10 Things to know about Military Retirement
Retirement from the military is a time of celebration and great accomplishment. I want to share with you 10 Things I learned personally about Military Retirement:
1: Retirement from the military is a fabulous accomplishment and one that should not be taken lightly, so take time with your family and friends and celebrate your accomplishments, you’ve earned it.
2: Planning for your retirement is not always easy; it takes teamwork, sacrifice, and ongoing two-way communication between the active duty soldier and Military Spouse. The journey can seem long because there are so many ends to tie up and sometimes a little rocky (especially if things aren’t going quite as planned) so it is important for a military couple to work as a team. Team members empower each other to remain optimistic and focused on the goal.
3: Military retirement benefits are worth your years of sacrifice, take time to learn about your retirement benefits: life insurance, dental, health care, identification cards, wills, power-of-attorney, disability, survivor benefits program for your military spouse, family life insurance program, etc. Ask questions, it’s important for the soldier and military spouse to understand every aspect of what’s going on because it impacts you as a military couple and your family if you have children under 18 and or in college. Finally, take full advantage of your benefits, you’ve earned them.
4: Paying off debt, getting your credit reports in-order, and taking control of your money and finances now while on active duty is absolutely “critical”. The lesser the debt, the more enjoyable your retirement will be for everyone. Note: You can obtain a FREE (official) annual copy of your credit report online from: https://www.annualcreditreport.com (AnnualCreditReport.com is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.).
5. Proper financial planning and lifestyle changes during active duty could position a soldier and his or her family to be full-time retirees. Contact your base family support center to get started and for referrals.
6: Military retirement affects the entire family, especially if you have teenagers. The transition from military life to civilian life is a very important time to keep the door of communication open for your kids to talk to you both about their feelings and fears. In most cases, military life is the only life they’ve known, so listen to what the kids are and are not saying, assure them through your actions that you are there for them.
7: Retirement from the military is not the end of your life; it’s the beginning of a new chapter in your life.
8: Retirement is the wrong time to loose contact with close military friends, stay in touch through email and telephone, if possible. My husband still from time to time mentors junior soldiers who seek him out for advice. The fact is retired soldiers possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise and some young junior soldier would love to hear what you have to say.
9: Retirement from the military does not mean you’re too old for a second career. There are plenty of companies out here waiting to benefit from your years of leadership, experience, and specialized expertise. However, they’re not coming to knock at your door, you must identify the companies that will gain the most from what you bring to their organization, develop a well-polished resume of qualifications and when you’re invited to come in for an interview, be prepared to market the best in you.
10: Take some YOU time, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You’ve served our country well.