these suits aren't mandatory at TAP class. I have a few years to go until I'm going to retire, but am not interested in a job after the Navy that requires me to wear a suit and tie.

Parr0thead98 12-02-2011 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 1136169)
Please tell me these suits aren't mandatory at TAP class. I have a few years to go until I'm going to retire, but am not interested in a job after the Navy that requires me to wear a suit and tie.

Hawkeye: not mandatory, but since I'm looking at a bridge career (Nords explains in his book, BTW) for a couple of years (5 or less...maybe even just 2), I want to take full advantage of the mock interview and resume' review. They also have a networking lunch one day w/ some head hunters. And besides, now I have something to wear for Christmas and Easter!

Nords: will be taking your book with me. Reading Early Retirement Extreme right now and have Work Less, Live More on deck.

Nords 12-02-2011 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 1136169)
Please tell me these suits aren't mandatory at TAP class. I have a few years to go until I'm going to retire, but am not interested in a job after the Navy that requires me to wear a suit and tie.

They're not mandatory. Yet.

When you get to the TAP point, you might be able to do it online and skip the classroom altogether. However it's very interesting to absorb the atmosphere in the room while you're quietly checking the finishing touches on your ER plan.

But the DOL & DoD want you financially responsible, not necessarily financially independent!

Lucas Group's website used to have a page explaining "dress for success" civilian business attire to military officers. When I got to the part where they told you not to wear your Casio Ironman wristwatch but rather something more suitable from Patek Philippe, I could no longer keep the smirk off my face. That was my first clue that a bridge career might not be the right decision for me...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1136223)
Nords: will be taking your book with me. Reading Early Retirement Extreme right now and have Work Less, Live More on deck.

Excellent, thanks. I'm very interested in hearing feedback from the TAP staff on any of those books!

friar1610 12-06-2011 03:20 PM

I don't know if anyone on this board is old enough to remember, but there used to be a very popular course in the DC area aimed at military officers who would be retiring in the next couple of years. It was called "The Strategy of Career Transition" and was initially offered as a graduate psychology course through Catholic University and taught by a guy named Stanley Hyman. It later morphed away from the university/graduate credit affiliation and became a stand-alone course, generally given at a hotel in Crystal City.

The course covered identifying what you really wanted to do in a second career, networking, resume writing, business attire, interviewing, etc. It included a battery of tests and a one-on-one with a psychologist who would interpret the results for you. I took it during a DC tour when I was thinking of retiring at the 20 year point and found it to be a very helpful course. Although I decided to stay in for another promotion and a few more tours, I used all the information I got to very good advantage when I finally did retire.

The guy who taught it was a retired AF LTCOL who had a PhD in psychology and who worked as a consultant to companies on HR matters. It was a "tough love" approach in that he tried to hit you over the head with the fact that many things were different in private industry than they were in the military and you had to adopt a different way of thinking to succeed there.

Hyman himself came to an unfortunate end and is no longer with us. I think the TAP programs are trying to fill the same needs as his course did. Having been to a TAP I found it useful but not nearly as comprehensive as Hyman's course. (Of course, you don't have to pay for TAP and you had to pay for Strategy.) But for officers of a certain era who were stationed in the DC area, going to the Strategy course was almost a rite of passage.

braumeister 12-06-2011 04:06 PM

Yep, I'm one of those dinosaurs who took the Strategy course at the Crystal City hotel. At that time (1989) it was still being taught by Stan Hyman himself, with a number of guest speakers helping on various evenings.

As you said, it was a remarkably well done and useful educational experience, and I diligently followed all the recommendations. I guess it worked, based on my personal experience. When I retired later that year, I moved out of the DC area to the midwest. A short time later, I saw an ad in the local paper for a job that looked interesting. I sent in one resume and three interviews later I had the job, which I thoroughly enjoyed (for a while). All the knowledge and practice I gained from the course made the whole resume/interview/negotiation process seem like child's play, since I knew exactly what to do, while the employers (a recent startup) were still feeling their way around the hiring process.

Quote:

Originally Posted by friar1610 (Post 1137901)
I don't know if anyone on this board is old enough to remember, but there used to be a very popular course in the DC area aimed at military officers who would be retiring in the next couple of years. It was called "The Strategy of Career Transition" and was initially offered as a graduate psychology course through Catholic University and taught by a guy named Stanley Hyman. It later morphed away from the university/graduate credit affiliation and became a stand-alone course, generally given at a hotel in Crystal City.

The course covered identifying what you really wanted to do in a second career, networking, resume writing, business attire, interviewing, etc. It included a battery of tests and a one-on-one with a psychologist who would interpret the results for you. I took it during a DC tour when I was thinking of retiring at the 20 year point and found it to be a very helpful course. Although I decided to stay in for another promotion and a few more tours, I used all the information I got to very good advantage when I finally did retire.

The guy who taught it was a retired AF LTCOL who had a PhD in psychology and who worked as a consultant to companies on HR matters. It was a "tough love" approach in that he tried to hit you over the head with the fact that many things were different in private industry than they were in the military and you had to adopt a different way of thinking to succeed there.

Hyman himself came to an unfortunate end and is no longer with us. I think the TAP programs are trying to fill the same needs as his course did. Having been to a TAP I found it useful but not nearly as comprehensive as Hyman's course. (Of course, you don't have to pay for TAP and you had to pay for Strategy.) But for officers of a certain era who were stationed in the DC area, going to the Strategy course was almost a rite of passage.


Nords 12-07-2011 12:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friar1610 (Post 1137901)
I don't know if anyone on this board is old enough to remember
I think the TAP programs are trying to fill the same needs as his course did.

Well, I'm too young to remember that one, but I could tell you a story that you're too senior to have experienced!

As the 1990s drawdown ramped up to full throttle around 1996, BUPERS began to realize that they'd overshot the mark. (Today, YG96 submariners are practically guaranteed a shot at command.) The voluntary separation incentives were being taken as fast as the separations clerks could write the checks, and the best & brightest were leaving in far greater numbers than the "others".

