Your Next Job: Transitioning From Military to Civilian Life

How to Navigate This New Chapter and Keep Your Finances in Check


When your active duty career comes to an end, itís time to make the transition to civilian life, and this can be a bit rocky at first. From finding a job or starting a business to settling into a different lifestyle or even buying a home, thereís a lot to navigate. This can feel especially overwhelming when you have bills to pay and a family to care for. Thatís why itís important to have a roadmap for your finances. Joe Baugher wants to help you transition through this next chapter, and thatís why weíve put together the following advice.


Be Smart About Starting a Business


Many veterans decide to go into business and there are plenty of opportunities available if you choose this route for yourself. If you want to protect your income and assets though, you should think about whether establishing an LLC will be beneficial for your new business. You can fill out the paperwork online to register an Illinois LLC, and this step can save you hundreds or even thousands in legal fees. Check your stateís regulations before doing so.


Confirm Your Eligibility for VA Benefits


When you think of VA benefits, you may just think of healthcare. Thatís why you may be surprised to learn about the countless programs available that can help you stay in control of your finances. Yes, you may certainly qualify for healthcare benefits which can already help you save. But you could also cut costs by transferring your GI Bill to help pay for your kidís college or using the VA to get a low-interest, 0 down payment home loan. So see if you qualify.


Look into Loan Programs for Veterans


Another financial perk to being a vet? If you are interested in starting a business, you may be able to use special grant programs to get the startup funding you need. Your best bet is to start with the SBA and other governments sites to see if you are eligible for federal business help. Then you can check out other opportunities from companies like FedEx and StreetShares.


Take Advantage of Transition Assistance


The switch from soldier to civilian can be challenging. This is why transition assistance programs, or TAPs, are available to veterans who are preparing to separate from active duty service. If you still have access to your last base or post, you should be able to visit the local TAPs office to get connected with resources that can help you manage your transition.


Learn How to Budget for Your New Life


In the military, you grow accustomed to being paid on the 1st and 15th of each month, and you get used to having a steady source of income. Depending on your plans after exiting the service, you may need to adjust your budget to stay on top of your expenses, bills and other financial goals. This is especially true if you hope to save up to put money down on a house. Some of the most common budget issues recent vets encounter include taxes, healthcare, and decreased pay. So be sure to evolve your budget as needed.


Reach Out for Help When You Need It


Financial worries are a top source of stress for Americans. Add a huge life transition on and it would be easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed. If you feel weighed down or overburdened by finances or any other aspect of your own transition, donít hesitate to seek support. That support can come from your family members, trusted friends, fellow veterans, or veteran organizations.


Your finances will play an integral role in your transition into civilian life. Making sure you have the right resources at your disposal can help you take control of your finances and stay in control as you move into this next phase. As you work on your financial plan just be sure to keep your mental health as a top priority and to stay connected to your support system.


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