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Old 02-17-2020, 06:46 PM   #1  
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Default Starting a New Career

Hello everyone,

Iím currently a city employee with a good pension/retirement plan. I can retire after 20 years of service with half my salary plus 401k and 457.
If I do retire after 20 years Iíd be 46 and I have young kids so I still have to work and my Dream was to be a Pilot when I was a kid but I didnít know much about how to pay for school and didnít have the money so I never pursued my dream.
Anyhow, when I retire from my current job Iíll have enough money on my retirement plans to pay for school (I see ATP and Flight Safety go for around 80K), so Iím gonna be around 48-50 if everything goes well by the time I can start working as an airline pilot.
Now the questions:
If I work 15 years as a pilot can I get a decent second income/pension to supplement my other one?
Is 46 too old to start from zero experience?
Do you recommend taking any lessons before I retire from my job to see how it goes or just to make it easier once I start a flying school?
And on average how much would I be making starting?
Iím in the northeast but looking to relocate to FL once I retire from my current job.

Thanks for any advice and/or suggestions
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:12 AM   #2  
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Hello. How far in the future is this potential retirement?

I always suggest dipping the toe(or leg) in before jumping. That often means private pilot training, especially if you have 9 months or more before ending the current job. Think of that training as starting the foundation on which weíll later build the house.

The quality of whatís available locally matters, training options will vary. The AOPA site has a list of flight schools.

Have you taken a family trip to Oshkosh for the big fly-in the end of July?
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:38 AM   #3  
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Retirement is in 8 years so yeah I might be getting ahead of myself a little but I always say when I have 5 years left I want to have an idea of what Iím doing post retirement. And no, never been to the air show but I wanna go, but because of work itís a little difficult.
I appreciate the response.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:13 AM   #4  
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When you say youíll have enough money in your retirement plans to pay for school, do you mean pull from retirement to pay for flight training? Donít do that if itís what you mean. Horrendous idea. If you have 8 years left, take a discovery flight and see if you like it. Prior to that get a first class medical. Then start chipping away at it and have your CFI by 4 years from now and then part time instruct for 4 years to build the necessary hours while getting paid for it. Pay cash as you go and let the process take 8 years.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:51 AM   #5  
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Yeah thatís what I meant about paying cash, ok thanks for the info! I didnít think it was a bad idea. Also, thanks for the input, Iím gonna start looking for schools and try doing what you said, sounds like a better idea than my original plan. I really appreciate, thanks!
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:29 AM   #6  
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Thatís the problem. When you do an internet search or read a magazine about this profession you will get the info from those who pay the most in advertising. You can find some very quality training (if not more diverse and beneficial) locally through a part 61 school and likely save money while doing it.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:42 AM   #7  
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Youíre right about that! Thank you again! It never crossed my mind that I could use these 8 years I have left on my current job to work on getting my license, certifications and medical. Then, it would be much easier to transition and I donít have to wait as long to start working at an airline. (Assuming this is for me and everything goes well).
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:56 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A321neo View Post
You’re right about that! Thank you again! It never crossed my mind that I could use these 8 years I have left on my current job to work on getting my license, certifications and medical. Then, it would be much easier to transition and I don’t have to wait as long to start working at an airline. (Assuming this is for me and everything goes well).

Get a PPL, do some fun flying and go from there.

Be advised that if you wait eight years to start, you'll probably miss the retirement wave. You could still expect to be employed by a regional, but major jobs may not be as readily available after 2030. Growth could change that, and growth is projected by the industry, but that does not account for any additional burdens related to environmental political correctness. The extremists want to essentially ban air travel and even the moderate eco-fanatics want it seriously curtailed. The industry will have to jump through some challenging and costly technical hurdles to make a big (more than 50%) reduction in carbon emissions. The technology does exist, but it will be challenging to implement and may fundamentally alter the cost of flying.

I don't see airline capacity getting any smaller than it is today, but growth might be problematic. Because the carbon problem is a gross output problem, not a per-capita problem... if you reduce jet emissions by 40% but then double the size of the fleet, you're still putting out more carbon than before.

If you're interested in the big money, you need to get started now and probably forgo the civil service retirement. Military pilots do this when the airlines are hiring like crazy, right now some are leaving at 15 years, although they can still get a reduced retirement if they finish their 20 in the reserves.

Otherwise you could shoot to have all of your ratings and 1500 hours on the day you retire, so you can jump right in and maybe catch a little wave. That's achievable, you can train and then work as a CFI part-time around your day job.

If they extend the retirement age to 67, that will work in your favor.
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:37 PM   #9  
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Yes, with 8 years to go thereís plenty of time to more than get started. There are some free downloads at the FAA site, Flight Training Handbook and a few others.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:16 PM   #10  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Get a PPL, do some fun flying and go from there.

Be advised that if you wait eight years to start, you'll probably miss the retirement wave. You could still expect to be employed by a regional, but major jobs may not be as readily available after 2030. Growth could change that, and growth is projected by the industry, but that does not account for any additional burdens related to environmental political correctness. The extremists want to essentially ban air travel and even the moderate eco-fanatics want it seriously curtailed. The industry will have to jump through some challenging and costly technical hurdles to make a big (more than 50%) reduction in carbon emissions. The technology does exist, but it will be challenging to implement and may fundamentally alter the cost of flying.

I don't see airline capacity getting any smaller than it is today, but growth might be problematic. Because the carbon problem is a gross output problem, not a per-capita problem... if you reduce jet emissions by 40% but then double the size of the fleet, you're still putting out more carbon than before.

If you're interested in the big money, you need to get started now and probably forgo the civil service retirement. Military pilots do this when the airlines are hiring like crazy, right now some are leaving at 15 years, although they can still get a reduced retirement if they finish their 20 in the reserves.

Otherwise you could shoot to have all of your ratings and 1500 hours on the day you retire, so you can jump right in and maybe catch a little wave. That's achievable, you can train and then work as a CFI part-time around your day job.

If they extend the retirement age to 67, that will work in your favor.
Thanks! Iíll take that into consideration, maybe if things workout who knows I can do what we call best out and retire early and take what they give me at that point as far as pension and then do the pilot job for longer. Also, I already got in touch with a CFI and we'll discuss things as far as getting started goes.
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