Author Topic: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire  (Read 22367 times)

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2014, 02:44:03 PM »
Personal driver sounds insane and not something I had ever thought about.  It's funny that some posters are giving me face punches for not having more NW given our high income and others are recommending a chauffeur or private jet!  I guess it's good to have opinions on both ends of the spectrum.

Yeah, well.... I'm the one who suggested it and got face-punched for not saving enough too. 

Was just trying to think outside-of-the-box.  Better than losing $500K in income a year.

irishbear99

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2014, 07:06:15 PM »
Hey MilitaryMan. It sounds like your commute is total suckage. I can relate. My commute is 75-90 minutes each way to drive 18 miserable miles. Moving isn't an option for us, so I've been working on ways to make the commute more enjoyable. Or, at least tolerable. Books on CD and podcasts are helping. I've also spent an inordinate amount of time organizing my music collection so I always have a playlist that fits my mood. It's a bandaid, not a cure. But it helps.

Nords

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2014, 07:12:37 PM »
Oy.  Been a reader for a while, but going through some old posts.  This one in particular tugs at my heart: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/13/what-does-early-retirement-mean-anyway/ with idyllic descriptions of mountain bike rides, breakfast as a family, and 2 month long summer vacations.    Also reading “Your Money or your life” which is also like taking a punch in the face daily.

I'm a 35y/o with 3 young children.  Spouse and I, through high earning and reasonable, albeit not mustachian, lifestyle have about $1.25M net worth.   We could quit working now, move to Longmont and live like kings, actually like Mr and Mrs Mustache, on $50k a year forever enjoying our young daughters, per the 4% rule. 

But alas, I am an indentured servant to the military because of degrees earned and have to work at least another 9.5 years (age 45).  Or 12.5 years (age 48) until 60% pension + good affordable health care for my fam forever.

My job is actually quite enjoyable and rewarding.  But about 3 months ago its location changed and now I have a daily 70 min commute each direction. KILL ME.  My wife can walk or bike to work from our house.   My life satisfaction has taken a big dive with the new commute. 

So, what to do, gentle reader? I had always thought being in the military was a pretty good option, because, after all, everyone has a boss.  And every job has frustrations and red tape, blah blah blah, and the military is not the worst place to do a job, no student debt, service to country, higher calling, blah blah.  And then I happen across MMM and learn that NOT everyone has a boss! And NOT WORKING is actually an option.
 
I’ve tried suggesting to my wife that she stop working and we move close to my job.  Because that would greatly improve my quality of life.  So far she hasn’t bitten on that suggestion.  While she likes the impact MMM has on our family’s grocery bills and spending and my new interest in investing, she isn’t really sold on the idea of “retiring” in her 30s.  She sees these as her highest earning potential years (and she’s probably right – last year – a very good year, she pulled in $500k).  Also, as you can see the whole after- child-care-and-transportation-and-work-clothes-and-lattes-she's-probably-not-really-making-any-money argument isn't applicable to us.  I'm the lower earner, but my not working isn't an option. 

So I’m stuck working for at least the next 9.5yrs.  And the wife wants to keep working her overall rewarding, but also high powered high paying job.   

In the above mentioned blog post, MMM encourages “pedal to the metal to get to retirement in 7-10 years” rather than wimpy attempts at 50.  I guess I’m going to be wimpy and retire at 48 when my kids are no longer cuddly and small and cute.  But I don’t really have much of a choice, do I?

I’m curious what other mustachians would do in this situation.   Should I just hunker down and make the most of the life I signed up for, relishing the hours of books on CD I get to enjoy during my commute?  Should I compel my wife to leave a high paying job she enjoys so we can all spend more time together as a family, since we clearly have much more than enough (also how do I do this)?  At 48 will my best years be behind me?  Should I get out at 45 leaving the 60% pension and health care and other benefits on the table?  (would appreciate Nords take on this)

Longing for a simpler life.  Whining complete.

Edit:  "Paying back" the military is not an option.
I check in once a week or so to search for the keywords "military" and "Nords". 

First, I understand exactly how you feel.  It's the same way I felt when our daughter was born.  My chain of command was totally uncomprehending about why I'd want to cut back on my 60-hour workweek to spend time with her.  I should say: my childless, non-working-spouse chain of command.

