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Are you or your spouse “career” military? Are you planning on doing that 20 years so that you can bank that nice military pension—especially before the fancy new blended retirement system completely takes over?
Then it’s time you had a wake-up call about what it is you are creating for yourself!
By the time most military retire and get their pension, they’re so exhausted from a career of military service that they don’t have the awareness to understand the true value of this benefit.
That’s actually the problem: the military pension is touted as a benefit, yet another incentive the military throws at you to get you to stay. So why not use it properly and to your TRUE advantage? Why not add some serious INTENTION to this benefit?
You see, a military pension isn’t just a nice little side income that you get monthly until you die. It’s an ASSET that you’ve earned in service to our great nation: an asset that both you and your family has sacrificed for. In fact, it’s a tremendous asset with significant value.
For the average retiring officer (let’s say an O5),this military pension amount is valued at well over a million dollars!!! Did you know that?
I bet you didn’t think of it that way. And right there, my friends, is the opportunity cost—the cost of not thinking intentionally about the opportunity you’ve created for yourself. You are at risk of being okay with a mere side income to supplement your new job.
If you’re reading this and thinking, ”Yeah, That’s how I was thinking of my pension," then you need to keep reading because what I have to tell you is extremely important. And yet most military get little more than a few PowerPoint briefings about how this works. Maybe they mention it to their spouse. Then they go on their merry way to the inevitable job fair.
Sounds like lack of preparation to me.
Discovering how your pension can work for you isn’t hard. In fact, we developed a proprietary system to not only help you understand your true value, but to significantly enhance how you can use this powerful asset to continue your life’s mission.
After speaking with thousands of veterans and active duty, here are the issues we’ve discovered that most military face.
They say, “Well, if I do another three years, I’ll get a little more pension.” What they mean is, “I have no idea what I want to do next. Transition seems hard.” They never truly understand their military pension or the proper context for how it should be used. Without this context, they don’t value it properly. If they don’t value it, they don’t truly own it. And without ownership, they inherently won’t care about it.
The problem becomes compounded when military members accept whatever a senior officer, personal assistant, or PowerPoint brief says as gospel. While these things are well-intended to help them properly prepare for their military retirement, they are nothing more than one-size-fits-all descriptions of the government programs. They don’t offer any information about what these government programs can really do for you.
And that’s important, because this isn’t about the military anymore. It’s about YOU! What comes next for you?
Once you leave the military, all the comforts are gone. You can’t turn to the guy next to you who has a similar career MOS, the same time in service, the same rank, etc. and compare. That structure no longer exists. It’s up to you to know what you are doing. YOU must take responsibility for your future. No amount of trips to the GS employee (who just transitioned himself, no offense) at the separation and military retirement office is going to answer the questions you should have but didn’t know to have asked.
Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetLife/US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country. He's the Rosie Network's #1 Fan and a passionate supporter of the Veterans Cannabis Project.