saditycents











“Twizzle Twazzle Twozzle Twum, Time for this one to come home.” There used to be an old cartoon that featured “Tootle the Turtle.”

Tootle Turtle

Tootle would always get himself into all sorts of scraps in alternate worlds and on adventures and Mr. Wizard would summon him home. Well that time has finally come home for us. My husband has served in the US Air Force for twenty years. For us that means, he is retiring and we are re-entering the civilian world. Mr. Wizard was always trying to teach Tootle that he was best off and safest in the comfort of home. While I admire the lesson, I don’t know if we are ready to fully embrace it. We are leaving the military; my husband after 20 years of service, me after almost 30 years as a dependent. Yet neither one of us are mourning. We are excited for our next adventure. In the mean time, of course I will provide resources for this transition.

To start off: Here are few tips when deciding how you will move and what you are entitle to for the final PCS:

    1. Who should we see before retirement? There are some mandatory appointments that the service member must attend before the final out processing is complete. However, you’d be surprised at how few spouses think to go to those appointments as well. So far we have been to about five appointments and/ or classes and I am always the only spouse. If you can’t accompany your service member through all of the TAPS process at least go to these classes and meetings:
      • Survivor Benefits Plan – There is a face to face meeting that requires both of your signatures. If your SBP counselor doesn’t insist on your presence, insist on  it for yourself. You want to be able to ask all of your questions because the SBP is a one shot deal. Once the paperwork is signed its hard to undo. Granted you have to give your consent to be cut out to of the plan, but you may have other questions about remarriage after death, protection for future children, etc.
      • Boots to Business Lecture- Even if you are not sure you want to start a business. Its good to know your options. There are so many programs out there to help veterans and their military spouses start businesses that you should really just take advantage of good information.
      • 10 Steps to a Federal Job – This is a great job for both members of a military couple. Often retirement can mean a change in dynamics. Spouses who haven’t worked in a long time, may consider full-time employment now that moving every few years isn’t a factor. Federal employment is always a consideration. It’s the closest you will get to a military career, and for some veterans and spouses that is comforting.
      • Budget portion of TAPS – In many military families the spouse takes care of the finances because they are the consistent partner on the home front. Thus, its so important that spouses get involved in the transition budget portion of transition training. One, so you can help fill any gaps on your existing budget and financial plan. Two, because its your future too. Don’t leave your service member to create a mock budget that has no relevance to your real life. Take the help and make your budget as realistic as possible. It may be difficult to get advice later.
    2. What entitlements are available to me?Separating or Retiring Military Service Members

      Are you separating or retiring from service? Read more on what you need to know regarding your travel claim at the end of your military service. You are authorized the following entitlements:

      Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT)
      Plus (Per Diem)
      Dependent Travel
      Personally Procured Moves (PPM)
      Advance Payments

 

  1. Where will the military pay to move me? If you are,
    • SEPARATING: You must complete your travel before the 181st day (6 months) after your Separation Date on your orders. And, your travel is limited to your Home of Record (HOR) or your Place Entering Active Duty (PLEAD)
    • RETIRING: You must complete your home of selection (HOS) travel one year from the retirement date on your orders. Your travel is not limited to your HOR or PLEAD. You may claim travel to any location within the U.S. you are planning to reside after retiring
  2. How long am I entitled to military pay or a military move after retirement?
    • According to the regulation that governs military travel, your final move must be made within one year of your retirement, unless you apply for and receive an extension.
  3. How much can we make if we move ourselves verses have the military move us? PPM or DITY moves are known for making the service family money. But this may not always be the case because there’s no set rule that you will make money. Instead you make the best decision base on the information. Here are some resources to help make that decision:

 

Resources:

https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/travelpay/armypcs/endofmilitaryservice.html

http://www.belvoir.army.mil/jppsoma/files/FAQ/retirement%20entitlements%20info%20paper.pdf

http://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/retiring-from-military/qb-how-long-does-a-retiree-qualify-for-a-final-pcs.html



et cetera