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FY13 Aviation Continuation Pay for Pilots

Old 05-28-2013, 09:40 AM
  #41  
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A friend of mine did something I wish I had the foresight to do. He basically lived off 3-4th year 1LT pay his entire career and put the rest away. After every increase in pay, he changed his allotment to siphon off the 'extra', so he never 'saw' the 'new' money in his 'living' checking account. His first few years, he paid off bills, paid off his car and rarely bought anything he couldn't pay off within a couple months. He stayed 22 years and got out probably 5-6 years ago and literally doesn't have to work if he doesn't want to...

I wish someone had explained that to me when I was young and dumb (although I likely wouldn't have listened)...
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:40 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by steelhorse
I've been very fortunate in getting back in the cockpit for the end of my AF life (26+ yrs). I stayed in because I enjoyed the people; the bonus was just that "a bonus". I saw the failings of leadership from the start of the bonus with feet on the ram policies in the 90s. The changes now, with current military benefits and to VA benefits for members who already served their time, have made it a breaking point for me to hang it up. I had the pleasure of enjoying my career with incredible warriors. The future of our military is in jeopardy. I see many good people leaving at their first opportunity. I hope we get warriors and not business managers back in control.
I took the bonus after 911 and haven't looked back.

I jumped through all the AF hoops (ERAU masters, IDE in residence (yes two masters), SDE, staff x2, etc). I am back in the cockpit my final 2 yrs and haven't been deployed more than 30 days since 1997 when I did 90 days in Italy (no 179s or 365s). I invested the initial half of the bonus and now have over 650K in savings--I put away about 20% of my salary each year. College for my 7 kids is paid for, my wife has never had to work a paying job despite having a teaching degree, and I am on solid footing for the next 20 years of flying wherever it takes me.

Not bragging by any means and not saying my decision was the best but wanted to add my AF active duty experience. I've seen the world--all continents including Antarctica, learned/speak several foreign languages, lived overseas, and haven't paid for any education bills since high school.

No regrets and just hoping I can continue to dodge the 365/179s for another 13 months and find a decent flying job as I collect my retirement check.

Best decision looking back now is that I didn't take the 25 year option.

Good luck to all--everyone's situation is different--may we all be successful.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:48 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by gr8vu
I took the bonus after 911 and haven't looked back.

I jumped through all the AF hoops (ERAU masters, IDE in residence (yes two masters), SDE, staff x2, etc). I am back in the cockpit my final 2 yrs and haven't been deployed more than 30 days since 1997 when I did 90 days in Italy (no 179s or 365s). I invested the initial half of the bonus and now have over 650K in savings--I put away about 20% of my salary each year. College for my 7 kids is paid for, my wife has never had to work a paying job despite having a teaching degree, and I am on solid footing for the next 20 years of flying wherever it takes me.

Not bragging by any means and not saying my decision was the best but wanted to add my AF active duty experience. I've seen the world--all continents including Antarctica, learned/speak several foreign languages, lived overseas, and haven't paid for any education bills since high school.

No regrets and just hoping I can continue to dodge the 365/179s for another 13 months and find a decent flying job as I collect my retirement check.

Best decision looking back now is that I didn't take the 25 year option.

Good luck to all--everyone's situation is different--may we all be successful.
I'd say that this kind of experience is not the norm for those who have joined active duty since about 2003 (at least in the MAF).
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:32 PM
  #44  
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Glad things worked out for you.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:15 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by gr8vu
I took the bonus after 911 and haven't looked back.

I jumped through all the AF hoops (ERAU masters, IDE in residence (yes two masters), SDE, staff x2, etc). I am back in the cockpit my final 2 yrs and haven't been deployed more than 30 days since 1997 when I did 90 days in Italy (no 179s or 365s). I invested the initial half of the bonus and now have over 650K in savings--I put away about 20% of my salary each year. College for my 7 kids is paid for, my wife has never had to work a paying job despite having a teaching degree, and I am on solid footing for the next 20 years of flying wherever it takes me.

