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Thread: AF Retirement

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    AF Retirement

    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.
    2. Is there the same sense of camaraderie in civilian businesses?
    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.
    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.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjohn1118 View Post

    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.
    Personally, there was difficult part of the transition, other than the waiting. The rest of it was 100% joy. I guess it depends on the person, though.

    2. Is there the same sense of camaraderie in civilian businesses?
    It's going to depend on the type of job you get. I know that's not very helpful, but there may be more, there may be less. I guess one thing about the military lifestyle is it makes it pretty easy for everyone to relate to each other, where in the civilian sector you might not find the same thing.

    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.
    The jobs are out there. It depends, again, on what you are looking for. Are you going to be willing to move to where the job is? Will you take something for a little less money than you think you deserve? Again, not very helpful, but I don't think there's an easy answer. The jobs are out there, you just gotta be willing to compromise.

    4. If some of you stayed in the same unit as a civil service employee post retirement, was it hard?
    Can't answer this one cuz I haven't dealt with it.

    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've had zero issues, honestly. I don't miss any part of it, other than the socializing. Just remember that thousands of people do the same thing you are getting ready to do and most of those people do just fine. You will need to be flexible. Go with the flow.

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Speaking for myself:

    1) I didn't find the transition difficult at all. When I retired I was all done with military life. Yes, some of the habits carried on, like wearing a hat outdoors, but those are minor things. I found far greater pleasure in all the things I no longer "had to do" than any pain in the butt.

    2) Camaraderie in the workplace becomes much more about individual personalities than common purpose. Being able/willing to cultivate interpersonal relationships is much more important in the civilian world.

    3) Finding a job is proving more difficult than I anticipated, but I wouldn't go by only my experience. My college classmates don't seem to be having problems, many of them have jobs lined up for after graduation. So there are jobs out there.

    4) I went from my last military position, to being a civilian in the same position, for about a year. In retrospect, it eliminated a lot of stress of transition because I already knew the job and all the people, so I could focus on how to function as a "civilian" vs. "military". It was a contract position that lasted only a year...I don't think I would have wanted to continue that indefinately.

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    Senior Member MisterBen'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.
    2. Is there the same sense of camaraderie in civilian businesses?
    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.
    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.
    Congratulations and I feel some envy because I cannot wait to retire. My first AD stint was in the Marine Corps and I got out and worked in the civilian sector for 13 years before returning to active duty. I have 24 years of service (which on the pay scale is an excellent base pay) but I will have to do five more years to achieve an active duty retirement. I am 48. Sometimes, I wish I would have remained and completed my service without a break. If that was the case, I would have made my twenty in 2003.

    But I know many retirees and worked in various professions in the civilian world; one which was in law enforcement and that is where I learned, I can receive the same type of camaraderie as the military. But I worked for many firms that promoted quality of life and family. For me, it was less stress working in a civilian office environment than in a military organization but I do understand why those differences exists. I did have to stop the profanity in my civilian job but again, it depends on the civilian job.

    Also, you are probably going through a transition office which is giving you advice and classes on how to transition and adapt to the civilian sector. It is always good to have a decent suit in your wardrobe or even good casual wear for those jobs that will require it.

    I was a non-rate when I first exited the service and obviously, depending if you are looking for a job in the private or public sector, will depend on your AFSC experience and position. I never had a problem finding a job in the civilian world but I will be in my 50s when I leave the service for good and know that age will become a factor. Also, location is a big factor. I returned to New York City and there were an abundance of jobs back then.

    Many of the retirees that I talk to at the VFW have awesome second careers and a lot more free time they had when they served.

    God speed.

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    Senior Member BRUWIN'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.
    2. Is there the same sense of camaraderie in civilian businesses?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    "Respect My Authoritah!" - Eric Cartman

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by BRUWIN View Post
    ...companies don't want 50 year olds.
    Thank you for confirming that for me. My military MOS is IT and Cyber Command is moving to my post so I think I will be ok when I punch out. Usually IT is age proof.

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterBen View Post
    Thank you for confirming that for me. My military MOS is IT and Cyber Command is moving to my post so I think I will be ok when I punch out. Usually IT is age proof.
    I'd agree. I was applying for blue collar type stuff where old people aren't necessarily revered.
    "Respect My Authoritah!" - Eric Cartman

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    Re: AF Retirement

    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.

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    Re: AF Retirement

    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!
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    Re: AF Retirement

    Great questions McJohn.
    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.
    Literally having to pick what to wear to work.

    2. Is there the same sense of camaraderie in civilian businesses?
    There are similarities, but nothing like what you see in a unit overseas. Work Centers can be close and hate on other areas.

    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.

    After 3 days I knew I had to find a job. The cars were waxed and the yard looked great. I spent over 3 months searching, hired on 4 days after retirement date.

    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.

    In hindsight, I'm glad I went a different direction (VA). I had the chance to go to a unit at Scott that did the same thing mine at Langley did. I don't know what would have been better, I'm happy with this.
    "Wrong" is one of those concepts that requires witnesses. Catbert, Evil Director of Human Resources

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