icon Transitioning to Civilian Life

Marines Transitioning to Civilian Life Benefit from Financial Planning and Preparation

When transitioning into civilian life, it’s important for veterans to be prepared to meet the financial challenges ahead. Marines who are preparing to re-enter the workplace may not be aware of possible financial pitfalls as well as the advantages that are available to them.

The Marine Corps Association and Foundation has a wealth of information intended to help marines as they take this next step on their journey. We know that you may feel uncertain about how to proceed and are worried about whether your unique and hard-won skills will find a niche in the employment landscape. We can guide you to resources that will alleviate your uncertainty.

Plan ahead

You don’t want to take the first step into the civilian world with no plan for your future. Ideally, you will begin preparing for this transition a good year before your active service ends or your retirement begins. As you plan to leave the service, you may want to think about employment options and any training you may need to prepare for a new career. You will also want to get ahead of any financial burdens by creating a budget you can stick to.

Know your expenses

Returning to civilian life means returning to an array of expenses you may have forgotten about or never had to deal with before. One of the most important expenses to budget for is health care. Many military service members may have had all their medical expenses completely covered during their time of service. Unfortunately, once you enter civilian life, this will no longer be the case. You may have to research different options and figure out how to purchase a plan that is right for you. The Veterans Administration does make some coverage available for some veterans.

Housing is another significant expense veterans may face, after having their housing costs covered during their time in service. Look into VA loans if you need assistance in purchasing a home.

Have a career plan

What you choose to do after you have left the service may be based on skills you acquired during your time in the military. Some popular career options for former marines include jobs in tech, law enforcement, and engineering. Starting your own business is also an alternative to consider. Some small business ideas to investigate include private security, construction, and personal fitness. 

Another possibility is to start a business. Whether you want to build a business from the ground up or acquire a franchise, check out the array of financial resources available for servicemen and women turned entrepreneurs.

Consider pursuing education or training

If you are interested in branching off in a new direction, acquiring additional skills, or turning an old hobby into a business venture, you may want to look at educational opportunities. You may want to apply for admittance into an online degree program to train for a new career. An online MA in internet technology can be helpful for understanding cyber-security and managing your tech. Or, you can pursue an online degree in accounting as a path to a new career or to oversee your small business finances. Many educational financial aid packages exist exclusively to assist veterans, so see if you qualify for any that can help further your education or training.

Even if you are entering civilian life feeling unprepared, there are many opportunities for you to succeed and programs that will help you as you find your way forward. Check out resources for professional development and more at to help you move smoothly into your new civilian life.

Courtesy of Kelli Brewer of