As members of the armed forces, you face unique challenges that extend beyond the battlefield – one of them being the financial landscape. Understanding the financial life cycle is crucial to securing your financial future and well-being. Let’s walk through each stage and offer insights to help you make the most of your finances. 

Enlistment and Basic Training 

Your journey begins with enlistment and basic training. As you take on military life, consider the financial aspects, such as creating a budget early to manage your finances effectively. Still trying to figure out where to start? Our knowledgeable advisors are here to help you develop a budget tailored to your needs. A professional can help you get on track and stay on top of your finances, especially when tax season comes around. Reach out to an advisor for personalized budgeting assistance. 

Active Duty 

Once you have begun your service, understanding your regular pay, allowances, and benefits is essential. Explore military retirement savings options and start building your emergency fund. Many resources are available, but most use jargon that is hard to understand and can often be misleading. Download our free guide to gain a basic understanding of your benefits without the confusing vocabulary, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out or visit a location near you. 

Deployment and Special Pay 

Deployments bring additional challenges and opportunities. When deployed, extra pay and allowances are accrued. It’s essential to be aware of your benefits and ensure everything is in order if you find yourself overseas. Setting up auto payments and other measures can help you stay on top of your financial obligations no matter where you are. Another good tip is to have a professional or someone close to you care for your finances while away to ensure no discrepancies upon your return. 

Transitioning to Civilian Life

Transitioning to civilian life comes with its own set of considerations. Explore education and training benefits offered through the military, and plan your job search carefully. If your finances throughout your military career have been cared for properly, your finances will be much easier to track and manage when retirement gets closer. For assistance transitioning into your civilian lifestyle, reach out to an AFBN advisor for assistance both financially and professionally. 

Retirement Planning

As retirement approaches, it’s time to focus on your financial future. Learn about military retirement benefits, VA loans, and other retirement accounts like the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Retirement is often the final stage of financial planning for many military members. Setting yourself up for success is crucial during this time. Explore the wealth of tools and resources available to you through the Armed Forces Benefits Network. Our website is full of information to empower you on your financial journey. 


Mastering the financial life cycle is a vital aspect of your future. Many challenges are faced when it comes to budgeting, retiring, and investing your money, but you can be successful financially with an understanding of your benefits. Whether you’re just getting started or preparing for retirement, AFBN is here to assist you every step of the way. Take the first step to financial security – contact an AFBN advisor today.