Army veterans are in a tough position, financially as well as personally. Aside from all the traumatic issues, their financials can take a severe hit when they transition to an ordinary working life.
So, if you have recently finished serving - or are about to - you have many things to consider. Can you run a home? Can you buy a home? Can you have a comfortable retirement? It’s important to factor in every possible scenario. You should begin planning for your future well before you leave the military, to give yourself the best chance at being stable. Once you begin to plan, here are the four issues you should keep in mind.
Can you find a good job?
One of the biggest issues many army veterans face is the post-military job hunt. This is especially true if you were dishonorably discharged, and you may not find a job at all. It’s important for your post-military career that you get back on your feet as soon as possible, though. You could use a transition assistance employment program to help start your job hunt before you even leave the armed forces.
If your job isn’t good, then you need to be financially intelligent. Not all veterans will make what they did while serving, so spend wisely.
2. Can you secure funding for a home?
Home ownership is no walk in the park, for anyone. Your credit history, debt problems and current job can all work against you when applying for a loan. However, for veterans, help is at hand! A financing method such as VA loans exists to help veterans that have been rejected everywhere else. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s not impossible, either.
3. Do you have a retirement budget?
Of course, you’ll have to have a retirement fund, just like everyone else. Your retirement fund is based on numerous factors, such as when you began serving and when you finished. Any and all taxes will be withheld from your retirement fund, so be sure you have enough to live on. If necessary, open a private pension once you’ve found a new job. Your army pension may not be enough for you!
4. Can you cope without all the army benefits?
One of the main issues that veterans face is a reduction in cash flow. If you were deployed to a combat location, your income may have been tax-free, and you may have received additional payments. These include special duty, family protection and hazardous duty. If you relied on these as a source of income, you can’t do the same after leaving the military.
You may have less money, and the money you do receive can be subject to all the usual tax laws. So, ask yourself if you can live like this. If necessary, make lifestyle adjustments to help you cut back spending.
Are you an army veteran? What was the transition process like for you? How is your financial situation now? Whatever your thoughts, let us know in the comments below!