Are you ready to move on from the military? Before you do, you’ll want to ensure that your finances are in order. Planning for financial stability can make this transition much less stressful. So, before you separate from active duty, be sure to ask yourself these important questions.
Do You Need Life Insurance?
This question can be critical for young veterans. Regardless of whether you have a family, life insurance can provide a financial buffer for loved ones and friends in the event that you should unexpectedly pass away. In addition to life insurance, understanding funeral planning costs should be another step in determining how much life insurance you need to provide financial peace of mind. Adding burial insurance to your life insurance planning can ensure that those funeral costs are covered. That way, your dependents and loved ones won’t face more financial stress during an already difficult emotional experience.
Should You Buy a New Home?
If you have a new job lined up after you leave the service, you may wonder whether this is a good time to invest in a new home for your family. Buying a home — especially if this is your first real estate purchase — can be a complex financial process, so you need to make sure that you are fully prepared for any added stress. You also need to make sure that your finances are in good enough shape to make buying a home a smart financial move during your transition to civilian life. For example, inspecting your credit report before you apply for a home loan can prevent inaccurate information from preventing you from getting the best interest rate on your new home loan. If you qualify for VA benefits, you should also look into VA home loans, which tend to come with lower interest rates and offer approvals with minimal or no down payment. If you’re a veteran looking for an affordable mortgage, be sure to connect with Mortgages for America!
Do You Qualify for VA Benefits?
As you can already see, the VA can provide several financial incentives for veterans, but you have to qualify for benefits to take advantage of these programs. Different VA benefit programs carry different requirements, but how long you served on active duty and whether or not you are affected by a service-related illness or disability can impact your standing for most VA benefits. It can be confusing to figure out which benefits apply to your separation but you may be able to figure out this information during required TAP courses. Also known as the Transition Assistance Program, the congressionally-mandated programs will provide information on accessing applicable VA benefits. In addition to outlining your VA benefits, TAP courses can also provide valuable resources that can help you secure post-service employment and income.
Should You Pay Off All of Your Debts?
Losing a steady source of income can be stressful during any major career or life transition, but that stress can feel even more intense for those who are separating from an active duty military career. Because in addition to a reliable source of income, you may also be losing out on other financial perks of service, like BAH and service-related tax breaks. So, as you prepare to leave the military, you may start wondering whether paying down your current debts is a solid financial decision. Answering that question can actually be more complicated than you think, especially since having some debt can actually provide a boost to your credit score. If you want to pay down debt to enhance your credit score, you should focus on high-interest credit cards and loans, unless you will be out of work for a while and need to pay off debts for financial stability.
Should You Go Back to School?
Now that you’re moving on from the military, you’ll likely be wondering about next career steps. While your experience in the military can be invaluable for all sorts of work, you may consider going back to school and earning a degree. There are tons of options available whether you’re interested in business, IT, or teaching. For example, if you’re interested in IT, you could earn your master’s online and become an expert in cybersecurity, data analytics, or information technology. An online degree allows you to learn at a pace that works for your needs, which means you can still work full-time while getting your degree.
After a career in the military, you deserve some time to relax and enjoy your life. So don’t let financial stress and pressure get in the way of that. Create a plan that will keep your finances stable as your transition into civilian life, so that you can save stress for you and your family.
Are you a veteran interested in purchasing your first home? Connect with Mortgages for America for the best and most affordable mortgage programs! Call 888-320-7888 or submit this form.