Senior officers first viewed this trend with concern, then with grave concern, and then with alarm. So they proceeded to do something about it.

Around this time, the Ruehlin career-transition seminars were getting started, and one of their missions was (ironically) junior-officer retention. They proceeded to dispense a "tough love" curriculum of their own explaining why life outside the Navy was bad for JOs. JOs within a year of the end of their obligation would go to this seminar as a way of getting a break from the inport duty roster gaining helpful info to decide to stay Navy.

At one Ruehlin seminar an actual active-duty admiral was brought in to meet with the JOs who were "on the retention fence". He said words to the effect of "You guys have to realize that leaving the service will hit you with a substantial pay cut. Right now you're earning over $60K/year, and if you leave the service you'll have to give up a third of that. Any questions?"

One pissed off JO said "Sir, I'm leaving the Navy because the assignment officer won't let us stay here for my spouse's career. By the way, she's earning over $100K/year and I'm getting the same kind of offers. Why would I stay on active duty? What kind of offers are you getting, sir?"

I just hope the guy wasn't laid off when the Internet bubble ended.

Meanwhile the submarine placement officer visited our homeport on his semi-annual retention trip. He told the shore-duty JOs that when they went to department-head school after this shore tour, BUPERS was considering having them also attend night classes (in addition to the day classes) to get their basic joint training (JPME I) out of the way before going back to sea. His pitch to the sea-duty crowd was to suggest that they volunteer for Pentagon shore duty because "DC is a great place to meet hot chicks." (Verbatim quote.) No word on how the sea-duty submarine spouses felt about their husbands selecting that option.

By the end of the drawdown, Ruehlin had decided to focus on the senior officers.

I think that TAP really grew out of Dept of Labor funding to help ensure that vets aren't sleeping under highway overpasses. It's not about helping us through the transition as much as it is testifying to Congress "But we trained them in occupational employment skills!"

Parr0thead98 12-07-2011 06:23 PM

Evening all. OK, today was spent on how to network, connections, and started resume' writing. At least the instructor reviewed/edited my resume and actually said it was a good 1st cut. I was surprised because my format doesn't follow the scripted version discussed in class and in the hand outs, but I attached a note explaining that I'm not a typical resume', that I wanted to go unconventional because that's me and I could talk with passion about everything on my non-typical resume. Couple of other attendees are taking glances at my resume' now ;-) I do listen to folks talking about needing to get a job, wife asking about what they will do, etc. Surprising how the consumption culture can trap you. I am sooo glad I ran across this group!

Nords, got one attendee to write down the info for your book. Been leaving it out on my desk and I sit right by the only door in and out of the room. :-)

I discovered this ETAPS, where the E is for Executive level, is not designed to replace the standard, mandatory TAPS course where you cover SGLI, SBP, retired pay, VA benefits, etc. I found out today that this ETAPS is strictly about training senior officers and E-9s how to find appropriate-level second careers. Interesting.

Parr0thead98 12-10-2011 06:31 AM

Well, finished my ETAPS course and am heading back home. I asked the instructor "how do I interview for a lower level job than what I'm doing in the military right now. I don't want to work as hard as I now." He did provide some useful soundbites to use in an interview. It was fascinating to people watch as I saw most of my peers focused on getting that VP job at Company X for $$Bazillion dollars, but in the next breath say they looked forward to retiring from the military to spend more time with their kids. Hhmmm, not sure you can get there from here.

I did have a great discussion w/ another Type-A+ indiv who mentioned he has 2 high school kids he had to put thru college. I asked him if he assigned his Post-9/11 GI Bill to them as that pays your college, books, plus a SSgt salary while you're a student?? He'll be looking into that pronto! Then he asked me about Nord's book and Work Less, Live More as well. I told him the biggest obstacle to early retirement for him was right between his ears. We had an awesome discussion from there.

JDARNELL 12-10-2011 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1138992)
Well, finished my ETAPS course and am heading back home. I asked the instructor "how do I interview for a lower level job than what I'm doing in the military right now. I don't want to work as hard as I now."

I remember having a similar discussion with someone during my transition period. I really thought I could stop completely. Then it was well work a little part time, then take a lower level job than what I had done. At some point I made the decision to work again after a sabbatical which I was hoping would be 3 months longer. I also decided that if I was going to work again that my time was worth so much or I wasn't going to do it. Now the type A is kicking in and that work ethic thing. 51 hrs this week as I get back up to speed.

It is different this time around. I work because I want to for now. And when it is no fun I will give notice. My boss knows that. Rem you can always call it quits if you are FI.

JDARNELL

Nords 12-11-2011 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1138298)
Nords, got one attendee to write down the info for your book. Been leaving it out on my desk and I sit right by the only door in and out of the room. :-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1138992)
Then he asked me about Nord's book and Work Less, Live More as well. I told him the biggest obstacle to early retirement for him was right between his ears. We had an awesome discussion from there.

Thanks for the marketing!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1138992)
Hhmmm, not sure you can get there from here.

I think that for many servicemembers TAP is their first contact with reality after years of the military lifestyle. And I think the TAP instructors try to make it happen that way.

Parr0thead98 12-15-2011 05:58 AM

Morning all! Glad to say our ER planning is still tracking. Wife and I had a great discussion about expenses, I updated my Powerpoint brief to include what my retirement will be after Fed, State, life insurance, and SBP premiums. I then subtracted our recurring monthly expenses like piano lessons, sports fees for the kids, etc as well as projected house payment + utilities (we live in base housing right now, so I used my current housing allowance).

Starting 1 Jan, we have laid our plan to begin living off my net projected retired pay based off the above planning factors and will bank the rest between TSP contributions and Money Mkt account. We joked w/ each other that we've always seemed happiest when we didn't have 2 nickels to rub together!

We are doing this to ensure we can meet day-to-day expenses off of just my projected retirement and then whatever jobs we "choose" to undertake will be for savings/car repairs/vacations, etc.

