Today we are featuring a piece by Brittany Fisher, who has guest written for the site in the past. Her tips today reflect a collection of resources helpful to veterans transitioning as they tackle the financial challenges often associated with transitioning.
Are you in the process of transitioning? Many newly discharged veterans find adjusting to life after their military service difficult, and financial issues are among the most important challenges It gets more complicated without a financial plan in place. If you are a veteran recently discharged from the military, here are some financial tips to help you transition to civilian life.
Consider Getting a College Degree
Going back to school boosts your earning power and gives you access to more job opportunities. Several degree programs allow you to learn at your own pace, so you don’t have to sacrifice time working or caring for your family. If you love academics, you can turn to an online university to earn your teacher certification and obtain your teaching license.
As we’ve discussed before, you can also take advantage of the Post-911 GI Bill. It lets you receive up to 36 months of tuition at the cost of public state institutions. You receive funding for housing, books, and supplies if you’re eligible. Several programs and diplomas are available in the scheme, and you get unrestricted access to choose your preferred courses. You will be required to submit transcripts, complete a background check, and pass entrance exams and skills tests.
Apply For a Veterans Affairs Mortgage
Buying a home when transitioning into civilian life strains your finances. Fortunately, you don’t need to pay the lump sum or typical 20% down payment out of your pocket. Getting a VA loan gives you access to a loan with lower interest rates and no down payments. This option is great as you seek housing after transitioning. However, it may be difficult to finance a home during a career change.
Consider Getting Financial Assistance for Your Children’s Education
You are eligible to transfer your GI Bill education benefits to your children after at least six years of service. If you’ve completed your service or don’t meet the eligibility requirements, there is financial assistance available to help. Financial assistance can come in the form of scholarships and interest-free loans.
Since you had access to allowances and incentives during your time in service, adjusting to civilian life requires financial changes. You’ll need to review your expenses to determine how much you spend and can save. Examine your current monthly and daily expenses for spending areas and excesses that need reduction.
Have a Budget
One area to perform a financial review is your auto insurance policy. Take out the coverage and policies you don’t need. If you need to renew your auto insurance, compare different insurance companies before buying policies. Other areas include online subscriptions you don’t need and insurance for assets you no longer use or own. Ask about military veteran discounts when searching for insurance policies to buy to get price slashes and better sales deals.
Start a Savings Fund
55% of veterans are unprepared for a financial emergency, so having a savings fund is helpful. Starting a savings fund helps you feel secure and prepared for emergencies. Consider keeping at least six months’ expenses in a premium savings account. If you need more flexibility, decide on a daily, weekly, or monthly savings amount to keep in your emergency fund. Set up the funds to transfer automatically into your savings account every month.
Get Financial Clarity Today
Transitioning can be difficult and getting the right information can be incredibly helpful as you navigate the process. Resources at Military Money Matters can help steer you in the right direction.
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