To Leave Or Not To Leave? - That's A Great Question!

Chazz Pratt
New Member

A lot of thought and consideration went into your decision to join the military. Getting out of the military takes the same level of attention. What do you think are the most important things to consider before leaving military service?

10 REPLIES

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1) Do you have to leave the military? 2) Do you have an easily transferable skill? 3) Will you be happy in the 1st Civ Div? 4) How will it impact your family? 5) Do you have contacts in the 1st Civ Div that are in a decision-maker position that can help recommend you for a job and can help you transition?
1. Where are you going to live 2. How are you going to support yourself and your family 3. What do you want to do with your life. 4. What can replace the benefits I get with the Army Those are the four thinkgs that I considered the most. They weren't always in that order. I ended upstaying in the Army over 25 years because I liked what I was doing- and didn't really have a burning desire to do anything else. We finally decided on where we wanted to live, and the rest kind of fell in place. But having a military retirement gve us a lot more options.
Some important information to think about in this link: http://www.vitaver.com/blog/2011/08/leaving-military-what-next/ If you do decide to leave, please take advantage of any transition services your branch provides BEFORE you separate. The information contained in these classes are invaluable to a separating service member. If you do decide to leave or stay, thank you for your service!
Stay in! You can retire in 20 and start a new life then.
Your retirement income and how it will fare in supporting you/family while in transition to a civilian career. Education- Are you marketable in the civilian workplace. Being a retiree doesn't necessarily open all doors for you just facilitates getting your foot in the door. Health Care. If you have loved ones that are ill will they be able to receive the same level of care and if so how much will it cost out of pocket? Level of supervisor support in versus out in the "real world". Will you/family receive the same level of consideration in the civilian work force should an emergency come up.If not do you have a "plan B".
The best advice, as most have posted, is to start investing early! Most young E1-E5 (or so) don't think about investing. They are YOUNG and in a much better position to take risks. I started light, with some mutual funds and also purchased my own ROTH IRA. Folks need to think of life after military retirement too. IRA and TSP contribute to your life at 60 and later. Saving is safe, find a good financial adviser to give you advice about the right mix of risk in whatever you invest in. Have several types of investments. Most of all...if you can't pay off your credit cards monthly (get help). This means you are living beyond your financial needs. (Just my opinion)
Ok, two things that we have learned after we transitioned out of the military. One, definitely save up as much money as you can while you are still in the military, especially if you are a two income home and you have future plans of becoming a one income household. Rainy day fund comes in mightily handy when you are in the midst of a transition. Two, and this was the one that hurt us pretty bad, purchase some form of health insurance apart from Tricare - something you can upgrade at a later time...especially if you have a preexisting condition. We ended up pregnant right as my husband was getting out. My due date was right after his separation date and Tricare unfortunately does not continue coverage once you're out. We had to purchase a premium called Continued HealthCare Benefit and believe me, it was not cheap! We applied for Medicare but we didn't qualify. Either way, most insurance companies won't touch you if you have a preexisting condition. I know this scenario may not apply to retirees so I am mainly speaking to young service members who are getting ready to separate. These are the two main things I wish we had better preparation for right before we had decided to get out of the military. I hope that it helps someone in some way, shape, or form. Thanks!
You are absolutely correct.This applies to retirees as well.I carried a policy thru TROA(now known as MOOA) even tho I did not need it at times.Ended up on S/S disability before I was 65. No insurance co. Will talk to you if you're on Medicare before you are 65. Thank GOD that policy had a convertibility clause as a supplement to Medicare and they came thru with flying colors.
I guess one of the most important things to consider is what you plan to do with your life. The military is easy, you get up, get in uniform and go to work. Once you get out do you have a job lined up, plan on going to school, what? Biggest thing is to have a plan and be prepared for it to change. I had a plan to go to school, get a job and live the life. Got the school part, but then all the jobs tanked. So had to change gear and now working a crummy job to make ends meet. If I knew then what I know now I never would have left, but that's just my story. Fact is...have a plan.