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View Full Version : Ammo Troop Calls it Quits at 14 Years (viral letter)



SomeRandomGuy
08-04-2015, 07:19 PM
Hey look! Another viral letter about someone who felt the need to explain why they are leaving the Air Force.


Tomorrow morning will be the final day I lace up my boots and put on my Air Force uniform. I have now served my country in uniform for 14 years but it is time to go.

As I was out-processing today my wife (who will be leaving service next month) and I were asked numerous times “Why don’t you just stay in one more enlistment for your retirement?”

It was somewhat difficult to answer with just one reason as to why I have decided to take off the uniform. Was it the pay and benefits? No not really (Even though I make less than $15 a hour which many people think the minimum wage should be!) Was it all the deployments? Ummmmm sorta of (I have been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia just to name a few in addition to about 25 other countries) but I love my country and would always give my life defending this great nation for my family and friends.


So I just wanted to share a couple thoughts with all of you while I sit here thinking about my final day in uniform which will come at 0630 tomorrow morning. I currently am an AMMO troop. Our mission is to build bombs and process numerous other munitions to take the fight to the enemy. We pretty much put “Warheads on Foreheads!” But what I signed up for many years ago has changed dramatically. Even though our mission is to kill, we are more worried about upsetting someones feelings versus getting the mission done. We spend more time doing ancillary training then actually training. Even though I have a military drivers license I have to be signed off in another database to drive a vehicle and then have a competency card saying I know how to drive on top of that. That is just a few examples of why I have decided to call it quits.

And then we get to the bigger issue America. Can anyone tell me what the following names mean? Thomas Sullivan, Skip Wells, Carson Holmquist, David Wyatt, or Randall Smith? Or is this easier for you, Cecil the lion or Caitlyn Jenner? Yes we give more attention and respect to stars and animals then we do to those who continue to give their lives for this country.

I have met my greatest friends in the military. I have left home for months not knowing if I would return. I have written letters to my family just in case something happened to me while at war. I have looked war in the face and have taken the fight to the enemy. I have watched grown men cry and sat in the middle east wondering how big my kids were getting and how my beautiful wife was doing.

So would I do it again? Absolutely! But we as Americans need to realize what is going on and return to the greatest nation we used to be! If we as a society don’t toughen up and grow thick skin then we will definitely lose the battle to those who wish ill will upon us. Perception is reality, and right now we are more scared of speaking our mind and hurting someones feelings versus doing the right thing.

In closing 99% of America knows Cecil the Lion and Caitlyn Jenner. Only 1% will know the other 5 names (4 Marines and 1 Sailor) who gave their lives in Chattanooga TN at the hands of an terrorist!

So tomorrow I will lace up the boots head into work shake a few hands and be on my way. Its been one hell of a ride. To all those I have met along the way I say “Thank You for your Service”. To my brothers and sisters overseas right now “God Speed” and I will drink a beer for you all. Continue to put Warheads on Foreheads and you will continue to be in our prayers each and every night.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

After reading this two thoughts come to my mind.

1.) Good on this guy for doing the right thing and walking away. His heart wasn't in it and thank God/Allah/Buddha that he didn't stick around 6 more years and poison the environment

2.) This guy is kind of an idiot of walking away from over $1M worth of retirement funds because he hates all the little BS the Air Force does.

Yes I know 1.) and 2.) conflict with each other.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-04-2015, 07:40 PM
LOL!

Sounds like very minor gripes to me.

There were some very cringe worthy lines in there too. The worst was, "I have looked war in the face and taken the fight to the enemy."

Ok, Ammo troop let's not get carried away. Probably the worst place he could have been in that job was Balad were they took a few mortar rounds every afternoon back in 2007.

He was still probably drinking Green Beans lattes every morning.

What was it that made this hardened combat veteran break? Ancillary training and Caitlyn Jenner, oh the humanity!

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-04-2015, 09:17 PM
Beginning 6 years from now, each day for the rest of his life he'll regret his decision to get out. What an effing idiot.

Mjölnir
08-04-2015, 09:56 PM
As someone who has had to be in charge of people who stayed solely for the retirement but still had 5+ years to go, I would say he made a good choice. I would rather have him leave than be the guy whose slack others are taking up.

From the perspective that deployments are winding down (OPTEMPO still high but not as bad and fewer places we are places where active combat is a factor -- then again not sure how much active combat he saw), and that he was basically a few years away from retirement ... probably not an economically smart decision.

Then again, this is a letter written for public consumption (intended to be the next commentary on MTF, JQP or Task&Purpose ... I don't know.) For all we know the guy popped positive on body fat too many times and is now stating his dissatisfaction with the service on his way out the door.

SomeRandomGuy
08-05-2015, 12:33 AM
As someone who has had to be in charge of people who stayed solely for the retirement but still had 5+ years to go, I would say he made a good choice. I would rather have him leave than be the guy whose slack others are taking up.

From the perspective that deployments are winding down (OPTEMPO still high but not as bad and fewer places we are places where active combat is a factor -- then again not sure how much active combat he saw), and that he was basically a few years away from retirement ... probably not an economically smart decision.

Then again, this is a letter written for public consumption (intended to be the next commentary on MTF, JQP or Task&Purpose ... I don't know.) For all we know the guy popped positive on body fat too many times and is now stating his dissatisfaction with the service on his way out the door.

Actually, failing a PT test would have been smarter than what this guy did. If he planned on leaving anyways doing something to get forced out would have netted him severance pay. What he should have done was volunteer for an assignment to Korea and then as soon as he got the assignment he could refuse the orders which would make him ineligible to re-enlist and forced out on the next roll back. That would have entitled him to One-Half Separation Pay. Leaving this way h leaves with nothing but a slogan. IYAAYAS! HOORAH!

