Actually there is less than 2 million retired military members (1.9 million as of 2011).<quoted text>
That's a big reason we have an out of control deficit, not just nationally, but locally. Millions of 40 year olds getting a check for 40 years after putting in only 20. Such a deal!
BTW, what did you do in the military?
But yes, it IS a very good deal IF you're willing to risk your life & health for 20 years.
Btw, the average military retired member died before ever reaching age 65 because of the hazards of military service, but also in part to lifestyle choices (drinking & smoking). Thankfully that is changing as the military now focuses on keeping you as healthy as possible; at least until they send you off to get killed in battle.....
Oh, and the miltary is looking at replacing the current defined pension plan with a 401k style investment. I actually support that, because then you won't have some people staying until 20 years just to ensure they get a retirement check. Currently if you get out at 19 years you get nothing; with the proposed system it would be a graduated amount, but everyone would get something, even if they only serve 4 years.