I see that the other problem is the sucky commute, and I understand that there's not much you can do with the parameters.  I'll re-iterate some of the suggestions and perhaps they can be tried occasionally ("respite") instead of being viewed simplistically as a permanent solution.  I suggest that you throw money at the problem until you've extracted sufficient value from the spending.  This is one situation where your commute is crossing the line from "frugal" to "deprivation".

1.  Spending the week in the base quarters and coming home for the weekends. 
It looks like the only way this would work is if you had a home childcare contractor ("nanny") who was willing to fill in from, say, 2 PM -7 PM each weekday.  I've known dual-military servicemembers who've done this, and one problem is finding a reliable contractor.  But when it works, it works great.  I'd strongly suggest networking the neighbors, your kid's childcare/school staff, and a nearby temp agency.  Even at 2-3 afternoons/week it could make the commute more tolerable.

2.  Carpooling.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  Until your co-carpooler gets stuck at work-- or until you get stuck.  The problem with carpooling is that you always need a Plan B.  In my case, for several years I had a beater car at my command that I could drive home when I could not commute by bicycle.  If you need a backup before you're able to consider carpooling, then a beater car at work might be enough. 

3.  Audio books or podcasts.  (I happen to know quite a few great podcasts.)  A hired driver would be a treat once every few weeks if you could use the time to sleep or get your paperwork done, although I agree that it won't let you arrive late or go home early.  It'll just solve the "homework" problem.

4.  Combining a commute with exercise.  Is there a place along the route where you could safely park the car and switch to your bicycle (or electric bicycle) for a workout?  There are a few potential problems with this idea:
a.  Weather.  It's always good weather when you're cycling away from your car, and it's always raining (or snowing) when you're 20 miles away from it. 
b.  Forgetting something and not being able to simply cycle out to the car to pick it up.  You end up staging a spare of everything at work.
c.  Unsympathetic gate guards:  "I'm sorry, if you don't have a reflective vest AND a blinking light then you can't ride on the base." 
d.  Flat tires, locker rooms, showers, dangerous/distracted drivers.  No easy answers here.
e.  The boss who seems to whimsically change work start times or keep everyone late for a "meeting".  No easy answer here either, unless you want to read about it in your fitness report (and I did).

5.  If 20 minutes of your 70 minutes is spent idling in line at the gate, then the park & ride option might let your bicycle cut in front of the vehicles to get through the gate faster.

6.  Attitude.  When is the ending date of this assignment with the 70-minute commute?  Can you endure it for now as long as you and your spouse are making plans to not have it happen again at the next tour?
 
7.  Rotation date.  It might seem attractive to call your assignment officer for a hot fill billet, but you could end up in South Korea-- or Sierra Leone.  The best way to approach this option would be for you and your spouse to decide what duty stations would inspire you to ask for an early rotation date.  The danger is that even if you get a billet with a great commute, it might be even suckier in some other aspect of the job... probably both the duties and the chain of command.

8.  I understand that combining leave and special liberty may be off the table, but at least once a quarter you should try to take Tue-Wed-Thur leave just for your mental health & morale.  I agree that this is not a solution, but it'll give you a little breathing space and something to anticipate.  If your command feels that you "just can't take leave", then that's a danger sign to them that you need to train a couple of subordinates to take over for you. 

It sounds like you and your spouse have a good marriage.  (I wish I had more readers in this situation.)  I suspect a strong component of that marriage is because she feels confident that you're supporting her career.  The problem is that immediate family & society may not be so supportive, and that puts a lot of pressure on a marriage even when outsiders have nothing to do with you two.  The best book I've seen to handle the reaction of society toward your marriage/work situation is "When She Makes More".  You're doing the right thing, and between you is probably fine.  It's the rest of the world that can get in the way, and the book will give you the tools/communications tips to help you both feel better about it-- and to get your mothers-in-law on board too.

Your kids may be small, cuddly, and cute now.  Parenting young children is always challenging, but in 10 years those cuties will be full-on teenagers.  If you're going to save the best years of your life for the most challenging parenting, I'd suggest that you set your sights on the ages 11-17.  It still takes a village, but it's a lot easier to find helpful villagers when your kids are smaller and cuter.  Personally, parenting our daughter through middle school/high school was 4x more difficult (mentally & psychologically) than the earlier years (just physically and sleep deprivation).  The good news is that when you're in their faces there for them during the teen years, they appear to launch from the nest with no flight failures.