P.S. IYAAYAS=If You Aint Ammo You Aint Shit

MikeKerriii
08-05-2015, 03:37 AM
Beginning 6 years from now, each day for the rest of his life he'll regret his decision to get out. What an effing idiot.

Or like My eldest brother, who got out after 14 years instead of putting on majors leaves, he will think it was a very smart decision. If you don't want to be in a uniform anymore 6 years is one hell of long time

My bother got out becasue they put him behind f a desk and that was not the army he wanted to serve in,

I doubt that he things said in the letter were all of his reasons for leaving..

garhkal
08-05-2015, 09:04 AM
Beginning 6 years from now, each day for the rest of his life he'll regret his decision to get out. What an effing idiot.

Agreed/ That is one common thing i hear from around 85% of those who get out with more than 12 in.. that they always regretted it.

meatbringer
08-05-2015, 01:46 PM
You can tell an Ammo troop wrote this. So, is he saying one of the reasons he's getting out is because America cares more about trans genders than war heroes? Way to show everyone, dude.

I don't understand what he was doing deployed as an Ammo troop to sit around and watch grown men cry and stare war in the face. All the Ammo troops did when we deployed was cruise around on their work truck and take forever to do anything they were asked. Oh well, glad this dude is leaving.

Mjölnir
08-05-2015, 02:04 PM
I don't understand what he was doing deployed as an Ammo troop to sit around and watch grown men cry and stare war in the face.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f273/fjellmjolnir/ammo%20tech_zpswib3idpp.jpg

Bos Mutus
08-05-2015, 03:05 PM
I wish him the best. I do think getting out at 14 yrs can be the right decision for some people, if they have something good lined up and wanna be close to family/buy a home/have kids raised with close grandparents, cousins, etc...those things are tough to do while active duty...hopefully they have something good lined up, but if he thinks that getting a $15 per hour job on the outside will be the same amount of money he makes now, he's in for a very rude awakening.

Not sure what rank he is and would love to see how he came up with $15 per hour...at 14 years he's likely at least a TSgt...base pay alone is over $20 per hour...add in BAH depending on location he's probably $30 per hour...from which doesn't have to pay health ins, dental ins. extremely low cost life ins....plus a third of his pay is tax-free...he needs to be in mid $30s/hr at least to equal his TSgt lifestyle.

That said, some things are more important than money...being deployed while your kids grow...no amount of money can replace that. Even one more year deployed in his last 6 could have a big impact on those kids...you only get one chance at that...so, I wish him good luck...I just hope he's just sort of using the opportunity to make a political statement not really getting out because he sees too many Cecil and Caitlyn posts on Facebook.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-05-2015, 03:07 PM
IYAAYAS! HOORAH!

P.S. IYAAYAS=If You Aint Ammo You Aint Shit

Which is another way of saying, If You Are Ammo You Are Shit.

Rainmaker
08-05-2015, 04:06 PM
Not funny.... Man's probably got PTSD from putting WARHEADS ON FORHEADS BITCHEZ!!!!!... Lulz.....

SomeRandomGuy
08-05-2015, 05:33 PM
I wish him the best. I do think getting out at 14 yrs can be the right decision for some people, if they have something good lined up and wanna be close to family/buy a home/have kids raised with close grandparents, cousins, etc...those things are tough to do while active duty...hopefully they have something good lined up, but if he thinks that getting a $15 per hour job on the outside will be the same amount of money he makes now, he's in for a very rude awakening.

Not sure what rank he is and would love to see how he came up with $15 per hour...at 14 years he's likely at least a TSgt...base pay alone is over $20 per hour...add in BAH depending on location he's probably $30 per hour...from which doesn't have to pay health ins, dental ins. extremely low cost life ins....plus a third of his pay is tax-free...he needs to be in mid $30s/hr at least to equal his TSgt lifestyle.

That said, some things are more important than money...being deployed while your kids grow...no amount of money can replace that. Even one more year deployed in his last 6 could have a big impact on those kids...you only get one chance at that...so, I wish him good luck...I just hope he's just sort of using the opportunity to make a political statement not really getting out because he sees too many Cecil and Caitlyn posts on Facebook.

He's going to be fine. There are a lot of jobs out there for people who know how to put together weapons that can be used to put Warheads on Foreheads. Think about it, how many resumes have you seen where someone could claim they have seen men cry at war and put warheads on foreheads? There can't be a lot of people like that. Surely they are in high demand. He will no doubt find a job where people have not even heard of Cecil the Lion or Caitlyn Jenner.

It was definitely the right move to get out at 14 years. In fact, I hope someone in Congress reads this letter. This guy just saved taxpayers almost $1M over the next 20 or so years. I'm thinking we have a solution to the national debt. We need to really start pissing people off at around the 12 year mark. All it took for this guy was having to be signed off in two databases and a bunch of ancillary training.

Here's how we can solve the National Debt. Starting on Monday, all Military Members need to properly account for their time on an excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will have categories such as work related, bathroom breaks, smoke breaks, appointments, and even "time spent on this spreadsheet". The spreadsheet will be due at the end of the week and need to be sent forward to MAJCOM who can properly compute how time is being spent out in the field.

Just think how quickly we could get rid of people who have been in over 12 years. Are people really going to put up with this BS spreadsheet for 8 years? My guess is no. At that point, we just sit back and count the millions in savings as people make a mass exodus.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-05-2015, 05:54 PM
That guy's letter is giving me flashbacks of the Gulf War, I paid an ammo troop 20 bucks to write a message on a bomb and snap a picture of it.

I wrote it down on a piece of paper, but the dumb fucker spelled Saddam as Sadman.

