Making a commitment to serve in the military takes a lot of courage and discipline. When that commitment is up, however, you need to apply the same level of discipline to your finances in order to continue supporting your family and to maintain your quality of life.
Alliance Insurance Services knows what a challenge this transition can be. So, if you are planning on separating from the military or have already made this major career move, here are some important steps you need to take to secure your finances.
Look Into Essential Life Insurance Options
If you want to ensure that your spouse and loved ones are prepared for the unexpected, including your death and funeral expenses, you should consider buying burial insurance. Burial insurance is a smart choice for young vets looking to provide financial resources to their families, without having to pay for expensive premiums.
Since the VA will only pay $300 to $780 for veteran burials, having an insurance policy that will help with the average cost of a funeral, which is over $7,000, will keep your surviving dependents from scrambling to cover any remaining costs.
For young veterans who have more room in their budgets, or more family members that depend on them for income or care, it may also be a good idea to shop for life insurance. The type of policy you purchase can depend on several factors, including your current lifestyle and family commitments, so make sure you fully research your choices. If you are separating from the military with a service-related disability, Military.com notes you may also qualify a VA-sponsored life insurance policy.
Research Veteran Education and Job Resources
If you would like to start working after your separation from the military, you should begin researching veteran career resources ASAP. From VA career and financial services to non-profit programs, there are many ways for veterans to connect with professionals who can help them make the most of this next chapter in their life. Many of these career resources are also available at colleges and universities, where, as The Military Wallet explains, you can use veteran benefits and scholarships to help pay for services and complete a degree program.
Do some soul searching and think about what you might enjoy doing long-term. If you love computers, for instance, a job in IT might be the perfect fit. You can enroll in classes online, take them at your own pace, and reap the rewards for the rest of your life.
Bulk Up Emergency Savings and Pay Down Debts
Have you been saving for emergencies during your active duty military career? If not, you should start as soon as possible, so that unexpected expenses will not jeopardize your family’s financial stability. If you can fit it into your budget, you should try to save enough money to cover three months of expenses, although saving enough for six months worth of costs is best for keeping your family prepared for surprises.
You can achieve this goal by setting aside small amounts from your paycheck and investing any large windfalls into your emergency savings account. This can include the separation pay mentioned above or any tax-free money you earn while deployed in a combat zone. If you need help budgeting for an emergency fund or with any other financial concerns, you can also look into financial literacy programs for veterans. These programs include required TAPS courses but also include resources from private organizations.
As an active duty member of the military, you’ve dedicated the last few years of your life to serving your country. Make sure you tap into the financial tools and resources you need to thrive during your transition out of that service. Because after all of your sacrifices and hard work, you deserve to stay happy and healthy during this next phase of your career and life.
Look to Alliance Insurance Services for solutions that work as hard as you do!
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