This week my husband Mark and I were supposed to attend his first retirement briefings, a weeklong series of classes to prepare you for the future. The classes cover things like VA benefits, life insurance, healthcare, financial planning and job interview skills.
Due to a minor emergency, he can’t go so we have to reschedule. Which means we have to wait a little while to find the answers to some of our most pressing questions. Actually, in our case, I’m not even sure the experts at these briefings will have the answers. I’ve already posed questions to some of them and they are stumped.
Besides the unknowns and worries we have about our planned trip around the country – and all the questions I’ve already posted about that – there are many other logistics of military retirement in general that we need to work out.
The list of questions continues to grow:
- Where will we store our car for a year, and how much (if any) of those storage costs will the military pay?
- Where will we have our household goods shipped? Because we live overseas, we have to “declare” a home in the U.S. for the military to use for paperwork purposes. That place is where our household goods will be sent to storage. The military will pay for storage for a year, however if we have our stuff shipped somewhere else after that we could have to pay the transportation costs. So, for example, if we send our worldly possessions to Florida but then decide to settle down in Utah, we might have to pay out of pocket expenses to have everything moved there.
- The same rule applies to healthcare and dental insurance. We have to state where we will be living, and that is the region in which our healthcare premiums will be calculated, and where we must pick a primary care provider. Problem is, we won’t be living anywhere for a year or so.
- Can we have our unaccompanied baggage shipped to a different location? Unaccompanied baggage, or UAB, is a smaller shipment that the military sends separately to your next duty station. It generally goes by air and gets there quicker. The idea is to send the essentials in that shipment. We’d like to send everything we’ll need for the trailer in our UAB and receive it at the location where we plan to start our trip. No idea if that’s possible.
- How much money will we actually have each month? We have a ballpark figure, but don’t know exactly how much health and life insurance will cost. It will also likely be months before we have any answer on VA benefits for disability.
- Speaking of insurance, do we go with what the military offers, seek out private insurance, or do a combination?
- Should we have a retirement ceremony?
- How can we start looking for jobs when we don’t even know where we want to live?