Looking at military retirement and for advice

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by JonC δοῦλος, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    Ok, I have finally found myself incapable of rolling with the changes and have decided to retire. I am looking at the first week of August to ETS, which means my last day at work will be at the end of April (I have 3 ½ months to get everything done).

    Life Insurance - it looks like a civilian policy will be better than VGLI. It also seems to me that this would be better than the survivor benefits.

    TriCare health insurance for retirees - I don’t have a clue :confused: , and would appreciate any insight from others.

    I am trying to get into a retirement briefing and know I will have to go to mandatory briefings...just trying to get a heads up.
     
  2. ktn4eg

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    In your "off duty" time(s), you might want to check with the State of TN's human resources office(s) may have to say about this. It's possible that they might have some "inside scoop" on some of these issues that you are facing.

    Contact info on where to find them should be listed in your phone directory's Blue Pages under the heading of Tennessee State Government ,"Military Department."

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. JonC

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    Thanks. I will check on it. I have to schedule a time to go to Ft. Campbell also. The difficult part is that I am "remote," so scheduling is not always easy.
     
  4. ktn4eg

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    If you are too far away from FtC/Clarksville, I believe there are still some offices in the Nashville area (Sidco Dr.).

    Another possibility is to check with some nearby military recruitment office. They might have some info on these issues, or at least they might direct you to some relevant web sites.
     
  5. JonC

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    Well, I submitted a memo requesting retirement today. I will have to go to Ft. Campbell, but that’s not too bad (about 1.5 hrs away). I never knew that you had to retire on the last day of the month (this set me back a bit). Anyway, still looking at insurance options - there are a lot of costs I didn’t really consider and have not decided on a plan. I have time, just trying to take it slowly and cover all the bases.
     
  6. Gina B

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    Dunno if it's the same for the army, but with the life insurance, it may be possible that you'll have the opportunity to transfer it from VGLI to a commercial company for a discounted rate. You can't wait to do it though, you'll lose the chance. Ask about that.

    TriCare - take it! Don't pass up on that. It's got its quirks, but it's still the best. There might be some geographical limitations that put you in standard instead of prime, which might add a little more cost (or on the other hand, might end up a better deal than prime, depending) but it's still going to be a lot less than insurance you'll buy out there. Your medications will be very low cost, and free if you pick them up on a military installation, so long as the med is on the formulary. The only time you'll pay more than around five dollars for a med off base is if it's off the formulary and then they'll charge a percentage. It doesn't happen very often. There's even a supplement you can purchase and you don't even have copays. (through ASMBA) Otherwise, typical copays are $12 for a doc, $30 for an ER visit.
    They also have a catastrophic cap where your copays stop if your medical bills reach a certain level before the end of the billing year.
    Go to the TriCare office and talk to them...they'll help you out. Ask them about areas of the country where obtaining care while having TriCare might be an issue.
     
  7. JonC

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    Yea...that's kinda one thing I'm wrestling with. I am on TriCare Prime Remote now and my family is on standard (they don't want to pick a provider in the system). But looking at the differences...TriCare standard seems to cover less for retirees. My luck I'll pay the premium and not get sick...or pick standard and end up in the hospital. :( Too many decisions.
     
  8. Bro. James

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    Observations from an 05 retiree

    Before age 65 is much different than after 65. Medicare and Tricare rules change at age 65.

    I had 3 medical coverages at age 60. They pretty well figured out how to share the liabilities. Sometimes they have to be reminded of their contractual responsibilities--especially in the durable medical equipment department.

    Basic insurance paradigm: most insurance companies are not interested in your health or financial well being.

    Medical care/insurance is going through another spin cycle from the white house all the way to the primary care physicians.

    Like all other entitlements, someone has got to pay the bill--in this case our grandkids.(An earned entitlement is not welfare) Our whole system is drowning in red ink.

    Now what? Get tri-care for life, a one year emergency fund, and lots of liquid vitamin C. Make sure you have any service related disabilities thoroughly documented with copies. Make duplicates of your 201 file. Stuff gets lost in St. Louis and cyberspace.

    Watch and pray,

    Bro. James
     
  9. Don

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    Jon - BEST thing you can do is attend a TAP class. Don't know if you'll be able to, with your remote status....

    TOTALLY AGREE about the civilian life insurance; I did an analysis before my retirement, and for the last 3 years of a 25 year period, VGLI was going to cost me $900/month, as opposed to the locked-rate for a term life policy.

    I recommend you take the SBP. It gets taken out of your retirement pay BEFORE taxes; you stop paying into it after 30 years or age 77; and it guarantees your beneficiary receives monthly payments even if you die before the 30-year pay-off (or age 77).
    --- edited to add:
    The way I figure it, the life insurance will pay off any mortgage(s), vehicles, etc. that I might be paying on at the time I croak; the SBP ensures that my wife still has a monthly income to pay bills with, especially if she's unable to take a job or find another husband.
    ---

    Finally, get your medical records together (can take up to 6 weeks) and call the DAV or VFW. They have people that know how to submit your disability claim. They don't charge, and it's a LOT better than trying to take on that system by yourself. I was counting on 40-50% disability; the retired Marine that did my claim knew exactly how to write each and every little thing, backed up by the medical records, and I was identified as 80%. I still don't know if I'm awed at how they know how to work the system, or depressed because of how broken I am.... <grin>

    Find and download your VMET. It will identify every military training course you've taken, and also show civilian equivalents for any MOS/AFSC's you've held. This will help with your resume writing, as well as possibly credit for college courses.

    TRICARE - you'll have to enroll as Standard or Extra (I recommend Standard), unless you live within 50 miles of a military medical facility. Take the TRICARE; it'll be cheaper than a lot of other ACA options. HOWEVER - it doesn't cover Dental. You'll have to get a separate policy for that. I primarily use the VA clinic for my standard stuff; I use TRICARE for urgent care and my family.
     
    #9 Don, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2014
  10. JonC

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    Thanks, Don and James. I am trying to get the briefings scheduled. I have four months (I know that there’s a lot to do during that time). I wonder if I can claim stress related injuries due to the retirement process.
     

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