There have been a few letters recently discussing retirement pay and other benefits for military retirees. Some of those retirees appear to by unhappy with their benefits, but from my point of view, the military retirement package is quite generous.
For example, I just noticed that the current rate on the government’s 30-year bond is 3.42 percent. Based on this interest rate and my living another 25 years (which is quite likely in my case), my current after-tax monthly check has a present value more than $600,000. That is, if the government wanted to “cash out” my retirement, it would have to give me more than $600,000 tax-free to make the projected monthly payments equal the single lump sum.
The other benefits are also significant. I participate in Tricare Prime, which cost me currently $460 per year for health care benefits for my wife and myself. Most couples outside the military system would be thrilled to have such a low yearly premium.
I also save money by shopping at the local military commissary. I estimate this benefit saves me at least $20 per week. The military exchanges save me money both on merchandise cost and sales tax.
Perhaps my fellow military retirees should take a good look at the benefits they enjoy before they complain about them. Other folks, not even government retirees, have nothing close to the benefits we military retirees enjoy.
Yes, the armed forces can be a tough career, but retirees are well-compensated, on average, for their service.