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Old 29-11-2015, 11:29   #46
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

ArmySailor, I'm with mariner36bob, when the BS meter peaks, get out, move on, your life and mental health aren't worth the sacrifice. I was in the Canadian Navy for 7 years and got out for similar reasons. So much BS.....I've been working as a carpenter for the last 20 years and love the work.

Have you checked out the Mr. Money Mustache — Early Retirement through Badassity forums? You'd find lots of folks in a similar position over there and might get some good feedback too. One poster over there (Nords) has even developed a website for military folks facing similar dilemmas:

http://the-military-guide.com/

Nords retired early with his wife in Hawaii to surf.

My wife follows the MMM forums intently and it has altered our life dramatically. We're debt free(mortgage notwithstanding, but that's about to disappear!), and I'm set to retire in the next year or so(I'm 52).

You're young and have so much life ahead of you and so much to give, it's not worth spending it in the "trenches"!

Steve
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Old 29-11-2015, 12:02   #47
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySailor View Post
Hi Folks, Lifelong cruisersforum lurker here. I've seen the "should I stay or should I go" questions a bergillion times, so I'll spare you that. Decision hath been decided upon by the decider....me. I'm going to buy a boat (of appropriate size, simplicity, and fit for purpose). I've been out and about enough to know I do actually enjoy the life. Blah blah blah.



The crossroads I’m at is dealing with retirement and whether I should go *now*. I’m in a peculiar situation of being able to enter “semi retirement in 1.5 years at age 37”. Since age 22 I have literally lived on half my income and invested the other half, so have significant investments to leech from. It has been a painful road, and I’ve sacrificed a lot in life to save this much


Option A) If I enter semi retirement, I could work 2-4 days in Houston TX. This would put me living in a marina in/around seabrook, clear lake, etc. It would tether me there so my actual sailing time between work would be limited to 2-3 weeks at a time. I figure 2-3 weeks is plenty time to have a loose schedule of getting somewhere in the gulf rim, hanging around and meeting people, and then sailing back for work. (in addition to sailing, I have PLENTY of other hobbies I want to indulge in during semi retirement, not least of which is spending quality time with family)


If I do this, I’ll be on a modest budget. (~2000-2500 a month). I do have a kitty in reserve to pay for major repairs, a new car in a few years, blah blah blah. But I'll have to be careful with that budget. very careful. It has to last until age 60.



With this modest budget, I don’t want to waste it on an apartment. So I plan to live on the boat. Novel idea here, I know! lol. I have the luxury of simply amazing parents, who are 2 hours away from Houston TX who are the most awesome people ever. I can actually live part time there and store all my stuff (all my earthly goods fit into a truck, seriously. Except for crappy craigslist furniture.



As a side note, since I’m single, I’m certain that living on a boat and sometimes sleeping at my parents house will make me a TOTALLY eligible bachelor. I know. Lol. But hey it’s the life I want.


Anyway. Option B)


Slave away for 7 more years. Full retirement at age 43. Money will be no object at that point. With my investments, still growing for 6 more years and full active duty retirement I will be able to buy a house, indulge in a few nice things (though my wants are very limited) and critically, I won’t be tethered to Houston TX. So the world is my oyster. Which would you choose? Oh....the catch....



Catch: I hate my job. Don’ misread me – I LOVE serving my country. I love Soldiers. I love doing good things and making the Army better every day. However….it’s crazy stressful. I’m a senior officer, and I’m just….burned out. The work is 24/7 I push myself to excel in my job. I could do it for another 7 years. I could. But I move every 2-3 years, I work through weekends, I deal with red tape constantly, and I just get the life sucked out of me where it’s no longer fulfilling most of the time. Summary: My blackberry is the anchor to my soul. Sigh.

I'm just tired of waiting. Life and health are promised to no man. Or woman.

Should I drop the full time work shenanigans, give up a "plussed up" retirement, or cut back to one weekend a month, live off dividends and that modest paycheck on the boat. Time or money. My life or my mental anguish.



