Start on the Right Path
To get things started well, you’ll need to create a budget that addresses your new civilian life. Veterans United offers some great tips for using online finance systems that will help you create a budget and manage your finances in general. When using an online system, you’ll have access to your finances on your mobile device so you can easily input information on your spending activity. It’s also possible to set limits on certain spending categories so you can manage non-essential purchases. It’s also recommended that you start an emergency fund. Once you’ve established your spending habits and accounted for your responsibilities, it’s essential that you put aside some money for an emergency fund that should ideally cover at least six months’ worth of living expenses and be kept in an accessible account.
Research Your Employment Options
Now that you’re re-entering civilian life, you’ll need a job to secure a monthly income. Veterati provides some helpful information for veterans who need to join the civilian workforce. When considering a career, you’ll need to think about your academic achievements, your interests, and any skills you have that make you employable. If you need to go to school or get some additional training to do a particular job, then consider if it’s something you can get funding for. As part of the job-hunting process, you’ll also need to craft a resume that adequately reflects your skills and abilities as a potential employee. If you’re applying for a job that would benefit from your military experience, then you’ll need to verify that experience.
Assess Your Insurance Policies
To know how much life insurance coverage you need, this calculator from the US Department of Veteran Affairs can help you determine the amount of life insurance you would need to have to cover the expenses you’d leave behind in the event of your passing. To successfully use the calculator you’ll need to have accurate figures for your financial obligations, net income as well as your current assets. When you have a figure, you can do some research to find the best life insurance policy for you.
With funeral costs ranging from $6,000 to $10,000, you should at least have final expense insurance to pay for your funeral if you don’t purchase life insurance. Where health insurance is concerned, you should definitely explore your potential policies as a veteran. Auto insurance rates can get expensive with premiums averaging around $70 a month in California. But you can save because many insurers provide veteran discounts and can also lower your premiums if you’re a safe driver and have an anti-theft device in your vehicle.
Take Advantage of Other Benefits
There is a long list of stores that offer discounts to veterans and you should get to know them. Stores like Meineke offer a discount on auto parts, while Verizon offers a discount on your monthly bills (15 percent) and accessories (25 percent). Retail stores like Walgreens and Foot Locker also offer discounts to veterans. You should also get to know what benefits you may qualify for from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Returning to civilian life can be a challenging transition for veterans. While it’s recommended that you start your financial planning before leaving the military, it’s never too late to get a handle on your finances so you can plan for the future.