Parr0thead98 12-27-2011 06:44 PM

OK, New Year's is right around the corner and we're planning to LBYM on my projected retirement income with banking the rest. Wife and I have been scouring all the real estate web sites and picking out houses that we'd like. I am sooo proud of my wife...thanks to reading Early Retirement Extreme, we have actually been shrinking the size of the house we think we'd like from the McMansion to what is a realistic living space. We're now looking at 2,200-2,500 s/f houses with a small yard. I am sooo over the whole keeping-up-with-the-Jonses yard scapes! I want a lot that I can cut in 30 min or less like Dominos pizza!

Gumby 12-27-2011 07:15 PM

The young wife and I have 2500 sqft, We have found it more than enough for the two of us. As it is, we have two bedrooms that we mostly use as extra closet space.

Nords 12-28-2011 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gumby (Post 1144537)
The young wife and I have 2500 sqft, We have found it more than enough for the two of us. As it is, we have two bedrooms that we mostly use as extra closet space.

Spouse and I have reached the same empty-nester conclusion.

If you have kids leaving the nest, it can be dangerous to have vacant bedrooms a landing pad for them to boomerang back to...

Parr0thead98 01-12-2012 05:50 AM

7 June 2013.

That's the magical date.

What I'm now projecting as my last day of duty before going on 20 days of house hunting permissive TDY and 95 days of terminal leave with an actual retirement effective date of 1 Oct 2013! I can drop my papers this October.

What a mental journey this has been, but I am now sure this is the right thing for our family. When the wife asked yesterday, "so, is there anything at this point that would make you consider staying in? What about General (I could still have 1 more shot, but I could also win the Lottery!)?"

"Nope...I don't want to miss my son's HS years. I'm ready and the AF stamped an expiration date on me the day I came in. I'm just a disposable asset to them and my replacement is already out there somewhere waiting for me to vacate my big office!"

Wife and I are flying to NC next month to start scouting areas and neighborhoods to focus our home search...I think we're commiting to this!

Cheers to 7 June 2013...can't wait for you to get here!

RetireBy90 01-12-2012 07:16 AM

Congrats on the pending move, and thank you for your service. You and the others here that have served in uniform.

DW and I both retired from Army, she in 92 and me in 94. One thing that has really caught me off guard is the transitions. I do computers so my work transition was not hard. However, the DW being home full time didn't work for her so she went to work for school system after 18 months. My 2 sons were young when we retired, so had time to go to football and hockey games. Then they left home and it was back to just the 2 of us again, another big transition. Now I work from home full time and have the home to myself all day. Another big transition. And then one more when we retire in 2-4 years. Lots of adjustments along the way. I couldn't have expected them (or maybe I should have) those years ago and for me they have been a challange.

JDARNELL 01-12-2012 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1149647)
I'm ready and the AF stamped an expiration date on me the day I came in. I'm just a disposable asset to them and my replacement is already out there somewhere waiting for me to vacate my big office!"

Well said. Congrats on identifying your date!

JDARNELL

Ed_The_Gypsy 01-12-2012 09:02 PM

Quote:

I asked the instructor "how do I interview for a lower level job than what I'm doing in the military right now. I don't want to work as hard as I now."
Hmmm. This may not be as easy as it sounds. Be careful. Staff positions at all levels on the outside as often as not involve lots of unpaid overtime.

However, if you become a contractor, your hours become 8 to 5. Unless you step in in a crisis and you work a ton of overtime. In which case you get paid for it (at straight time rates), AND you will find that it is much more tolerable. That is often the case for me as an engineer.

I see that you have a lot of time to investigate, so good.

Best of luck.

Nords 01-13-2012 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1149647)
7 June 2013.

A shipmate's Christmas card talked about retiring in April. I assumed he meant April 2013.

Turns out he and the assignment officer had different visions of his future, and he's retiring in just 78 days. I don't think he's even planning to go to TAP. April Fool's indeed.

I think your way is going to work out much better.

Parr0thead98 01-13-2012 06:03 AM

Thanks for the encouraging notes...this board has actually been a big help to me in making the "mental leap." It really is mental for me as the military programs you to complete every mission and not to accept failure. As you, yourselves, have experienced, getting a second career after the military is an expected "next mission" and why are you quitting if you don't get a full-time job. I told my exec I wanted to be like him...he's a retired E-9 after 30 yrs, and is now a GS-11 as my excutive assistant...nice!

I've actually discussed my retirement plan w/ my General last weekend. I luv working for him...he's a great leader. But he also represents what I don't want to be...he's on his way to his second star, going to a 2-star billet in D.C. in a few months, one kid is in the military and one is at college. And now that the kids are grown, his wife has moved out because they've found without the kids, they don't have anything in common anymore...actually, she's had enough of the military life and wants to go back to being a teacher, but he's still military all the way.

For us, my wife is an RN w/ a degree, but hasn't practiced her license since our son was born 12 yrs ago. Right now, our planning is for her to go back to work when we retire and for me to take at least 1 yr off to be "Domestic Daddy!" I'm excited since my hobby is to cook...we're gonna be eatin' large starting next June!

Ahhh, feels good to say "7 June 2013, 7 June 2013, 7 June 2013" and y'all helped me get there. So glad I found this place :-)

JDARNELL 01-13-2012 05:12 PM

I went to TAP the first time 2 yrs out. The next 9 months I really worked on the mental aspects of what I wanted to do. I then went at the 6 month out which was a good refresher. The good thing is the FI part should be pretty taken care of as compared to the mental process. You have to go thru it. The folks here really helped me thru the process. You may be suprised how hard it is to turn off the drive that got you your current billet.

JDARNELL

Nords 01-14-2012 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDARNELL (Post 1150339)
You may be suprised how hard it is to turn off the drive that got you your current billet.

Yep. I channeled most of that into surfing lessons, but there was still some left over for writing.

Parr0thead98 01-14-2012 07:36 AM

I know I will have to do something to channel that energy, so I started a list yesterday that I have next to my computer at work. So far, I've got:

1. Learn to speak and read Spanish
2. Take cooking classes on different cuisines
3. Get back into Tae Kwon Do or a new martial arts

It's a nice mental relief to just think about me for a change instead of the unit and the job!