(final note: Yes, I know there are those of you that may think "7 years is nothing!" But again, i've been "putting off" my life and sacrificing everything forever now. 7 years is a long time to keep doing all the the army requires me to do. )
Write a book if you want to do a poor me bio? Life's a bitch get over it.
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Old 29-11-2015, 12:40   #48
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Take it from a former Marine officer who left after my initial tour of active and reserve duty. If you are confident that you can keep getting promoted and making it to 20, I would go for it. That 20 year retirement benefit along with the lifetime medical benefits are your rock of gibraltar. I came to sailing after my service. Had I been a sailor then and new about the possibilities of the cruising life, I would have stuck it out. Your current dissatisfaction with your current billet is temporary. Like everything else in life, it will pass.
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Old 29-11-2015, 13:04   #49
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

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Take it from a former Marine officer who left after my initial tour of active and reserve duty. If you are confident that you can keep getting promoted and making it to 20, I would go for it. That 20 year retirement benefit along with the lifetime medical benefits are your rock of gibraltar. I came to sailing after my service. Had I been a sailor then and new about the possibilities of the cruising life, I would have stuck it out. Your current dissatisfaction with your current billet is temporary. Like everything else in life, it will pass.
You probably have it right. But if another 7 years makes that a question just to make 20? I'd go for it for security. I'm guessing he thinks he should be and E5 or 6?
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Old 29-11-2015, 13:31   #50
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySailor View Post
Hi Folks, Lifelong cruisersforum lurker here. I've seen the "should I stay or should I go" questions a bergillion times, so I'll spare you that. Decision hath been decided upon by the decider....me. I'm going to buy a boat (of appropriate size, simplicity, and fit for purpose). I've been out and about enough to know I do actually enjoy the life. Blah blah blah.



The crossroads I’m at is dealing with retirement and whether I should go *now*. I’m in a peculiar situation of being able to enter “semi retirement in 1.5 years at age 37”. Since age 22 I have literally lived on half my income and invested the other half, so have significant investments to leech from. It has been a painful road, and I’ve sacrificed a lot in life to save this much


Option A) If I enter semi retirement, I could work 2-4 days in Houston TX. This would put me living in a marina in/around seabrook, clear lake, etc. It would tether me there so my actual sailing time between work would be limited to 2-3 weeks at a time. I figure 2-3 weeks is plenty time to have a loose schedule of getting somewhere in the gulf rim, hanging around and meeting people, and then sailing back for work. (in addition to sailing, I have PLENTY of other hobbies I want to indulge in during semi retirement, not least of which is spending quality time with family)


If I do this, I’ll be on a modest budget. (~2000-2500 a month). I do have a kitty in reserve to pay for major repairs, a new car in a few years, blah blah blah. But I'll have to be careful with that budget. very careful. It has to last until age 60.



With this modest budget, I don’t want to waste it on an apartment. So I plan to live on the boat. Novel idea here, I know! lol. I have the luxury of simply amazing parents, who are 2 hours away from Houston TX who are the most awesome people ever. I can actually live part time there and store all my stuff (all my earthly goods fit into a truck, seriously. Except for crappy craigslist furniture.



As a side note, since I’m single, I’m certain that living on a boat and sometimes sleeping at my parents house will make me a TOTALLY eligible bachelor. I know. Lol. But hey it’s the life I want.


Anyway. Option B)


Slave away for 7 more years. Full retirement at age 43. Money will be no object at that point. With my investments, still growing for 6 more years and full active duty retirement I will be able to buy a house, indulge in a few nice things (though my wants are very limited) and critically, I won’t be tethered to Houston TX. So the world is my oyster. Which would you choose? Oh....the catch....



Catch: I hate my job. Don’ misread me – I LOVE serving my country. I love Soldiers. I love doing good things and making the Army better every day. However….it’s crazy stressful. I’m a senior officer, and I’m just….burned out. The work is 24/7 I push myself to excel in my job. I could do it for another 7 years. I could. But I move every 2-3 years, I work through weekends, I deal with red tape constantly, and I just get the life sucked out of me where it’s no longer fulfilling most of the time. Summary: My blackberry is the anchor to my soul. Sigh.

I'm just tired of waiting. Life and health are promised to no man. Or woman.

Should I drop the full time work shenanigans, give up a "plussed up" retirement, or cut back to one weekend a month, live off dividends and that modest paycheck on the boat. Time or money. My life or my mental anguish.



