Retiring military members are eligible to sign up for the Transition Assistance Programme (TAP) prior to their retirement date. This class is intended to help them identify what kind of jobs they would like to pursue after they retire helpful suggestions on writing a resumé and where to start looking for a job. It is a good idea to be prepared for this class and to make sure that you do not leave it to the last minute to sign up, as places can quickly fill up.
What to Expect from the Military Transition Assistance Programme (TAP) #1 Informality
One thing that active duty members will quickly see is that the TAP class is very informal and friendly. Participants will be able to wear civilian clothes and they will not be referred to by their rank by the instructors. In turn, participants will be encouraged to refer to the instructors by their first name. This can make a welcome change for people who are so used to the rank and formality of the military.
What to Expect from the Military Transition Assistance Programme (TAP) #2 Financial discussion
The TAP class is not intended to teach you the mechanics of drawing up your own budget plan and telling you where you have to cut back to save more money. As a retiring military member, you will have some idea of what it means to save and what your specific needs will be. The class will spend time talking to you of how your military benefits will change once you retire. The military pension that you receive will depend on your rank, time in grade and total years of active duty. It will be considerably lower than the salary you receive while you are in the military. The instructors will talk about the fact that you will no longer be receiving a cost of living (COLA) allowance if you elect to remain in the area and that in many ways, you will have to make your own decisions that the military had formerly taken care of for you.
What to Expect from the Military Transition Assistance Programme (TAP) #3 Taxation
Active duty members can continue to claim residency from their home state during their time in the military, but once they retire, this will not necessarily be the case, unless they move back home. If you are retiring from the Air Force, it is worth considering where you will live. Out of the whole country, there are 9 states, including Washington and Nevada that do not tax the military pension.
This class is very informative and in depth. A future article will look at further aspects of the TAP class that will provide assistance to active duty members who are planning on retiring.