For many service members transitioning out of the military, financial stability is the first topic of concern when putting together a plan for a successful transition. For whatever reason that service member chooses to get out of the military, they are walking away from a stable income and having to start over. For some, they try and coordinate efforts to line up a job, and housing, and ensure steady income before exiting the military. Still, even with a set plan, it is still difficult to fully transition without some form of financial burden.
Some of the things that many service members don’t consider when transitioning are that many don’t have to pay for housing, healthcare, transportation, and other resources that are generally provided as a benefit for military members. Although many service members have exit strategies in place, there is still a shift in the cost associated with many of these benefits that they haven’t had to pay for their entire time in the military. Some members save money to accommodate for their transition out, but with many that still can be stressful if that money is enough to get you to your new destination and provide for you and your family until you can find stable work. Others have struggled with budgeting their money and fall into financial trouble, after having their monthly bills increase once they are no longer in the service.
To assist in helping veterans navigate these issues, there are many transition assistance programs that have been implemented and are provided by the different branches of the military, state veterans organizations, and Department of Veterans Affairs. Helping veterans properly plan for the inevitable can help them plan for a smoother transition, and allow them to implement a financial transition plan. Many organizations have created Financial Planning for Transition classes that are free of charge, and will sit down with the service member and help them establish a budget, set financial goals, evaluate cost of living changes, and much more. With all of these programs emerging, we need to ensure our service members are being provided all of the resources they need for a smooth transition back to civilian life.