(final note: Yes, I know there are those of you that may think "7 years is nothing!" But again, i've been "putting off" my life and sacrificing everything forever now. 7 years is a long time to keep doing all the the army requires me to do. )
a few points to bring some perspective...

2000 to 2500 might be considered a bit more than just modest. in fact, some could live quite well on that.

secondly, if you plan on cutting the lines, why worry about buying a house before you go?

finally, no matter how you hate your work, now, i think you would be sorry leaving before you get your full benefits. 7 years fly by so quickly, especially when you pass 40. lol. compare those seven years to the thought of never worrying about funds again. something to consider.
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Old 29-11-2015, 14:04   #51
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Belize- I had to LOL at your “back off your current job…it’s government after all”. It’s not exactly like that in the military.


Your money suggestion assumed I was going to live off capital. My calculations of 2500 per monthly are from bond interest and dividend paying stocks. Not dipping into capital at all.


100K at 5% would be tough to sustain. I am assuming closer to 3.5%. So much more than 100K is called for to generate that 2500. (which I have).


Also, I have inflation adjusted that 2500 so I give myself a 1% raise per year. Just so the cost of living doesn’t trample me.

-Gordy : Unfortunately those are my only choices with regards to this crossroads. I can choose A at a later date, but only 3 years from now. And by that time I will be REAL close to full retirement. It wouldn’t be worth getting out at that juncture.


-Lizzy
The comment about “never work a day in my life again” should more accurately be “I would never *have*to work another day. If I didn’t want to. In other words, my investments and modest retirement check ensure I don’t have to get another job. I could if it was something I loved. But yeah.


-John drake
Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I am putting significant weight into your comments because you have been there done that and have the rear view mirror in hand. Thank you.


It truly is an awful spot. But you’re right. There are many things I can do now (and DO already do now) to find bits of happiness and “me-time” away from the job. I do sail frequently. I spearfish. I hike. Blah blah. All of it is great. But I yearn for it on a grander scale. Without the gazillion hour workweek tether.


My plan is actually to ask for a tour as EO, IG, instructor or something along those lines outside of my trade. That would be a big help. I have 1.5 years left in my current gig as deputy. Also, as a side note, I am stationed in Hawaii. So that helps a bit.


As for sailing magazines and boat porn – I’ll have none of that! I spend my time practicing celestial navigation (bought myself a sextant for my B-day), scuba, and a few other fun hobbies. But yeah. I’m still working like a Hebrew slave. I’m glad you get that. I used to go to the range when I was stationed in TX. Nothing like the stress relief of a semi-auto 12 ga or AR-15 can provide. Lol. Good stuff. But very difficult to do here in Hawaii. The weapons are all stored mainland safely. Too difficult to get here.


As for motorcycle, kind Sir, I may be crazy but I am NOT crazy. : )

-BHI Guy: By coincidence I may have worked for the same guy in Germany. That tour was brutal. I was in an infantry battalion back in the day and the work schedule closely resembled what you described. BRB I need a shot of whiskey. Ok. That helped.


Unfortunately “forced retirement” or early retirement is not an option these days. If you are passed over twice for promotion, you get a handshake and a coffee mug “thanks for your service” and nothing. I would volunteer for early retirement at a slightly reduced rate in a heartbeat. Not an option now.


That’s why I schemed my own semi-retirement hybrid of the reserve service plus my own investment interest.
Backing off on commitments is very, very difficult to do. My boss is very demanding and I’m already established as her Deputy that can get anything done. She calls me the one-man QRF.


However…as my girlfriend suggested….I finish up this tour and then when I report to my next gig, I wisely establish myself as “you know, that officer that does a pretty good job…but he’s not the type of guy that stays too late or answers his phone on Sunday evenings”. Aka, play a little less motivated.


If I do stay in for the next 7 years. I guarantee that my last 2 years will be much less….overachiever oriented. (I won’t slack enough to cause others to work more because of it, or let the mission slip…but there has got to be a middle ground right?)


I am certain I won’t be able to continue saving half my check if I get hitched. I do need to find a lass with a sense of adventure and who views money, life, and “stuff” similar to me. Looks like you have done just that. Good stuff!