So what should you do 9.5 years from now?  (Well, this is why I say "one obligation at a time" instead of "one tour at a time".)  In your case I'd try to sacrifice the next 9.5 years of your career for the most family-friendly (and commute-friendly) locations that you can find.  You want to make it clear to your chain of command (and your assignment officer) that family is more important than promotions.  This way hopefully people will put you places where you don't have to "break out" and "make the grade".  There are plenty of jobs in the military that need career E-6s and O-4s instead of E-9s, CWOs, and admirals.  If your spouse can take her career overseas with you then the assignment officer will probably be grateful.  I suggest this because my spouse and I spent more of our military time outside CONUS than in it, and we were left alone to take the overseas jobs that had a great quality of life. 

When you get to the end of that obligation, the assignment officer knows just as well as you do that you're one tour away from retirement.  I suggest that you spend the next 9.5 years getting ready to transfer to the Reserves/Guard.  Sure, you'll leave with 17 years of service but you'll only have to drill for three more good years to earn a pension at age 60.  In the meantime your spouse's income will have solved all of your other financial challenges and the two of you will have more than enough investments to pay for the years between ages 45 and 60.  This way when you get to the end of your obligation the assignment officer will hopefully understand that you're perfectly serious about the Reserves/Guard and will give you a good active-duty assignment.  Either way (if you've educated yourself and prepared your family) you win.

If you go to the Reserves/Guard at 17 years then you'll have ACA health insurance or Tricare Retired Reserve, then at age 60 you'll have Tricare Prime, and at age 65 you'll have Medicare with Tricare For Life.  But if your spouse has a couple more $500K years then the cost of health insurance loses relevance.

Two other remote possibilities:  keep your eyes open for TERA (which may not be likely in your community) or any earlier option to transfer to the Reserves/Guard (which might not be permitted until your obligation is finished). 

As far as I know indentured servitude is not legal in the US, so the military might have paid for your education but you can always pay it back to get out.
Why don't you quit working and let your wife continue to work?  Am I missing something?
For everyone else on this forum who's never been in the military:  when a servicemember says that they have an obligation, you should assume that they're not just going to say "I quit" or whip out their checkbook to pay it back.  It's a contract that can only be broken by becoming disqualified to fulfill the duties or by breaking the rules badly enough to get fired.  In most cases, it takes longer to get out of the contract than it does to fulfill the contract.

I've been on forums for over a decade and I've developed a pretty thick skin.  I don't like the forums where the moderators say "Now, now, be nice to the newbies or we'll mute you."  But geez, guys, when a new poster in the military tells you that they can't ditch their obligation, then it's probably polite to assume that they really can't get out of their obligation and to stop nagging them about trying harder to get out of it.  If you're going to get into face-punching mode then stick to the expenses or savings rates and not the career advice.

hunniebun

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2014, 08:57:05 PM »
Thanks for sharing your situation. It must be very frustrating to have your options so drastically limited by a military contract. But it is what it is and you sound very dedicated and honorable that you are going to stick out the next 9 years fulfilling your debt to the best of your ability. I think the only thing you can do on that front is move to a mental acceptance.  Try to make the most of your commute. I actually enjoy my commute (it isn't quite that long) but I love listening to the radio, planning my day, or just enjoying the quite alone time.   As for wishing your wife would like to stay home with your kids and retire early to make things easier on the home front...I think acceptance is the only option there too.  Some women aren't made for homemaking as their sole focus and one's that are willing to work hard enough to work their way up the corporate later are likely in that group. Having said that...she must love some aspect of motherhood, otherwise y'all wouldn't have done it 3 times over! LOL! Maybe she would consider semi retirement in a few years? Or starting a home based firm/business to keep in the loop?  It is hard to make suggestions since she isn't really the one who has to want to make a change...and maybe that will come.  Hopefully she will see your perspective and make some changes to make things work better for the both of you. In the mean time, just breathe.  My dad's favorite saying is it will get better or get worse and then the decision will be come clear.   Good luck!

mm1970

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2014, 10:25:06 PM »
I'm 44, my husband is 46, our kids are 8 and 2.

I by no means feel like my best years are behind me.  We are in our primes!

48 is not old.

If your wife likes her job, let her keep it...I love my children.  I don't have the slightest desire to be with them 24/7, so your wife's needs in that respect should be a factor.

I totally would just stay in for the 60% pension.

