Financial health is as important as mental and physical health and should be allotted the same time and effort to improve it. Leaving the military means leaving behind a steady paycheck, a housing allowance and incredibly affordable health insurance.
Without a solid plan on how to get or stay financially fit after leaving the military, veteran families can face a mountain of problems.
A 2019 report from the Pew Research Center said approximately 35% of new veterans find it difficult to pay their bills. With 200,000 service members leaving each year, many veterans can benefit from a few tips on getting -- and staying -- financially fit.
Reevaluate your financial plan.
When you leave the military, your financial situation will also change. It may end up improving, but it will take some work. As in any other season of life change, you should start by reevaluating your budget. Consider all the things in life that have financially changed, research costs and benefits, and develop a new financial plan.
Sign up for financial wellness counseling.
Financial counseling is a great option if you find the prospect of making a financial plan overwhelming or if you have a complicated lifestyle that makes a budget challenging. Many nonprofits provide debt counseling, debt management and student loan counseling.
Keep learning by taking classes, reading and listening.
Changes and improvements are constant in the financial world, so you must keep up with them. Whatever your preference for learning -- webinars, online training courses, podcasts, books or blogs -- there is something for everyone. And don't discount the free resources designed to aid you in this learning process.
Take advantage of free apps.
There's an app for everything, and financial planning is no exception. The number of apps for budgeting, investing and learning about financial planning can be overwhelming. Remember, the best app is the one you'll use. Take a look at what is available and what works well for you and your family, and use that one. If an app can serve more than one purpose in your financial planning goals, even better.
Help your family members learn about financial wellness.
A financially solid legacy is a great gift to leave for future generations. While learning about the steps to take, your children and family members can join you. Age-appropriate learning opportunities present financial literacy in a fun and engaging way. Financial wellness is one of the best gifts you can give your family.
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