Another "it depends" answer here....
How well do you need to live? Will you have a boat payment? How long do you plan to cruise
? What is your plan for after you're done cruising?
IMO by far the BIGGEST advantage of my military retirement is the medical
coverage. Sure the cost of even that will go up over time along with everything else, but it is a HUGE advantage from day 1 of retirement.
For me the plan was (maybe still is....) to spend 2 years cruising. I saved away 2 + years of boat payments so wouldn't have to worry about that. Estimate annual maintenance
expense and multiply times 2 and save that aside also. Will you carry insurance
? If so sock away the premium payments for the time you'll be cruising.
Basically use the time while working to sock away the funds needed to cover all recurring expenses for the amount of time you plan to cruise
. Use your own comfort factor here... the point is to NOT have to worry about any monthly payments while cruising. There will be enough unexpected expenses to keep you up at night....
This way when you leave your pension is truly the amount you have to cruise on. So now ask yourself if that amount is sufficient for what you want to do and the lifestyle you imagine. Do you expect marina slips and restaurants every night, or will swinging on the hook suit you? Etc, etc...
Someone else mentioned to project
for inflation as best you can. Since your pension is already indexed for that you can assume that a $30K pension today will buy you roughly the same standard of living 10 years from now.. minus the amount that inflation out-paces the pension increases (you know we never get the full CPI amount...). Stated another way, your standard of living on $30K today will be roughly the same at any point in the future.
So if you decide you hate it after 6 months then you can come back and start the career search again w/o worry about covering monthly expenses. If you love it and want to continue, then you may have to come back to build the cruising kitty to cover those monthly expenses for the next cruise period.
If you plan to retire in 10 years, start saving the money
NOW and you'll have no worries at all. Wait until the last year or so before buying
the boat, then get the refit
done while you are still working. If financing
a boat do that before you retire - for some reason the banks like you to have a steady job when they write the loan....
Hope it all comes together for ya!