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Thread: Almost here again

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    missinghim's Avatar
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    #1

    Almost here again

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    So it's almost that time...the lovely re-enlistment time for DH. He's about 16 months out from re-enlisting or not. He'll have almost exactly 11 years in at this point. Clearly giant life decisions should be made by friend-strangers online, so give me your ideas.
    1) Staying in:
    Pros:
    Retirement, obv.
    Security of job for the next 10 years
    Insurance for life (or whatever it's called when your retire)

    Cons:
    We will never live near family (he has the option of 4 bases, we've been to two)
    Move often, every 3-4 years for his career
    My career suffers (I'm an RN, he flies nights often with no set schedule which makes finding a nanny with flex hours difficult/crazy expensive)
    He deploys all. the. time. When we left our last base they were on a 90 day rotation of home/away.
    When he gets out his job does not translate well to the 'real' world
    His job is hard on his body (knees/neck/eyes already having issues)

    2) Getting out:
    Pros:
    FAMILY
    I can work and make more than what he's making now (obv benefits will not be 'free' like they are now)
    He can go to school
    He will never deploy again
    stability for the kids

    Cons:
    He feels that it would be a 'wasted' 10 years (meaning no retirement)
    Paying for benefits
    Not 100% sure what he wants to do


    His ideas for *if* he gets out include: going to trade school to become an electrician, finding a GS/contract job doing what he's doing right now (which would still mean either living in FL or NM), or going to trade school to become a welder. He is not an inside person. He is currently a flight engineer on a critically manned aircraft, which means cross-training or changing air frames is not an option for him. No re-enlistment bonus for his job either, dumb.

    So tell me, what would you do? What advice would you give? Lay it all out there.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥
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    #2
    Honestly I don't think the pros are enough to balance the cons if it's wrecking his body, you can't work, and you're bringing in less money than you would be if you became the breadwinner. Especially as your kids get older, is tricare enough to be worth their dad leaving every few months?

    Is it an option to do reserves or something for the retirement...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Honestly I don't think the pros are enough to balance the cons if it's wrecking his body, you can't work, and you're bringing in less money than you would be if you became the breadwinner. Especially as your kids get older, is tricare enough to be worth their dad leaving every few months?

    Is it an option to do reserves or something for the retirement...?
    Riiiiight?? That's what I say too.

    The Guard for his job is only in NM and FL, they just stood up both. He flies on the Osprey so there aren't a ton of options. I'm trying to convince him, we shall see. I'm getting super spoiled because he's an instructor at our current base for 3 years so no deployments or TDYs for THREE years. It's like magical-Target without the kids whenever I want-heaven.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥
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    #4
    I'm in a similar situation as you (minus the good job). My husband has been in 10 years (it will be 13 at the end of this enlistment). He wants to stay in for the benefits and because he feels like he's come too far to get out now. I, on the other hand, am sick of the military lifestyle. My dad is in his 70s and we'll never be stationed within 1,500 miles of home.

    If you can support your family while he gets out and he goes back to school then go for it!




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    #5
    When DB got out a few years ago, his pro/con list was very similar (minus the kids). He made the decision to get out, go to grad school and do the reserves for a hopeful retirement. And it was the best possible decision for him. But he didn't love what he was doing in the military, if he had loved it he probably would have stayed in.

    If your DH got out and you think that you would be able to work full time, I wouldn't worry as much about the benefits. I get my benefits through my private employer and they are really affordable (even with a family). Sure its not free, but the extra income of you being able to work more might outweigh the expense. Does he really love his job? Or does he often talk about doing other things?
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    #6
    DH got out after about 10 years. A lot of our list looked similar to yours. I think the biggest thing was how hard it was on him, both physically and mentally. Even now we do little things and his body doesn't hold up like it used to; we took the boat out this morning and it really wasn't too much work but he is sore. Things just aren't as easy for him as they were back then.

    Specifically addressing the cons ... for us I guess it didn't feel so wasted because DH was lucky and learned some valuable skills in the Army that translated well to the civilian world (his job involved networking). It also already set him up for what he wanted to do later, he always did enjoy the computers part so he just kept doing that. Full disclosure - I'm not super familiar with electrician and welder type jobs, but if a physically demanding job is going to be an issue for him I would see if that's worth him taking a second look. One of my cousins is an electrician and now I think he's moved up so he pretty much just manages projects, but at the beginning it was definitely a lot of physical labor involved.