-A64 pilot: Same as above with Drake. I appreciate your comments as you have better perspective than I do. You did 20 years 6 mo and 5 days? Man if I do one day over 20 I have done something wrong : )


-Sailfast tri:
As above, I’ve adjusted my calculations to increase 1% of my income per year to keep buying power somewhat. Also, my calculations are high for monthly costs and low for actual bond interests. I shoudl actually be able to save a little each month and further increase the kitty.

“You will also find that your 2-3 week travel window will not be adequate to keep the sense of adventure, you'll find your favorite places and they'll become familiar.”


This is something I hadn’t considered. I can say that my current 1-2 days per week window isn’t adequate. But would 2-3 weeks save my soul? What if it does get old. What if I do drum up the chance to circumnavigate (with adequate experience, equipement, and help) ? Guess what….I couldn’t do it. So yeah. Good thought to mull over.
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Old 29-11-2015, 14:37   #52
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Hi Army Sailor.
May I ask if there is an Option C? Work for another 3 years then retire. The reason I ask is that I am in a similar position. I have had enough of corporate life and want out. My husband and I committed to sailing away on a liveaboard catamaran but from the moment we decided to do this to the time we start will be 2 years. During this period we will have built our investments / reduced our debt to the point where we can go and not worry about working until such time as we want to work (which willl also happen at some point, I'm guessing). We are now only 8 months off leaving. The time has flown and living with the lovely anticipation of our new life has given me the stamina to endure work. Once you have pressed GO on your dream, your outlook changes on everything. Seven years is too long to be living in hope. But 3 years - doable.
Good luck
Sardean


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Old 29-11-2015, 15:03   #53
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Money is never enough
So, better start now, or 1,5years from now, then later.

Beware to turn down your spending habits, initially. Boats are expensive to run.
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Old 29-11-2015, 15:05   #54
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

You don't get to get out when you want, you get out on their schedule of course. Hence the extra 6 months, I agree one day past 20 is one day wasted. There was no way I was going to be allowed to leave with my MOS, it had to be their idea.
You have one more promotion you have to make to make it to 20? How long til then?
Once you get there, that is when you do your duty and not much more. Normally a Warrant has to make 4 to retire, but I had 5 yrs Enlisted, so once I made 3, Unless I did something really stupid, I was going to retire, once you get there life changes, then you can back off. Yes it is still the Army, nothing will change that, but knowing you have passed go, will get the $200 makes life a whole lot easier, usually.
Funny thing is, in the Army you spend years trying your damnedest to stay in, then suddenly one day, it flips. They begin playing games to keep you in, it gets hard to get out. Take that promotion? Comes with a couple of years attached to it. Want to put in for retirement? Along comes those orders for Germany, want the family along, well of course that's a three your tour then, and who can find a job overseas, so you have to PCS home, bam a PCS you owe two years for, then you get orders for that short tour in Korea, and your not allowed to put in for Retirement while on orders or course.
My way out was to get passed over. Many do not understand a Retired officer is not Retired, get a letter and your back in, they own you for life, but I think the rules change a little if your kicked out, I.E. Passed over.


If you quit now, then you have wasted thirteen years of your life, do seven more and they will be paying for a LONG time. As a Warrant who retired years ago, I get in cash like $2400 a month, I think and the Medical, so I figure I get $3000 a month, have been for the last thirteen years and expect to for at least twenty more.
I did the 20 and now have a second Retirement equal to the first, boat and stuff costs more than people would have you believe. Do the seven and retire on a Champagne lifestyle until you die, don't give up now, your two thirds done.


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Old 29-11-2015, 15:20   #55
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

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Originally Posted by ArmySailor View Post
Belize- I had to LOL at your “back off your current job…it’s government after all”. It’s not exactly like that in the military.


Your money suggestion assumed I was going to live off capital. My calculations of 2500 per monthly are from bond interest and dividend paying stocks. Not dipping into capital at all.


100K at 5% would be tough to sustain. I am assuming closer to 3.5%. So much more than 100K is called for to generate that 2500. (which I have).


