Financial Planning Priorities for Retiring and Retired Military Members

“Watch your 6” and “keep your head on swivel”. Situational awareness is essential for success for both active duty and retired military members. Retiring from the military is a significant life transition that demands careful financial planning to secure a comfortable future. Military members can take specific steps to enjoy their retirement with confidence.

Here are some essential financial planning priorities:

1. Create a retirement budget: Start by establishing a budget that outlines expected income, expenses, and financial goals. Consider potential changes in housing, healthcare, and lifestyle to ensure your budget aligns with your plans.

2. Maximize retirement benefits: Make the most of military retirement benefits including the Thrift Savings Plan nd any pension or disability payments you may be entitled to. Consult with a financial advisor to optimize your investment choices.

3. Health Insurance: Understand your options for healthcare after retirement. The military offers Tricare for life; however, it is crucial to know how it works and if supplemental insurance is needed.

4. Emergency Fund / Debt Management: Build and maintain an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Prioritize paying off high interest debts like credit cards and personal loans.

5. Second Career or Hobbies: Many military retirees find satisfaction, purpose, and additional income by pursuing second careers, or turning their hobbies into side businesses.

6. Estate Planning: Draft or update your will and make health care directives to be confident your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

7. Seek Professional Guidance: Consult with a Certified Financial Planner® or other qualified financial professional with experience working with military members in retirement to design a personalized plan.

Retiring from the military offers exciting, yet challenging opportunities. Prioritizing these financial planning steps while working with a qualified professional can assist military members in enjoying a comfortable and more secure retirement.

Article Courtesy: Arnie Pechler Sr Sage Financial Planning. Bluffton, SC (843) 422-4524