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A few weeks ago I was reading an article in Money magazine about a couple who retired at 40. While they do live frugally in relatively low-cost St. Louis, the primary reason they were able to retire is that they each served for 20 years in the military and now receive a pension of $58,500 per year. They will receive this amount, adjusted for inflation, for the rest of their lives ! On top of that, they get health coverage forever as well.

Obviously there are some important issues involved in working in the military. A sense of national duty, risk of injury and even death, possibly lower pay, and constant relocation, just to name a few. But let’s just focus on the financial aspects here. I knew military pensions were good, but I didn’t know they started as soon as you retired. I figured they’d kick in at 60 or 65, not right away. How much is that pension really worth? How much would a civilian job-jumper have to put away to replicate it?

In addition, I can’t properly estimate how much the lifetime of health insurance is worth, but it has to be worth at least another $100,000-$200,000. The article lists their net worth at about $500,000, but really it is the equivalent of around $1.75 million for someone with no pension. At 40 years old, that is quite impressive.

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In military divorce , the Uniform Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (USFSPA) recognizes the right of state courts to distribute military retired pay to a spouse or ex – spouse and provides a method of enforcing these orders through the Department of Defense.

The USFSPA does not; however make the division of military pay mandatory during divorce. And that is where some spouses make a mistake when going through a divorce. There is the belief my some that the USFSPA is a law that says the military member must pay a spouse or ex-spouse a portion of their military retirement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether or not you are awarded any of the military member s retirement is up to the judge in your divorce case.

An ex – spouse must have been awarded, by a judge, a portion of the member’s military retired pay as property in their final divorce decree , dissolution, annulment or legal separation.

The Defense Finance Accounting and Service (DFAS) maintains an archive of historical pay charts dating back to October 1, 1949. You may find it interesting to see how the current military pay compares to what servicemembers made in the past.

The dates below reflect effective dates for the military basic pay rates, which may differ from the effective dates for the various allowances and other pay entitlements. These charts are intended for reference only and are not for official pay purposes. These charts are all in PDF format.

Jan 1, 2000
Jul 1, 2000
Jan 1, 2001
Jul 1, 2001
Jan 1, 2002
Jan 1, 2003
Jan 1, 2004
Jan 1, 2005
Jan 1, 2006
Jan 1, 2007
Apr 1, 2007
Jan 1, 2008
Jan 1, 2009
Jan 1, 2010
Jan 1, 2011
Jan 1, 2012
Jan 1, 2013
Jan 1, 2014

Afew weeks ago I was reading an article in Money magazine about a couple who retired at 40. While they do live frugally in relatively low-cost St. Louis, the primary.

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A 21-YEAR-OLD Isle of Wight motorcyclist lost his life because a 70-year-old 4x4 driver did not check his mirrors before overtaking, a court heard.

Retired teacher David Bryan Napper, of Appleford Road, Chale Green, was unaware that scaffolder Reese Mitchell’s motorcycle was already alongside his Jeep Cherokee when he pulled out to overtake two cars in front, a court heard.

Mr Mitchell was slammed into metal stanchions of a fence and died at the side of the Military Road at Atherfield from severe head injuries, last October.

Congratulations and thank you for your service. Try looking here: http://www.DefenseContractorInfo.com They ve got profiles on a bunch of military contractors, corporate HQs, best places to work, places most friendly to vets, etc. It s free and might be a good place to start. Best of luck!