LogDog
08-05-2015, 05:58 PM
This Ammo troop is making excuses for why he's getting out. Chance are, he's just tired of his job and being in the AF. Hey, people feel burned out and need a change and for some that means getting out. I have no problem with that but at least be honest about it instead of whining about the four servicemen who were shot in Tennessee, the ancillary training, or hurting someone's feelings. I noticed he said his wife is also leaving the service next month so I suspect there is more to the story than what he is saying.

I've had troops ask me if they should stay in or get out after 12 years I'd tell them if they have something bigger and better on the outside then go for it. The service isn't for everyone and you have to be honest with people on whether they should stay or leave. I knew one troop who got out after six years and got a job that paid about $25 an hour. He was excited about the job and felt the money was better than what the AF offered. Less than a year later, he was trying to come back into the AF because as he explained it, the money was fine but then he had to contribute for his health insurance, 401K, and he wasn't getting BAH or BAS so he had to pay for that too. What he was left with was much less than what he was making while in the AF. That was a hard life lesson for him to learn.

I hope the Ammo troop and his wife are successful on the outside.

TSat75
08-05-2015, 06:13 PM
I wish him the best. I do think getting out at 14 yrs can be the right decision for some people, if they have something good lined up and wanna be close to family/buy a home/have kids raised with close grandparents, cousins, etc...those things are tough to do while active duty...hopefully they have something good lined up, but if he thinks that getting a $15 per hour job on the outside will be the same amount of money he makes now, he's in for a very rude awakening.

Not sure what rank he is and would love to see how he came up with $15 per hour...at 14 years he's likely at least a TSgt...base pay alone is over $20 per hour...add in BAH depending on location he's probably $30 per hour...from which doesn't have to pay health ins, dental ins. extremely low cost life ins....plus a third of his pay is tax-free...he needs to be in mid $30s/hr at least to equal his TSgt lifestyle.

That said, some things are more important than money...being deployed while your kids grow...no amount of money can replace that. Even one more year deployed in his last 6 could have a big impact on those kids...you only get one chance at that...so, I wish him good luck...I just hope he's just sort of using the opportunity to make a political statement not really getting out because he sees too many Cecil and Caitlyn posts on Facebook.

Agreed! This was my reply when I first saw this letter come across my facebook:

While I agreed with some of what he said, I did take issue on the 'woe is me' pity statement about the pay.

More like $30 an hour + medical + tax breaks on over $20K. An E-6 over 14 makes $3627 + $1,500 BAH + $367 BAS = $65,928 / 2080 (hrs per yr) = $31.69/hr. Far from $15. And if you consider more than 2080...say 3120 (60 hrs a week for 52 wks)...that is still $22 an hr. And I don't know anyone who worked 3120 hrs. If you deploy for 6 months and work 72/60 alternating...then do a normal 40 for the other 6 months...that is only 2756 hrs...so $23.9 an hr (not counting tax benefits for being deployed, family sep, and hazard pay). So tired of the cliche that military isn't paid. In the 90s, pay was going up. In the 20 years I was in, base pay literally doubled for almost every rank...look it up.

Wish I could have posted it on this guys page. I do not judge him for getting out...but don't look for pity because of a lie ($15 an hr). We worked hard for our $65K (E-6)...and ya know, there was sacrifice in where you lived, deploying, maybe dying. Could pay be more - yeah. But when the median income in the US is less than $27K and the median household is less than $57K, $65K + benefits isn't a bad deal. An E-6 covers the median household.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-05-2015, 06:39 PM
Agreed! This was my reply when I first saw this letter come across my facebook:

While I agreed with some of what he said, I did take issue on the 'woe is me' pity statement about the pay.

More like $30 an hour + medical + tax breaks on over $20K. An E-6 over 14 makes $3627 + $1,500 BAH + $367 BAS = $65,928 / 2080 (hrs per yr) = $31.69/hr. Far from $15. And if you consider more than 2080...say 3120 (60 hrs a week for 52 wks)...that is still $22 an hr. And I don't know anyone who worked 3120 hrs. If you deploy for 6 months and work 72/60 alternating...then do a normal 40 for the other 6 months...that is only 2756 hrs...so $23.9 an hr (not counting tax benefits for being deployed, family sep, and hazard pay). So tired of the cliche that military isn't paid. In the 90s, pay was going up. In the 20 years I was in, base pay literally doubled for almost every rank...look it up.

Wish I could have posted it on this guys page. I do not judge him for getting out...but don't look for pity because of a lie ($15 an hr). We worked hard for our $65K (E-6)...and ya know, there was sacrifice in where you lived, deploying, maybe dying. Could pay be more - yeah. But when the median income in the US is less than $27K and the median household is less than $57K, $65K + benefits isn't a bad deal. An E-6 covers the median household.

It isn't a terrible deal at all.

The most valuable thing you trade for it is typically the most productive years of your life. The earning potential varies greatly from one person to the next.

From reading that guy's letter, I seriously doubt he has his shit together enough to go burn up the world after he gets out.

I wrestled with the decision at the 10 year mark, I definitely didn't have my shit together and ended up staying 23 years. I have a few regrets, and I blame myself for spending the best years of my life in the Air Force.

Could have, would have, should have... I think it is natural to feel that way to one degree or another.

I don't begrudge the guy at all for getting out. However, he sounds like a lunkhead complaing about ancillary training and the fact that pop culture is more interesting than serving in the military.

All that corny motto bullshit about warheads, crying in the desert, and looking combat in the face doesn't buy him any credibility with me.

Actually, that is what annoys me the most about his letter.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-05-2015, 08:52 PM
Agreed/ That is one common thing i hear from around 85% of those who get out with more than 12 in.. that they always regretted it.

I lost count of the number of 50 and older vets with 10 or more years of service who admit regretting getting out short of retirement. Six more years looks like eternity, but seems like only minutes after the fact.

