One reason serving in the military is so great is that there as so many clearly defined goals. You are presented with challenges and objectives, and it is often pretty clear cut whether the mission was a success or not. Day-to-day life, on the other hand, is a lot more murky. What even defines a successful life?
For most people, it starts with family and that is the bedrock of everything. Add in a sense of community and purpose, and you might be most of the way there. But it still helps to spell it all out a little better. With that in mind, it will pay off to set financial goals for your future that you can strive for and strategies to get there. The following should be high on the list for any military member who wants to start actively planning for a successful future.
Finding The Right Career
For some people, the military is a lifelong calling. If this is you, great! You have nothing more to do. Just try to advance and find your place within the ranks. Others, however, will conclude their active service and need to find their next challenge. Many veterans commonly pursue careers in the criminal justice business. There are so many options out there, and benefits like tuition assistance mean that you have the opportunity to pursue almost anything you can dream up.
Naturally, in addition to fulfillment, your career will have a big impact on how your financial future goes as well. The right career is an essential step to a better financial future. Some jobs just inherently come with better incomes while others may top out at a lower level. You shouldn’t base everything on this factor — you want to enjoy your work — but you also can’t ignore it entirely. As with most things in life, you need to work to find the right balance.
Getting Ahead Financially
Beyond earnings, there are many other ways to take control of your financial future. In particular, you also want to make sure to get all the advantages you can in terms of setting up the right accounts to manage you money. Find high yield checking accounts, invest in the right funds, and make sure to sign up for the best credit cards. Especially for military members, that usually means taking advantage of the exclusive benefits and rewards of USAA credit cards and other financial products. They are rated among the best in the industry in most every category — for a reason — so it only makes sense to leverage your access and get a top-tier card.
Finding Personal Fulfillment
We all devote most of our time to our families and our careers. In fact, these priorities are so prominent that we sometimes forget that there is anything else. And for veterans and military members — who spent so much time sacrificing for their country and compatriots in arms — it’s very easy to go years without even thinking that much about ourselves. But that is a dangerous path.
Not only will it leave you unfulfilled in many ways, but it will probably impair your ability to thrive as a spouse, parent, and productive worker. So you need to find some other things that get you going. Maybe it’s discovering a hobby, like photography; or a challenge, like committing to physical fitness; or a passion, like traveling the world. The “what’ actually isn’t all that important. But it’s important to realize that you will probably never actually achieve “success” if you don’t find some other areas of life that get you charged up.
Finding Success On The Home Front
A lot of people spend their whole lives trying to find the secret to success. But the real secret isn’t even a secret at all: success is psychological. There is no objective goal to reach. Instead, you need to identify a few key personal and positive entrepreneurial goals that you want to achieve. Your career, whether in the military or not, will definitely play a big role. Financial security definitely helps make everything easier as well. But none of it will matter at the end of the day if you can’t find some individual ways to find some real fulfillment. As a military member, you already have a leg up on most people. You have learned a lot of the skills and strategies it takes to put yourself in a position to succeed. Now you just have to translate that from the battlefield to your actual life.