Also, I have inflation adjusted that 2500 so I give myself a 1% raise per year. Just so the cost of living doesn’t trample me.

.....
Good for you. Good plan. Yes, 5% is a bit more challenging these days. It can be done, but requires more effort/risk/broader mix of investments.

Good to hear from someone with a dream and a plan on which they are executing...so many pipe dreamers drop in here.

As you can tell from my comment I have zero military experience. I spent my entire career in the private sector. I was a hard core work-aholic...hard to spend money when you work 20 hours a day and travel 100%. So, I too lived way below my income and saved/invested most of it.

Fired myself at 40...15 years ago.

You have good financial sense, so have probably thought of this, but plan for growth too. Despite not having a real job for 15 years, my net worth has steadily increased....from just conservative common sense investments (...foreign real estate excluded, but even that riskier category has done well).

That military retirement at a still relatively early age sure would be tempting though...sure dont have that in the private sector! That plus good financial planning would leave you in a great position and still young enough to enjoy it.

Tolerating more time sure would pay off well and still leave you at a young age, just dont make the mistake of staying too long...I see lots of cruisers out here who can barely make it on and off their boat at the dock. THAT is not worth it! Very glad every day that I punched out early.
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Old 29-11-2015, 15:20   #56
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

-Sardean: Option C is just option B later. If I work for 3 more years, then I'm even closer to the finish line and would be very hard to justify getting out. I get nothing more for working 3 more years. I do think time will fly, even faster as the end approaches. And +yes+ to increase in stamina to endure work. I think that will happen for me around the final 1-2 years.


-TheThunderbird: My spending habits are way under control. I have no debt, I fix things myself, drive a 10 year old car. etc etc. Boats are expensive to maintain, yes. But A) I have experience in owning boats and I'm 2 for 2 in selling used boats for more than I've bought them (in hawaii, no less!) and I fix lots of things and upgrade myself. and B) I don't want an expensive boat, nor am I fan of twitchy-glitchy systems. KISS on a boat is best.

-a64pilot: I'm all too familiar with people not getting out when they want. I'm an AG officer in a G1 shop at division level. I field congressional inquiries about folks getting hosed in retirement about once every 3-4 months. However my HR experience helps when I'm planning my own out. I won't make many of the mistakes that others do. My last promotion and my last PCS should be timed ok to not incur an MSO past my 20 year service mark.

I cannot play the "make myself get passed over" game. Because then I would get the boot right at 17.5 years or so. That would be pretty awful!

Champagne lifestyle. Heh. Indeed.
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Old 29-11-2015, 15:44   #57
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySailor View Post
Hi Folks, Lifelong cruisersforum lurker here. I've seen the "should I stay or should I go" questions a bergillion times, so I'll spare you that. Decision hath been decided upon by the decider....me. I'm going to buy a boat (of appropriate size, simplicity, and fit for purpose). I've been out and about enough to know I do actually enjoy the life. Blah blah blah.



The crossroads I’m at is dealing with retirement and whether I should go *now*. I’m in a peculiar situation of being able to enter “semi retirement in 1.5 years at age 37”. Since age 22 I have literally lived on half my income and invested the other half, so have significant investments to leech from. It has been a painful road, and I’ve sacrificed a lot in life to save this much


Option A) If I enter semi retirement, I could work 2-4 days in Houston TX. This would put me living in a marina in/around seabrook, clear lake, etc. It would tether me there so my actual sailing time between work would be limited to 2-3 weeks at a time. I figure 2-3 weeks is plenty time to have a loose schedule of getting somewhere in the gulf rim, hanging around and meeting people, and then sailing back for work. (in addition to sailing, I have PLENTY of other hobbies I want to indulge in during semi retirement, not least of which is spending quality time with family)


If I do this, I’ll be on a modest budget. (~2000-2500 a month). I do have a kitty in reserve to pay for major repairs, a new car in a few years, blah blah blah. But I'll have to be careful with that budget. very careful. It has to last until age 60.



With this modest budget, I don’t want to waste it on an apartment. So I plan to live on the boat. Novel idea here, I know! lol. I have the luxury of simply amazing parents, who are 2 hours away from Houston TX who are the most awesome people ever. I can actually live part time there and store all my stuff (all my earthly goods fit into a truck, seriously. Except for crappy craigslist furniture.



