Be a Part of the Military Transition Conversation

Transitions can be difficult. As a military spouse for one, two or three decades you’ve certainly lived through more than your fair share of them. And for that, all of us here at USAA would like to tip our caps to you as you embark on what could be the most challenging of the many transitions you’ve faced.

It can be tempting to view your family’s departure from military life as a finish line, “whew me made it!” And while that’s easy to understand, it’s important to recognize the new beginning it also represents. A smooth start might not guarantee decades of goodness, but it certainly won’t hurt positioning you and your service member for success.

One way to help achieve that silky smooth transition is to tackle it – like so many other things you have – as a team.

Here are five phrases to consider as you develop your personal talking points for the all -important transition conversation.

  1. Yes, I’d like to attend.” I know. There is a lot going on. Making time to attend the various transition classes may seem a waste. My spouse is there, why do I need to be? From my experience, I would say that two sets of ears are better than one. Furthermore, there will likely be topics or discussions that would have your spouse’s eyes glazing over that would have you on the edge of your seat and brimming with questions. Make the time to tackle these sessions as a team.

  2. Maybe we should both sign up.” From Hiring our Heroes fellowships to certifications acquired through the Institute for Veterans & Military Families’ Onward to Opportunity program, it’s not just for the service member. A lot of the fantastic resources built to help service members successfully transition to civilian life are available to you as well. Take advantage. I can’t speak to goals at other companies, but I know here at USAA our push is to hire more Veterans AND military spouses. While there may have been a time when being a military spouse was a liability, not an asset. That time is not today.

  3. Who do we know?” I’m willing to bet a lot of your friends have made the move out of the military over the years. They can provide a treasure trove of tips, tricks and pitfalls to avoid. Don’t let your personal contact list limit your networking. Take advantage of programs like Veterati and American Corporate Partners to connect with people in organizations that interest you.

  4. Let’s Talk Money.” Okay, I know this doesn’t get everyone as fired up as it does me, but there’s a lot to consider. From the very fundamental and foundational changes to your budget to a whole new world of compensation components to consider, this is big. You’ll have to make decisions in areas where there weren’t any before, e.g., how much group life insurance do we need, which disability program should we sign up for? My point? Beyond potential earnings, money should be a definite conversation point.

  5. What’s next?” Beyond all the details and yes, angst and uncertainty, the real beauty is for you and your family to embrace a new lifestyle. Is it better? Who knows, but it is different and comes with its own unique set of perks.

My Army Brat, Army Wife, Army Mom couldn’t believe she would enjoy being in one place for decades. We laughed about it the other night as we hit happy hour with friends we’ve been doing it with for 20+ years.


On behalf of the 37,000 plus employees here at USAA, good luck as you make your transition!


This material is for informational purposes. Consider your own financial circumstances carefully before making a decision and consult with your tax, legal or estate planning professional.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.  

USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates.

No Department of Defense or government agency endorsement.

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