TSat75
08-05-2015, 08:57 PM
My boss at the company I work for got out after 6 after going through the Academy (back in the 80s). He said it was the hardest decision he ever made. He is making good money, but now he has me here, he knows I'm making about $30K more a year than he is paying me and he told me he wonders where he would be had he stayed in - and he regrets getting out.

Those stories are a dime a dozen. I am so blessed that I stuck it out (some can't by no fault of their own). And some get out because they feel it is the right thing to do. I do not judge - a handshake and a thank you for your service. So few people serve, and even fewer make it to retirement (either their own choice or not).

But for me - it was the right decision. And now, the retirement benefits + disability puts me over the median US salary before I even get out of bed. :)

Rainmaker
08-05-2015, 09:03 PM
My boss at the company I work for got out after 6 after going through the Academy (back in the 80s). He said it was the hardest decision he ever made. He is making good money, but now he has me here, he knows I'm making about $30K more a year than he is paying me and he told me he wonders where he would be had he stayed in - and he regrets getting out.

Those stories are a dime a dozen. I am so blessed that I stuck it out (some can't by no fault of their own). And some get out because they feel it is the right thing to do. I do not judge - a handshake and a thank you for your service. So few people serve, and even fewer make it to retirement (either their own choice or not).

But for me - it was the right decision. And now, the retirement benefits + disability puts me over the median US salary before I even get out of bed. :)

And this little discussion illustrates exactly why the Military retirement needs to stay as is, If they cut it significantly, then they're going to start hemorrhaging mid-career NCOs and Officers and Not all of em are gonna bozos claiming PTSD from putting "Warheads on Foreheads"

garhkal
08-06-2015, 08:11 AM
I lost count of the number of 50 and older vets with 10 or more years of service who admit regretting getting out short of retirement. Six more years looks like eternity, but seems like only minutes after the fact.

I could see, those at 10 to 14, but the ones who make me laugh are those who do it after 17 yrs..!>!>

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-06-2015, 03:38 PM
I could see, those at 10 to 14, but the ones who make me laugh are those who do it after 17 yrs..!>!>

I met a depot worker who was one of those guys. Admitted he got voluntarily out at 17 years because the AF was "screwing him." I asked, "oh, you got one of those early retirement deals?" He's says, "nope, Eff the AF." Then I asked, "well, at least you finished your time in the Reserves or ANG, right?" His reply, "nope." At that moment, I was thinking that his has to be the #1 idiot on the face of the Earth. He got out of the AF because he had a chip on his shoulder. I'll show the AF...I'll just LEAVE! Yeah! Eff them!

Rainmaker
08-06-2015, 03:46 PM
If you could quit the Military and come back the next day, Rainmaker would've done it at least 20 times!

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 04:28 PM
I met a depot worker who was one of those guys. Admitted he got voluntarily out at 17 years because the AF was "screwing him." I asked, "oh, you got one of those early retirement deals?" He's says, "nope, Eff the AF." Then I asked, "well, at least you finished your time in the Reserves or ANG, right?" His reply, "nope." At that moment, I was thinking that his has to be the #1 idiot on the face of the Earth. He got out of the AF because he had a chip on his shoulder. I'll show the AF...I'll just LEAVE! Yeah! Eff them!

I had a buddy who got out at 18 years...he was a TSgt, hadn't been married long and had a brand new baby, but just recently had a heart attack.

I think the heart attack kind of put things in a different light for him and their deal was getting home to be close with family, have their baby around Grandma and Grandpa who were getting old, etc...they just really really wanted to be with family after his heart attack and decided two years was too much time to waste.

It was a lot to give up...but hard to call someone foolish for just thinking there are things money can't buy....not sure if he got in the Reserves or something later...

I never got back in touch with him, but I imagined once he fully recovered and lived another 40 years that he'd regret not doing that last 2...but, you never know, if he had another and died 3 years later we'd say he was smart for spending that 3 years where he wanted to be.

TSat75
08-06-2015, 04:38 PM
I had a buddy who got out at 18 years...he was a TSgt, hadn't been married long and had a brand new baby, but just recently had a heart attack.

I think the heart attack kind of put things in a different light for him and their deal was getting home to be close with family, have their baby around Grandma and Grandpa who were getting old, etc...they just really really wanted to be with family after his heart attack and decided two years was too much time to waste.

It was a lot to give up...but hard to call someone foolish for just thinking there are things money can't buy....not sure if he got in the Reserves or something later...

I never got back in touch with him, but I imagined once he fully recovered and lived another 40 years that he'd regret not doing that last 2...but, you never know, if he had another and died 3 years later we'd say he was smart for spending that 3 years where he wanted to be.

Wow! He had a heart attack and couldn't get a medical retirement? Hopefully he is at least getting disability.

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 04:48 PM
Wow! He had a heart attack and couldn't get a medical retirement?

He did not.

The MEB process never makes sense...I think that's in their mission statement.


Hopefully he is at least getting disability.

I didn't keep in touch with him...but I'd assume he got some disability.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-06-2015, 04:56 PM
I had a buddy who got out at 18 years...he was a TSgt, hadn't been married long and had a brand new baby, but just recently had a heart attack.

I think the heart attack kind of put things in a different light for him and their deal was getting home to be close with family, have their baby around Grandma and Grandpa who were getting old, etc...they just really really wanted to be with family after his heart attack and decided two years was too much time to waste.

It was a lot to give up...but hard to call someone foolish for just thinking there are things money can't buy....not sure if he got in the Reserves or something later...

I never got back in touch with him, but I imagined once he fully recovered and lived another 40 years that he'd regret not doing that last 2...but, you never know, if he had another and died 3 years later we'd say he was smart for spending that 3 years where he wanted to be.

