After 24 years on active duty I will be retiring from the Air Force in March 2014. After spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up I've decided on an FA. Most of my career has been spent in the recruiting service in sales, currently I am a sales manager/human resources guy over 80 recruiters in 2 states in the South East. I love the human interaction of sales and being able to do something meaningful. Enter becoming a FA. From what I've read this career has the opportunity to be both lucrative while satisfying my need to help others. My question is two fold. One, I have applied to Edward Jones as I believe working at one of the major firms to get training/support is a great way to break into the market. Additionally, the base salary the first 18 months makes the transition from my active duty paycheck to retired much easier to swallow. I am also contemplating applying to MSSB as well. The question is this, are there independent opportunities in smaller firms that would be similar to EJ? If so, any insight would be greatly appreciated. Two, I currently live in South Carolina. My intention upon retirement is to relocate to either Phoenix or Las Vegas. How feasible is it to apply in SC and open an office in either of those cities? Basically a scratch office. Thank you for the assistance.