Adjusting to civilian life after spending most of your life in the military can be challenging. It is a significant change to go through at that time of your life. For an easy retirement and transition to civilian life, you must start planning early on when you are still serving. To make the transition and adjusting convenient, here are six ways veterans can adapt to the retired lifestyle:
Keeping your health in check:
You will adjust to considerable lifestyle changes as soon as you leave the military. They will require a lot of thinking and acting, so you must stay fit.
Frequent checkups can boost your health and prepare you to overcome the challenges of fitting in with the civilian lifestyle. Even though life as a serving officer keeps you fit due to the extensive training, you can still be suffering from diseases because of that training and the environment you were exposed to. Around 30% of veterans suffer from mesothelioma due to excessive asbestos exposure. This disease most likely affects Navy veterans because asbestos is used throughout ships and shipyards.
Centers for mesothelioma, such as the Mesothelioma Veterans Center, aid a veteran in navigating their way through this disease. They provide treatments, doctors, and guidance to VA benefits that can help veterans in curing themselves of this disease.
Staying in touch with friends and family:
People in the military have different standards and values from civilians. There is a big difference in how your peers treat you in a civilian setting; you lose the authority and respect that the military would give you. It can be hard to swallow, but it helps to stay in touch with other veterans so you can still talk about it and cope with it together. This can help manage stress and anxiety as well.
After spending most of your time in the military, you start feeling distant from your family. However, as a veteran, you can utilize this opportunity to spend time with your family and get close to your children and grandchildren. Doing so, you can be more involved in family matters which would be a healthy way to spend your days. Reconnect and reintroduce yourself to your family dynamic.
Keep yourself on your toes:
Set goals and challenges that drive you every day. After spending years in the military with the motivation to get work done under strict schedules, veterans might find discomfort in the civilian lifestyle that lacks impulse. So, whether it be at your tasks at your job or home, it is essential that you set goals for yourself every day to keep you on your toes. You will have a sense of purpose, and that will excite you.
The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has several benefits that can help ease your retirement in terms of financial troubles. The post-9/11 GI Bill to provides ample funds for veterans. Veterans can choose to return to school or help manage their families with those funds. If you have a disability, you can also opt for the disability fund. Ideally, you should start saving up for retirement when you are still in service. Hospitals can be costly and drain your resources, so opting for health and life insurance as soon as possible is vital.
Back to school:
Some veterans enroll in courses at community colleges as a way to spend their time learning. This is a great way to occupy yourself and keep your brain sharp. You could build a resume and look for a job as well. This might be hard, considering the military achievements on your resume would hardly come to any use in your retired civilian life. Nevertheless, there are many jobs for a veteran in places like government agencies by which you could boost your monthly income.
Whether it is for finding a job or a good insurance package, you must ask for help. In the military, necessities like a salary, a car, a house, and a doctor were provided for. It was part of the package you signed up for when you enlisted. After retiring, you have to look for every basic necessity yourself, and it is hard, so it is okay to ask for help. The VA provides many counseling services to help with these issues, and it is beneficial for you to use them.
It will help if you stay healthy mentally. Veterans can suffer from PTSD and depression, making it harder to focus on other things. Joining a support group for veterans would be the best thing you can do for your mental health. It can help you start your retirement life with peace of mind as you ease into adjusting to the civilian lifestyle.
Yes, the culture and values differ for veterans when they retire and come back to civilian life, but it is another challenge for them to overcome. By following these tips, reconnecting with your family, planning, getting jobs and funds, and taking care of your physical and mental health, you can enjoy and adapt to retired life smoothly.