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Leaving the Air Force for Something Other than the Airlines

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6 hours ago, hindsight2020 said:

2)Load smartphone with "Target or higher" quality ass-scouting apps prior to off-station sortie or TDY. 

Newer high-end options are Hinge and the League, there's also Happn. You could have each app set to a different location you frequent or plan out different location changes ahead of your trips so you have matches and dates lined up before you even get there.

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Hypothetically, if you were debt free, kids college funded, decent investment balance with a military retirement, what would be your annual net income number you’d feel comfortable leaving the workforce entirely for just to pursue your hobbies?



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Hypothetically, if you were debt free, kids college funded, decent investment balance with a military retirement, what would be your annual net income number you’d feel comfortable leaving the workforce entirely for just to pursue your hobbies?




Easy to answer after you tell us
-how old you are
-how long you’ll live
-how long your spouse will live
-.mil retirement details (O-5? Years of service?)
-annual expenses in retirement
-expected growth rate on investments
-assumed inflation rate
-any large expenses other than what you mentioned (cars/vacation/new house)
-desire to leave money to your kids

By annual net income do you mean passive from your investments? Or what income will your hobbies generate?

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3 hours ago, di1630 said:

Hypothetically, if you were debt free, kids college funded, decent investment balance with a military retirement, what would be your annual net income number you’d feel comfortable leaving the workforce entirely for just to pursue your hobbies?


 

If your hobbies are airplanes, boats, race cars, or women, you're going to need at least $20k per month.

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8 hours ago, di1630 said:

Hypothetically, if you were debt free, kids college funded, decent investment balance with a military retirement, what would be your annual net income number you’d feel comfortable leaving the workforce entirely for just to pursue your hobbies?


 

I'd quit my real job today at less than age 35 with $2m in the bank.

I'd leave that sudden windfall invested in a similar fashion as my current portfolio, start drawing ~4% per year, and have almost $1K per week to spend after paying for my house (would not pay off right away due to very low interest rate for the next 28 years...can invest much more effectively than that). I'm not even sure I could spend that much although I guess it would be fun to find out. And all that is never touching your principal so long as you're willing to adjust your spending a little during downturns in investment success, i.e. still plenty of wiggle room to fund a mid-life crisis Ferrari or boat or whatever.

Honestly I would keep up being a DSG in the Guard because I like serving, plus I'd like to get my Guard pension one day and stay eligible for Tricare. Purely optional though and if it ever sucked too much I could punch no questions asked.

TBH a lot of people don't realize that you don't need 10s of millions of dollars to quit your job and still live a comfortable, upper-middle class lifestyle even if you are still young. YMMV, but in general your number can also likely go down with age & after factoring in other pensions if you have them.

Like I said, I'm < 35, have a mortgage, don't have a pension in the bag, and have 1x elementary-aged kid...and my number is still only $2m. In your hypothetical of being debt free, no college fund to save for and a mil pension, hell, IDK but it'd be a lot lower. $700K or maybe less? Depends on how much your pension is paying monthly, e.g. AD O-5 > 20 pension, yea, prob $700K would work.

Edited by nsplayr

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I'm a single late 30s dude with no kids, debt or pension.  My retirement number is 2 mil with a house paid off.  That should generate 80-100k per year, which is plenty.

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I'm a single late 30s dude with no kids, debt or pension.  My retirement number is 2 mil with a house paid off.  That should generate 80-100k per year, which is plenty.

I’m thinking no debt, 1 mil in investments, military retirement plus healthcare and an extra $50-60k or so to bring net income to $100k.

Reason I ask, I was looking at how much I really spend on a family of 4 and we live well spending around $80k annually.

Just wondering if I’ll go to the airlines and miss out on family events to have money to buy stuff I don’t need or die with a ton of money in the bank.

I don’t want to be the richest man in the cemetery but I want some security. Must of all though I don’t want to miss out on my kids while I’m stuck in the Middle East or on layover.

Just weighing options.

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6 hours ago, di1630 said:

Just wondering if I’ll go to the airlines and miss out on family events to have money to buy stuff I don’t need or die with a ton of money in the bank.

I don’t want to be the richest man in the cemetery but I want some security. Must of all though I don’t want to miss out on my kids while I’m stuck in the Middle East or on layover.
 

There are QOL options at the airlines too. A lot of people talk about living in domicile, but you could always just drop a percentage of your schedule each month. If, say, 12 days a month netted you 180k, you could drop 1/3 of your schedule, work 8 days a month, and still make $120k. 