Not bragging by any means and not saying my decision was the best but wanted to add my AF active duty experience. I've seen the world--all continents including Antarctica, learned/speak several foreign languages, lived overseas, and haven't paid for any education bills since high school.

No regrets and just hoping I can continue to dodge the 365/179s for another 13 months and find a decent flying job as I collect my retirement check.

Best decision looking back now is that I didn't take the 25 year option.

Good luck to all--everyone's situation is different--may we all be successful.
Congrats. That's awesome... seriously. Sadly, however, you're by far the exception, not the rule.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:15 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by gr8vu
I took the bonus after 911 and haven't looked back.

I jumped through all the AF hoops (ERAU masters, IDE in residence (yes two masters), SDE, staff x2, etc). I am back in the cockpit my final 2 yrs and haven't been deployed more than 30 days since 1997 when I did 90 days in Italy (no 179s or 365s). I invested the initial half of the bonus and now have over 650K in savings--I put away about 20% of my salary each year. College for my 7 kids is paid for, my wife has never had to work a paying job despite having a teaching degree, and I am on solid footing for the next 20 years of flying wherever it takes me.

Not bragging by any means and not saying my decision was the best but wanted to add my AF active duty experience. I've seen the world--all continents including Antarctica, learned/speak several foreign languages, lived overseas, and haven't paid for any education bills since high school.

No regrets and just hoping I can continue to dodge the 365/179s for another 13 months and find a decent flying job as I collect my retirement check.

Best decision looking back now is that I didn't take the 25 year option.

Good luck to all--everyone's situation is different--may we all be successful.
You must not have been flying the C-17 all this time to never have deployed more than 30 days since 1997. Have you been buried in AETC most of the time or were you PNAF? Just to satisfy our curiosity, what have you flown? You are definitely yhe exception and not the norm.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:25 AM
  #47  
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I'd say it is a big, big gamble. The guys at AFPC know if you signed the bonus thus they know you can't turn down the bad deal that all the non-bonus takers are 7 day opting. Heck, we've got a not insignificant number of guys 7 day opting ACSC and PME.

For me it was a no-brainer but I signed it a long time ago when things weren't so grim. I just wish I hadn't been so late rated and been eligible back when all those in my year group were banking $350K as 9 year Captains to stay til 20. They're all eligible for retirement now and still had similar careers to mine and able to fly a lot.

Not sure how the 11F shortage affects it but I know they're taking a lot fewer 11Fs for "bad deal" non-flying jobs these days. (Huggy, perhaps this answers your earlier question?) There is a lot of talk and some action on pulling them from primary white jets (T-6s), ALOs, RPAs, etc. Like I said, all the terds we kicked out of the community are being pulled-back out of sheer need. We don't really have that luxury of being selective any more when SUPT sends us a black sheep. Even considering this I'm not 100% convinced that they'll be kept in flying jobs. I think that a lot of 11Fs are being retained and retrained through the TX course just to make/keep 11Fs to fill 11F jobs. Plus I really don't see the Hawg around in AD form for much longer unless the fed uncovers some massive goldmine somewhere. Low hanging fruit. This will free up a few hundred AD generic 11Fs to partially solve their shortage problem.

Still though, based on what I saw the last 3-4 years of my career no amount of $$ would've kept me in the AF. Besides the flying I was hating life by the end.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:56 PM
  #48  
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For those who get out or are getting out does the fear of finding work scare you? There are only a few major airlines hiring and the regionals don't pay well. Is the huge risk worth it? I know some said they had over a year of pay in savings for the just in case fund.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:49 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Gilligan13
For those who get out or are getting out does the fear of finding work scare you? There are only a few major airlines hiring and the regionals don't pay well. Is the huge risk worth it? I know some said they had over a year of pay in savings for the just in case fund.
I have posted on this topic in this forum in the past. Bottom line, you must do what is right for you and your family in your personal situation. Anecdotal advice from fellow bros is just that, anecdotal advice. For me, I left AD in AUG 2008 but had made the decision in 2007 with anticipated hiring matching my timeline with the likes of DAL/FedEx and to some extent SWA. Those all dried up with meet/greet and interviews cancelled within two weeks of each other in April 2008.

