Editor’s Note: A adaptation of this commodity originally appeared on RallyPoint.
I retired on Sept. 1, 2014. In the two years that led up to that date, I begin that there were abounding things that I had alone to adapt for, and yet, I additionally begin several communities that provided much-needed abutment so that my alteration was not as bad as it could accept been. My retirement could accept been better, and I could consistently accept been bigger prepared, but I apperceive now that no bulk of alertness will advance to a absolute retirement.
Retirement for any aggressive affiliate is a scary, frustrating, and yet animating process.
We are afraid because we are basically demography 20 years (26 in my case) and throwing it away. Aggregate we’ve done, all the inferior servicemen and women we’ve helped, mentored, chastised, and alike acclimatized or punished; all the training, the sweating, the bleeding, and the affliction — done. No added accent about a soldier who busted up and bootless a biologic test. No added annoying about the assurance of your new guys on the range. No added continued hours spent in the shop, aggravating to achieve a assignment or mission.
Your abilities are no best needed; in fact, they apparently don’t alike administer to what you’ll charge to do for your noncombatant life. Alike if those abilities do apply, you won’t be application them in the aforementioned capacity. Again you can’t acquisition a job. You can’t construe your aggressive abilities or analogue into noncombatant lingo. Lastly, you’re planning, saving, acquisitive you’ll accept abundant money to accomplish it six months after a job if it comes to that.
Retirement is arresting because there is so much, too abundant that needs to be done afore you retire. There’s training, alteration classes, research, job search, resume preparation, attractive for a home area you plan to alive post-retirement (if you don’t already accept one). The account is endless.
Then you alpha your out processing. You accept to bright the axial affair facility. You accept to bright your unit. Your assemblage won’t let you bright until you about-face in your “special ops” accessory (my situation) and get a announcement adage you’ve done so. You accept to bright your duke receipts, which you can’t bright column until you’ve austere the unit. All this needs to be done afore you hit terminal leave. It never seems to end.
You accept to go to the VA. You accept to decide: Do you book a affliction claim? What can you expect? How does this all tie in? The adumbrative won’t admonition you. They don’t care. They accomplish you book aing to 1,000 pages of medical records, distinct sided, and about-face them in. They absorb weeks reviewing them. Then, there are the acutely amaranthine concrete and medical appointments. After that’s all done, you’re told it’ll booty six to twelve months afore your affirmation is approved.
Finally, it’s exhilarating. Friends ambition you well. You attending advanced to not accepting to get up at 5:30 am to go run. You don’t accept to anguish about mission anymore. Your mission is to accomplishment accepting accessible for retirement. Usually, the administrator leaves you alone; he doesn’t appetite to see you. After all, you’re a chief guy (or gal) and should apperceive what you charge to do — go do it.
The aftermost affair I abstruse about retirement: You can’t adapt for it, at least, not completely. You try to, and you do aggregate you can, but still there are things that blooper through the cracks. Aloof do the best you can.
You appetite my advice?
On pay. When you get accessible to retire, accomplish abiding you accept how abundant your pay will change. Alpha extenuative at atomic a year out. You charge to accept at atomic six months of your accepted absolute pays, including allowances for abode and food, and any added compensations that you’ve been relying on. Remember, 50% of your abject pay is absolutely alone about 35% of your absolute pays.
On VA disability. If you’re activity to book a VA advantage claim, alpha documenting all medical issues at atomic three or four years out, if you haven’t been already. Analysis your problems at the VA’s website. Get a astute appearance there of what you can apprehend for affliction compensation. Be able to delay up to a year for it to bang in.
On abilities and education. Alpha advice aggressive abilities into noncombatant skills. Booty courses that will admonition you acquisition a job, alike if you don’t plan on application them. If you don’t accept at atomic a bachelor’s degree, get one afore you retire or use your G.I. Bill to get it anon afterward. No, a amount isn’t everything. You don’t charge it for a job, alike for a acceptable job, but if you accept a degree, your anniversary pay at that new job will be at atomic a few admirable more, and a amount does accomplish it easier to get that job.
On resumes. Accomplish a adept resume with everything, and again clip it bottomward into “job specific” resumes tailored to anniversary job you administer for. Accept someone, finer several people, attending at your resumes and drudge them to pieces. Also, get at atomic one or two agencies to analysis it; there are several that will do a chargeless analysis for vets. Don’t balloon to accommodate your advance acquaintance as well. If you accept a aegis clearance, accomplish abiding you account it on the aboriginal band of your resume.
On the job search. Abide a resume accurately tailored to the job you are applying for. If you administer for a altered job, abide addition resume tailored to that specific job. If you are angry bottomward for the position, see if you can get acknowledgment on why. Analysis your resume, and see if there’s article that maybe triggered a abrogating response. Don’t quit. Keep searching, alike if you get angry bottomward several times. Use any of the job chase agencies that you anticipate can help. I listed my resume on ClearanceJobs.com, Monster.com, USAJobs.com, and about two or three added sites. The VFW, American Legion, and abounding added organizations accept chargeless job adjustment and resume analysis services. Use them.
Those are aloof a few things you charge to do, and while I can’t account everything, these are absolutely the best important.
Oh, there is one added thing: Enjoy retirement.
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