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1 hour ago, Jaded said:

There are QOL options at the airlines too. A lot of people talk about living in domicile, but you could always just drop a percentage of your schedule each month. If, say, 12 days a month netted you 180k, you could drop 1/3 of your schedule, work 8 days a month, and still make $120k. 

...said no Southwest pilot ever.

I keed I keed. Kinda.

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18 hours ago, Jaded said:

There are QOL options at the airlines too. A lot of people talk about living in domicile, but you could always just drop a percentage of your schedule each month. If, say, 12 days a month netted you 180k, you could drop 1/3 of your schedule, work 8 days a month, and still make $120k. 

While there are many months that I take full advantage of this, realize that not all airlines have this capability.  Even at Delta, your category needs to be staffed properly (enough reserves), or someone willing to take your trips, for you to just drop trips.  I think both AAL/UAL have a limits on what you can drop down to...50 hours maybe?  I think at UPS someone has to take the trip from your line.  

That said, I've dropped my entire schedule every month this summer and picked up what trips I wanted.  I've even already dropped my entire August schedule.  This wasn't always an option on the 73, though I could almost always get rid of a trip or two.  

DI360....if noone has told you about options other than flying for an airline, there are a decent amount of opportunities out there.  Admittedly, you have to live in base for them to be a great deal, but there are lots of jobs that will keep you home almost every night.  Assistant chief pilots, duty pilot, sim instructor, project pilot, etc...  We have dudes in all of these positions with as low as 2 years on property.  Unlike other airlines, our duty pilot (think super SOF) is a FO position...whereas I believe UAL it's a Captain.  You'll work more days than the average line pilot, but most are home every night, minus maybe a 2 or 3 day trip every month.  Unfortunately for Delta, the majority of them are in ATL, so hopefully you like humidity, waffles house and sweet tea.  On the upside, they all pay extremely well.  

Either way, best of luck finding what you're looking for.  

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On July 18, 2018 at 5:57 PM, guineapigfury said:

Assuming you mean defense contractor, I have.  What do you want to know?

I have a good idea of what it takes to get hired by the airlines and what the job is like once you're hired.  As cragspider mentioned, having military RPA experience helps.  Any additional info on the hiring process would be helpful. I'm also curious about why you chose RPAs over the airlines, your typical schedule, likes/dislikes about the job, etc. I just don't know what to expect. 

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50 minutes ago, Mustache Sally said:

I have a good idea of what it takes to get hired by the airlines and what the job is like once you're hired.  As cragspider mentioned, having military RPA experience helps.  

Uhm...

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You'll need a current passport and an FAA class 2 medical or better.  I emailed in my most recent form 8, ITS, IDS & FHR and that was pretty much it for records.  Clearance requirements are going to vary.  Most places, but not all, require a commercial pilot's license.  I chose deployed LR because I was current and qualed in the MQ-9 and hadn't flown a manned aircraft in years.  Plus this pays better.  Most companies ask for 3-4 month deployments, and there are often opportunities to extend or quick turn.  There's a lot of turnover.  While deployed, I work a normal 9ish hour shift with a reasonable amount of downtime between flights.  7 days a week sucks, but you get used to it. 

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On 7/23/2018 at 5:19 AM, SocialD said:

While there are many months that I take full advantage of this, realize that not all airlines have this capability.  Even at Delta, your category needs to be staffed properly (enough reserves), or someone willing to take your trips, for you to just drop trips.  I think both AAL/UAL have a limits on what you can drop down to...50 hours maybe?  I think at UPS someone has to take the trip from your line.  

That said, I've dropped my entire schedule every month this summer and picked up what trips I wanted.  I've even already dropped my entire August schedule.  This wasn't always an option on the 73, though I could almost always get rid of a trip or two.  

DI360....if noone has told you about options other than flying for an airline, there are a decent amount of opportunities out there.  Admittedly, you have to live in base for them to be a great deal, but there are lots of jobs that will keep you home almost every night.  Assistant chief pilots, duty pilot, sim instructor, project pilot, etc...  We have dudes in all of these positions with as low as 2 years on property.  Unlike other airlines, our duty pilot (think super SOF) is a FO position...whereas I believe UAL it's a Captain.  You'll work more days than the average line pilot, but most are home every night, minus maybe a 2 or 3 day trip every month.  Unfortunately for Delta, the majority of them are in ATL, so hopefully you like humidity, waffles house and sweet tea.  On the upside, they all pay extremely well.  