As a side note, since I’m single, I’m certain that living on a boat and sometimes sleeping at my parents house will make me a TOTALLY eligible bachelor. I know. Lol. But hey it’s the life I want.


Anyway. Option B)


Slave away for 7 more years. Full retirement at age 43. Money will be no object at that point. With my investments, still growing for 6 more years and full active duty retirement I will be able to buy a house, indulge in a few nice things (though my wants are very limited) and critically, I won’t be tethered to Houston TX. So the world is my oyster. Which would you choose? Oh....the catch....



Catch: I hate my job. Don’ misread me – I LOVE serving my country. I love Soldiers. I love doing good things and making the Army better every day. However….it’s crazy stressful. I’m a senior officer, and I’m just….burned out. The work is 24/7 I push myself to excel in my job. I could do it for another 7 years. I could. But I move every 2-3 years, I work through weekends, I deal with red tape constantly, and I just get the life sucked out of me where it’s no longer fulfilling most of the time. Summary: My blackberry is the anchor to my soul. Sigh.

I'm just tired of waiting. Life and health are promised to no man. Or woman.

Should I drop the full time work shenanigans, give up a "plussed up" retirement, or cut back to one weekend a month, live off dividends and that modest paycheck on the boat. Time or money. My life or my mental anguish.



(final note: Yes, I know there are those of you that may think "7 years is nothing!" But again, i've been "putting off" my life and sacrificing everything forever now. 7 years is a long time to keep doing all the the army requires me to do. )
My wife and I have taken several sabbaticals. The first few were to avoid stress, burnout and working in organizations that had become toxic.

Our most recent sabbatical, for 2 years, began with a startup and ended with us buying a Liberty 458. We've been living aboard for over 2 years now.

I'm now working for a major tech org and having a ball. We finally have a suitable work life balance.

I think the key for you is change to eliminate the stress.

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Old 29-11-2015, 16:05   #58
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Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

In order to explain to some that may not understand. Military Retirement is a sweet deal, only 17 percent make it though. It is not guaranteed, you must continue to meet promotion gates, you cannot stay at the same level, or you get kicked out. It is not like a 401 K or something, get out at 19 yrs and 364 days and you receive nothing, zip, nada. Many very good officers get passed over and get nothing. The OP here has to make promotion at 17.5 yrs apparently, generally if your that close you will make it though, although I have seen times when there was a reduction in force RIF where any excuse and you were gone, a lot is based on luck.
You don't get any breaks, you can' take a few months off, you do 20 min or get nothing.
You are actually not in control of any aspect of your life for those 20 yrs. You get a letter or call, and your off. Doesn't matter who is sick or whatever, your going. Often without wife or family. There are no guarantees except that you will do what your told. If you chose not to, your boss can actually put you in prison for refusing. You are not even innocent until proven guilty, many of the rights you have as a civilian do not exist.

But if your one of those 17 percent, all that crap is worth it, after the fact. Toughest time is 8 to 14 years, I base that on that is when we were paid our retention bonus, after 14 yrs I guess the Army pretty much considers your staying, pretty foolish to have wasted 14 yrs and receive nothing.


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Old 29-11-2015, 16:43   #59
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Location: Florida
Boat: Macgreggor Venture 22
Posts: 284
Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

i served in the Airforce and wish I would have stayed in. Don't quit now Army... 7 more years and you accomplish two things: 1) You continue to serve the United States of America! 2) You retire with full Honors and 100% benefits.

Let's travel back in time a bit to basic training... Every week started with the thought of, "I'm not going to make it another week" or "I just want to go home"... But you didn't quit... You made it to graduation day. 7 years is the last week off basic... Press on Soldier...
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Old 29-11-2015, 17:09   #60
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Bern
Boat: C & C Landfall 35
Posts: 13
Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

You may already have received this suggestion but it wouldn't hurt to consult with your financial advisor. Let him do some projections for working (and saving) for 2, 3 or 4 more years. You might find a sweet spot where you can retire more comfortably and only have to tough it out a couple more years. Plus, there may be a promotion on the horizon?
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