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1. Except in vary rare and specific circumstances, yes it is true. Sometimes, to make the military smaller, they will offer some certain people early retirement. Sometimes people are medically retired before reaching 20 years, but by and large, you need 20 to retire.
2. Depends on the type of retirement. Is it reserves or regular, active duty retirement? Reserve retirement is later, 60. Active duty retirement is immediate.
3. Yes, but this is a terrible idea, as they pay something close to $.50 on the dollar or less.
4. Yes, that is true.