U.S Military Retirement: What to Expect

Retirement is a reward for years of hard work, and those looking forward to military retirement have certainly earned the right to do so. After all, these people have spent years of their lives protecting others, so it is only right that they have their retirement years to themselves. However, before embarking on an employment-free life, those applying for military retirement have to consider not only their financial future, but their social future.

When one retires, it is customary for the place of work to acknowledge their retirement by giving the retiree some sort of parting gift. Military retirement is usually accompanied by a gift of the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag is automatically given to those soldiers who have returned from active duty in such places as Iraq, and now wish to retire. The U.S. flag is also given to soldiers seeking military retirement that have been on reserve duty for 20 years, and have reached the age of at least 60.

Military Retirement Means Having to Adjust to a New Life

Life in the military means having to live a life of rules. Those in the military must adhere to strict guidelines on a daily basis. Military retirement is a welcome change for those who felt overwhelmed by the precision of every task assigned to them, but for others, military retirement means having to adjust to a far less structured way of life. Those who thrive on structure may not know what to do with themselves under their new liberated conditions.

For those that anticipate having a difficult time adjusting to military retirement, there are several options. The military holds retirement meetings in which potential retirees and their families are provided with information on how to prepare both financially and emotionally for military retirement. If these meetings are only marginally helpful, the retiree can also visit retirement counselors, who place an emphasis on helping the retiree adjust to civilian life.

Adjusting to civilian life after military retirement seems like it would be an easy task, but one must remember that for some, they have spent more than half of their lives in the military, and cannot remember what life was like before they entered the service. Many of these people lived on military bases for years, and leaving them for an apartment or a house in the suburbs can understandably be a bit unnerving. In situations such as these, it is important for the retiree to have a solid family life or a group of friends that are willing to help the retiree adjust to his or her new surroundings.

Military retirement can mean the end of one way of life, but also the opportunity for a new and promising one. The retiree will now have time to relax and pursue hobbies that were unable to be pursued before. Most importantly, the retiree will enter retirement with the knowledge that they served their country while making a difference in the lives of others.


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