Ok so Mr. M is 4 months from beginning his transition leave and the job hunts, house hunts and school hunts have begun. Of course it is our luck that there is now a federal hiring freeze in effect but that's ok because we have a backup plan. For all you military spouses that are unaware of where to even begin looking for jobs for your spouse when they decide to retire or ets let me give you a little help. Always look for federal jobs available because your spouse's experience and training will work best with these jobs. If you ever have any questions about how his/her training will turn into civilian experience there are a ton of tools available with military.com.
As the months have seemed to fly by for us and our girls are moving along with their schools and extra curricular activities we have learned so much about benefits, retirement, entitlements and most of all learning how to manage it all on our own. Of course their is ACAP to help the soldiers out but the limited information that they will give you is not going to cut it. You need to become your own advocate and the old saying "it's not what you know it's who you know" is going to make a huge difference in the way you end up working your retirement program. If you depend on your resume to find you a job you will more than likely retire from the military without one. Enlist as many friends and contacts as you have made in the service to help you out. Start asking friends, family and anyone who will listen just what you are looking for. The biggest thing to realize is when you switch to the civilian world you need to understand what you are making now and how that will translate into a civilian pay system. Don't forget to add in BAH, BAS and medical into the salary you are looking for.
When you retire you will choose so many options and all of them will cost you money. Your retirement check will go down as you add on Tricare, Dental, SBP and if you choose VGLI. Thankfully I had already done my homework on all of these and all I had to do was update the rates and fees as they updated at end of fiscal year this year. Now I have a more accurate idea of how much we will need to continue making what we are now.
If your husband has the GI bill he will need to check with them in advance to find out his options. We were going to transfer the benefit to your girls but have since found out we would have had to make that choice 4 years ago or give the Army 3 more years of service to do it. Well with Mr. M determined to get out as soon as possible we let it go. It hurt don't get me wrong and I was so furious that noone had told us about the whole option but in the end it is working to our advantage. Mr. M is going to use his GI bill and finish his education so that he can eventually move up in his next job and reap the benefits. Don't be scared to ask questions! As I said before YOU are your best advocate in your life.
So with the applications being sent out, Mr. M completing a much put off surgery and myself looking forward to a biopsy and upcoming surgery we are well on our way to being civilians soon. As scarey as it seemed a few months ago right now I am more excited than I have ever been.
Next blog I will tell you all about starting travel agent courses, thyroid issues and the search for the perfect retirement gift for a man who has made my life amazing.