Ed_The_Gypsy 01-14-2012 10:51 AM

Your family will be the unit and taking care of them will be your job. Think of it this way and the transition may be easier. You will apply the same skills and the same energy to the assignment. See how easy it is?

ziggy29 01-14-2012 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1150051)
However, if you become a contractor, your hours become 8 to 5. Unless you step in in a crisis and you work a ton of overtime. In which case you get paid for it (at straight time rates), AND you will find that it is much more tolerable. That is often the case for me as an engineer.

Of course, that also often means someone needs to have their health insurance lined up elsewhere, since one of the tradeoffs of contracting is usually the loss of benefits. For a military retiree who put in their 20 that won't be a showstopper, but for a lot of other folks it could be.

Parr0thead98 01-27-2012 06:44 AM

Morning all...been a while since I've posted, but have been reading the threads every morning with my coffee.

I'm excited on 2 events today:

1) we're almost thru our first month of living off my projected retirement check...and we're still $542 in the black w/ 4 days to go...whew!

2) just booked my retirement dream vacation for the month after I start terminal leave...a 12-day Mediterannean cruise to Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey...I'm so excited!

On the budgeting, it's somewhat of a relief to find we can adjust our lifestyle to LBYM for day-to-day living. And that includes our housing costs.

On the cruise, as one of my hobbies is being a "gaming enthusiast," I got an offer for a free cruise for 2 people...and just had to pay taxes/fees/costs for bringing our 2 kids with us. Total for 12 days of touring the Med on a cruise ship for 4 people, $2,706!

Wife & I are flying to NC in a few weeks to do an initial house hunting trip to narrow down the areas we think we'd like.

The fear factor of leaving the military in 17 mos is rapidly fading, I'm really thinking this is going to work.

Ed_The_Gypsy 01-27-2012 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 1150636)
Of course, that also often means someone needs to have their health insurance lined up elsewhere, since one of the tradeoffs of contracting is usually the loss of benefits. For a military retiree who put in their 20 that won't be a showstopper, but for a lot of other folks it could be.

True. But maybe not always.

My agency offered health insurance, at a price. Also, my wife worked and had good health insurance for the family. At the time, we could get private health insurance, but did not. Can't now.

Ed_The_Gypsy 01-27-2012 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1154907)
The fear factor of leaving the military in 17 mos is rapidly fading, I'm really thinking this is going to work.

Visualizing the transition and planning makes a big difference! The fear factor is common with people who have had one career.

You will do fine.

Cheers.:)

RetireBy90 01-28-2012 04:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy (Post 1155185)
True. But maybe not always.

My agency offered health insurance, at a price. Also, my wife worked and had good health insurance for the family. At the time, we could get private health insurance, but did not. Can't now.

Please bear with me, my DW and I both retired Army, get health insurance through our current employers. However, don't you always have access to TriCare if you retired?

JDARNELL 01-28-2012 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1154907)

1) we're almost thru our first month of living off my projected retirement check...and we're still $542 in the black w/ 4 days to go...whew!

On the budgeting, it's somewhat of a relief to find we can adjust our lifestyle to LBYM for day-to-day living. And that includes our housing costs.


The fear factor of leaving the military in 17 mos is rapidly fading, I'm really thinking this is going to work.

A few months of seeing that on average you can stay in the black is great confirmation. I am sure you have some depth so if you are over a little every now and then you can adjust it out. Besides you have a lot of capability and you can always pick up a little extra on a short term basis if needed.

Things will become much clearer as the fog of work lifts.

JDARNELL

JDARNELL 01-28-2012 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireBy90 (Post 1155229)
However, don't you always have access to TriCare if you retired?

Can you expand on this statement?

We use TRICARE only and have had no issues. Of course I am happy to pay my co-pay and go where ever I want as to not have to mess with the MTFs.

JDARNELL

Nords 01-28-2012 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1154907)
I'm excited on 2 events today:
1) we're almost thru our first month of living off my projected retirement check...and we're still $542 in the black w/ 4 days to go...whew!
2) just booked my retirement dream vacation for the month after I start terminal leave...a 12-day Mediterannean cruise to Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey...I'm so excited!
The fear factor of leaving the military in 17 mos is rapidly fading, I'm really thinking this is going to work.

Looks like it's all gonna work out fine...

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireBy90 (Post 1155229)
Please bear with me, my DW and I both retired Army, get health insurance through our current employers. However, don't you always have access to TriCare if you retired?

You have access to Tricare if you're retired military. Ed's referring to the vagaries of civilian insurance selection issues.

While you'll always have access to Tricare, the rates will continue to rise over the coming years. However I'm not complaining about the rates-- the cost is still far cheaper than civilian retiree insurance.

Medicare, Tricare For Life, Medigap insurance, and Congress | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
The military drawdown and benefits cuts | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

Parr0thead98 02-07-2012 06:30 AM

Morning to all. Officially, the family finished Jan living on my projected retired pay and still had $111.00 left over...woo-hoo :-) Found we spent more on food and eating out so we're eyeing that for Feb. The Airman & Family Readiness Center on base is having a lunch time speaker from the VA coming in next week to teach about your VA benefits and how to file claims. I'm already signed up!

Wife has been researching nursing jobs in NC...don't think she's going to have anyyyy trouble finding work in that field! ;-)

Nords 02-07-2012 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1158600)
Morning to all. Officially, the family finished Jan living on my projected retired pay and still had $111.00 left over...woo-hoo :-) Found we spent more on food and eating out so we're eyeing that for Feb. The Airman & Family Readiness Center on base is having a lunch time speaker from the VA coming in next week to teach about your VA benefits and how to file claims. I'm already signed up!
Wife has been researching nursing jobs in NC...don't think she's going to have anyyyy trouble finding work in that field! ;-)

Thanks for the update!

You'll have to let us know how the VA works out. I've been meaning to turn myself in to our local VA for some minor disability assessment but it's always seemed busy up there with wounded warriors.

