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>> I've been trying to figure out how to make it to 20 years in the military and then call it quits.

As a new investor I'm trying to decide between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA if I'm going to pull money out for quite a while before hitting traditional retirement age.

I used to work for a defense contractor. Here was the usual career path for managers there:

1) Make it 20 years in the service; start collecting a pension as early as age 38.

2) Get hired by a defense contractor, where there is an affinity for hiring retired military officers into lower and middle management.

3) Work there until you're eligible for retirement, usually 10-20 years.

4) Retire from the defense contractor in your 50s; collect TWO pensions and early retiree health insurance.

5) Re-up with the defense contractor as a "contractor" earning $80 an hour while collecting health insurance AND two pensions.

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