I know it's not the same for everyone, but I've managed to get my total annual cost of living to less than half of my retirement. I never have to work again because of my military retirement, so I can't fathom any decision to forego that kind of security and peace of mind, especially when you are within arms reach of it. Even if your retirement only covers your mortgage, I still can't imagine walking away from that.

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 05:30 PM
I know it's not the same for everyone, but I've managed to get my total annual cost of living to less than half of my retirement. I never have to work again because of my military retirement, so I can't fathom any decision to forego that kind of security and peace of mind, especially when you are within arms reach of it. Even if your retirement only covers your mortgage, I still can't imagine walking away from that.

I'm with you. Although, I don't know how you got your cost of living down that low...I can't see that from here.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-06-2015, 05:37 PM
I'm with you. Although, I don't know how you got your cost of living down that low...I can't see that from here.

If you can find a place to live where you don't need a car, that gets it down a lot!

At least, if you can get by with driving only a few miles per month. You can slash what you pay in insurance and gas.

Transportation is usually an easy expense to trim when you get older.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-06-2015, 06:08 PM
I'm with you. Although, I don't know how you got your cost of living down that low...I can't see that from here.

$3,600 net income, no kids, no debt, mortgage paid off. My monthly bills, plus what I put aside to pay all insurance, property tax, etc come to about $1,700 monthly. On top of that, my wife has a career.

Life is good

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 07:19 PM
If you can find a place to live where you don't need a car, that gets it down a lot!

At least, if you can get by with driving only a few miles per month. You can slash what you pay in insurance and gas.

Transportation is usually an easy expense to trim when you get older.

That ain't happenin'

LogDog
08-06-2015, 07:25 PM
I know it's not the same for everyone, but I've managed to get my total annual cost of living to less than half of my retirement. I never have to work again because of my military retirement, so I can't fathom any decision to forego that kind of security and peace of mind, especially when you are within arms reach of it. Even if your retirement only covers your mortgage, I still can't imagine walking away from that.
I don't have my living costs as low as yours because I live in the San Diego area which is much more expensive than Las Vegas. However, I have been living off my military retirement for 13 years without any problems. The mortgage for my three bedroom condo is $1200 per month which is less than what it cost to rent a two bedroom apartment. Overall, my living expenses are around 75-80% of my retirement pay. I have no doubts if I sold my condo I could buy a house in Las Vegas and have around $200K left over and my living expenses would be about half my retirement. I thought about retiring there but I'd rather live here by the coast than in the desert.

The key to retirement is planning your retirement many years in advance. I was a prolific saver and started investing in an IRA and a mutual fund in the mid-80s. That money hasn't been touched and won't be touched until I'm in my 70s only because I'll have to start taking out of my IRA at age 72. That money will be reinvested for the future. I knew early in my career that a military pension was guaranteed and was key to ensuring I wouldn't have to work all my life. I've seen some of my civilian friends who made way more money than me but they're going to have to continue working until their late 60s because they don't have a retirement package like the military. I can empathize, but not sympathize, with them because they chose to live their lives for the present instead of planning for the future.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-06-2015, 09:08 PM
I don't have my living costs as low as yours because I live in the San Diego area which is much more expensive than Las Vegas. However, I have been living off my military retirement for 13 years without any problems. The mortgage for my three bedroom condo is $1200 per month which is less than what it cost to rent a two bedroom apartment. Overall, my living expenses are around 75-80% of my retirement pay. I have no doubts if I sold my condo I could buy a house in Las Vegas and have around $200K left over and my living expenses would be about half my retirement. I thought about retiring there but I'd rather live here by the coast than in the desert.

The key to retirement is planning your retirement many years in advance. I was a prolific saver and started investing in an IRA and a mutual fund in the mid-80s. That money hasn't been touched and won't be touched until I'm in my 70s only because I'll have to start taking out of my IRA at age 72. That money will be reinvested for the future. I knew early in my career that a military pension was guaranteed and was key to ensuring I wouldn't have to work all my life. I've seen some of my civilian friends who made way more money than me but they're going to have to continue working until their late 60s because they don't have a retirement package like the military. I can empathize, but not sympathize, with them because they chose to live their lives for the present instead of planning for the future.

Vegas is much more affordable, but hands down San Diego is a nicer place. I love living in the nice part of Vegas, but overall the city is sleezy and has too much crime and homeless beggars. We're from the NE US, so I'm not sure we'll stay here forever.

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 09:23 PM
$3,600 net income, no kids, no debt, mortgage paid off.

Ah...OK. No kids is huge, and of course no mortgage!


My monthly bills, plus what I put aside to pay all insurance, property tax, etc come to about $1,700 monthly.

...my mortgage alone is more than that!


On top of that, my wife has a career.

Life is good

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-06-2015, 09:31 PM
Ah...OK. No kids is huge, and of course no mortgage!



...my mortgage alone is more than that!

Yez, I imagine kids alone could eat up the rest of my pay!

Absinthe Anecdote
08-06-2015, 09:35 PM
How many people retire with kids still in the house?

I know the trend is to have kids later in life, but that can't be a common retirement dilemma.

Rainmaker
08-06-2015, 09:47 PM
How many people retire with kids still in the house?

I know the trend is to have kids later in life, but that can't be a common retirement dilemma.

Rainmaker's got 5 F#$k trophies.....25 to 5 (twins). But, IT'S O.K. Cause I LOVE To WORK & THAT'S WHY I"M RICH BITCH!!!

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 10:06 PM
How many people retire with kids still in the house?

I know the trend is to have kids later in life, but that can't be a common retirement dilemma.

I have a 20 year old at home and a 20 year old away at college.

Rainmaker
08-06-2015, 10:10 PM
I have a 20 year old at home and a 20 year old away at college.

ohhhhh. One of these things is not like the other one....

