As you prepare to make the change from military service to the civilian corporate ladder, there are a lot of considerations. If you’re preparing to swap your combat boots for a pair of Rockports, these financial tips can help:
Sharpen your tools. Your civilian career search is going to require a few key things – a refined resume, a professional online profile, and killer interview skills. If you need some support as you brush these skills off and prepare, reach out to the Transition Assistance Program.
Prepare your pocketbook. You’ve probably become accustomed to the housing, insurance and other benefits that come along with your tireless service to your country. In civilian land, not every employer offers benefits the same way. As you go through the interview and offer negotiation process, make sure that you know what benefits are available to you as well as what kind of impact it will have on your take-home pay.
Start your transition fund now. There’s no such thing as a “normal” job search timeline any more. If you haven’t already started your job search and your transition savings fund, now’s the time to get cracking. Start your job hunting and make sure you’ve saved enough money so you can support yourself during any financial gaps.
Consider additional insurance. While you serve in the military, Group Life Insurances offers $400,000 maximum for you as a servicemember and another $100,000 for your spouse. To take advantage of no underwriting costs, 120 days before you leave the military, apply for the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI). Check the Survivor’s Benefit Plan and make sure you’ve got your loved ones covered.
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a tax-advantaged way to save for your retirement. When you leave the military, you have three options to manage your TSP:
- Leave your funds in your TSP account.
- Roll over your TSP account to a traditional Individual Retirement Account
- Roll over your money to your new employer’s plan
Thank you for your service to our country, and best of luck as you make the transition.