    After he has a better idea of what he wants to do, you guys can have a good estimate of what it looks like he'll bring home and see if it works with your budget in terms of benefits etc. I definitely remember making multiple budgets when DH was ready to get out! The classes they take will help prepare for the transition too.
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    #7
    I think I heard angels singing, target SANS CHILDREN?!?!?!?!

    Anyway....

    I'm all for staying in, I know my dh didn't adjust well to life on the outside, and my family has gone through hardship because of it. It is so much harder getting out and realizing it was a mistake and then trying to get back in.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by missinghim View Post
    So it's almost that time...the lovely re-enlistment time for DH. He's about 16 months out from re-enlisting or not. He'll have almost exactly 11 years in at this point. Clearly giant life decisions should be made by friend-strangers online, so give me your ideas.
    1) Staying in:
    Pros:
    Retirement, obv.
    Security of job for the next 10 years
    Insurance for life (or whatever it's called when your retire)

    Cons:
    We will never live near family (he has the option of 4 bases, we've been to two)
    Move often, every 3-4 years for his career
    My career suffers (I'm an RN, he flies nights often with no set schedule which makes finding a nanny with flex hours difficult/crazy expensive)
    He deploys all. the. time. When we left our last base they were on a 90 day rotation of home/away.
    When he gets out his job does not translate well to the 'real' world
    His job is hard on his body (knees/neck/eyes already having issues)

    2) Getting out:
    Pros:
    FAMILY
    I can work and make more than what he's making now (obv benefits will not be 'free' like they are now)
    He can go to school
    He will never deploy again
    stability for the kids

    Cons:
    He feels that it would be a 'wasted' 10 years (meaning no retirement)
    Paying for benefits
    Not 100% sure what he wants to do


    His ideas for *if* he gets out include: going to trade school to become an electrician, finding a GS/contract job doing what he's doing right now (which would still mean either living in FL or NM), or going to trade school to become a welder. He is not an inside person. He is currently a flight engineer on a critically manned aircraft, which means cross-training or changing air frames is not an option for him. No re-enlistment bonus for his job either, dumb.

    So tell me, what would you do? What advice would you give? Lay it all out there.
    Be aware that they just reinstated the rule that requires 6 months (I believe that's the number) of time between military service and starting a GS job. There are waivers, but it sounds like they won't be super common. I don't know if this means you can't even apply until 6 months, or if you could apply at maybe 4 months and get hired and not start until 6, but best case scenario is that without a waiver, he is probably unemployed for 6 months minimum if he wants to go that route.

    Someone above mention reserves, and you responded talking about the guard, but he could do regular reserves? That's the "one weekend a month, on month a year" flovor of reserves, and is different than the Guard, though I'm not sure about other branches so maybe this doesn't exist for him? It allows a pay check and to keep building toward a retirement pension (though it's different from the AD pension). Not sure if you get Tricare for Life when you retire from the reserves.

    To me, the most compelling points of your list are the damage to his body, and your ability to earn.

    If the job is really that brutal on his body and he'll most likely be continuing the same work even if/as he moves up, that's something that can't be undone.

    Generally, with most professional level jobs, benefits aren't actually *that* expensive, so if you can make more than he's making now, it may be mostly a wash. (Make sure you are looking at the real numbers though including the allowances he'll lose and the fact that much of his pay now is tax free, so it's not quite an apples to apples comparison on less you put in some work.)

    On the other side, the biggest concern for me is that he has no idea what he wants to do. I'm make sure he's being realistic and that he understands sometimes a job is just a means to an end, and he may have to take (and keep) something he doesn't love or feel passionate about, and that he's truly willing to do that.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by idratherbehiking View Post
    I'm in a similar situation as you (minus the good job). My husband has been in 10 years (it will be 13 at the end of this enlistment). He wants to stay in for the benefits and because he feels like he's come too far to get out now. I, on the other hand, am sick of the military lifestyle. My dad is in his 70s and we'll never be stationed within 1,500 miles of home.

    If you can support your family while he gets out and he goes back to school then go for it!
    Those are all of my thoughts too, other than the older parents (although mine aren't spring chickens). I just don't know if I can do this for another 10 years now that I've 'seen the light' of him being home every night rather than deployed/TDY 65% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaUSMC View Post
    When DB got out a few years ago, his pro/con list was very similar (minus the kids). He made the decision to get out, go to grad school and do the reserves for a hopeful retirement. And it was the best possible decision for him. But he didn't love what he was doing in the military, if he had loved it he probably would have stayed in.