Either way, best of luck finding what you're looking for.  

AA has no minimum limit.  The problem now is this thing called "red/redder" that basically makes trips impossible to drop/trade.  Huge QOL issue.

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On 7/21/2018 at 2:28 PM, di1630 said:

Hypothetically, if you were debt free, kids college funded, decent investment balance with a military retirement, what would be your annual net income number you’d feel comfortable leaving the workforce entirely for just to pursue your hobbies?

Half tempted to downgrade my qol after retirement to go fully debt free (including house) so my hobbies and the work I do to generate revenue can be the same thing.

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Here’s a non airline flying job to consider:  http://www.calfirepilots.com.  I Left AD three years ago for DynCorp Intl. which provides pilots to fly CALFIRE aircraft.  Flew the OV-10A for 2 years then upgraded to the S-2T.  Love it!  Still fly single seat.  Still fly tactical.  Still helping out the guys on the ground.  Absolutely no BS or queep of any kind.  The Bobs should be hiring 10-12 folks soon.  If you’re interested, go to the website, do what it says, and if you have ever flown an attack or multi-role jet, you’re hired.

Some details:

Right now, during the fire season, the schedule is 6 days on, 1 day off.  That’s about to change to a 12 on 6 off (hence the 10-12 new guys).  Enjoy all winter off.

Expect to spend ~1 season in the OV-10 before starting Tanker training in the S-2T.

Your fire season length is determined by where you are based: NorCal - 4-5 months, Central Ca - 6-7 months, SoCal 8 months to year round.  

you are paid by the day so how much you take home is determined by where you are based.  My first year in the OV-10 in Central Ca grossed $136k.  S-2T drivers make more.  I’ll bring home and easy $200k this year on a SoCal contract.

Base assignments are based on seniority.  

Typical day in the life - show up around 0930.  Mass brief around ten.  Free time while waiting for lunch around 12.  Free time until cutoff (half hour before sunset) unless interrupted by a fire dispatch or two.

Call Porterville Air Attack base if you’d like to chat.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OWm5mt5Qits

 

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I agree dude! 

Great job, cool mission, and good group of pilots. Not for everyone, but if you’re interested hit up 78 or myself.

This probably isn’t the right fit for someone building spreadsheets comparing pay at different majors. When it gets busy it is hard work, rewarding, but demanding none the less. 

I’m hearing they may be resume sorting next week, so anyone SERIOUSLY interested get in touch ASAP. Need availability in early Spring ‘19. Tactical flying and some multi time are pluses, even better if turboprop.

Shaft

046409F7-2471-4360-A0A2-CCD5D5021710.jpeg

Edited by Shaft34
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9 hours ago, Shaft34 said:

 

Shaft

 

Is the job commutable in any sense? Any folks live out of town in the off-season and in the area during fire season?

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25 minutes ago, jice said:

Is the job commutable in any sense? Any folks live out of town in the off-season and in the area during fire season?

I live in Idaho and fly in CA for about 5 months each year. The current 6/1 schedule is a drag, but being home 24/7 for 6-7 months is nice too. That’s about 140 work days per year. The planned 12/6 schedule will be much better for people living out of state, which is actually a main reason we are moving in that direction. 

Edited by Shaft34

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What kind of hours are we talking about to qualify for air attack?  Considering the mission set and that Cal ANG performs the mission at times, would RPA time be of any benefit assuming one meets all other minimums?

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Would a career MC-130 guy be competitive in the application process or are they really looking for previous fast jet/attack experience?

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Seems like an awesome mission. Also interested in the MC-130 question.. although I’m just a slick pilot with two years on my ADSC..

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2 hours ago, soupafly06 said:

What kind of hours are we talking about to qualify for air attack?  Considering the mission set and that Cal ANG performs the mission at times, would RPA time be of any benefit assuming one meets all other minimums?

Minimums are listed at calfirepilots.com. RPA experience would only be helpful if it was over wildfires if at all.

 

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2 hours ago, DirkDiggler said:

Would a career MC-130 guy be competitive in the application process or are they really looking for previous fast jet/attack experience?

I'm not on the committee but I'd think a career MC-130 guy would be super competitive - Especially now that we're getting C-130's.  Couldn't think of a better way to amass tactical low level time than a MC-130 career myself.

https://www.kcra.com/article/water-rescue-aircraft-about-to-join-cal-fire-fleet/22560064

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