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Old 07-21-2013, 02:43 PM   #1  
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Default Early retirement vs staying for 20

Looking for input on taking early retirement vs staying for 20…

I’m a “terminal” O-4, even if I go to 20 years (had some enlisted time). I meet all of the requirements to apply for early retirement during FY 14. I could retire next summer at 19 years. I have a little over 2300 hours total time/~2100 PIC, I’m in a non-deploying flying gig for the next two years and anticipate taking the ATP written in the next month or so. I will have around 50 days of leave saved by next summer & minimal debt (my house that I currently live in & a car payment that'll be paid off next year).

Somebody tighten me up on my calculations but the way I read the message, if I left at 19 years, I would receive 46.5% of my “high three”. If that is the case, I would be leaving around 3k a year on the table if I left at 19 years. Is that 3k a year over a lifetime worth leaving on the table in order to try to get on with the airlines a year sooner vice a year later? I’ve been keenly following these forums & the airlines over the last few years and it seems next year would be the optimal timing (if there ever is an “optimal time” with the airlines).

If I apply & get approved, there is no turning back so the risk would be not getting hired and having to retire a year early. Anybody know how long the approval for early retirement takes? I'm wondering if I should start applying to the airlines with a start date of next summer & if I get hired, drop my early retirement papers? Does that pass the "sniff test"? Drawbacks?

TERA MESSAGE

“THE BASIC TERA RETAINER PAY ENTITLEMENT PER REFERENCE (G) IS COMPUTED AT THE NORMAL PAY MULTIPLIER OF 2.5 PERCENT FOR EACH YEAR OF CREDITABLE ACTIVE SERVICE AND REDUCED BY 1 PERCENT FOR EACH YEAR LESS THAN 20.”

Appreciate any opinions & advice!
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #2  
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I applied for retirement on 1 Jul 2010 for a 1 Nov 2010 retirement date. With Terminal Leave (60 days) and Permissive TDY (20 days) I was able to start with Delta on 6 Sep 2010. I don't think it could be done any faster then that.

Delta required that I have proof that I applied for retirement before they would give me an interview.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:11 PM   #3  
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I'm nervous about getting out with 3k TT and you're considerably lower. First wave of hiring will be extremely competitive, if you think what you've got can get you an interview then the advice a friend who is a furloughed American pilot applies (paraphrased) 'once you know you are looking for an airline job, every line number you delay hurts you, get out asap'. One class date sooner for him would've been about 5 years less worth of furlough.

So, if you think you can get hired get out. If you don't get a job stay another year until the 3k+ fighter guys, 6k+ heavy/civilian guys get hired 1st. If I was flying and nondeployable I'd have probably waited another year but my scheduled deployment drove this fight for me. I'm scared to death this massive wave of hiring will be just like the last one -- complete BS -- and I'll rot while guys who waited get scooped up in a year or two.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:52 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis90 View Post
I applied for retirement on 1 Jul 2010 for a 1 Nov 2010 retirement date. With Terminal Leave (60 days) and Permissive TDY (20 days) I was able to start with Delta on 6 Sep 2010. I don't think it could be done any faster then that.

Delta required that I have proof that I applied for retirement before they would give me an interview.
That's good gouge to know, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF16 View Post
I'm nervous about getting out with 3k TT and you're considerably lower. First wave of hiring will be extremely competitive, if you think what you've got can get you an interview then the advice a friend who is a furloughed American pilot applies (paraphrased) 'once you know you are looking for an airline job, every line number you delay hurts you, get out asap'. One class date sooner for him would've been about 5 years less worth of furlough.

So, if you think you can get hired get out. If you don't get a job stay another year until the 3k+ fighter guys, 6k+ heavy/civilian guys get hired 1st. If I was flying and nondeployable I'd have probably waited another year but my scheduled deployment drove this fight for me. I'm scared to death this massive wave of hiring will be just like the last one -- complete BS -- and I'll rot while guys who waited get scooped up in a year or two.
Yea, the competition during the early "hiring wave" is a concern of mine. I could get around ~300 or so hours PIC over the next year but I'll still have less than most of my "competition". I'm just exploring the possibility of early retirement and have a couple months to decide since ~July 1, 2014 would be the earliest I could retire early. I can't go any earlier due to time-on-station requirements (unless I request a waiver).

Good stuff to consider, thanks for the input!
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:50 PM   #5  
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Liberty,
No doubt the 3K/year would be worth a year of seniority if the airlines are your goal.

As far as the hours discussion...
I'd be careful about perpetuating each other's bias and opinions and choosing a course of action based on them.

I'm not claiming to be some hiring guru, so use my opinion along with other sources. I'm pretty confident that total hours are not the only factor in an airline deciding to hire a military pilot or not. It's part of the picture but there's more to it. Obviously each airline is unique and no one really knows what goes on behind the green door unless they have a good source.

