To plan for Army retirement, you should decide when you want to retire, whether two years or 20 years from now. If deciding is difficult, give yourself a time range, like five to ten years, or 12 to 15. This decision will help you prepare your finances, gather required documents, and most importantly, set yourself up mentally and emotionally for the coming challenges ahead.
Finances make up one major issue in Army retirement. Once a soldier retires, he only gets a fraction of his usual salary as retirement pay. This means budgeting. If you are not too sure of your accounting skills, ask a loved one, like your spouse, to help you out. Also, take advantage of your present regular salary to pay off debts and mortgages, set aside an amount every month, and to pay for insurance that will benefit you after retiring.
Next, learn all about your possible retirement benefits, such as health and dental care, insurance, and disability benefits. Depending on the situation, your benefits can also include life and education insurance for young children and survivor benefit plans. The US Army has a branch called the Finance Corps, where you can ask all the necessary questions about your benefits. Knowing your retirement benefits will help you budget and allocate your retirement pay well.
Aside from budgeting and benefits, another important thing to prepare for is job employment. For many soldiers, Army retirement does not mean ultimately leaving the workforce, but still contributing to it as a civilian. The US Army sometimes sponsors transition programs and seminars, which can cover topics such as searching for the right job, creating a flawless resume, interview tips, and even stress management. Being in the Army for so long may make you feel out of touch with other kinds of jobs, but know that your disciplined characteristics and leadership skills are qualities many companies seek.
In many cases, Army retirement can also include choosing where to live permanently and how to adapt to the change of lifestyle. Soldiers who reside in government accommodations will be asked to move out once retired. Choose a state or a town that caters to you and your family’s interests, especially if you have children who are either young or are still studying. If you choose not to work again, rekindle your passion for a hobby to avoid boredom and restlessness.