Active Duty Retirement Planning Checklist
The following checklist and online resources are designed to help you make a successful transition
24-12 Months to Retirement
- Become a GI Bill and Tuition Assistance benefits expert.
- Begin degree selection and college selection process - if planning to go to college.
- Find ways to get college credit for your military experience.
- Make an appointment with your local Transition Counselor.
- Begin career exploration.
- Organize finances to prepare for civilian life.
- Determine post-military income needs.
- Research your SBP options.
- Research job potential, affordability and community - review "USAA and Military.com's Best Places."
- Review your Pre-Separation Counseling Checklist (DD 2648 or DD 2648-1).
- Attend a TAP Workshop.
- Find a mentor.
- Contact your Local ESO or Career Counselor to take a skill/interest assessment.
- Develop an Individual Transition Plan.
- Begin job search based on skill/interest assessment findings.
- Develop your personal/professional network.
- Begin CLEP exams to get your general education requirements (if you plan to go school).
- Get your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET).
- Research cost of living in your new location and plan accordingly.
- Learn about veteran's home loan benefits.
- Request "House Hunting" orders. (See Example Policy)
10-7 Months to Retirement
- Use the Military.com Skills Translator to begin developing a resume.
- Access your need for employment assistance programs.
- Begin writing your resume.
- Begin and Refine job search - use the Military.com Skills Translator to refine search.
- Arrange for house hold goods (HHG) transportation counseling.
- Schedule a physical.- Visit these sites to find the closest facility:
- Start applying for jobs.
- Learn to dress for your new civilian career.
- Continue to expand career networks.
- Consider transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependents. (This cannot be done after you leave the service). Learn more about transferring GI Bill benefits.
- Start attending career fairs.
- Review and update your will and other financial documents.
- Consider whether to take terminal leave or sell back your balance. (See DoD Policy)
- Schedule appointments for household goods shipment and storage.
- Contact your medical treatment facility to get copies of your health and dental records.
- Schedule final checkups for family members.
- Review your Retiree Dental options.
- Review your healthcare benefits after retirement.
3 Months to Retirement
- Visit Military.com Skills Translator.
- Consider job placement services.
- Continue your job search on Military.com.
- Use the Pre-Discharge program to determine your eligibility for VA Disability Compensation.
- Review finances to ensure you are financially ready for civilian life.
- Finalize Survivor Benefit Plan enrollment option decision.
- Compare SGLI to VGLI and review other Life Insurance Options.
- Familiarize yourself with future home town.
- Learn about Wounded Warrior Programs - Wounded Warrior Program. The following programs focus on help, healing, and hiring:
Less Than 3 Months to Retirement
- Finalize relocation appointments and review your benefits.
- Arrange for inspection of government housing.
- Contact your local Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator for help choosing your TRICARE plan.
- Select a new Primary Care Manager (if your new home is not near a Military Treatment Facility).
- Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Options.
- Get additional information, referrals and assistance. Your current medical condition might change your disability rating as well as your pay and compensation. The following counselors can provide assistance:
Stay on Top of Your Veteran Benefits
Military benefits are always changing. Keep up with everything from pay to health care by signing up for a free Military.com membership, which will send all the latest benefits straight to your inbox while giving you access to up-to-date pay charts and more.