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LCDR T Kleinberg, USN

I am a student at the Army's Command and General Staff College. I am about halfway to a military retirement, and they are paying me to go to school, so I can't complain. One of the great things about being in the military is the opportunity to draw retirement pay after 20 years of service. However, it ends up being about 30%-40% of what you had been getting paid, when taking into account all of the non-base pay. So it usually is not enough to live off of, but retiring in your early 40s allows plenty of opportunity to do other things.

But, don't forget, you will work hard in the military, spend a lot of time away from family, and go to some places where the locals don't like you too much. It's not for everyone, but I enjoy it. I have spoken with presidents of foreign countries, seen places that most Americans can't spell, and have earned a decent living while doing so.


I've chosen not to find a permanent job after after retirement. I don't want to commit to a job where I can't do something, (travel, etc.) because I have to work, in addition to being locked into 2 weeks off a year at most. What's more I don't need the money. however, since I've retired I have taken part in plenty of 1-day temp gigs. Last Friday I sat on a mock jury of a very important and interesting case that'll go to trial. 8 hours of my time, breakfast, lunch & snacks provided, and at the end we each received $100.
Also, I participate in focus groups whenever I qualify. They pay anywhere from $75-$100 for a no more than 2 hours of my time. I've also worked as event staff at a Women's job fair a few months ago. (Very insightful & sad to see so many out of work) So I will continue doing these kinds of things because there is not a long commitment & I enjoy it; however, family, leisure, friends, and travel will always come first now that we are in this position.

Ingvar Grimsmo

I am semi-retired meaning I work for myself and am approaching 60. I wonder if the term "retirement" is misleading? Are you still retired if you have your own business, but left your 8-5 job? Like I did 23 years ago. That means I retired at the age of 38. Cool.

Retired Syd

I'm beginning to think the word "retirement" is misleading even if you don't work for money!


I agree that the word retirement might mean different things to different people. I left work at 55 and now I do several things that still earn money but that I love to do. I travel and work when I am not travelling. So I make money but I am free to choose and amazingly content. I could not ask for more. So am I retired or not?

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