Author Topic: Getting out of the military advice  (Read 4469 times)

valk001

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Getting out of the military advice
« on: September 02, 2014, 06:33:40 AM »
So here is the deal.  I am going to be getting out of the military after 7 years as an enlisted person in communications, but I am finishing a master's in Hospital Administration specializing in Informatics.  I am wondering how much money is needed for the transition, that way I can invest the excess.  However, I do not know where I am going to go because I have not found a job yet.  I will be on terminal leave starting this april and I will be paid fully till October. 

My financial situation is as follows:

52K stocks
13K IRA
12K TSP
5K emergency fund

I do have a 20K car loan that I will pay off before I get out though.   (this was before I found MMM)

What advice would you have since I don't have a destination in mind?  I am hoping to get a job in Rochester NY due to their low cost of living. 

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 08:33:44 AM »
Great job till now.

How easy is it get a job in your field? Do you anticipate a longer wait or a short wait till you find the job?

If you think it is a medium to long wait, I would wait to pay off the car and put the money into your emergency fund for living expenses till you find a job.

In the case you find a job early, you can use the money you did not use to pay off the car.

As far as location goes, I think you are picking the right locations (mid-size cities, with low cost of living).

Best of luck and keep us updated.

davisgang90

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 09:02:15 AM »
Congrats on your transition and thanks for your service.  As a vet, you get preferential hiring for Government jobs.  A VA hospital might be an option if you are interested.  Check out https://www.usajobs.gov/

If you haven't been there yet, check out Nord's site.  http://the-military-guide.com/ for more info than you can shake a stick at!

You might consider a reserve affiliation to stay linked to the military and earn a nice pension when you hit 60.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 10:41:29 AM »

You might consider a reserve affiliation to stay linked to the military and earn a nice pension when you hit 60.

But only if you get OCS in your contract.  Finishing a masters and not striving to the O ranks?  Come on, son.

valk001

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 11:30:29 AM »
I have a package going up that I should find out in November, but if not I can not stay at my current job because 1: I hate it, 2: my bosses are not the best and 3: Healthcare field is more interesting to me.

I did not think about a reserve position, I will look into that.

Nords

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 01:02:47 PM »
So here is the deal.  I am going to be getting out of the military after 7 years as an enlisted person in communications, but I am finishing a master's in Hospital Administration specializing in Informatics.
I agree with all the other posters about applying for a commission while you're on active duty, but does it have to be limited to the comms field?  I don't know where your best opportunities are-- the detailers will know what designators need more bodies-- but if you have an advanced degree then you certainly qualify for a warfare community. 

I am wondering how much money is needed for the transition, that way I can invest the excess.
That's an open-ended question with a lot of variables.  You've mentioned your assets but the numbers that need your focus are your expenses.  You'd have to decide how much you'd spend per month:  perhaps a "regular" amount and a "starving college student" amount.  Make sure you understand your military healthcare transition benefits and get a thorough VA screening.  Then you'd have to decide whether you're going to take the first "good starter job" offer you get or whether you're going to hold out for a specific parameter. 

Rich makes very good points about working for the VA or other civil-service healthcare jobs-- that can also reduce your job-search time. 

The answer to your question then becomes "enough money to fund your living expenses for 4-12 months".

However, I do not know where I am going to go because I have not found a job yet.  I will be on terminal leave starting this april and I will be paid fully till October. 
I'm impressed!  But I'm not aware of what program allows that much time off with pay.  You're talking about at least 150 days, when I'm more familiar with about 100 days.  If you can carry over that leave balance then good for you, but you'll want to make darn sure that you have the references in hand so that BUPERS and DFAS don't cut you back down to 60 days at the start of the fiscal year (in a few weeks).

What advice would you have since I don't have a destination in mind?  I am hoping to get a job in Rochester NY due to their low cost of living.
I'd recommend that you make "location" a negotiable variable.  You could work in Rochester for lower pay, but if you like another job in a different area then see what you can arrange in compensation to make up for the differences.  This way you're not limiting yourself to one area but instead being paid to live just about anywhere.

You don't mention what you've done to prepare for leaving the service.  Presumably you've been to the military's transition seminar and updated your Linkedin profile for a civilian career.  When the time is right, apply to Linkedin for the free one-year military job-seeker's upgrade to Premium.  You'd want to join every Linkedin group you can find in your desired career field as well as several military veteran's groups.  Network with others to share their advice & stories about their transitions.  The more of this you do before April, the less you'll need of that transition fund.

As for the Reserves, consider the National Guard as well.  You may find a drill site that's closer to you and with better billets.  And again, if you don't get a commission on active duty then apply for it as soon as you join the Reserve/Guard unit.

If you think that you're going to be selling your vehicle as part of leaving active duty, then it's worth paying it off.  Selling a vehicle that has a lien on it is a paperwork hassle, as well as a significant level of trust for the buyer.  You'd end up having to sell for less because you'd be competing with people who are selling their own paid-off vehicles.

Ybserp

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2014, 01:20:21 PM »
In case you haven't done much research on investing, I wanted to point out that your TSP has truly excellent expense ratios. If at all possible, I'd recommend you keep the money in TSP. If later on you get a job that offers a 401k or you start a sole proprietorship business and create your own individual 401k you can add to your TSP by rolling 401k balances into your old military TSP account. (Unless you've closed it, it which case you'd have to get a government job or join the reserves to ever get access to TSP again.)

You might also consider the GI Bill as a backup plan. You've got a heck of a lot of education already, but if the job market is rough, you could go to school for another degree and get state tuition plus a nice sized room and board allowance from the government as part of the 9-11 GI Bill.

Shropskr

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2014, 12:14:42 AM »
Make sure to get help when you go to the VA for your claim.  The DAV helped me a lot just having there name on the paperwork helped and they have all the key words tricky phrases to use.  Remember the VA will cover ANYTHING that is not as good as when you went in.  Doesn't matter what caused it if you get their right after you get out.  So go get that VA physical and be through about it.

valk001

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Re: Getting out of the military advice
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 10:04:12 PM »
Hey every one,

Sorry I have not responded in a little bit I was TDY. 

@Nords, I did apply for a commission but the results don't come out until next month and I am trying to prepare for my plan B incase I don't get selected, which is about a 50/ 50 chance.  The commission is not for just an officership, but to be a hospital administrator.  Personally, I hate the communication but I love the healthcare field and want to work in the career field. 

As far as that much terminal leave, I have maxed out this years leave and there will be an additional 30 days of leave next FY when I get out.  because I was deployed I can roll over more of my leave.  Plus being over seas we get 30 house hunting.

Also, I have been as active as I know how on linked in to network.  I learn another aspect with each new connection that happens.


@ Ybserp, I am planning to use what GI bill I have left (1 year) on a Doctorate in computer science, so that can assist me for a year...That did slip my financial mind when originally posting this, thank you.