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Transitioning out of military-advice needed

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  • Transitioning out of military-advice needed

    13yrs in military and getting out. Surgical subspecialty. Don't want to let those years go to waste so I'm considering reserves for 7yr to get to 20 (pension starts at 60)-I'm 39.

    Options for jobs while in reserves include government service position (make ~300k), vs 20hr/week part time VA (~150k) + part time contract (~200k), vs 8 man hosp employed group (~400k).

    Advantages of government jobs would be not having to move, general acceptance of reserves + 2 weeks of "military leave"(legal double dipping) and the ability to buy my 13 yrs into their retirement so that after 7years (age 46), I would have reserve retirement and 20% of base salary retirement starting age 60 (~100k/yr).

    Is it crazy to consider the hosp employed group job in this situation? Also, there's the x-factor which is moving to middle America and making 500+k/yr...

    I would appreciate any thoughts on my situation as well as advice for this transition. Thanks!

  • #2
    Double dipping laws? Can you get both buy in of military years AND use them for reserves retirement? I figured if my husband with 26 retired got a GS job he'd be starting with 0, and get credit only for the civil service years he worked.


    • #3
      One could buy those years into the government retirement but the math usually doesn't make sense in that situation. He couldn't do both. You're right, he would be starting over at zero, but would be vested for another retirement check (roughly 1% of base salary per year) starting after 5 years. If he had done say 15 years in active military then he could have done 5 in GS and 5 in reserves and legally double dipped (after getting credit from reserves and "buying in" to GS/FERS retirement). There's an exception for reserves for some reason.


      • #4
        You'd have to make more than $300k/yr (and probably closer to $350k+/yr with the MSP and other incentives of a surgical subspecialist) to financially justify giving up the military pension if it's only 7 years away.

        So a better question, then: which of the options you posed would make you most happy?  What are the things you truly value?