Absinthe Anecdote
08-06-2015, 10:13 PM
Rainmaker's got 5 F#$k trophies.....25 to 5 (twins). But, IT'S O.K. Cause I LOVE To WORK & THAT'S WHY I"M RICH BITCH!!!

Do you talk to them that way?

Rainmaker
08-06-2015, 10:15 PM
Do you talk to them that way?

Just the adult males... Geez...man ....I'm not an animal!

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 10:22 PM
ohhhhh. One of these things is not like the other one....

Since there are two, they are both not like the other smart guy...

They are not twins...one is a step daughter.

I also have an older step daughter and an older daughter...but they are grown and gone.

TSat75
08-06-2015, 10:47 PM
I retired right at 20 (enlisted). I joined when I was 18 and so I retired when I was 38. I have 3 kids - oldest is 15 (sophomore in HS). We waited a few years to have kids after we were married, but we still early 20s when we started. I don't think we are that uncommon based on the folks I know that are around 20.

So money is a big motivator for me. Retirement helps! But I couldn't live off of my retirement yet. Kids eat up a lot of $$$. My retirement covers our housing and some other expenses. But medical is already taken out of retirement check and that is worth another $600 a month over what I'd have to pay at my job. So while I can't live off of my retirement, it sure does make a HUGE difference in how much we can save for the future and how we live our lives today!

LogDog
08-06-2015, 11:16 PM
Vegas is much more affordable, but hands down San Diego is a nicer place. I love living in the nice part of Vegas, but overall the city is sleezy and has too much crime and homeless beggars. We're from the NE US, so I'm not sure we'll stay here forever.
Every city has a nice part, a sleazy part, and parts somewhere in between. Where I live it's considered one of the best parts, and expensive, of San Diego. I've been stationed at Williams AFB, Az, George AFB, Ca, Cannon AFB, NM, and McClellan AFB, Ca, so I'm used to living in a desert climate and the Las Vegas climate wouldn't be foreign to me. After my father retired I live here for 9 years before going into the AF and now I live seven blocks from where he lived. My goal when I was in the AF was to be able to retire here, even though it is expensive, so I made sure I save and invested.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-06-2015, 11:27 PM
I retired right at 20 (enlisted). I joined when I was 18 and so I retired when I was 38. I have 3 kids - oldest is 15 (sophomore in HS). We waited a few years to have kids after we were married, but we still early 20s when we started. I don't think we are that uncommon based on the folks I know that are around 20.

So money is a big motivator for me. Retirement helps! But I couldn't live off of my retirement yet. Kids eat up a lot of $$$. My retirement covers our housing and some other expenses. But medical is already taken out of retirement check and that is worth another $600 a month over what I'd have to pay at my job. So while I can't live off of my retirement, it sure does make a HUGE difference in how much we can save for the future and how we live our lives today!

So you are still working and probably won't quit until the kids are gone, right?

You might be retired from the military, but not the work force.

I don't think too many people retire with kids in the house.

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 11:35 PM
I don't think too many people retire with kids in the house.

Of course not, they can't afford to...that was the point.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-06-2015, 11:39 PM
Of course not, they can't afford to...that was the point.

Uhh, you are usually a reasonable guy...

Retiring with kids still in the house doesn't even jive with the human life cycle.

You aren't saying that people should be able to raise children in retirement are you?

Bos Mutus
08-06-2015, 11:48 PM
Uhh, you are usually a reasonable guy...

Retiring with kids still in the house doesn't even jive with the human life cycle.

You aren't saying that people should be able to raise children in retirement are you?

No, we're having two different conversations...we're talking about military retirement...which is like age 38-50 or so...a lot of people still have kids at home in that age group.

Not sure how old FLAPS is, but am under the impression he is still working age, just chooses not to work because his military retirement sustains him just fine...that's what we're talking about.

TSat75
08-07-2015, 12:03 AM
Yeah - I'm sure I'll work as long as I'm able to...even after the kids move out. But, after the kids move out, maybe I take it a little slower and take more time off and enjoy our golden years.

I know my grandfather's brother worked until he died because he ended up having to raise 2 of his grandchildren (the parents were in jail on and off through their entire 20s/30s). Everyone has different situations.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-07-2015, 12:10 AM
No, we're having two different conversations...we're talking about military retirement...which is like age 38-50 or so...a lot of people still have kids at home in that age group.

Not sure how old FLAPS is, but am under the impression he is still working age, just chooses not to work because his military retirement sustains him just fine...that's what we're talking about.

I didn't view my retirement from the military as full fledged retirement... The end of one career and the beginning of another...

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-07-2015, 04:16 AM
No, we're having two different conversations...we're talking about military retirement...which is like age 38-50 or so...a lot of people still have kids at home in that age group.

Not sure how old FLAPS is, but am under the impression he is still working age, just chooses not to work because his military retirement sustains him just fine...that's what we're talking about.

Late 40's and between jobs. I'm going nuts and WANT a job!

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-07-2015, 04:16 AM
No, we're having two different conversations...we're talking about military retirement...which is like age 38-50 or so...a lot of people still have kids at home in that age group.

Not sure how old FLAPS is, but am under the impression he is still working age, just chooses not to work because his military retirement sustains him just fine...that's what we're talking about.

Late 40's and no way ready (mentally) to retire for good!

garhkal
08-07-2015, 05:22 AM
The key to retirement is planning your retirement many years in advance. I was a prolific saver and started investing in an IRA and a mutual fund in the mid-80s. That money hasn't been touched and won't be touched until I'm in my 70s only because I'll have to start taking out of my IRA at age 72. That money will be reinvested for the future. I knew early in my career that a military pension was guaranteed and was key to ensuring I wouldn't have to work all my life. I've seen some of my civilian friends who made way more money than me but they're going to have to continue working until their late 60s because they don't have a retirement package like the military. I can empathize, but not sympathize, with them because they chose to live their lives for the present instead of planning for the future.