And my spouse and I were in the Navy, I'm  not gonna suggest you "pay it back". Ha!  Doesn't work that way.  But when I was in (early 90s) there was a big draw down and a bunch of my friends who were due to graduate from ROTC in 1994 were told "eh, we don't need you anymore, you're in the inactive reserves.  Have fun." (after a $60k education)

Nords, I think just a lot of people here don't understand the meaning of "obligation" as it refers to the military.  It's foreign to many.  I live in Coastal So Cal, and many people here just don't "get it".
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 10:43:41 PM by mm1970 »

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2014, 11:27:43 PM »
The reason I'd asked about paying it back is that I was pretty certain that a friend of mine in the Navy had that option.  He had USNA followed by some service and then a Master's for 1.5 years.  He was discussing whether to choose to do ship or submarine or he could pay it back at $100K, but the latter wasn't a serious consideration for him because of the magnitude (this was 15 years ago).

Maybe I'm remembering wrong--it's been a while.

deborah

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #56 on: December 21, 2014, 12:35:27 AM »

Rural

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #57 on: December 21, 2014, 06:40:18 AM »
Are the children school age yet? If not, is there a child care option near your work that might let you take one or more of them with you sometimes to get talking/ singing /silly car games time together? For that matter, if they're school age, is this something that might be possible in summer or on school breaks?

mm1970

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #58 on: December 21, 2014, 09:15:51 AM »
The reason I'd asked about paying it back is that I was pretty certain that a friend of mine in the Navy had that option.  He had USNA followed by some service and then a Master's for 1.5 years.  He was discussing whether to choose to do ship or submarine or he could pay it back at $100K, but the latter wasn't a serious consideration for him because of the magnitude (this was 15 years ago).

Maybe I'm remembering wrong--it's been a while.
A lot of this depends on the state of the service at the time (are they actively reducing forces?), his area in the military (do they need people), and his level of education.  For example, if he was relatively inexperienced and had gotten his master's on the Navy dime but at a civilian place - that's different than if you are a pilot or a doctor.

I got my master's on the Navy's dime (night school), and the requirement is to do the same # of years as the schooling, but they ran concurrently.  I finished in 1996 and got out in 1997, so I'd fulfilled my obligation.

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #59 on: December 21, 2014, 09:23:03 AM »
The reason I'd asked about paying it back is that I was pretty certain that a friend of mine in the Navy had that option.  He had USNA followed by some service and then a Master's for 1.5 years.  He was discussing whether to choose to do ship or submarine or he could pay it back at $100K, but the latter wasn't a serious consideration for him because of the magnitude (this was 15 years ago).

Maybe I'm remembering wrong--it's been a while.
A lot of this depends on the state of the service at the time (are they actively reducing forces?), his area in the military (do they need people), and his level of education.  For example, if he was relatively inexperienced and had gotten his master's on the Navy dime but at a civilian place - that's different than if you are a pilot or a doctor.

I got my master's on the Navy's dime (night school), and the requirement is to do the same # of years as the schooling, but they ran concurrently.  I finished in 1996 and got out in 1997, so I'd fulfilled my obligation.

Yeah.  He got a civilian Masters.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #60 on: December 21, 2014, 11:20:39 AM »
About this unbreakable military contract that the OP is in and can't get out of - what would happen if one day they stopped showing up for work? What IS the penalty of breaking the contract? If their spouse earns $500k a year then they definitely shouldn't have any financial problems. (Though I understand he won't for moral reasons - this is just a hypothetical to help me understand better. I'm curious.)

Also, the question of $500k/year (though I accept this was a good year) adding up to only $1.25 million net worth has yet to be answered.

Rural

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #61 on: December 21, 2014, 12:01:20 PM »
About this unbreakable military contract that the OP is in and can't get out of - what would happen if one day they stopped showing up for work? What IS the penalty of breaking the contract? If their spouse earns $500k a year then they definitely shouldn't have any financial


Military prisons still have people turn big rocks into little rocks.

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #62 on: December 21, 2014, 12:55:40 PM »
About this unbreakable military contract that the OP is in and can't get out of - what would happen if one day they stopped showing up for work? What IS the penalty of breaking the contract? If their spouse earns $500k a year then they definitely shouldn't have any financial


Military prisons still have people turn big rocks into little rocks.

yeah.  It is the military after all.  If we don't have discipline in our military, we're in deep trouble as a nation.