Judging from the blog's e-mails and "Contact me" forms, you have a number of lurkers here who have been following your progress and hoping to emulate the same in a few years. Keep us posted!

Parr0thead98 03-23-2012 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1154907)
Morning all...been a while since I've posted, but have been reading the threads every morning with my coffee.

Wife & I are flying to NC in a few weeks to do an initial house hunting trip to narrow down the areas we think we'd like.

The fear factor of leaving the military in 17 mos is rapidly fading, I'm really thinking this is going to work.

Morning again, folks...a lot has been going. Reference the quote above about going back to NC to scout out areas...well, that turned into us signing a contract on a house to be built later this year, yikes! Won't bore you with all the detailes, but after looking at approx 30 houses/various neighborhoods over 2 days, we found 1 sales model that we had seen online and just happened to be driving by on our way to another neighborhood. We stopped in on a whim, I knew it was the house I wanted the moment I walked into the kitchen! Builder rep calls 2 days later while I'm TDY and offers several incentives if I could close before the end of this year so they can close out Phase I and begin Phase II next year. I countered and they accepted!

So, the family is definitely committed now! Will mean carrying the mortgage for 5 mos sooner than I had planned, so I need to update my budget forecast this weekend, but does not appear to put a significant dent in things.

Already had my first "job offer" from an old boss who's formed his own beltway bandit company. Wants me to keep in touch and he gives me 6 mos after retirement before I'm climbing the walls. Now I have a goal to prove him wrong! I really want to go 1 yr without working to de-stress, de-program, let my wife re=enter the workforce/nursing.

15 mos to go!

Parr0thead98 03-24-2012 07:33 AM

Was somewhat rushed yesterday morning as there were a couple of additional thoughts I wanted to add. Did I mention my mom came with us house hunting? She was a good sport in keeping up with our pace, but she asked me several times, "so what are you going to do for a job?" When I explained to her how we've been practicing living off my projected retirement pay and that I don't necessarily expect to need to work, she retorted, "well, I just think you need to have a job, you're too young!" Ahhh, will be so good to be back near family, won't it?!

Have been studying the DIY channels/videos on how to build an outdoor patio, grow fruit-bearing trees, finish a third floor attic, put in wainscotting (sp?), properly fertilize & grow a lawn, stain concrete driveway, and researched culinary classes in the area where we'll be moving in NC...gee, what WILL I do all day?? :-)

jclarksnakes 03-24-2012 10:43 AM

You might mention to your mom that you did more work in your army career than most people do in a lifetime. If I remember the recruiting ad correctly we did more before 10AM than most people did all day. People just cannot understand that with a reasonable income and strong LBYM mentality it is very possible to reach FI and RE.

stoutboy 04-04-2012 11:35 AM

Join the Foreign Service! Lots of ex-mils in the dip corps these days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1177070)
Was somewhat rushed yesterday morning as there were a couple of additional thoughts I wanted to add. Did I mention my mom came with us house hunting? She was a good sport in keeping up with our pace, but she asked me several times, "so what are you going to do for a job?" When I explained to her how we've been practicing living off my projected retirement pay and that I don't necessarily expect to need to work, she retorted, "well, I just think you need to have a job, you're too young!" Ahhh, will be so good to be back near family, won't it?!

Have been studying the DIY channels/videos on how to build an outdoor patio, grow fruit-bearing trees, finish a third floor attic, put in wainscotting (sp?), properly fertilize & grow a lawn, stain concrete driveway, and researched culinary classes in the area where we'll be moving in NC...gee, what WILL I do all day?? :-)


Parr0thead98 04-30-2012 06:49 PM

Evening all. Been researching VA Disability Rating calculations and trying to figure out "how the sausage is made" as far as computing your overall rating. From my research and my known, documented "delayed discrepancies" as we say in aircraft maintenance community, I estimate a disability rating of between 60% to 80%. I am scheduled for a sleep study later this week to test for sleep apnea. I never considered that I may have it until I went in for an annual health assessment (annual, right! I don't think I've been for about 4 yrs!). My answers to the sleep questions caused the Dr to dig a little further and schedule me for the study. If you are diagnosed w/ severe apnea, it's a 50% disability. But, from what I've read, the VA takes your highest disability rating like this 50% and then if your next rating/ailment is, say, 30%, VA then takes 30% of your remaining "good" 50% left after your first rating. Make sense?

So, I have 6 conditions I'm under regular care for w/out the sleep issues. I never knew I was in such bad shape!!

Fortunately, I have a large term life insurance policy already in effect as I understand rates are higher if you get diagnosed w/ apnea because it puts you at higher risk for heart attacks down the road...joy.

Hung out some Navy friends last weekend. He's an O-5 retiring in June. As we drank good bourbon and chatted about our retirements (mine's 14 mos away). He looked at me and said, "wow, you've really thought about all of this and have done some serious planning. I've only gotten as far as I'm retiring and need to go get a job."

Have I said THANK YOU to you folks on this board, lately?? ;-)

Nords 04-30-2012 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1190584)
Hung out some Navy friends last weekend. He's an O-5 retiring in June. As we drank good bourbon and chatted about our retirements (mine's 14 mos away). He looked at me and said, "wow, you've really thought about all of this and have done some serious planning. I've only gotten as far as I'm retiring and need to go get a job."
Have I said THANK YOU to you folks on this board, lately?? ;-)

Tell him that he needs to check in with one of us...

Parr0thead98 05-02-2012 07:51 PM

Thx to Nord's book, I realized I had to re-calculate my projected retirement pay to be the average of the last 36 mos pay vs just the avg of the last 3 years pay rates--meaning I went back 36 actual months from my projected retirement date and averaged it out. It ended up coming out approx $1,100 yr lower than just averaging the pay rate for my final 3 yrs. Thx Nords!

