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mpkear says:

As an ETC who has almost 10 years on active duty, I've debated the reserves. I've decided to stay IRR and do courses to get my retirement points. I'm estimating if I can do enough courses each year that if I stop when I have 20 in I will get a pension (todays dollars) of about $750/month at age 60. You must have been an officer to be getting 24K a year.

Hi, Mark,

Once upon a time I was also an ET. Made ET1 and got PNA'd for ETC, but I was in the NESEP program (maybe you've heard of it?), so when I got my degree from Purdue, I got commissioned as an Ensign.

So in my case I served 2 years as an E1/E2/E3 in the reserves (high school days), 8 years active duty as an ETN3 through ET1, then 6 more years active duty as an officer. After 14 years on ships I decided I had had enough and left the Navy, but stayed in the reserves for 13 more years, retiring the year before Desert Storm as a Commander.

The combination of active duty (14 years) and reserve time gives me a 40% retirement as an O-5, at whatever the pay rate is 6 years from now. I have no idea what the pay rate is now for a Commender over 28 years service, but think it should be about $24K or higher.

I'm extremely fortunate, because I would not be where I am today if it had not been for the Navy, for any number of reasons. I know 10 years sounds like a long time, but it's worth it to hang in there if you make it fun. Some of my closest friendships have been other Navy guys, and the reserves can be a lot of fun that way. I enjoyed those years more than the active duty ones. But at any rate I expect to have a very comfortable retirement, even if all my investments go belly up, simply because I have that safety cushion from the Navy pension.

Another thing that is definitely true is that having this level of security coupled with good fortune in saving and investing for the last 20 years makes you a lot more independent, and not quite so ready to take crap from people you don't respect. I could afford to retire now, even living here in Southern California, but my work funds a lot of fun things, so I'll probably keep doing it for a few more years (unless, of course, they really piss me off - then I'm secure enough to tell them where to stick it!). :-)

Good luck,

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