A US Military Loan Can Help You Hold On to Your Savings

Whether you’re discharged early, or whether you put 80 years in and retire as a 17 star general at the age of 98, retirement planning and money management is crucial. Sadly, no one is stepping up to offer a 1-2-3 guide on how exactly to make the transition from military life to civilian life. So you need to understand not only the basics of money management, but you need to understand the unique challenges that face military service personnel. That’s the only way you can stay ahead of the curve.

Officer's Hat with Decor

Many aspects of military life revolve around mobility: relocation, deployments, even enlistment status. And, as hard as it is, the world doesn’t slow down for you. Managing your finances is just as vital and immediate a concern for you as it is for Joe Average Civilian.

While the concerns are the same across the board, active duty personnel can take advantage of US military loans when the times call for it. These loans are available to all active duty personnel and feature low interest repayments. This will keep you from having to dip into your retirement savings, and also from having to pay the excessive tax and interest penalties that come with such a withdrawal. These penalties don’t help you transition into civilian life, so it’s best to avoid them any way you can.

Some service members retire after serving only 10 or 20 years, but only a few can afford early retirement. Most that try to go this route end up not qualifying for a military pension, mainly because there isn’t as much room for advancement as there used to be, and so trying to do it in less time is not quite so possible as it once was. So you’ll need to have a solid plan for transitioning into the civilian workforce some day.

Along the way, pursue as much education as possible through tuition assistance programs. These programs help you get promoted and helps you find a job down the road. Use them to their fullest – don’t get sucked into the college party culture, and don’t overspend on your resulting higher salary. Also, make sure that the time and energy you spend in class goes towards translating your military expertise into job market expertise. As your skills carry over into the outside world, your financials, including pay and investments, will carry over as well.

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