Exiting the military and returning to life as a civilian is not without some challenges. If you are a younger veteran, however, one of the most stressful obstacles to getting settled as a civilian is figuring out your finances. To help you adjust, explore the following financial planning steps, courtesy of Deploy Care.
Put Together a Realistic Budget
Having a budget is one of the most sound financial decisions you can make. Your budget helps you track your spending, map out future goals and can keep you from incurring unnecessary debt. If you’ve never used a budget, now is the time, especially if you have big dreams down the road and a small amount of money in the bank. For those new to budgeting, there are online resources to help you get started as well as top-rated apps. Whatever you choose, opt for a system that you know you can stick to.
Think About Purchasing a Home
If you are eligible for VA benefits, you can buy a home with a VA loan, which is often a sound investment in your personal life and financial security. Plus, veterans are typically afforded a better rate as thanks for their service. You can learn more about VA mortgage rates by doing some research, keeping in mind the projected rates may change at any time. By purchasing a home, you have the opportunity to profit from the sale if you decide to move later on in life. You can also rent it if you move and retain ownership, creating a lucrative source of passive income. It’s also an opportunity to increase your net worth.
Look for Discounts on Recurring Bills, Like Auto Insurance
Veterans who qualify as low-income may be able to secure government auto insurance plans for a reduced rate. Let your insurance agent or rep know about your service. In addition to car insurance discounts, there are many other military discounts that can help you save money. The Penny Hoarder’s list of 100 Military discounts is a great resource.
Create a Sound Financial Plan for Retirement as a Civilian
If you haven’t opened a retirement savings account, do so ASAP. Without a military pension, you are wholly responsible for your financial stability. If you are in the process of separating, you may be able to use on-base financial counselors. Otherwise, a financial advisor may be able to help you map out a sufficient plan for saving for your civilian retirement.
Consider Furthering Your Education
You learned a lot during your term of service, but your education doesn’t need to stop there. You can get career counseling, help with college tuition, and assistance with finding the right educational path to help you reach your goals – The Patriot’s Initiative’s Warriors In Transition resource is a great place to start researching your options. Most schools allow you to use the GI bill benefits, which are available for veterans and active duty service persons, dependents, and those with service in the National Guard and Reserves. Eligibility for benefits and the amount of funds available depend on your period of military service, how many years of service you had, and other factors. Furthering your education sets you up for a successful new career of your choice, so be sure to explore your options.
Important Disclosure: The information provided, including any links to other websites, is for informational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Beacon Pointe has exercised all reasonable professional care in preparing this information. The information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however, Beacon Pointe has not independently verified, or attested to, the accuracy or authenticity of the information. Nothing contained herein should be construed or relied upon as investment, legal or tax advice. All investments involve risks, including the loss of principal. An investor should consult with their financial professional before making any investment decisions.
The Patriot’s Initiative is a non-profit organization that was founded by a Beacon Pointe employee’s family member. Despite the employee’s connection, there is no financial incentive for Beacon Pointe to promote the non-profit.