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Old 06-11-2016, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Should I stay or should I go now?

We had four three-day drills with the National Guard this year. Those days are coming from July and September--we do not report those months. I will have completed eight years October first, two in Germany, one in Afghanistan, and four and a half in the Guard. We realized today that, unless I extend, I only have one more drill.

Everyone asks if I want to stay in (or why I would want to). I do not know how many decisions I make based on what I want, but instead what I should do. I do not know that I do anything (for the greater good) reporting to drill every month, but I feel it is one way to try to contribute to society.

I work part-time as an in-home speech therapist, but I consider it to be full-time pay. Once I maintain twenty hours a week I receive a substantial raise and can apply to Northern Arizona University's summers-only Master's program, which would allow me to do my job much better, and pay would increase accordingly.

I would not feel right extending for x years and saying I will not be available for annual training, although this year we had it in April, and it is scheduled for next April, too.

Superficially, if I see a couple of clients every Saturday, I could make more than at drill, although they are offering four thousand to extend two years and twelve thousand to extend six. Also, I am contact-only, so health insurance may be worth as much or more than my pay.

I do not have any complaints about the Army, I just feel it is time to move on, although I hate the idea of having drill immediately preceding finals in grad school, or even the possibility of my Guard responsibilities interfering with completing the program.

Cs only earn undergraduate degrees.

I just want to make the best-informed decision I can. Do any of you have productive feedback? Thank you very much!

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Old 06-11-2016, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There seems to be a better future in the speech therapy gig. Go.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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had a buddy who was a captain in the reserve (AF). Said he was doing it mainly out of 'service' (like you) but also because after 20 yrs it would an nice extra retirement and some health benefits.
so, if it was me, I'd look at the long -term retirement aspect and not the month to month income comparison.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Could you do the years to snag a retirement?
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If I put in twelve more years, I should receive at least a thousand a month, but not until I turn sixty, although I thought it was sixty-five, so it is at least better than I had understood.

Our retention sergeant says you start receiving benefits once you complete twenty years.

Let's say I reenlist for six years, take the $12,000 bonus, and with six months to prepare, barring ridiculous mandatory on-line training, I prepare myself adequately to get promoted, make $6,000 a year, and then get promoted to Staff Sergeant four years later, one bonus for six years. That would total around a hundred thousand. I would be forty-nine. If I live to be eighty-four and receive $1,200 a month for twenty-four years, I would receive $345,600 in retirement. Arguably, the average of $8,333.33 I would make a year would technically be $37,133.33.

I can replace Guard pay with Saturday clients, right? What if I worked enough to put money in retirement?

With the goal of doubling the investment every twelve years, I calculated that I would need a 5.95% investment rate (pretty close to the rule of 72).

Three hours a week would cover drill pay, but I would need to work eight hours every weekend, and invest five-eights of it, in order to invest enough to yield as much as the Army retirement for twenty-four years.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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On the horns of a dilemma.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How long do the males in your lineage usually live? Another consideration.

Could you leave the Army, enter school full time and join ROTC, then have the remaining years at a higher pay grade?
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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When I got out of the USAF in Dec of '64, rank of E4, I worked for 6 months and then went to Michigan State to finish my BA. I had two years, including one summer, to go. During my first Fall registration, I was contacted by the USAF ROTC commander and told that if I joined ROTC at that time, that when I graduated with my BA, I would also be a 2nd Lt in the AF with more than 4 years of seniority. That is, I would be a 2nd Lt with over four. Thus a senior 2nd louie. I declined and that kept me out of Viet Nam.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm more patriotic than most in that I'm more willing to put my own skin in the game, so that's why I have high admiration for your service.

Why are you unsure of your service contributing to the greater good? The main purpose of having a trained and equipped army is not to fight battles, but to be so powerful that war is avoided in the first place. I imagine your function contributes to military readiness, and that is a service.

As far as involvement in quagmire conflicts goes; I expect the US to show greater restraint in deploying in the near future as the pendulum of public opinion swings back towards isolationism.

Not all decisions should be reduced to monetary benefit. If that were the case, I would recommend that you become a lawyer, hedge-fund manager, or drug kingpin. Do what you're good at.

Finally, are you the type that has the discipline to work those extra jobs and invest the extra funds? Use your past experience to inform yourself of what your future actions likely will be. If you're not the best at investing surplus income, then a structured retirement benefit like the one provided by the Army is the wiser choice.

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