Post-Military Life: Tips for Effective Financial Management

Reentering civilian life after serving your country can be a significant adjustment. In addition to making use of Veteran’s Administration services to help you reacclimate, get settled, and launch the next phase of your life, make time to think about your finances. Give some thought to what you want to do moving forward in your personal and professional life, and set corresponding financial goals. Managing your taxes will help you in this regard. The Fiscal Diet can help guide you on this journey.

Understanding Your Finances

According to Military Times, some recently discharged young veterans struggle with managing their finances and successfully reintegrating back into civilian life. You may have a pension or other income from the US government. Consider consulting a financial advisor to help ensure you’re using and investing this income to your benefit. If you’re looking to purchase a new home, according to the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, you may be eligible for special government funding in the form of a VA-backed home loan. You’ll still need to meet income and credit requirements, which is why it’s important to track and understand your credit score.

The Cost of Civilian Life

If you’ve been in the military for some time, it might be a bit of an adjustment getting back into a civilian routine. Creating a budget can help you manage your finances wisely. You can find a number of online programs that help you track regular expenses, as well as revolving debt. You’ll also want to minimize debt and avoid high balances on credit cards. Payments on high-interest cards can be challenging to stay on top of, and high credit utilization reduces the number of other loan products you may want to secure – like a car loan. If you’re struggling with debt, the US Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to find a reputable consumer credit counseling agency that can help you get back on track with a manageable plan.

Launching Your Next Career

Some young veterans decide to pursue public service once they reenter civilian life. You may go into private security, police work, or a field related to special training you received during your time in the military. Others may choose to pursue a career and a line of work they find personally fulfilling, which may involve attending college.

Rounding out your education with an online MBA has many benefits, including increased earning potential and acquiring the skills and knowledge that many employers seek. With an MBA, you’ll stand out from the competition after learning and applying techniques like self-awareness and self-assessment, and application of foundational leadership and management skills. Taking coursework online also means you can study and complete assignments wherever you are and whenever you want such as on the weekends or at night after working your current job. Be sure to research the programs being offered online — a legit degree will be ACBSP accredited, a top recognition that shows the value of your education and diploma.

Some companies make an effort to give hiring priority to veterans, which can be to your advantage, especially with an MBA under your belt. Take into consideration not only what your salary might be in a new role, but also the value of a benefits package that includes perks like retirement and health insurance.

Paving Your Own Way

As someone who served in a highly regimented line of work, you likely have the focus and determination that’s necessary for launching a small business. If that’s something of interest, there are a wide array of areas to consider, and you may be eligible for VA funding to aid in the start-up. Start off by developing a business plan. It may be to your advantage to form a limited liability company to reduce your liability, give you greater tax advantages and lessen required paperwork. You can file the forms yourself, hire an attorney, or use a formation service. Requirements for launching an LLC vary from one state to another, so check your state requirements before getting started.

You’ll find a number of opportunities exist for your personal and professional growth and fulfillment in your post-military service life. Give some thought and consideration to what you need from a financial perspective, and leverage your talents and skills in a way that’s both personally rewarding, and helps you meet your monetary objectives.

If you’re looking for advice about managing your finances and growing your money, read the blog The Fiscal Diet.

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