3 Things That Will Bother You After Military Life Is Over

3 Things That Will Bother You After Military Life Is Over

In June, it will be two years since my husband left Active Duty Army. He didn’t retire either. He was at 10 years and the day after he joined the National Guard.

After military life Is Over

They say that you miss things once military life is over. I will admit, I didn’t want to believe people when they said this. I knew we were staying in a military town so I knew I would still be able to make friends with others living the military life. I knew that I would still have access to post because of where we lived and our National Guard status. I knew we would still have Tricare and that some of our medical services would not change even if we had to pay for them. I knew all of this and yet at almost two years there are things I miss about active duty life.

Because of where we live most of my friends are married to people in the active duty army. They are living that life. The life we are no longer living. They might live near me and their kids go to the same school mine do but they are in a different part of the military world than I am. They remind me of what I miss.

As I thought about writing this post there were three things that bother me now that active duty life is over:

  • The paycheck– Yes, we miss the paycheck. When you get out of the military as an Infantryman there are only so many things you can do. Even if you do find a job paying exactly the same amount as you did in the military, it is still less then. Why? Because you get taxed on your whole paycheck. In the military, you do not get taxed on your BAH or BAS. You don’t get taxed on deployed income and in some states you don’t have to pay state taxes. Luckily we live in TN so we don’t worry about that here either way. This is something I never saw talked about before we got out but it is something to think about when your spouse is looking for what they will do after the military.
  • Tricare- If your first experience with health care was Tricare, you might not realize how hard it can be to find affordable health care out there in the world. Even if your employer provides it. For us, we have Tricare Reserve Select and pay about $300 a month for our family for Medical and Dental. This was a change from having Tricare Prime for the last ten years. Luckily we have not had any big medical issues since he got out but I am sure we would be paying more out of pocket if we did. Tricare has a lot of issues and can be very frustrating at times but I am going to miss having Tricare when my husband leaves the National Guard. Health insurance is a great benefit that the military receives and deserves so when active duty life is over it can be a challenge to find something else that works.
  • PCS dreams. This feels a bit silly but I miss the dreaming about where we can PCS to next. Yes, it is true you can move anywhere if you are not in the military but that isn’t always easy to do. In military life, you get to live many different places. Sometimes you are happy about those places and sometimes you are not. I will admit that it scares me to think about moving to a place that is not a military community. Where people don’t move all the time, where people have never served and where people don’t get what it is like to go through a deployment.  I also think having to say goodbye to people all the time is difficult and I find myself wishing we could go with them. At the end of the day, I know we have a good long term plan and there are quite a few previous military in our area as well as non-military families too. It’s a good place for now.

Getting out of the military can bring up a lot of emotions for both the military member and their spouse. There is a lot to think about and there is a lot you are going to have to go through before you get to a good place.

Has your spouse left the military? What was the hardest part about it for you?

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12 thoughts on “3 Things That Will Bother You After Military Life Is Over”

      • You have more time than most…….NOW, is the time to start planning and saving for when that time comes….money will either make or break you……why not make it work for you? Yes, I learned HARD WAY…..I wish I had the financial education I have now back then…..if you are interested, let me know. I’d love to share.

  1. Tom has 5 years and it’s going to be tough when it’s over. This is the only life I’ve known. Before Tom, I was a military brat and then went to being a military wife. So it’ll be weird, that’s for sure.

  2. We’re in the exact reverse situation. After 20 years as a Reservist, my husband was picked up for AGR and we’re on our first tour. We made this decision because of everything you listed here. His paycheck is more competitive in the military than in his civilian position (and they appreciate & support him more in the Army), healthcare is reasonable in the military after all the changes the ACA made to private sector healthcare, and we were stuck in a place we weren’t thrilled with but had no strong motivation to change.

    Our plan is to at least do 12 years AGR to balance out his Reserve time and bring him to 20 active duty years but I can see us going well beyond that because he thrives in this environment.

    • Jennifer, we did that exact same thing 17 years ago. We are set to retire after 31 total years (just over 20 active federal service when you add it all up) and we loved it. We had been RA years ago for a short time and he wanted to go back and AGR was the way. There are a few things that are different, but mostly, its just the same. I am really going to miss my Army life so much. But its on to new things! I hope you continue to love it.

  3. Do you have any more posts about National Guard life? My husband is planning to leave active duty next year, and we’ve discussed whether national guard is something we want to do or not. I would love some more info on National Guard life.

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