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That being said, should you not also have to consider the difference between what his current pay is and the pay of the civilian job he would be getting three years early? Would three more years on the civilian job also yield larger pension or more retirement income?

Yes, exactly. That's why I mentioned the (job + retirement pay).

IMO, unless $4000 a year is going to make or break retirement, I think I might focus more on quality of life issues. Having been on active duty, my decision to stay or not stay another three years might have little to do with pay opportunities and likely would have had more do with with family and desired lifestyle.

Absolutely, and he's looking at all that too, but assuming those all are equal, I'm trying to help him with the math.

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