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getting ready to retire

Military Authority Member
Robbyn Knickerbocker February 25th, 2012

I am an exspouse of a full captain in Navy who is retired from service I am currently receiving a portion of pay from his pension. I am a school teacher who is getting ready to retire this year. My question is : will my pension checks be reduced upon retiring from the school system? Since I am not 65 yet will I be able to get Tricare as I was married 28 years while he was active?
Please advise as to benefits...thanks,


Military Authority Member
Jason Van Steenwyk April 5th, 2012

Hello, Robbyn,
I'm Jason Van Steenwyk, one of the contributing editors to the site. Thank you for writing!

Looking at your TRICARE situation first, it seems like you're eligible for TRICARE under the 20-20-20 eligibility criteria. The short version is that you should remain eligible for TRICARE as long as you do not A.) remarry (except to another TRICARE-eligible military sponsor) and B.) buy into or be covered by your employer's plan. I'm assuming that you were elgible for your plan as a school employee but declined coverage. If you accepted your employer's coverage, though, you may have, in fact, lost TRICARE eligibility at that time.

Now, the longer version:

From the TRICARE Web site:
"You are eligible for TRICARE as your own sponsor under your own Social Security Number as long as you meet the following criteria:

20 - Your sponsor has at least 20 years of creditable service towards determining retirement pay.

20 - You were married to the same sponsor/service member for at least 20 years

20 - All 20 years of marriage overlap the 20 years of creditable (Active or Reserve) service which counted towards your sponsor's retirement.

If the Service Personnel Component determines that you meet the 20-20-20 eligibility criteria, you will be issued a new ID card with your own name and your Social Security number listed as the "sponsor Social Security number" the first time you renew your card after the divorce/annulment effective date.

The full link is here:

If you want more specifics, you can call a TRICARE Beneficiary Assistance and Counseling Coordinator. You can find a bunch of numbers at this link:

Hope that helps!

Thank you for writing, and for visiting Military Advantage!

Jason Van Steenwyk

Military Authority Member
Timmy May 28th, 2012

I'm proud to be a member of a mitliary family because it gives you a sense of pride for you country and respect for a whole different lifestyle. For me being a Navy brat for 17 years has been a life changing and eye opening experience. You get to meet so many amazing people and visit place that most people will never get a chance to experience and see. I love being in a mitliary family. it make me be alot more respectful and accepting of different people. You get to meet so many different people when you move every 2-3 years of your life. It gets really hard sometimes, leaving friends and family but in the long run its all worth it. I'm so proud of my Daddy for serving in the US Navy for 24 years and taking care of me and my whole family. I'm so proud to be a mitliary family member and be able to experience so much!

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