Let’s just say it.
Separating from the military is hard and can be overwhelming. And retiring, maybe even more so.
First there are the military Transition Requirements and the base/unit requirements to out-process.
On top of that, you have a job to think about, your family, your health, and you are still dealing with every day work and life issues.
It’s a lot of stuff.
Having just gone through the process, let me help you out by giving my perspective and the fruits of my research. And let me caveat it all with, please tell me if I’m wrong of if you have anything to add. All I’m trying to do here is share info.
I’ve broken down the separation process into seven categories, in no particular order:
- Transition Requirements – all the military requirements for separation
- Health – separation/retirement physicals, records, VA disability assessment programs (BDD and quickstart), wounded warrior program
- Education – GI Bill, free college entry tests, free CLEP tests, certification, military skills to civilian skills
- Finances – saving for separation, budget, post service income requirements, financial counseling, final pay details, selling leave, pay during terminal leave, TSP options
- Employment – resume, jobs fairs, searching for jobs, applying for jobs, interviews, networking
- Relocation – home searching, location research, VA loan eligibility, know how far military will send you, HHG plan, pet transport plan
- Estate Planning – know death benefits, will, POA, SBP, SGLI, VGLI Life Insurance
Over the next couple weeks, I’ll start addressing these issues. I’ll talk about my specific situation in dealing with them and any specific information that my peers had during their separation. I’ll also provide links for further information and research, and I’ll start forming a checklist on this web-site for you to use with a timeline.
My next post will quickly cover your Transition Requirements. I”ll be thorough, but brief, because you really have to go to your transition center and get the information from the experts. However, there are some important time hacks you need to meet.