Bravo.. I like you, started saving early on, with 100 and 200 dollar savings bonds, each mo from boot camp (added the 200 ones during ET a school), and mutual funds around my 10 yr mark (or was it 12??).. If it wasn't for the fact even the VA wouldn't give me a loan, they WOULD have remained untouched till i retired fully, but as it is, i took quite a big chunk out of my TSP, and mutual funds to pay for the house i currently live in (so have no mortgage, but since i also own one in Gulfport, i have THAT mortgage)..

Once i manage to get THAT house sold off, i will
A) Pay off ALL my mortgage on that house and cancel the insurance on it (as i won't be needing it any more YAY)
B) take 75% of the remainder and put THAT back into my mutual funds. The remaining 25% will be used to do any house fixes i need for up here.

Since my retirement pension currently is around 1600 a month, getting rid of the 1300 a month Mortgage will be a BIG weight off my monthly expenses. Luckily my mother's Pension comes into my account and my Gulfport house is currently rented out (855 a month AFTER fees), which is keeping me well above the redline.


...my mortgage alone is more than that!

Where do You live Bos, that 1700 is not even equal to your mortgage?


ohhhhh. One of these things is not like the other one....

Agreed. What's the one staying at home doing to 'earn his keep'??


Every city has a nice part, a sleazy part, and parts somewhere in between.

Don't i know it. From my experience, those sleazy parts seem to always be next to bases, or in the downtown of cities.


Late 40's and between jobs. I'm going nuts and WANT a job!

From the time i retired in 2012, it took till late 14, before i finally got my first POST military job. Went through both Orion international and Lucas group to try get hired, but most companies it seems when they saw ET though either Computer/Lan technician (IT staff), or Electrical generator/UPS person.. The 2 who saw ET for what it was (close to component repair guy), unfortunately wanted someone who HAD 2M certification or Cal tech certs.. Neither do i have.
Heck, even trying Walmart, Dollar general, Sears and even Target, never got me past the application stage..

Unfortunately for me, the security firm i got in with didn't keep me past the 60 day "Probie period" as i didn't to them, pass muster (something to do with me following the LETTER of the law they gave, versus what someone spoke to me about)..
Now i work with a different security company (Coming up on my 6th week now) and am liking it. Yea, it only pays 9.50 an hr, but when all i do a lot of the time is sit in a backroom at a store overnight when renovations are on going, or stand up by a front door to a shop during the day shifts, its good money for the work.

Bos Mutus
08-07-2015, 06:22 AM
Where do You live Bos, that 1700 is not even equal to your mortgage?.

California....tax/insurance included 1750 per month.

LogDog
08-07-2015, 06:39 AM
Bravo.. I like you, started saving early on, with 100 and 200 dollar savings bonds, each mo from boot camp (added the 200 ones during ET a school), and mutual funds around my 10 yr mark (or was it 12??).. If it wasn't for the fact even the VA wouldn't give me a loan, they WOULD have remained untouched till i retired fully, but as it is, i took quite a big chunk out of my TSP, and mutual funds to pay for the house i currently live in (so have no mortgage, but since i also own one in Gulfport, i have THAT mortgage)..
One of the main reason I was able to save money was I didn't smoke or drink so I didn't waste money an alcohol. Also, I knew the difference between wanting something and needing something so my impulse to buy things was very low. My philosophy on buying things that are expensive is to wait a couple of months to see if I still want it and to see if it'll go on sale. I had a 12-year old Sony 32" TV I knew needed replacing and I waited for a year before I finally decided to buy a flat screen 39" replacement.

When military members became eligible for IRAs in 1984, I told my father I was going to get one and max out my contributions. He had done well on his O-6 retirement pay, wife and six kids at home and didn't have to work after retiring, and he didn't think it was a good idea. I didn't take his advice and a couple months later when I was home on leave he changed his mind and said every working man and woman needs an IRA.


Once i manage to get THAT house sold off, i will
A) Pay off ALL my mortgage on that house and cancel the insurance on it (as i won't be needing it any more YAY)
B) take 75% of the remainder and put THAT back into my mutual funds. The remaining 25% will be used to do any house fixes i need for up here.

Since my retirement pension currently is around 1600 a month, getting rid of the 1300 a month Mortgage will be a BIG weight off my monthly expenses. Luckily my mother's Pension comes into my account and my Gulfport house is currently rented out (855 a month AFTER fees), which is keeping me well above the redline.
I don't plan on paying off my mortgage but that really doesn't matter to me because the money I have invested will more than make up for amount I pay on the mortgage. Also, I continue to increase the equity in the condo as well as increase its value. Right now, my condo is worth between $250K - $300K more than what I bought it for in 2002.



Don't i know it. From my experience, those sleazy parts seem to always be next to bases, or in the downtown of cities.
A lot of bases seem to be next to a sleazy area of town. The are a couple of exceptions but that's mainly because they're a farther from town. One base I've seen that isn't in a sleazy area is Naval Station Coronado (North Island) and the base looks sleazy. But yeah, a lot of areas right outside a base are sleazy.

Mjölnir
08-07-2015, 11:36 AM
Vegas is much more affordable, but hands down San Diego is a nicer place. I love living in the nice part of Vegas, but overall the city is sleezy and has too much crime and homeless beggars. We're from the NE US, so I'm not sure we'll stay here forever.

Just out of curiosity, what is the nice part?

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-07-2015, 12:58 PM
Just out of curiosity, what is the nice part?

There are a few, such as parts of Henderson (next to Lake Mead), Centennial Hills and Summerlin (next to Red Rock National Park).

