The civilian world requires you handle your finances in a different way than you have while in the Marine Corps. Most things are not covered or taken care of for you. These things you will have to do for yourself. Start considering now all that you need to take on in order to make the transition to civilian life easier for you and your family.
Here are six tips to consider when preparing for a civilian transition.
1. Disability Insurance: If applicable, research supplemental insurance to your TRICARE benefits.
2. Medical and Dental Insurance: Obtain at least two copies of your TRICARE benefits. You will use this to compare it with your new insurance that you get through your employer.
3. Plan a Civilian Budget: Assess all civilian expenses that will be required of you to pay. Evaluate all sources of income and balance the two to make sure you can cover your expenses. If not, consider ways to make more money.
4. Retirement Plan: Have a couple of copies made so that you can compare it to your civilian employer’s offerings. If you don’t have a retirement plan, now is as good a time as any to get one.
5. Life Insurance: There are a couple of choices here. You can switch from SGLI to VGLI or opt for a civilian life insurance plan.
6. DD-214: Your DD-214 is going to be necessary for many things, one of which is applying for jobs where veteran’s preference exists. It can be difficult to obtain a copy so make sure that you make several copies and store them in a couple of different places so that you will always have them. Many employers will require them as proof of service.
There you have it. The better prepared you can be the easier your transition to civilian life will be. These details aren’t exactly what anyone wants to bother with but they are necessary. The sooner you secure these details, the quicker you can move on to other things that require your attention. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring these details, especially when it comes to medical and dental insurance. In fact, all of these tips should be considered necessary and given the attention they deserve. No one knows when they may fall ill so protecting yourself and your family should be your first priority.
Source: Personal experience