Parr0thead98 05-05-2012 08:32 PM

Our base starts a big inspection on Monday. We've been preparing for months. Yesterday before going home, some of my folks were stopping in my office saying, "Don't worry Boss, we're ready." A smile came across my face...I'm not worried because I know my folks have been ready every day they're on the job--and the fact that this is the last major inspection I'll have to go through before retiring next Summer!!!!!!!! Sweet!

Nords 05-06-2012 03:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1191190)
Thx to Nord's book, I realized I had to re-calculate my projected retirement pay to be the average of the last 36 mos pay vs just the avg of the last 3 years pay rates--meaning I went back 36 actual months from my projected retirement date and averaged it out. It ended up coming out approx $1,100 yr lower than just averaging the pay rate for my final 3 yrs. Thx Nords!

You're welcome!

I believe you can still fill out a request for DFAS to calculate your pension (hopefully using the same technique) to verify your monthly amount. For example, I think they truncate their final result to the lower dollar amount. Of course that request is best done when DFAS can estimate the pay scale in the year of your retirement, so the confirmation happens pretty late in the game.

I'm one of the last of the "Final Pay" dinosaurs. When the January 2002 pay tables were released (before I retired on 1 June), O-4 pay had been boosted across the board with a retention-incentive "targeted pay raise" of 5.6%. Of course their target was really O-4s with 10-14 years of service, and they could've restricted that to O-4s with less than 18 years of service or some other gimmick, but for some reason they applied it to the whole rank. This meant that my pension was boosted by 5.6% just before I retired (and for the rest of my life). That's my own little pension spiking, so I can understand the push to a High Three system. But it sure complicates things.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1191874)
... and the fact that this is the last major inspection I'll have to go through before retiring next Summer!!!!!!!! Sweet!

It's a great feeling!

Parr0thead98 06-24-2012 07:42 PM

Been a while since I posted, so figured it's time to update on where I am wrt retirement process. Been an emotional roller coaster, lately.

First, unofficially, I am now less than 1 year from my last duty day o/a 7 Jun 13!!! Holy crap, this is really going to happen, isn't it?? I am both soooooo excited and anxious at the same time.

Went to NC last week to finalize plans/details w/ the builder. I didn't know I'd get asked so many questions like what carpet, paint color, grilling deck?, tile for the bath floor, tile for shower, how about downstairs, appliances selection, where do you want outlets? (knew that one--beer fridge in garage gets it's own outlet, baby!) stain for the hardwood floors, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

The saying, whne one door closes, another door opens came true. My best friend's mother passed while we were there. I've known this woman since her son and I were in third grade, got him through high school (learned not to cover my tests as he sat next to me!), college roomates, pilot training together until I washed out, still visit each other regularly, etc. I was relieved at her passing as she was in declining health in a nursing home. I mention this event because earlier in the week I was going through "Sr Officer'itis" we'll call it. It was finally hitting me that I would be just another family member at our monthly dinner gatherings (I'm 1 of 7 kids, we all have families so our gatherings are 20-30 people) and not "The Colonel." Instead, I'll now be "hey, empty the garbage and bring me another plate for the chicken" guy. I'll no longer be in charge, and nobody will be making coffe for me. I'll be living back in my home town for the first time in 29 years where people don't give a d*mn what I used to do, what large unit I used to lead, or what rank I used to be.

So, as I realized that this is all trivial and the fact that I am dealing with it now vs after I retire, was made even more trivial by my best friend's mom passing. Reality check of what's really important and what's just an illusion of power/influence when you're in uniform.

The silver lining, I got to see my best friend who came in from DC, and 2 of my old high school buddies that I ran around with, but haven't kept in touch. Gotta tell ya', God was telling me, "Pete, it's OK, I have a plan for you and you're old friends are here for you...see?" Damn, He outfoxed me again! It was such a wonderfulr & fulfilling feeling to see my old friends again. They are excited about me moving back and already talking about re-starting our old high school poker group, teaching me how to fish & hunt (I am from NC, mind you), etc. My best friend also said he and his wife, she's also active duty, will probably be moving back next year after she retires. He's a Reservist, so he can commute for his tours. All to say, I am not as scared as I was 3 weeks ago.

I am a little surprised at myself for getting anxious about losing my title. rank, and identity initially. You folks on this board prepared me for it, I told myself I was ready for it. But, I guess confronting it by being back home last week made it jump from concept to actual reality and it gave me a brief jolt. Glad to report I'm good now. Been researching attic home theater rooms today and I am pumped to get started on it next Summer!

Now that I'm actually less than 1 year away from my last duty day, I'm going to schedule the wife and I for TAPS in Sept or Oct. Game on, folks!

Thanks for listening to me and my emotional babble...I know I can do this!

Pete

JDARNELL 06-24-2012 08:17 PM

I know for me the emotional part of leaving AD was far more stressing that the financial parts. I made the transition from Lt Col to first name then back to Mr. last name. I never talk about the rank and if someone mentions it I play it off. Your transition seems about normal.

JDARNELL

Parr0thead98 06-24-2012 08:40 PM

Thx JD. I am doing OK now. I was surprised at myself for feeling this way because I told myself earlier that I was ready for this and knew it was coming. However, the actual "awakening" last week caught me a bit off guard because i told myself I had prepared for it ahead of time. Ha!! How'd that work out for me?!

I'm good, now. Chuckling at myself as the first step is to admit you have an ER problem, right? :-)

JDARNELL 06-24-2012 08:49 PM

Correct. There is a 12 step program. I think I am on step 9 or 10. I have been trying the bridge career thing with DoD however I told my boss that I would be moving on in a few weeks. Its either to another govt agency (step 11) or straight to (step 12) back to ER. Don't under estimate the Type A traits that got you to where you are now. They are still very present for me.

I have a friend who retires in Feb 13 and he had his "ah ha" moment last week when he was home visiting his mom. In his case it was more "wow I have done all of this and all my HS friends are losers. I really am a Colonel." I think we are led to believe work titles are important but in reality there irrelevant.

JDARNELL

Parr0thead98 06-24-2012 09:02 PM

Amen! It's just an illusion of power that some people take as their reality.