MikeKerriii
08-07-2015, 02:23 PM
How many people retire with kids still in the house?

I know the trend is to have kids later in life, but that can't be a common retirement dilemma.

How many people in their late thirties to early 40s ( military retirement age) have kids in the house? I would think that is more of the norm than the exception.

garhkal
08-07-2015, 02:42 PM
How many people in their late thirties to early 40s ( military retirement age) have kids in the house? I would think that is more of the norm than the exception.

Especially when it seems more and more college age kids move back in.

Rainmaker
08-07-2015, 02:51 PM
Just out of curiosity, what is the nice part?

Spearmint Rhino.

VFFTSGT
10-17-2015, 05:51 PM
I lost count of the number of 50 and older vets with 10 or more years of service who admit regretting getting out short of retirement. Six more years looks like eternity, but seems like only minutes after the fact.

Oh look, VFF is still alive...lol

I glance everyone once and a while and saw this post so I thought I would try and contribute some perspective.

If you didn't get the memo, I got out a couple years ago with more than 12 years in and don't regret it. I imagine many who have done it and are past what would be there over 20 mark probably regret not having the money. But that money is no good if you don't make it to that point... i.e. anyone who has lost their life, especially on that last deployment before retirement or anyone who worked themselves to death (literally) and drops within the first year of retirement.

But if you got out for reasons that were best for you and your family, you shouldn't regret it. We all could have made different decisions at any point in life that could have provided a higher monetary benefit when we are older.

Getting out provided me with options that I didn't have in the Air Force. I have a good job and buying my time back, so the 12 years wasn't all for nothing.

I doubt he expressed every reason why he got out and there is also the possibility that he didn't express what he wanted, how he wanted. I haven't even told all the reasons of why I got out and I won't on here either.

However, many of the reasons were burnout, getting paid the same as the lazy guy who also got the same EPR ratings because SNCO's and officers have set a precedent of 'not hurting careers', tired of doing everything but what I was trained for nearly a year to do, tired of working long hours because some SNCO/Officer arbitrarily decides we need to under the guise of the 'needs of the Air Force,' sub-par healthcare system (had multiple bad experiences due to dismissive military providers), people think you are malinger when you are on profile due to legitimate medical reasons, and much more. I also had kids and didn't want to risk spending months away from them because of politically motivated combat operations/wars. And one largest contributing factors was practically every person I worked with over the 12 years that was at the 14 - 19 years of service range was not truly happy and were just kicking the can to the end of the road to retirement. I already had that feeling at 12 and didn't want to continue that path; it was depressing.

Now, I have a great job. I work 40 hours a week. I get paid for overtime. I do the job I was hired to do. I have choices as to where I work/live. I have choices when it comes to healthcare. Simply put, I simply have more control over my life to spend it how I see fit with my family without the risk of being a political pawn.

And for the comments about pay...I absolutely deplore people who misrepresent what they make on active duty though to get people to feel sorry for them. Many like to take their base pay (or maybe all their pay) and divide it by 24 hrs/day because they are 'on call' 24/7. But no one works 24 hours a day in the military on a routine basis.

On top of that, active duty makes no monetary healthcare or retirement contributions.

FEP Blue Family Basic is almost $300/month and then co-pays when you seek care. Although the ability to go almost anywhere you want and see specialists without referral is priceless after experiencing the crappy process of military healthcare for several years and a similar bad experience with VA healthcare.

FERS Retirement Contribution (not counting buy back contribution) is $200/month.

Additionally, military income has a huge chunk that is tax free that civilians don't...BAH, BAS, and COLA if applicable.

Bottom line - military is well compensated and rightly so.

And I am completely happy with my decision of getting out 'so close.'


Late 40's and between jobs. I'm going nuts and WANT a job!

What type of job are you looking for?



From the time i retired in 2012, it took till late 14, before i finally got my first POST military job. Went through both Orion international and Lucas group to try get hired, but most companies it seems when they saw ET though either Computer/Lan technician (IT staff), or Electrical generator/UPS person.. The 2 who saw ET for what it was (close to component repair guy), unfortunately wanted someone who HAD 2M certification or Cal tech certs.. Neither do i have.
Heck, even trying Walmart, Dollar general, Sears and even Target, never got me past the application stage..

Unfortunately for me, the security firm i got in with didn't keep me past the 60 day "Probie period" as i didn't to them, pass muster (something to do with me following the LETTER of the law they gave, versus what someone spoke to me about)..
Now i work with a different security company (Coming up on my 6th week now) and am liking it. Yea, it only pays 9.50 an hr, but when all i do a lot of the time is sit in a backroom at a store overnight when renovations are on going, or stand up by a front door to a shop during the day shifts, its good money for the work.

Why are y'all having such difficulty? Are you limiting yourselves to a location? The only thing that held me up was the hiring freeze a couple years ago. But after that, I got offered a position and had tons of interview requests that I turned down.

ET as in Electronics Tech? Are you pursuing any of the ones on USAJOBS?

UncaRastus
10-17-2015, 07:55 PM
Welcome back, VFFTSGT! Nice to see you!

Sergeant eNYgma
11-01-2015, 09:54 AM
Can't say I'm mad at the guy, he made his decision and will live with it good or bad. Not sure why folks are blasting him though not everyone can or wants to deal with this crap until 20. He is taking his life back and regardless of how you feel about our pay you still give up a chunk of the control of your life even if you feel we're compensated well.

I ain't made at him at all and wish him the best.

Mjölnir
11-01-2015, 10:52 AM
Oh look, VFF is still alive...lol

Damn ... I lost a bet.

Good to hear from you.

UncaRastus
11-01-2015, 01:21 PM
Yeah, Mjolnir, pay up!

I am not sure if we ever made a bet. Just covering all bets!