While serving in the military can be an extremely exciting and rewarding experience, it’s not easy to transition to a civilian life. One of the big things which can be a strain on a lot of veteran’s lives is a certain level of financial uncertainty which comes with the nature of their occupation. Even if you’ve left the military and you’re working a steady job, you may find that losing your military benefits has posed a significant challenge. If you’re finding the financial side of military life to be a big strain, here are some smart moves you should consider.
Build Your Transition Fund
If you’re currently serving in the active military, and you’re planning to transition back into civilian life soon, then you need to make sure you have a decent cash cushion to see you through into your next job. A lot of military personnel tend to neglect this, as life in the service often gets them used to a steady target of income. However, the civilian job search may take longer than you think, and it’s important to have a cash cushion to fall back on if things get tough. While you’re building this transition fund, it’s also a good idea to plan ahead and think about any savings you’re going to need in the future. Military benefits are pretty considerable, and the transition is going to take some getting used to. Rather than saving for this change on your own steam, you may want to look into buy-back schemes, which are explained here: http://myfedbenefitshelp.com/benefits/military-time/ .
Polish Your Personal Credit
Poor credit is another common financial symptom of people who have served in the military. It can be tough to predict any loans or financing plans which you may need in the future, and a poor credit score can make things extremely difficult. Furthermore, if your credit history is full of debt and overdue bills, it can really hurt your chances of getting a civilian job. You and your spouse should make a point of checking your FICO scores, which can be done at http://www.myfico.com/ for free. It’s also a good idea to go over your credit score on a site like Annual Credit Report, comb through for any mistakes, and have them fixed. From there, all there is to do is develop better personal spending habits, reduce debt and pay your bills on time.
Get a VA Mortgage
If you’ve come back from military life ready to move into a home, but you’re not ready to make the standard 20% down payment, then you may be able to purchase your home with a loan supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This will have a competitive rate even if your credit history isn’t totally spotless, and the closing costs are going to be significantly lower than what you’d usually have to pay on a conventional bank loan. The government will also wave your funding fee if you’re disabled!
Transitioning To Civilian Life
It’s not easy for veterans to transition to civilian life. Some people in the service think that civilian life is complacent without the excitement and aggressiveness they feel when they’re in service. You might miss your team, great experiences, and even your struggles as you transition.
But of course, living a civilian life means being with your family anytime you want. You can travel anywhere and visit friends and relatives in faraway places to catch up. While you may have great benefits from the government, you might also want to venture into something you really like, such as a new business.
It’s important to prepare yourself to civilian life as early as now. If you’re still on the service, make your spare time productive by taking online courses. There are many online programs offering assistance for former and current service members as they pursue their personal, academic, and career goals.
If you want to land a great career once you become a civilian, you might want to start taking online classes to make your credentials more impressive. You can click here to learn more about online courses you can try to prepare for a civilian career.
Apply the tips shared above to keep your finances intact and flowing. If you’re in the military and your personal finances are causing a real strain, taking these steps will push you in the right direction.