After you hang up the uniform, your only real "power" are the legacy of raising good kids and the legacy of loving your wife (or sig other) like no one else could ever do! I can't recall who sang it, but one country song line sticks with me "no one's ever put on their tombstone that I wish I would have spent more time at work!" true that! My replacement is already out there somewhere just waiting for me to vacate my desk next Summer...I can either ?futily? try to hang on to my illusion of power or start boxing up my office stuff. Hhmmm, better swing by Sam's Club to pick up some boxes!

Nords 06-24-2012 11:37 PM

Thanks for the update, Pete, this is good stuff. You'll make the transition just fine. Sorry that your friend's mother's passing evoked the realizations, though.

As a senior officer, you may be perceived to have barely enough technical skills and persistence to be trusted to run the grille at your next family gathering. Or maybe they'll tell you to go sit in the corner with a frosty beverage and tell logistics war stories. And just how accurately will they expect you to be able to shoot during the hunt?

I'd love to hear what you think about TAP. It'll also be interesting to hear about your fellow attendees, who will just be starting step 1 of their 12-step program by the end of the seminar...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1206528)
where do you want outlets?

I can answer this one! We asked for an outlet every four feet all around the perimeter of the room. We also had a bunch of three-way light switches installed so that we could switch the lights coming or going. (We eventually cut back on the number of switched outlets in favor of power strips.) The rest of the room's power plan used about 300 extra feet of Romex but it's perfect.

jclarksnakes 06-25-2012 12:33 PM

The first morning after I retired from the army I woke up and had a brief (very brief, maybe 5 seconds) panic attack asking myself omg wtf have I done. That was 19 years ago and it was the one and only time I ever even wondered whether retiring from the army was the right thing to do.

Gumby 06-25-2012 04:27 PM

For the first several months after I left the Navy, I often had the unsettling feeling that I had left my cover somewhere. I had to consciously tell myself that I didn't wear that anymore. Other than that, no qualms. But then, I was only a LT when I left.

Amethyst 06-25-2012 04:36 PM

I am not sure one is ever done being a senior military person. Any time something needs to get done, and people are sort of standing around admiring the problem and wondering what to do, I suspect you may find yourself stepping up to rally people to get the job done. Because you have the instinct, and you were taught the way.

Amethyst

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1206545)
Amen! It's just an illusion of power that some people take as their reality.

After you hang up the uniform, your only real "power" are the legacy of raising good kids and the legacy of loving your wife (or sig other) like no one else could ever do!


Parr0thead98 06-27-2012 08:04 PM

Was visiting one of my worldwide units this week and ended the visit w/ a Commander's Call, or a Navy All Hands as my big blue brethren would say. One of my non-comms stood up and asked, "Sir, you've said you plan on retiring next year. Besides getting higher education degrees, what have you learned as you prepare for retirement that you would pass on to us?"

Somebody get me a tissue to wipe these tears of pride!

"LBYM," I said. "Don't take 16 years like I did to learn to live below your means!" I continued to say how I looked out in their parking lot as I arrived and saw a lot of newer trucks and motorcycles that probably they are making payments on. And as an O-6 making great money, I drive an 11-yr-old VW Passat that I paid cash for--but I wasn't always that way. I told them how, as a young officer, I turned to Consumer Credit Counseling because I got in way too far over my head and needed help. Don't be me, I beseached them.

I also then walked them through just how much a military pension can cover if they have no debt when they retire. I had them doing public math as I threw out how much for a mortgage, utilities, cell phone, cable, food, gas, etc. We got all the way down to $0 and I asked, "OK, so have we missed any necessities?" "No," they all chimed in.

OK, so after 20+ years, you will still be in your 30's, right?

Yessir.

Are you going to sit home all day now or go get a job?

Jobs, sir.

OK, what are you going to do with all that money?

Huh?

Well, we just walked through how your pension will cover the basics, so if you get debt free before retirement, then any $$ you bring afterwards...well, what are you going to do with it?

Light bulbs go on across the room :-)

I had multiple troops come up to me afterwards to talk some more on that topic.

I love this job :-)

Semiretired2008 06-27-2012 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jclarksnakes (Post 1206649)
The first morning after I retired from the army I woke up and had a brief (very brief, maybe 5 seconds) panic attack asking myself omg wtf have I done. That was 19 years ago and it was the one and only time I ever even wondered whether retiring from the army was the right thing to do.


LOL - the next monday I got up to go to my new day job and grabbed my uniform first... :facepalm:

Nords 06-27-2012 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1207370)
Light bulbs go on across the room :-)
I had multiple troops come up to me afterwards to talk some more on that topic.
I love this job :-)

Excellent. I hope their light bulbs keep burning.

Parr0thead98 07-09-2012 05:44 AM

Just thought I'd share an "ah ha" moment. I'm geo-bacherloring it for a month as fam is visiting Grandparents. So, local golf course had an ad for 1/2 golf if you start between 1100-1500. Hhmm, my early-retiree-in-training mind saw a good deal, so I went. To save even more buck$, I chose to walk the course, so my total bill was $8.

I got to go out solo as not many people are lining up at 1100 to tee off when it's supposed to hit 103 by 3-4pm. Gee, wonder why? I also noticed I was the ONLY person out walking vs using a cart...hhmmm, do they know something I don't? ;-)

The good: I luved getting back on the course after years not playing (except the office best-ball/beer drinking tournaments) since my son was born (he's a teenager now). In another thread someone polled if there's a right early retirement personality type--I'm dead even betw an INTJ/ENTP. Well, the INTJ side of me completely enjoyed the solitude of playing alone! I was actually imagining myself getting the kids off to school next Fall, wife off to work, and hitting the course for 9 holes before running errands/cleaning the house...and I was smiling.

The bad: who was the dumb a** in my mind that thought it'd be nice to walk to get some exercise in 103 degrees? D'uh! However, I am down 2lbs this morning on the scale!

The ugly: besides my sunburn on my neck because I forgot sunscreen? Going to have to plan the cost of new clubs into my "living off my military retirement" experiment. Better golf through better technology! I'm using the set of clubs I got as a butter bar back in '88. I think a minor upgrade is warranted.