MilitaryMan

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #63 on: December 21, 2014, 01:27:05 PM »
About this unbreakable military contract that the OP is in and can't get out of - what would happen if one day they stopped showing up for work? What IS the penalty of breaking the contract? If their spouse earns $500k a year then they definitely shouldn't have any financial problems. (Though I understand he won't for moral reasons - this is just a hypothetical to help me understand better. I'm curious.)

Also, the question of $500k/year (though I accept this was a good year) adding up to only $1.25 million net worth has yet to be answered.

The penalty for desertion is prison.

Not sure how the second question is relevant. But you seem quite insistent so I'll try to answer briefly. Taxes, Ivy League education for her, many years of education delaying earning, high COL area, full time child care + additional household help...this past years savings rate is about 60% post tax income. Years prior closer to 50%, I think.

Nords, you're amazing. Thanks for all you do for military folks!!!

Nords

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #64 on: December 21, 2014, 02:22:06 PM »
The reason I'd asked about paying it back is that I was pretty certain that a friend of mine in the Navy had that option.  He had USNA followed by some service and then a Master's for 1.5 years. 
That reminds me of a sea story.  I'll admit up front that this is a first-world problem, but it's a cautionary tale about military service obligations.

In late 1986 I reported to student duty at the Naval Postgraduate School.  In a few months I'd finish my USNA service obligation and be eligible for the nuclear bonus program.  It paid $7200 at the end of every year you stayed on active duty, but if you signed a contract (three to five years) then it'd pay you $10K at the start of every year that you were on active duty. 

I was already incurring an obligation at NPS (3:1 for the first year, 1:1 after that, 30 months of study for a total payback of 4.5 years) but hey, I was getting paid an O-3 salary to go to school in Monterey!  The nuclear assignment officers were pushing the bonus contracts pretty hard because retention sucked at the height of the Evil Empire years as we expanded to a 600-ship Navy.  They told us that our NPS obligation could be served concurrently with our bonus contract obligation.  Sweet double score!!  Eager nukes flocked to sign up, and I was sitting on the sidelines anxiously waiting out the clock for my turn before they "ran out of bonus money".

Suddenly, an ominous problem cropped up.  The assignment officer had sent a letter to a classmate with the news that the Navy's nuclear bonus program had overlooked an important clause of Congress' enabling legislation:  the NPS obligation had to be served first before any other obligations.  They were so sorry, but since he'd already started NPS before signing his five-year bonus contract then he was now facing not a 4.5-year obligation but rather a 9.5-year obligation-- starting AFTER he graduated.  Have a nice nuclear day!

Word spread rapidly, protest rumbled in the ranks, respectfully angry letters were routed up the chain of command, and the NPS admiral "suggested" to the assignment officers that they send a sacrificial apologist out to Monterey to face the crowd of irate nukes.  In front of our skeptical mob of frustrated lieutenants (unknowingly including at least two future admirals) the steely-eyed O-4 assignment officer said:
"Sorry for all the trouble, guys.  To make things right, if you've signed up for a bonus contract then we're willing to cancel it.  You won't have to pay back the money we've already given you.  However you'll either have to leave here and go back to sea if you want to sign up, or else finish your Monterey obligation before you can sign up again.  For most of you here that's 4.5 years after graduation or nearly seven years from now."

Then he dangled the bait:  "We're going to fix this piddling little issue with Congress.  Our liaison officer is preparing corrective legislation to change the federal law next month from 'consecutive' to 'concurrent', so you'll be able to get what we originally wanted you to get.  However that will only apply to those who sign up after the date of the corrective legislation and do not already have an existing obligation.  For those of you here at Monterey, it would already be too late because you're incurring an obligation now.  In order to show our sincere apologies for this confusion, we're willing to offer you a deal.  If you sign a bonus contract now, while we're working on the corrective legislation, then we'll honor the concurrent obligation as soon as the law is changed.  If you don't sign now then you won't be eligible for a bonus contract until you've completed your degree and served out your NPS obligation-- and again, for most of you here that's seven years from now.  So we recommend that you sign a bonus contract today."

A crowd of eager nukes dashed to the front of the room to fight for a blank copy of the contract.  I started to get up to join them.  From the back of the room, over the rumbles of scampering feet and shoving elbows, a single voice was raised by Steve Moorhead (to whom I will forever be grateful):  "Sir, what happens if Congress doesn't pass the corrective legislation this session?"

