Retirement Tips for Those Jumping Ship
Things to know before retiring
2. Don't be afraid to retire. About 5 years prior, you may feel like retirement is "the end." It's not. It's a beginning of something new that you are really well prepared for through your years in the military.
3. Tap Tap Tap. Goes at least a few years prior to your anticipate retirement, and then go again 10 months prior, because it is overwhelming your first class. After a few months following the class you will realize questions you have - write them down. Then at your second class you will be far more relaxed and ready to ask more. No excuses - go.
4. You take care of so many others throughout your career and often forget yourself or pay little attention. Well, you have everyone permission to take care of yourself too. And preparing for retirement and transition to civilian life is imperative!
5. Start your VA paperwork early - 6 months out. You may need a single side copy of your medical record for VFW/DAV (whoever you are using to review) so be ready. I was busy so I had Staples do it (making it one sided is quite tedious), it was worth the $120 to me. Once that was done, you can more easily do a copy of that one on your own.
6. Reach out to those you know who have recently retired. Have lunch or such and have them go over some things they learned.
7. Start planning a retirement ceremony at least a year out. Doesn't have to be completely planned a year out, but at least start talking about it. Don't pass this opportunity to share a good time, and thank those in your life who helped you reach this point. It is important for you, and them, to have this transition point - to turn the Navy over to the Sailors you have trained and led, and to embrace your civilian side.
8. Start talking with your PSD about 10 months out about what your final leave/transit etc., days will equal so you have time to take leave needed to balance out. I stayed on top of this each month so I knew I could take a week over the holidays and still have plenty for terminal to get settled.
9. Really Really Really try to take at least a month to yourself (and family) before going right into a civilian job if you are choosing to. Having some down time is so important to gather thoughts, shape your home life as needed and reward yourself for all of your work.
Click images below for more information from AH.mil.