If you’re getting ready to retire (or are even a few years away), let’s talk about your retirement benefits and finances. There is no way to be better prepared for retirement than to examine your current lifestyle and prepare yourself for the changes of retiring from the Marine Corps.

How much is your rent or mortgage? Are you buying a house or making another large purchase? How much are you spending monthly on other expenses such as your phone bill, internet, groceries, etc.? Establishing even the basics when it comes to budgeting will dramatically help with your post-retirement lifestyle.

If you’re planning to work after retiring from the Marine Corps, have you secured your job or determined what you want to do? If you are still trying to determine what you want to do next, contact the Transition Readiness Program on your installation. They are a key resource in finding positions that apply to your MOS, if you choose, along with other opportunities. It’s always a good idea to contact the Marine for Life (M4L) program and begin networking before you get out of the Marine Corps. The M4L program is designed to connect transitioning Marines and their family members to education resources, employment opportunities, and other Veterans services.

Another piece of the retirement puzzle is understanding your earnings. Knowing what you’ll be getting monthly is crucial to setting yourself up well in your retirement years. One important part is knowing your Social Security benefits. Be sure to set up your account through mysocialsecurity.gov. Through your account, you can verify and validate your earnings record from the comfort and convenience of your home every year. When the time comes to start receiving benefits, you and your loved ones will know that you acted responsibly and planned well.

Want to know more about planning your retirement income? Contact your Command Financial Specialist (CFS) or installation Personal Financial Manager (PFM).