Is it worth it, you think?

Discussion in 'Military Dentistry' started by burnthestatus, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. burnthestatus

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    I got into the NAVY hpsp, but haven't gotten the commissioning papers yet. I have serious doubts about doing the hpsp now that I stepped way back and looked at everything.

    Firstly, I am getting a lot of vague answers about almost everything--i.e. you get a choice, but ultimately it's the Navy's desicion to put you where they need you, which can very likely be with a marine unit, and thus you'll be deployed with them...Also, stop loss has never occured to a dentist, but it is not impossible. With the way this country is headed militarily, I have a lot of qualms. Secondly, if the pay is around 65K a year, and if in civilian life I'd make about 120K fresh out, then by price difference alone, I have 60K to put towards loan repayments.

    I'm looking at loan principal of about 270K when the 4yrs are up (my tuition is about 64K). Interest will be a monster--170K at 7% for 15yrs!! I will be able to settle down and have a family and not worry about the uncertainties of war, deployments, etc. Oh, and workdays won't be so long.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. jim85213

    Dentist

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    Sounds like you've talked yourself out of it. Don't do it.
     
  4. makushin

    makushin Member

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    It appears you have made a lot of poor assumptions on things such as officer pay, tax advantages, and I believe your real loan principal at graduation.
     
  5. KOM

    KOM Senior Member

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    Just looking at tax tables, 28% of 120K leaves you with 86,400. 25% of 65K leaves you with 48,750 which really would be a bit more because all the military income isnt taxable. I really have no idea, so estimating very conservatively, say, 50K. 86K - 50K = 36K which would be a more accurate figure on price difference alone, in what you would be able to put towards loan repayment per year starting out between military and civilian.

    I'd say with that income, if you were to live at poverty level (10K per year or so) you could probably pay back your 270 K debt (with accrued interest) in about 4-5 years.
     
  6. bass for less

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    To OP, depending on the assumptions you make (interest rate, potential tax bracket, choice of base, chance of deployment, civilian earning, McCain or Obama, and dozens of other factors), this road can be either totally worthwhile or years of nightmare. Do a search and you will find people crying this is a fiscal disaster like the social security, or a heaven-sent gift to free you from debt, gain precious experience to make more in the future, see the world, serve the country... It's normal to second guess on something major like this, but life usually works itself out if you put your mind to it.
     
  7. burnthestatus

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    oy vey, I thought that the 120K that everybody posts around here was after taxes! new grads area actually making 86K?????

    Yes, the loan principal might seem a little low, but I will be living at parent's home, so it will be roughly around 270 I hope. Can you correct me if I'm wrong about officer's pay?
     
  8. DDS Nuke

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    http://www.navytimes.com/money/pay_charts/

    You'll be an O3 with zero years...no matter where you live you should find you BAH and BAS.
    Married/kids...? You'll BAH will change in addition to where you get stationed...San Diego is the highest but you could easily end up elsewhere.

    Don't forget Variable Special Pay and Additional Special Pay
    VSP: $3000/yr
    ASP: $4000/yr (look for this to go WAY up in the very near future :luck:)

    The Navy would hate to lose you...be proud of the fact that they are OFFERING TO PAY YOUR WAY THRU DENTAL SCHOOL AND WILL GIVE YOU $20,000 AT THE BEGINNING!!!!!!! As stated before, you'll gain tons of experience and not have to juggle debt and private practice obligations right out of school. It's a big decision and I'm sure you're getting questioned by your family/significant other about what you're actually committing to and all you can do is regurgitate the fuzzy answers your recruiter is giving you. Nail down the specifics with him/her and be confident you're making the right decision (it's a big one but not really...you'll know what I mean once you're already in :)

    I'll look for you in the fleet ;)
     
  9. BuckeyMcGee

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    I signed up for the Navy HPSP for dental school in 2006 a few months before entering as a D1. I am now a D3 and they have provided for me financially in ways I would not have been able to unless I had taken out a huge loan. I go to Nova so as you know it is pretty expensive and there are countless expenses the Navy covers, such as all my Henry Schein bills, loupes, dental kits, uniforms, living, and much more. They really don't hassle you or bother you while you're on the scholarship, they want you to focus on school and if you have to do officer training school after graduation, as in my case, it is perfectly fine with them. You will have your entire life to work in private practice, why not go for a little adventure and spice in your life while you are young (I'm just guessing you are). I have not heard of a dentist dying in combat while in the military, but it is always a risk you have to be willing to take. It does sound like you have talked yourself out of it, I contemplated it for a while also, but after meeting many successful former Navy dentists who now are running successful private practices I am sure of my decision. I do not plan to specialize but I do plan on doing an AEGD with the Navy, and depending upon what they offer to stay in following my committment, I would be open to considering a specialty, either peds, ortho, or perio. You should look at the big picture, you will either be paying loans to the bank and working as an associate most likely for a boss, or working for the Navy and gaining valuable experience and have access to the latest and newest equipment. Dental school is so much less stressful not having to worry about paying a cent for anything, but the military isn't for everyone, and you should weigh the financial benefits with the same consideration as to how you would feel having to possibly move, go to war, or be away from your family during an extended period. Good luck, and if I had to join again, I would. ;)
     
  10. makushin

    makushin Member

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    I thought ASP was $10k/year now.
     
  11. makushin

    makushin Member

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    OK I didn't know you were living at home. I still think you haven't calculated the interest right. I think you are probably looking at something closer to $290k+ with interest accrual if your school is really $64k/year. Wow that's an expensive school.

    I'm also considering the navy HPSP. According to my math, I have figured the pay to average around $75-80k with the new bonus amount. However Obama will probably slash military budgets, so that bonus may go away.

    However, if you are not cool with "joining the Navy" forget it. There seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction with military health professionals, and you will probably bitch and moan like the rest of them.
     
  12. dheav005

    dheav005 keepin' it movin'

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    it is. the NAVADMIN hasnt been published yet, but it should be in the next couple of weeks. as of right now, the official ASP is $4K/yr for those of us with no experience. soon, it will jump to $10K and life will be sweet.
     
  13. DDS Nuke

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    I just didn't want to be the one who said it ;)
     
  14. caloriefree

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    Okay, a dumb question here... what's ASP?
     
  15. KOM

    KOM Senior Member

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    Sorry, I got confused...no I think you're right although I'd put the figure closer to 90-100K after taxes for new grads.
     
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  17. AFDDS

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    ASP is additional special pay. It's a entitlement pay. VSP is variable special pay.
     

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