I think the assumption that 3K fighter guys and 6K heavy guys are going to be hired first, ahead of others is not accurate. Waiting to get your total time to some arbitrary number if you already meet the minimums is not a good idea. A current military pilot retiring with hours commensurate with his 20 years of service and MDS is going to be competitive based on more factors than just his hours. Your networking and recommendations are probably going to carry just as much weight if not more.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:28 PM   #6  
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Networking is key--I started the interview quest 4 months ago for a May 2014 retirement and the efforts are just starting to pay off. I have no idea how it will all turn out but doors have opened as the word gets around that I am seriously seeking employment. But I have several backup plans for next summer to tide me over if the hype all fizzles and the boom is revised to come in 2015, 2016, etc.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:29 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adlerdriver View Post
Liberty,
No doubt the 3K/year would be worth a year of seniority if the airlines are your goal.

As far as the hours discussion...
I'd be careful about perpetuating each other's bias and opinions and choosing a course of action based on them.

I'm not claiming to be some hiring guru, so use my opinion along with other sources. I'm pretty confident that total hours are not the only factor in an airline deciding to hire a military pilot or not. It's part of the picture but there's more to it. Obviously each airline is unique and no one really knows what goes on behind the green door unless they have a good source.

I think the assumption that 3K fighter guys and 6K heavy guys are going to be hired first, ahead of others is not accurate. Waiting to get your total time to some arbitrary number if you already meet the minimums is not a good idea. A current military pilot retiring with hours commensurate with his 20 years of service and MDS is going to be competitive based on more factors than just his hours. Your networking and recommendations are probably going to carry just as much weight if not more.
I hope you're correct, I am really sweating only having 3k hours. Hell, Spirit and Virgin both publish 4k TT minimums although people on this board have proven those are soft numbers. A friend of mine retired in November with considerably more hours than me and didn't even get phone call to do the online testing from UA. While I agree an internal reference is top of the good stuff list, hours have to weigh in there somewhere. Now, what those hours are is just a guess and I fully admit those numbers I used were only a guess.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:14 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF16 View Post
If you don't get a job stay another year until the 3k+ fighter guys, 6k+ heavy/civilian guys get hired 1st.
This is kind of off topic, but just for the record I know exactly zero heavy drivers with 6k. Maybe in the reserves? Oddly, most guys seem to top off in the 3 range, guys over 4 are kind of rare. Staff/school, etc. Others seeing something else?

Mike with 3k fighter/trainer time, everything I've seen and heard indicates you'll be just fine as far as hours go (possibly excepting Spirit).
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:48 AM   #9  
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Most of the heavy guys I know retiring recently at 20 years are in the 4,500 range. I hit 5,000 in 13 years, and while higher than most of my year group, the guys that grew up flying 3 wars have a lot of hours. 5 years from now when we start hitting 20, I think those numbers will go up.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:14 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyrisk View Post
Looking for input on taking early retirement vs staying for 20…

I’m a “terminal” O-4, even if I go to 20 years (had some enlisted time). I meet all of the requirements to apply for early retirement during FY 14. I could retire next summer at 19 years. I have a little over 2300 hours total time/~2100 PIC, I’m in a non-deploying flying gig for the next two years and anticipate taking the ATP written in the next month or so. I will have around 50 days of leave saved by next summer & minimal debt (my house that I currently live in & a car payment that'll be paid off next year).

Somebody tighten me up on my calculations but the way I read the message, if I left at 19 years, I would receive 46.5% of my “high three”. If that is the case, I would be leaving around 3k a year on the table if I left at 19 years. Is that 3k a year over a lifetime worth leaving on the table in order to try to get on with the airlines a year sooner vice a year later? I’ve been keenly following these forums & the airlines over the last few years and it seems next year would be the optimal timing (if there ever is an “optimal time” with the airlines).

If I apply & get approved, there is no turning back so the risk would be not getting hired and having to retire a year early. Anybody know how long the approval for early retirement takes? I'm wondering if I should start applying to the airlines with a start date of next summer & if I get hired, drop my early retirement papers? Does that pass the "sniff test"? Drawbacks?

TERA MESSAGE

“THE BASIC TERA RETAINER PAY ENTITLEMENT PER REFERENCE (G) IS COMPUTED AT THE NORMAL PAY MULTIPLIER OF 2.5 PERCENT FOR EACH YEAR OF CREDITABLE ACTIVE SERVICE AND REDUCED BY 1 PERCENT FOR EACH YEAR LESS THAN 20.”

Appreciate any opinions & advice!
Quick question for you. If you leave early what kind of TriCare Benefits do you have? Do you get to keep TriCare Standard until age 65 and then have TriCare For Life? Not a huge factor in deciding to leave or stay, but family medical coverage is a factor to throw in to the equation. TriCare Standard picked up all of the copays and deductibles when I was with FedEx. Plus, if you do get furloughed (heaven forbid), TriCare is a lot cheaper option than COBRA with your employer. Also, there are not a lot of airlines today that provide retiree health care that is really affordable.
Good luck with your decision and thanks for your years of service.
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