The assignment officer dismissively said "Oh, they'll pass it, but if they don't then I guess the obligations would continue to run consecutively until they do.  We don't expect that to be a problem." 

His response was almost inaudible among the noisily frantic scratching of government-issued Skilcraft ball-point pens signing bonus contracts.

I'd only known Steve for a few months but we'd already become pretty good drinking buddies.  I decided to discuss Steve's question with my spouse before I signed anything.  I dithered for several days but I ended up not signing because we were doing well with our savings and "It was only $10K/year".  That's over $21K/year in 2014 dollars, or ~15% extra on today's O-3 total compensation.

A couple months later, Congress recessed without discussing the corrective legislation.  It was tabled next session, too.

It wasn't "corrected" until late 1997.  By then most of the "special" NPS nuclear bonus contracts were only a year from expiration.

In retrospect, the NPS Class of '89 nukes stayed Navy until retirement-- even Steve.  However Steve and I were about the only guys who stayed by choice.  Everyone else had obligated themselves to 9.5 years after graduation, which took most of them to the 16-year point. 

As far as I know, today only a couple of us are financially independent-- and the other guy is a rear admiral so he's not at all about the money.

Nords

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #65 on: December 21, 2014, 03:30:00 PM »
About this unbreakable military contract that the OP is in and can't get out of - what would happen if one day they stopped showing up for work? What IS the penalty of breaking the contract?  (Though I understand he won't for moral reasons - this is just a hypothetical to help me understand better. I'm curious.)
The penalty for unauthorized absence or desertion in the U.S. armed forces is at least as severe as the British armed forces. 

Here's an excerpt from UCMJ Article 86 (UA) from the Manual for Courts-Martial.
http://www.militarylawyers.com/uploads/MCM-2012.pdf
The article starts on PDF page 297 and the punishments are discussed on page 299.
Quote
e. Maximum punishment.
(1) Failing to go to, or going from, the appointed
place of duty. Confinement for 1 month and forfeiture
of two-thirds pay per month for 1 month.
( 2 ) Absence from unit, organization, or other
place of duty.
(a) For not more than 3 days. Confinement for
1 month and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month
for 1 month.
(b) For more than 3 days but not more than 30
days. Confinement for 6 months and forfeiture of
two-thirds pay per month for 6 months.
(c) For more than 30 days. Dishonorable discharge,
forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and
confinement for 1 year.
(d) For more than 30 days and terminated by
apprehension. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of
all pay and allowances, and confinement for 18
months.
( 3 ) From guard or watch. Confinement for 3
months and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month
for 3 months.
(4) From guard or watch with intent to abandon.
Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances,
and confinement for 6 months.
(5) With intent to avoid maneuvers or field exercises.
Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay
and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I did have to go to school to learn this stuff.  It was a full semester at college and another few weeks as an O-4.

Are we going to have to add a separate "military only" section to these forums so that civilians will only have to read these posts if they want to?

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #66 on: December 21, 2014, 03:48:43 PM »
Oooh.... I guess my friend lucked out.  I think he graduated in '96 or '97. :)  I think his was consecutive though.   Something about 3 years on a sub or 5 on a ship.  He must have still had some of his undergraduate to pay off.

KBecks2

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2014, 03:57:36 PM »
Keep stashing the wife's income and make the most of your weekends with the family.  Hang in there! 

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2014, 07:22:32 PM »
Based on your replies, OP, I'm not sure if you're looking to vent or looking for solutions. I'm biased, but to me it seems as if you shot down the geobachelor idea down pretty quickly. You honestly can't go one or two nights without seeing your kids? You're in the military, man. That's what we do. People were in Sadr City for 15 months back in 2007. FIFTEEN MONTHS. Other people go ahead and move for a last assignment as full-time geobachelors (visiting home 1+ times per month). With a crash pad, a night or two will be a respite for you due to the fact that your commute is hell and you can just go there to sleep. Furthermore, you'd be more available to work longer those days, building up a bit more good will for jetting early later in the week.

EXAMPLE: Right now I live on one side of Africa. My wife lives on the other. We'll see each other once every 2-3 months or so. Are we going to die? No. If anything these times strengthen the relationship. 6 month deployments are hard, but luckily this isn't a deployment and we can steal some time to see each other. I fail to see how you can't handle a night per week away from the family but others can do it for months.

