Separating From the Military: 9 Ways for Your Family To Grow
Leaving the military can be a tough transition for you and your family. You will need to learn how to function in your civilian life, find ways to earn money and fill your time outside of the military. It can be particularly challenging for kids or people who have given years or decades of their time to the service.
The most important thing is to be prepared. Ensure that you have made a plan and discussed it with your family and that everyone is on board.
Start Saving Before You Leave
Start saving before you begin the separation process so that you have a cushion to fall back on when you leave. Begin saving at least six months to a year before you plan to leave. The more you save, the better.
Discuss The Changes with Your Family
Talk to your spouse first and explain why you want to leave the military. Hear their thoughts on the plan and develop ideas together of how to spend your post-military life. Discuss these plans with your children in age-appropriate terms. Let them express their opinions and takes these into account.
Start Looking at Health Insurance
If you are leaving after 20 years plus of service, you will still be covered by Tricare. If leaving sooner, you will need to make provisions for healthcare for you and your family. Consider extending your active-duty coverage for the first 18 to 36 months. Look for jobs that offer good healthcare options for you and your family.
Set Realistic Expectations
Your life after the military will look dramatically different. Be prepared for the changes you will face and any hardships you may come up against. You may be in a lower-paid job or smaller housing than you are used to.
Consider Buying a Family Home
If you have saved enough, you could consider putting a down payment on a home. Even if you have no down payment savings, you could get a VA loan through a dependable lender like Hero Loans. You need a good income to keep up with mortgage payments.
Decide On a Career
Consider your skills from the military and your interests when choosing a new career path. Be prepared for entry-level work as you switch careers. Many skills learned in the military are transferable, so consider professions like teaching, fitness or policing.
Stay A Part of Your Military Family
Stay in touch with your military social circle even if you move away. Nurture these relationships to ensure they stand the test of time and distance.
Expand Your Non-Military Social Circle
Find ways to make new friends. Consider hosting playdates for your kids with local kids and invite the parents along. Branch out and join different clubs or sporting teams.
Think About Your Retirement Options
Start planning for your retirement as soon as you leave the military. You may be eligible for a military pension if you have over 20 years of service.