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Military and Civilian Retirement Tips

I would like to share my thoughts with you about retiring from the military in hopes that others will learn and have a smooth transition. Listen here for the audio:

When people hear that someone retired from the military, a lot of them automatically think, wow…that’s great. They don’t realize that like most times when someone has retired from an organization after 20-30 years, they go through a serious period of trying to find themselves and somehow re-shape their identity.

This article and the above audio mostly centers around my military retirement experience but can benefit all retirees or people who are planning on leaving their jobs.

Prepare yourself for a whirlwind of changes in your life. There are so many things to consider prior to committing to let go of that security blanket, but once you do, the opportunities are endless!

As the saying goes, “this is the next chapter in your life” and you are the Author!

I could write a book on things to do to prepare you for military retirement, but will only list a few of the must to do things based on my experience:

If possible, attend a pre-retirement seminar at least one year prior to your retirement date. Better yet, attend prior to submitting your retirement package. Six months prior to retiring, re-attend the seminar to cover all bases.

Talk to your spouse, children, and/or significant other prior to retiring so they have an understanding of what’s to come.

Let them know that you will need their support now more than ever. The family dynamics will drastically change, instead of you going to work every day, you will be home.

You may even temporary slip into the “land of the lost”. It all starts with the terminal leave period.

You may stay up at night wondering what will I do or who will tell me what to do?

Prior to this stage, I strongly recommended that you create a project list of things you’d like to accomplish and commit yourself to staying on target.

If you let yourself get sucked in by the lazy boy, you may not leave for a long time! I’ve seen this happen.

If you plan on starting a job right away, give yourself enough time to transition into a different way of life. Especially, if you’re not going to work for the government. This will help you keep the job. Things are very different in the “civilian sector”.

Save enough money to pay your bills for at least six months in case you can’t find employment, even if someone has promised you a great job opportunity. Anything can happen.

Don’t think your military rank is going to impress people on the “outside”. It doesn’t. You are no longer on active duty and if you treat civilians like you’re a drill sergeant, you’ll be back on the lazy boy in no time!

Good luck in your future endeavors! Thank you for your service and supporting our freedoms!

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Wendy Card