The retirement paperwork is dropped and it’s official: One year and counting. Now what?
Or maybe you’ve got five or 10 years left on active duty and are a planner who wants to have checklists and goals and all your ducks in a row.
How do you get there?
A lot of patience, a lot of time, and a ton of research.
Launching yourself into the giant abyss that is the civilian world is a daunting task. From Tricare to buying a home to finances to where to live to finding a job…the list goes on.
Here are 10 websites to bookmark that will help you sort through the complexities – and the fun! – of military retirement:
1. Tricare.mil is your go-to for all things medical. While the coverage for retirees largely mirrors that for active duty families, Tricare has made a lot of changes this year and continues to evolve. It’s something you’ll definitely want to stay on top of as you make the transition.
2. Another thing you’ll want to follow are the changes to retiree dental insurance, and the addition of vision insurance. You can learn more at the Tricare/Federal Benefits website.
3. One great advantage of retirement is the potential opportunity to travel more and have some adventures. Poppin’ Smoke is a site run by retiree spouse Stephanie Montague, and has the lowdown on everything you need to know for space available travel on military aircraft, plus other modes of travel and living overseas.
4. Wondering what retirement income will look like? Check out the DFAS Retirement Calculator. Things like tax bracket and other factors will come into play, but the calculator will give you a pretty good basic estimate. For a more detailed look at retired pay, check out the app called “Military Retirement,” available for both Apple and IOS.
5. DFAS also has a section dedicated to an overview of retirement benefits and issues. The site includes a blog with recent updates, as well as a wealth of informative links.
6. The Military Guide is an awesome site for both active duty and those planning retirement. Author Doug Nordman breaks down finances, disability, travel, entrepreneurship and all kinds of other challenges and goals.
7. Perhaps the most complicated part of retirement is figuring out the myriad of Veteran’s Affairs benefits. All retirees qualify for some VA benefits. Some qualify for a longer list of things like disability payments and education benefits. The VA’s main benefits site is the starting point to explore what the VA has to offer. The section on applying for VA disability may especially be of particular interest to those in the throes of retirement planning.
8. Soldier for Life is an Army site that gives an introduction to retirement and transition. It’s a great overview and most of the information applies to the other branches of service as well. The site also has a retirement blog.
9. Military OneSource benefits were extended this year to include recent retirees and veterans for a certain amount of time after they leave the service. In addition to all of the organization’s counseling and other benefits, Military OneSource has a specific section just for retirement planning.
10. There are several Facebook groups aimed at retirees and spouses. Military Spouse Retirement Information is the best of them. The page has more than 10,000 members. No question is off-limits, and just about everything you can think about has been asked and answered, by people just like you.