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Thread: AF Retirement

  1. #11
    Senior Member MisterBen's Avatar
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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Drackore View Post
    Yea that's going to worry me, because I'll be 45 at my 20 yr mark, and if I want to (and if the AF lets me) do 3 more years to make up for the REDUX, I'll be 48 when I retire. That's going to be a concern. Guess I better keep chipping away at that Master's Degree just to be safe.
    Excellent decision. I just finished my master's degree in IT and just need to renew my certs by time they expire. They will expire in 2018, so I will take them around that time. I will not renew my CCNA cert but all the ones for SANS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief_KO View Post
    Serving 30 years and not having a bachelors degree limited the jobs I could apply for here. Most positions I would have wanted all required a BS. My physical limitations (lifting/standing) were a concern for a couple of other jobs too. I spent 2 of my three months of terminal leave searching for work. My AFSC was comm, but I had not "done the JOB" in a long time and had no certifications (or really the desire) to do that work again. My first job was at a college working in financial aid. It was okay, but the amount of "requests for information/reports/BS" that management requested was worse than the AF. After six months I got (on my birthday) an offer for a simple, entry-level GS position. I go to work everyday, do my job and go home. Absolutely ZERO work stress.

    No, far from it. Loyalty to the company and loyalty from the company is zero.

    While job searching I was busy doing the homebody job, cooking, taking the dog for a walk, yard work, etc. I knew I had retirement coming so we had enough $ to live, just not extra $ to live well. Also knew I would receive VA disability, just didn't know how much or how soon it would start.

    Even though I came back to the base after nearly a year it was very different. People you knew move on and you've been replaced (and the mission goes on without you) Personally I don't like the idea of coming back to the same unit (especially the same job) as Mr., but to each his own.
    We chose to come here to retire, good schools (our son is in HS), good QoL, good medical, small town atmosphere (which we like). No regrets there, although when I "retire retire" in 9 years not sure where we will go to next (or stay here).

    I'm active in our local church, VFW, and AFSA where I like to continue to take care of people. I served 30 years, probably 24 of those were great times (3 $hitty assignments), and the AF was pretty darn good to me and my family.
    Best wishes to you for a successful and happy retirement!
    Excellent response about loyalty. I am looking forward to that zero work stress.

  2. #12
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    Re: AF Retirement

    I got lucky and got hired as an AF civilian...after I had already dropped my paperwork. Biggest adjustment for me was wearing civ clothes in a military office, working for a Captain (a good one), and not addressing our Ops Officer (who I used to outrank) by name. Good thing is, I love working with these people and I've finally adjusted to being a civ. Plus, they get saddled with extra duties and PT, while I focus solely on the job. Also, when i get home at night the phone is turned off! On the financial side, between my GS pay, 0-4 retirement check and wife's new career we are making quite a bit more after taxes than I did on active duty. Life is good.

  3. #13
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    Re: AF Retirement

    Well, when I retired I knew my time on active duty was done and it was time to live the rest of my life. It wasn't the same AF I joined. Didn't like the direction in which I saw things going. So in that respect retiring was easy.

    Had originally planned to retire back in Texas, but when I heard CA provided dependents of disabled veterans tuition to any state university or community college changed my residency to CA. At that time I resolved to suck up any resulting hardships so my kids could have those opportunities.

    Far as camaraderie at civilian jobs, there can be some, but never to the extent I saw on active duty.

    Work has been a challenge over the years. Have worked in five different industries. Been laid off several different ways, interspersed with periods of unemployment. Have worked at a job far below my education and experience to keep food on the table. Been out of work now since 2011 except for a couple of months doing a contractor job. I keep looking, keep applying, keep taking tests for various public-sector jobs, keep getting on eligible lists, keep getting interviews, keep not getting hired. Nearly 59. We've downsized. Can't relocate due to family needs. One way or another, we'll get by until I hit 62 and collect Social Security. I also buy my lottery tickets. Figure my chances of hitting the Lotto are better than ever getting another good job.

    Not doing the pity party here. I made the conscious decision to accept hardships so my children could have opportunities. That part has worked out pretty well. Daughter graduated from a University of California campus. She's a realtor in LA, married last year, husband part-owner of a roofing company. Son attended community college, works. Stepdaughter applying to colleges/universities. Her tuition will be covered, and I'll be able to provide medical coverage, cell phone, and a bit more.

    I am also lucky in other ways, and I remain grateful. AF pension and VA disability checks always come on time. Thanks to Tricare I had very affordable open-heart surgery for something that would have killed me otherwise. My wife works, a little, and that's about all she can do.

    Don't know what anyone else here does for faith, but I just keep trusting in God to get us through. He has, so far. I trust God will get us the rest of the way across the bridge from the good times of the past to the good times to come.


    Otis

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by OtisRNeedleman View Post
    At that time I resolved to suck up any resulting hardships so my kids could have those opportunities.
    BZ Otis ... BZ

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by BRUWIN View Post
    The only hard part I had was trying to get away from the military. In that regard my biggest mistake was staying in 30 years. Don't stay in 30 years...companies don't want 50 year olds. I bet if you check the ranks of the long term unemployed you will find that most folks laid off in the great recession that have yet to find another job are about my age. It is discouraging. I didn't want a lot of money...I just wanted to try something totally new. I really wanted to work for the railroad and I tried for a year but have given up. Got one interview with CSX in a job that 2,000 people applied for...but I believe they were looking for someone younger because the school itself was 9 months long. I think I also would have done a lot better if I had been willing to apply for jobs that required moving but I promised my boys I wouldn't put them through that again.

