Entering the military and subsequently becoming a military veteran are both rewarding in their own rights. No matter which position you find yourself in, there are steps you can take to ensure the next five to 10 years are the best they can be. From taking advantage of tax benefits to preparing yourself mentally, there are multiple ways to ensure your success. With the right strategy, you can plan your future with hope and optimism. Take a look at four ways to take action to ensure you have the best chance at a successful future.

1. Take Advantage of Tax Benefits

As a member of the military, you’ll have access to certain tax benefits that civilians don’t. When you file your taxes, make sure you take full advantage of benefits like having the ability to:

  • File your taxes remotely
  • Deduct travel and lodging costs
  • Avoid capital gains taxes on your home
  • Contribute to a retirement account with tax-free pay to a tax-deferred account
  • Deduct uniform costs
  • Apply for tax liability forgiveness
  • Deduct job search expenses

Knowing what your tax benefits are as a military member or military veteran can save you a lot of money if you know your advantages when it comes to taxes.

2. Get the Right Auto Insurance

Having the right auto insurance is another way to prepare you or your family member(s) for life in the military. Before you leave for basic training, you’ll feel much better knowing your family has everything they need, including great auto insurance. USAA’s auto insurance coverage offers new members protection for their cars, their finances, as well as protection for you and other passengers. They also offer payment flexibility and plenty of options when it comes to savings and discounts, including a family discount, multi-vehicle coverage, safe driver discounts, and no payment plan fees.

3. Getting Life Insurance to Protect You and Your Family

Getting life insurance to protect you and your family is the most common-sense step to take to ensure that you’ll all be taken care of in the event that something happens. If you were injured in the line of duty, however, it might be difficult for you to get traditional life insurance coverage. Look into life insurance companies that help service members and military veterans obtain life insurance. Many of these companies can provide life insurance coverage for very reasonable monthly prices.

4. Prepare Yourself Mentally and Physically

Joining the military or leaving the military is something you’ll have to prepare yourself for both mentally and physically. When it comes to entering the military, you’ll have to put all you’ve got into boot camp and show that you’ve got what it takes to survive and thrive physically. Just know that when it comes to basic training, you’ll be expected to do plenty of pull-ups, crunches, timed runs, and flexed arm hangs. Preparing mentally means knowing contact with your family and friends will be limited and that you won’t have access to certain luxuries, such as computers, cell phones, or extra clothes. Knowing these things ahead of time can help you transition more smoothly into military life.

When leaving the military, you’ll have to readjust to civilian life, which can be quite challenging for some people. Consider joining a support group for military veterans to help you get through it in one piece.

Making the Transition

Preparation is the best thing you can do to ensure your (or your loved one’s) future success. Taking the above into consideration is the first step to strategizing and preparing for the new life ahead of you. Taking full advantage of all of the savings, discounts, and tax advantages available to you can make the transitions a little easier.