Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
About-face: Preparing for life after the military

Some of us plan military retirement from the very beginning, with our goals firmly set from day

one of the start of our military lives.

Others wait until 20 years later, when the last day of active duty is staring us straight in the


No matter what path takes you there, retirement is a lot to digest. Among those thoughts that

might keep you up at night: Where will we live? How will we get jobs? Will we have enough

money? What about life insurance, health insurance and investments? How quickly will we

adapt to life in the civilian world?

Some would say never to that last question, and that’s one reason this column is here. To help

you, as a military spouse, plan for and navigate retirement, whether you’re two decades or two

days from that milestone.

Every other week we’ll dispel a lot of the many myths (or just downright misinformation)

floating around out there about military retirement. We’ll talk about things like the different

types of retirement, VA benefits, life insurance, the Spouse Benefit Plan, education benefits,

PCS entitlements and healthcare – just to name a few.

We’ll also look at what you can do to prepare yourself now for a career after military life, and

how you can jump start your plans no matter how far from – or how close to – retirement your

servicemember is.

To put things in perspective, here’s a snapshot of military retirees as of 2016, according to the

most recent annual Department of Defense Statistical Report on Military Retirees:

- Roughly two million current military retirees are drawing some sort of pay from DOD.

- Another 52,000 are eligible to retire this year.

- Nearly all live in the U.S., although when it comes to foreign countries Germany is the

most popular.

- More military retirees - 209,000 to be exact - live in Texas than any other state. Florida is

the next most popular state for retirees, followed closely by California and Virginia.

- Officers retire at an age of 49.6 years, enlisted personnel at 44.9.

- Most officers retire at the rank of O5 (not including medical retirements), while E7 is the

most common rank at retirement for enlisted personnel.

Feedback is always welcome. Feel free to comment with your questions, topics you’d like to

know more about or see addressed in the future, or your own personal experiences. You can also

email Jan Childs at

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