    So some GS's quit at my old unit and they did some emergency hires and I eventually went back there. I am grateful for the job but it wasn't what I had in mind. It wasn't hard to go back...just disappointing in a way. So I'll do this for awhile longer until my boys are both in college. Then I want to start my own business and not have to worry about chasing the next job.
    I assume you retired at E9 at 30 yrs? Not sure why you couldnt have retired and not worked or at least worked as a "walmart greeter" as we all half jokingly say we are going to do. I guess those that pretend they live at E5 pay no matter what the rank are probably lying.

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Airborne... life happens sometimes that ruins that plan. Speaking for myself, a divorce and the market crash in 08 pretty much wiped out any chance of my retiring and not working. The divorce is partly my fault, to be sure, but I knowingly chose to give her everything so I could "start clean". Financially not the wisest choice, but great for my mental health to never have to deal with her again. The market crash basically wiped out all my investment savings <shrug>, but that's how it goes. I'm not complaining, I'm saying that sometimes things happen that mean work after military retirement. "the best laid plans of mice and men...", ya know?

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    Senior Member BRUWIN's Avatar
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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Airborne View Post
    I assume you retired at E9 at 30 yrs? Not sure why you couldnt have retired and not worked or at least worked as a "walmart greeter" as we all half jokingly say we are going to do. I guess those that pretend they live at E5 pay no matter what the rank are probably lying.
    I have two very smart boys and I want them to go to college and no have to take out any student loans. My oldest is looking at schools right now and the ones he's considering are far from cheap. I already have invested and saved a lot over the years...but I want something left for me and the wife once they are out of college. I could have probably lived off the E-9 retirement, but I really couldn't see myself at home. And...I just want the best for my family. It's really not fair to my kids to scrape by on an E-9 retirement when I could still be making some good money. The Walmart greeter thing isn't far off...just not right now.
    "Respect My Authoritah!" - Eric Cartman

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    BZ Otis ... BZ
    Thank you kindly. As a parent you learn to live beyond yourself. The children's needs came first.

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by imnohero View Post
    Airborne... life happens sometimes that ruins that plan. Speaking for myself, a divorce and the market crash in 08 pretty much wiped out any chance of my retiring and not working. The divorce is partly my fault, to be sure, but I knowingly chose to give her everything so I could "start clean". Financially not the wisest choice, but great for my mental health to never have to deal with her again. The market crash basically wiped out all my investment savings <shrug>, but that's how it goes. I'm not complaining, I'm saying that sometimes things happen that mean work after military retirement. "the best laid plans of mice and men...", ya know?
    know what you mean. The market crash wiped out my stocks (9/11 and 2008) and equity in my two houses. I just look at the pay charts and assume that anyone staying in all the way to 30 as enlisted scum would still be able to get by without looking for jobs and standing in line at the SS office every month (I know its electronic, just a metaphor). You cant predict the future but really staying in until 30 is more of a mistake it seems. You probably havent actually "worked" in your field in however many years, youre too old for the military and too old for any civilian company to take you on and too young to sit at home even if you have money, but you feel as if you deserve to be at least middle management. In the current fiscal climate, working until 20 to get 50% E6-E7 pay, only for an employer to think youre dumb and have PTSD to not hire you is not really worth it. We need to move to a 401K style retirement plan so those at that 12 year E6 mark can move. Maybe that would stop some of the stupidity as well. When you know your worker bees can walk at anytime, you might not treat them so bad. And the student loan bubble needs to pop.

  10. #20
    Senior Member LogDog's Avatar
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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjohn1118 View Post
    On many threads, folks talk about the joys of retirement. Some of us are retiring this year. I will have my last day of active duty on May 16th and it will be glorious. When I read everyone's posts, I want to chime in and ask questions. But that is thread jacking so I created a new thread and want to ask retirees a few questions. Anyway, as some of you mentioned before, about half my life was spent in uniform so even though I know it's the right time to leave the AF, it's a little overwhelming to think I have to start all over again.

    1. What was the hardest part of your transition? Seriously. For me I'm going to miss the interaction with the people I work with. Oh and buying a new wardrobe. That's a big pain in the ass too.
    I didn't have a hard time transitioning. I took 60 days of terminal leave and relaxed. I had saved enough not to have to work and could live off my retirement and continue paying off my house without problems.

    2. Is there the same sense of camaraderie in civilian businesses?
    i worked for a civilian retail company before I came into the service so that was my only reference to the civilian working world. There was some camaraderie but there was also a high turnover of personnel so you really didn't develop long-term relationships with them.

    3. How difficult was it for some of you to land a job? I know some of you actually retired from all work, that is not an option for me. I couldn't stay home for more than a week or two before my wife would kick me out.
    Although I didn't need to work after retiring after 28 years i the AF I was still "young" enough in my mind to think I could work a couple more years and sock some more money away. Shortly after my terminal leave was finished and I was officially retired, I found a job listing for a GS-13 position with the VA. It was in California and I was in Florida but I applied anyway. I submitted a resume and was informed I would be given a telephone interview because of the condition. I must have done well enough because they offered me the job and I took it. I worked there for a couple of months and felt the atmosphere just wasn't for me so I quit. I had bought a condo in the San Diego area two years earlier that was being rented so I moved there and have remained ever since.

    4. If some of you stayed in the same unit as a civil service employee post retirement, was it hard?
    There are questions I have everyday and there are others in my unit retiring this year as well that I talk too. But I am curious to see if other retirees have the same issues.
    I would have had a hard time staying in my unit as a civilian. Being the flight superintendent and then moving into a civilian slot would have meant I'd be working under some of the same people who worked for me. After time, I don't think they would have had a problem with it but having turned the flight around and then watching someone else come in and change thing may have been a bit hard for me.

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