So, having made the decision to get out for QOL reasons I needed to find a real job(something other than flying). It worked out for me initially as a contractor now GS and I'm also flying in the Navy reserves. I dont commute, my schedule is flexible on both ends to some extent and I'm rarely if ever gone over a weekend unless I'm supporting the squadron on a DET. I am however deploying to Afghanistan for a year as part of my reserve committments later this summer. It will work out in some way shape or form for you.

I think most of us who did our initial service obligation face the challenge of the security blanket AD pay/benefits provide coupled with not knowing how to navigate the civ job market. Airline apps/interviews are easy, thats a known quantity given the amount of info out there (assuming there is movement in hiring). It's the unknown beyond that of how and what to do for work. Do I move? Do I commute? Contractor? Business world? Each situation is different, and I'm certainly not telling you anything you don't know, but regardless making that plunge is a huge risk but one that I'm glad I made in arguably the worst economic outlook timeframes in recent past (post 9/11).

Yes to saving all you can and leveraging that savings should you take a bit longer to find work. You may also find that you might take a job you dont necessarily enjoy as a bridge...keep your options open. Remember, the civilian world doesnt work like the military in terms of hiring out at range; simply stated most contractors/companies are looking 2-4 weeks out for hiring, we are used to something greater than that in terms of planning factors. That is hard on the decision making timeline and often points us back to what we know...staying on AD or full time guard (think security blanket), whatever the case may be.

You ultimately need to pick your poison and answer this, is the reward worth the risk? In my case the CTR gig turned GS was a blessing in disguise and I was/am very fortunate to be able to still do both, fly and work with a pretty good QOL.

I wish you the best of luck, you're faced with a tough decision regardless.

Fly safe,

Bdger
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:16 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by BDGERJMN
I have posted on this topic in this forum in the past. Bottom line, you must do what is right for you and your family in your personal situation. Anecdotal advice from fellow bros is just that, anecdotal advice. For me, I left AD in AUG 2008 but had made the decision in 2007 with anticipated hiring matching my timeline with the likes of DAL/FedEx and to some extent SWA. Those all dried up with meet/greet and interviews cancelled within two weeks of each other in April 2008.

So, having made the decision to get out for QOL reasons I needed to find a real job(something other than flying). It worked out for me initially as a contractor now GS and I'm also flying in the Navy reserves. I dont commute, my schedule is flexible on both ends to some extent and I'm rarely if ever gone over a weekend unless I'm supporting the squadron on a DET. I am however deploying to Afghanistan for a year as part of my reserve committments later this summer. It will work out in some way shape or form for you.

I think most of us who did our initial service obligation face the challenge of the security blanket AD pay/benefits provide coupled with not knowing how to navigate the civ job market. Airline apps/interviews are easy, thats a known quantity given the amount of info out there (assuming there is movement in hiring). It's the unknown beyond that of how and what to do for work. Do I move? Do I commute? Contractor? Business world? Each situation is different, and I'm certainly not telling you anything you don't know, but regardless making that plunge is a huge risk but one that I'm glad I made in arguably the worst economic outlook timeframes in recent past (post 9/11).

Yes to saving all you can and leveraging that savings should you take a bit longer to find work. You may also find that you might take a job you dont necessarily enjoy as a bridge...keep your options open. Remember, the civilian world doesnt work like the military in terms of hiring out at range; simply stated most contractors/companies are looking 2-4 weeks out for hiring, we are used to something greater than that in terms of planning factors. That is hard on the decision making timeline and often points us back to what we know...staying on AD or full time guard (think security blanket), whatever the case may be.

You ultimately need to pick your poison and answer this, is the reward worth the risk? In my case the CTR gig turned GS was a blessing in disguise and I was/am very fortunate to be able to still do both, fly and work with a pretty good QOL.

I wish you the best of luck, you're faced with a tough decision regardless.

Fly safe,

Bdger
You got out for QOL but will go to Afghanistan for a year?

Accurate post. The uncertainty is what kept me up nights leading up to retirement. Lots of folks wait til they have a job outside first...not an option unless you're retirement eligible.
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