    If your DH got out and you think that you would be able to work full time, I wouldn't worry as much about the benefits. I get my benefits through my private employer and they are really affordable (even with a family). Sure its not free, but the extra income of you being able to work more might outweigh the expense. Does he really love his job? Or does he often talk about doing other things?
    That's the problem, he does love his job. Not so much for this short season of time as an instructor (teaching isn't his thing) but his actual job, yeah he loves it. That's what our discussions eventually come down to. I can do my job anytime, forever (basically) and he has such a short time in life that he can do his job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    DH got out after about 10 years. A lot of our list looked similar to yours. I think the biggest thing was how hard it was on him, both physically and mentally. Even now we do little things and his body doesn't hold up like it used to; we took the boat out this morning and it really wasn't too much work but he is sore. Things just aren't as easy for him as they were back then.

    Specifically addressing the cons ... for us I guess it didn't feel so wasted because DH was lucky and learned some valuable skills in the Army that translated well to the civilian world (his job involved networking). It also already set him up for what he wanted to do later, he always did enjoy the computers part so he just kept doing that. Full disclosure - I'm not super familiar with electrician and welder type jobs, but if a physically demanding job is going to be an issue for him I would see if that's worth him taking a second look. One of my cousins is an electrician and now I think he's moved up so he pretty much just manages projects, but at the beginning it was definitely a lot of physical labor involved.

    After he has a better idea of what he wants to do, you guys can have a good estimate of what it looks like he'll bring home and see if it works with your budget in terms of benefits etc. I definitely remember making multiple budgets when DH was ready to get out! The classes they take will help prepare for the transition too.
    Oh yes, I too am a budget queen. I think the thing that scares him the most is the idea of not having a job. He wouldn't be not doing anything, he would be going back to school. But he comes from a very traditional family, so the idea of him not working scares him. Or makes him feel.....I don't know, less maybe? I've told him that the GI Bill also gives a small stipend (like BAH) so he wouldn't be bringing in nothing but the whole idea bothers him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medic2Doula View Post
    I think I heard angels singing, target SANS CHILDREN?!?!?!?!

    Anyway....

    I'm all for staying in, I know my dh didn't adjust well to life on the outside, and my family has gone through hardship because of it. It is so much harder getting out and realizing it was a mistake and then trying to get back in.
    That's what I'm worried about too. Not necessarily that he wouldn't adjust well to life in general out of the military, but that he wouldn't adjust well to college life.

    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Be aware that they just reinstated the rule that requires 6 months (I believe that's the number) of time between military service and starting a GS job. There are waivers, but it sounds like they won't be super common. I don't know if this means you can't even apply until 6 months, or if you could apply at maybe 4 months and get hired and not start until 6, but best case scenario is that without a waiver, he is probably unemployed for 6 months minimum if he wants to go that route.

    Someone above mention reserves, and you responded talking about the guard, but he could do regular reserves? That's the "one weekend a month, on month a year" flovor of reserves, and is different than the Guard, though I'm not sure about other branches so maybe this doesn't exist for him? It allows a pay check and to keep building toward a retirement pension (though it's different from the AD pension). Not sure if you get Tricare for Life when you retire from the reserves.

    To me, the most compelling points of your list are the damage to his body, and your ability to earn.

    If the job is really that brutal on his body and he'll most likely be continuing the same work even if/as he moves up, that's something that can't be undone.

    Generally, with most professional level jobs, benefits aren't actually *that* expensive, so if you can make more than he's making now, it may be mostly a wash. (Make sure you are looking at the real numbers though including the allowances he'll lose and the fact that much of his pay now is tax free, so it's not quite an apples to apples comparison on less you put in some work.)

    On the other side, the biggest concern for me is that he has no idea what he wants to do. I'm make sure he's being realistic and that he understands sometimes a job is just a means to an end, and he may have to take (and keep) something he doesn't love or feel passionate about, and that he's truly willing to do that.
    I completely agree with your points. The six months out thing just hit one of his friends who had to turn down a GS job (doing the same thing they do now) for a contracting position because he couldn't wait the 6 months. He retired out, but needed the income.

    The reserves could be an option, but not doing what he does now. Both the Guard squadrons just stood up in the last couple of years and are tiny. So while he could join the Reserves (I think? I honestly know little about that) he's said before several times that he couldn't 'go back' to the Big Blue of the Air Force after working in SOS. I get it...some days.

    I'm sure he'll end up re-enlisting, unless he truly finds something he's passionate about in the real world. He does seem very interested in electrician work, but the apprenticeship for positions doing what he's interested in are between 2-4 years long. His point is that with a retirement check as additional income, the small amount he would make as an apprentice wouldn't be a financial issue. Which is a good point, but not one I want to hear when South Carolina and home are calling my name.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥

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