So that was my $8 day of entertainment/weight loss program!

JDARNELL 07-09-2012 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1211116)
The bad: who was the dumb a** in my mind that thought it'd be nice to walk to get some exercise in 103 degrees? D'uh! However, I am down 2lbs this morning on the scale!

Yeah that guy shows up around my place from time to time also.

JDARNELL

MichaelB 07-09-2012 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1211116)
Just thought I'd share an "ah ha" moment. I'm geo-bacherloring it for a month as fam is visiting Grandparents. So, local golf course had an ad for 1/2 golf if you start between 1100-1500. Hhmm, my early-retiree-in-training mind saw a good deal, so I went. To save even more buck$, I chose to walk the course, so my total bill was $8.

I got to go out solo as not many people are lining up at 1100 to tee off when it's supposed to hit 103 by 3-4pm. Gee, wonder why? I also noticed I was the ONLY person out walking vs using a cart...hhmmm, do they know something I don't? ;-)

The good: I luved getting back on the course after years not playing (except the office best-ball/beer drinking tournaments) since my son was born (he's a teenager now). In another thread someone polled if there's a right early retirement personality type--I'm dead even betw an INTJ/ENTP. Well, the INTJ side of me completely enjoyed the solitude of playing alone! I was actually imagining myself getting the kids off to school next Fall, wife off to work, and hitting the course for 9 holes before running errands/cleaning the house...and I was smiling.

The bad: who was the dumb a** in my mind that thought it'd be nice to walk to get some exercise in 103 degrees? D'uh! However, I am down 2lbs this morning on the scale!

The ugly: besides my sunburn on my neck because I forgot sunscreen? Going to have to plan the cost of new clubs into my "living off my military retirement" experiment. Better golf through better technology! I'm using the set of clubs I got as a butter bar back in '88. I think a minor upgrade is warranted.

So that was my $8 day of entertainment/weight loss program!

The real question is .. are you going to do it again? You can use sunscreen and the 2 lbs can be good. As for new clubs, not being a golfer I have mo opinion but rationalizing a needless purchase justifying such an important addition to basic retirement gear shouldn't be too difficult. If the armed forces are anything like the corporate world (and I know they are) most of us probably are well qualified in rationalizing decision making.

FinanceDude 07-09-2012 02:04 PM

Get the technology, you deserve it! :)

Parr0thead98 07-09-2012 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelB (Post 1211283)
The real question is .. are you going to do it again? You can use sunscreen and the 2 lbs can be good. As for new clubs, not being a golfer I have mo opinion but rationalizing a needless purchase justifying such an important addition to basic retirement gear shouldn't be too difficult. If the armed forces are anything like the corporate world (and I know they are) most of us probably are well qualified in rationalizing decision making.


Ohhhh, you did hit a nerve with that one...in a good way as I am always preaching to my troops about rationalizing. D*mn it! :facepalm:

I'm not going to rush into any purchases until I do see if I will repeat the golf outing. I think I may peruse some pawn shops to see who's hocked their clubs because they, too, rationalized their purchases.

Parr0thead98 07-11-2012 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelB (Post 1211283)
The real question is .. are you going to do it again? You can use sunscreen and the 2 lbs can be good. As for new clubs, not being a golfer I have mo opinion but rationalizing a needless purchase justifying such an important addition to basic retirement gear shouldn't be too difficult. If the armed forces are anything like the corporate world (and I know they are) most of us probably are well qualified in rationalizing decision making.

MichaelB: thought of your words today. Went to the store and bought a doz used golf balls for $6 vs $22 for brand new. In addition, I noticed a nice driver on the rack w/ a lesser brand of clubs on sale by 50% for $29. I asked the sales clerk for the price on the out of place driver, and he went to ask his manager. He comes back out and said his manager was willing to let the club go for the same $29 to get rid of it, so I got it!

Went and got 9 holes in tonight and the new driver made a BIG difference in driving distance! Best part was knowing I only paid $29 bucks for it :-)

Thanks for your reminder about being ER'd. I consider this good training for next year. :rolleyes:

Nords 07-11-2012 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDARNELL (Post 1211279)
Yeah that guy shows up around my place from time to time also.

That guy must rack up millions of frequent-flyer miles commuting among our homes...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1211359)
I'm not going to rush into any purchases until I do see if I will repeat the golf outing. I think I may peruse some pawn shops to see who's hocked their clubs because they, too, rationalized their purchases.

It's like upgrading from an IBM PC XT to an i7 laptop. Of course at the pawnshop you're still getting bargains in the Core2Duo class.

Parr0thead98 07-14-2012 03:58 PM

Have gone out every night this week and got at least 9 holes in. The course on base has 1/2 off greens fees after 1730, and I've been walking. Going out again in about an hour before I fly out tomorrow morning to visit 3 units in 4 days and get back Thurs night to officiate a retirement for one of my troops on Friday morning.

Since re-introducing myself to golf about 1 month ago, I played my best round last night. Actually made a Birdie by sinking a 12' putt! $29 driver still working, too ;-)

Builder has started on the foundation of our house...no turning back now!

Nords 07-14-2012 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parr0thead98 (Post 1212819)
Have gone out every night this week and got at least 9 holes in. The course on base has 1/2 off greens fees after 1730, and I've been walking. Going out again in about an hour before I fly out tomorrow morning to visit 3 units in 4 days and get back Thurs night to officiate a retirement for one of my troops on Friday morning.
Since re-introducing myself to golf about 1 month ago, I played my best round last night. Actually made a Birdie by sinking a 12' putt! $29 driver still working, too ;-)

PH, I don't golf anymore, but my attention has been directed to this smartphone app:
GolfLogix: #1 Golf GPS App for iPhone, Droid, BlackBerry, Palm; the best GPS rangefinder

Of course you run the risk of completely deglamorizing your game, sucking out all the fun, and giving up in utter despair. But it seems like a great quantitative analysis tool.


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