Post-Retirement Tips For Navy Veterans
Retirement is on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean you must hang up your sea legs for good. Now is your time to set sail on new adventures and explore all that life has to offer. From hitting the links and perfecting your swing to volunteering in your community or picking up a new hobby, there are several ways to stay active and engaged post-retirement.
So, swap your uniform for a Hawaiian shirt and let the good times roll. Retirement is your chance to chart your course. And we really want to see where the wind takes you. But before you set off, here are a few post-retirement tips to help you adjust to civilian life.
Take advantage of your VA benefits
Navy veterans are at the highest risk of developing a life-threatening condition called mesothelioma. The condition is a result of asbestos exposure, a mineral that was extensively used in military-grade equipment. However, you can receive benefits through the Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits include compensation for medical expenses, disability benefits, and access to VA healthcare services. Take some time to review the available benefits and create a plan for how you’ll use them.
If you’re unsure where to start, ask for help from a colleague or visit online resources for retired and soon-to-retire navy personnel. You’ll have to complete and submit your file to VA benefit agents in order to receive medical assistance and payouts.
Strengthen your support network
While focusing on yourself after retirement is important, don’t forget to nurture your relationships with family and friends. Maintaining a strong support network can be invaluable when tackling new challenges. Having a trusted source of support and advice will help you adjust to civilian life.
Take some time to reconnect with friends and family members, or invest in creating a new circle of friends. Join a local gym or a meetup group. You can also attend a class or networking event to expand your connections. You’ll be surprised how quickly your circle of friends will grow.
Explore your retirement options
You have many different options when it comes to retirement. Make sure to explore your options and do thorough research before making any decisions. Consider the pros and cons of retirement accounts, pension plans, and social security. Think about how you’ll use your military pension and which retirement plans are best for you. A financial planner or accountant can help you with the tax implications of each option.
And when it comes to investing, diversify your portfolio and consider how much risk you’re comfortable taking. For instance, if you’re a conservative investor, focus on low-risk investments like bonds or certificates of deposit.
Live within your means
Now is the wrong time to get under the cumbersome burden of debt. Consider all your income sources and create a budget that works for you. Living within your means will ensure you have the funds to cover unexpected expenses. Stick to your budget and practice mindful spending to ensure you don’t go overboard with any purchases.
It means finding a retirement home in an area with a low cost of living or downsizing your current home in favor of something more affordable. Establish an emergency fund with enough money to cover several months. And if you’re wondering how to stretch your retirement funds, try taking on a part-time job or using money-saving apps and websites.
Keep up with your health
The biggest asset you have now is your health. Over the years, you’ve endured a lot of physical and mental stress. Now it’s time to focus on caring for yourself and maintaining your health. Stay physically active, eat a balanced diet, and get enough rest.
Your diet must include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fruits and vegetables. Consider supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals if necessary.
Make sure to prioritize self-care and mental health. Discuss your condition with a mental health professional if you feel overwhelmed by the transition. Look into positive psychology techniques and mindfulness activities like yoga or meditation to help you feel more relaxed and in control.
Stay updated on your vaccinations
You have been exposed to many different environments during your service. And so, you must catch up on your vaccinations. It’ll protect you from potential diseases such as the flu or measles. Also, maintain a record of your vaccination history and schedule regular check-ups to ensure you are up-to-date on all your immunizations.
Here’s a list of certain vaccinations that you must get after returning from active duty:
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Hepatitis A and B
Talk to your doctor about which immunizations you need and when is the best time for you to get them.
Take out time to travel
The key to enjoying your retirement is to make the most of your time. One ideal way to do this is by traveling. After years of service, you deserve a vacation. Plan trips to reconnect with family, explore new cultures, and recharge your batteries. Look into veteran-friendly travel programs that provide discounts or other benefits. Consider joining a service organization like the American Legion for additional travel discounts.
Traveling can be a great way to stay active, meet new people, and explore different parts of the world. Some epic destinations include the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, and the Great Barrier Reef. Take advantage of the many national parks across the United States and explore the best hiking trails in the country.
Explore new opportunities
The navy has likely given you a wealth of experience and knowledge. So, put those skills and experiences to good use. Consider taking on a volunteer role, becoming an entrepreneur, or working in the public sector. You can also return to school and further your education or switch your career path altogether. It’ll help you stay engaged and teach you new skills. Plus, when the retirement funds start to run low, you’ll have a steady source of income.
But make sure you choose something that’ll bring you joy and fulfillment. Take your time to explore different paths before committing to one. You don’t want any added stress in your retirement years.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the transition into retirement can be difficult. But with some planning and research, you can make the most of it. So if you’re a Navy veteran looking for post-retirement tips, use the advice above to ensure your golden years are as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Keep your family and friends close, your health in its prime, and explore all of the new opportunities that come with retirement.