Reading while driving = motion sickness. I get it, happens to me as well. Go to sleep instead. This is another worthwhile solution that I feel you didn't really consider.

Basically I'm hearing you say that no solution is good enough. Nothing will work for your special snowflake situation. What do you want from us if you're not going to change anything? If it is just to vent say that and don't ask for answers. Plenty of us will vent with you.

oldfierm

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2014, 06:36:06 AM »
At the Naval War College we spent a day talking about the civilian/military divide.  Back during WWII, everyone served, so everyone "got it" and now only like .5% of the United States population serves, so no one understands military life.  I found this hard to believe, because everywhere I live has tons of other military folks.  Reading some of these responses though...wow.  I'm starting to understand the concern. 

Pigeon

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2014, 02:20:20 PM »
No, you can't force your wife to quit the job she loves and is making bank with.  ITA with the other posters about being married to some guy who has a midlife crisis and leaves you high and dry.  There is no way in hell I would sign up for making myself much less employable.  I love my kids, but being a SAHM would be my worst nightmare.  Just no.  I don't see being home with them all day as one big happy Hallmark moment, I'd be homicidal inside a month.

I could see asking her about moving half way so that you both have a 30 mile commute.  Not fun, but doable.

You are stuck working for several more years because of a irrevocable choice you made.  It sucks, but that's the situation.  This is what I think of (among other, worse scenarios) whenever people offer the cheerful advice, "Just join the military!" Join the military if you want, but think long and hard about it first because there are major strings attached and very serious possible negative ramifications.

Trudie

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #71 on: December 22, 2014, 02:53:41 PM »
Thank you for your service.

I cannot relate to the military experience, but I can relate to how a commute subtracts from your quality of life.

I understand there is no "getting out" of your contract.  So, the question becomes, how can you deal with the commute?

I do think the option of getting some sort of "pad" closer to your work could make good sense.  Is there anyway you can purchase something that can be an investment as well, either short or long term?  Can you buy a twinhome and rent out the other half?  Can you buy something that might also be appealing as a vacation rental and plan to convert it when you retire?


JustTrying

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #72 on: December 22, 2014, 09:06:41 PM »
I like Siobhan's reply. She made some good points. I am a civilian, but I used to work for the military, and the scenario that Siobhan laid out is the scenario that you often see with military families - the non-AD spouse has to move every 3 years, so never really starts a career, and then when the service member decides to leave him/her, he/she is screwed. It blows my mind that an individual would get into a position like that, but it happens a lot, and I'd say that it happens more often in the military life than amongst civilians.

Anyway, I do think it's reasonable to discuss your preference with your wife. That being said, if she's not willing to give up her career, then it's probably not going to happen! One compromise that I can think of would be to try to move someplace where you are halfway between your job and your wife's job. Or if your wife has an option to telecommute, maybe it makes sense to move closer to your job. That seems to be the most viable solution. (Besides just sucking it up and continuing on).

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #73 on: December 23, 2014, 11:33:08 AM »
I think your wife is counting her lucky stars that your latest transfer didn't involve relocating everybody.....

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2014, 04:48:30 PM »
What field does your wife work in that she can pull $500k? You don't have to give specifics, just some general ideas, please. Would love for my wife to pull that.

Scooter

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #75 on: December 25, 2014, 12:07:34 AM »
http://www.army.mil/article/127763/Program_offers_partially_paid_break_from_

It's a long shot that you would qualify for or be interested in extending your service obligations, but perhaps a short term break while your wife brings home the bacon could help recalibrate your perspective.

TerriM

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #76 on: December 25, 2014, 01:16:06 PM »
http://www.army.mil/article/127763/Program_offers_partially_paid_break_from_

It's a long shot that you would qualify for or be interested in extending your service obligations, but perhaps a short term break while your wife brings home the bacon could help recalibrate your perspective.

"It's not a full-pay sabbatical, however. Soldiers will get paid "two times 1/30th" of their base pay, according to Military Personnel Message 14-143, which describes CIPP in detail."

Something tells me that doesn't mean 1/15th of their salary?

MilitaryMan

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Re: Complainy Pants - wish I could retire
« Reply #77 on: December 26, 2014, 10:47:20 AM »
What field does your wife work in that she can pull $500k? You don't have to give specifics, just some general ideas, please. Would love for my wife to pull that.

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