Looking forward to life as a civilian? Well before you can begin enjoying all the freedoms that civilian life can offer, you have to create a post-service financial safety net.
Financial stability can help you stay stress-free after you leave the military, and these essential steps can help you achieve it.
Look into Insurance Options
Life insurance can be a necessity for most folks, since having life insurance will prevent friends and family from being burdened by funeral and burial expenses.
Depending on the policy you opt into, life insurance can also help with mortgage payments, education expenses, and cost-of-living stresses for any survivors you leave behind if you pass unexpectedly.
So as you transition into the next phase of your life, be sure to consider whether life insurance is right for your finances.
You may also want to look into burial or funeral insurance, but you will need to figure out your funeral plans before you decide how much coverage to buy.
The average funeral in America can run $9,000 or more, so this could be a good starting point for your burial insurance planning.
You should also understand that VA burial benefits will only provide your family with $300 to $780, which is barely enough to cover a tombstone or a funeral service.
Find a Reliable Source of Income
Even if you are eligible for retirement income as a result of your active duty service, those payments may not be nearly enough to support a family and ensure financial stability.
So as you transition away from active duty, make sure you are prepared to keep some cash flowing so that you can avoid financial hardships.
A good first step in preparing for civilian life is to pay attention to required Transition Assistance Program (TAP) lectures, which are transition programs that can be full of valuable information for veterans who are planning on moving away from their active-duty careers.
While there have been some changes to TAP in recent years, these courses can provide you with information that can help you find a job after your separation.
You can also check out these veteran career services for help finding employment after your military career has ended.
Budget for Everyday Costs and Expenses
When you attend a TAP course, you may also get a few helpful tools and resources that can make budgeting during the transition to a civilian life a little less challenging. That doesn’t mean that you should rely solely on these resources to manage your finances after you have separated from active duty service in the military.
You should also look for budgeting guides online, which can guide you through each step needed to create a budget for routine living costs and everyday expenses.
Comprehensive guides like this will tell you everything you need to know about managing your budget and even using apps and tools to keep track of your expenses and spending.
As you prepare your monthly budget, also be sure to leave some room for contributing to your savings.
Your savings plan will depend on what sort of financial goals you want to achieve in the future, but those plans can include both short-term and long-term goals.
Know Where to Turn for Financial Help
Many veterans and active-duty soldiers struggle with finances, especially after separating from the military.
Whether it’s the reduced income or other stressors, managing your money while you are also trying to adjust to such a radically different lifestyle can be overwhelming.
If you find yourself overwhelmed and in need of help during this period, know that you don’t have to feel alone. Because financial stress can be so common for veterans and their families, there is a wide array of resources and programs that can help relieve some of that financial pressure.
These organizations offer valuable tools and insights that can help veterans get back on their feet and avoid falling victim to scams and fake programs that can lead to more money issues.
Being discharged from the military can bring some stress relief to your life if you create a post-service financial safety net. That way your transition won’t be weighed down by financial stress.