Military Retirees Have a Great Benefits Package Published July 11, 2009 By Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Barry Soulvie Retirees Office TUCSON, Ariz. -- Retirees from the 162nd Fighter Wing receive a well-deserved paycheck without having to go to work. Every retiree is familiar with their monthly retirement pay, but are you aware of all the other available benefits? First, and most obvious, are those benefits located on most military installations. The Base Exchange is a completely stocked department store where prices on most items are competitive and there is no sales tax. The commissary is a fully stocked grocery store that contains all of the items generally bought for weekly grocery needs, also at very competitive prices. When traveling, lodging is available on most military bases at substantial savings over off-base facilities. If you drive an RV or tow a camp trailer, many bases have camping facilities where you can park for the night at a very reasonable rate in a secure, safe on-base environment. If resort vacations are your thing, the military operates facilities at Disney World in Florida and the Hale Koa hotel on Waikiki beach in Hawaii. Retirees can make reservations at these facilities up to a year in advance. The military also has connections to many other resort locations around the world. Military retirees and their spouses can fly space-available on some military aircraft at no cost. Destinations are limited and you have to adapt to the Air Force's schedule, but if the scheduling works, there can be substantial savings in your travel plans. Medical benefits are also carried into retirement. There are several TriCare plans based on service, age and retirement status. Retirees and their dependents are covered with one of the best medical insurance plans available, and at reasonable cost. More detailed information, including web sites and phone numbers on all military retirement benefits, is available in our locally produced "162FW Guide to Retirement Benefits". This free guide is available on the 162nd website at www.162fw.ang.af.mil, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a copy. No computer? No problem! Call us at (520) 295-6663 and leave your name and address. We will mail you a copy. You have earned your military retirement benefits. Know what they are and take advantage of a very generous retirement system.