In a talk entitled “I’m Going to Leave Active Duty, Now What?” Eric Endquist, the Assistant Vice President of Military Transitions at USAA, shared that geography is a huge factor for military families making their final PCS decision.
He explained that the three primary geographical choices that military families select when picking their final PCS station are:
- Relocating right outside the gate at the last installation to which they were assigned
- Back to the service member’s home of record
- Back to the military spouse’s home of record
When the military has decided where you live for so long, it can be hard to make that decision for yourself. While retiring to paradise--a remote island in the Caribbean, for instance--may sound idyllic and keep you motivated to continue to save for that retirement, that type of retirement may not serve as the best choice for most military families. In lieu of either paradise or orders, military families default to friends and family.
Why shouldn’t we seek an opportunity to live near our support groups--our friends on base or our family? According to USAA, choosing your final PCS station based on this geographical reason is a problem. Endquist explains that this is a problem because it’s not the most conducive to finding the best opportunities for employment post-military separation.
Instead, Endquist suggests that military families should select a post-separation location based on what you want to do with your life. He explained that prior to separation or military retirement, servicemembers should evaluate their post-military goals, which might include:
- Starting Your Own Business