Episode 393 Kate Horrell Maximizing Military Benefits Transcript

This transcript is from episode 393 with guest Kate Horrell.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And today my guest is Kate Horrell. Kate is a personal financial educator specializing in empowering military and veteran family members to optimize their pay and benefits. Her experience lies in helping individuals navigate the complexities of managing finances during and after military service with a particular focus on the transition process and leveraging the post 9 11 GI bill for educational opportunities, which we’ll be talking about in just a minute.

But first I [00:01:00] want to welcome you to the show. Okay. I’m really glad to have you here.

Kate Horrell: Thanks. I’m excited to see what I can share.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And, um, you know, we cover a lot of issues on this show. Um, really the show started, um, you know, realizing that there’s a lot of service members and veterans out there who have a wide variety of issues and any number of those issues can snowball into other issues. And, um, finances is a huge part of.

All of this. And, and if we can, um, you know, kind of wrap our head around some of that and, and get some education benefits, um, you know, and not have to pay for all of that stuff out of pocket, you know, we. Earned, uh, these 9 11, uh, post 9 11 GI Bill, uh, benefits. If we can use some of that and to kind of help ease the burden of, of some of the education that we go through, um, to kind of advance ourselves and our [00:02:00] careers and our post military life, um, why not, you know, Take advantage of those benefits that we’ve earned.

So I’m really glad to have you here to talk about this stuff and hopefully help some people out with the the knowledge that you have on on all of this. So, um, can you, Maybe just start off by talking about some of the differences between managing finances for folks who are currently serving, uh, in the military and, and veterans.

Are there really any differences or specific benefits or, or things like that, that are unique to each group? And how can people make the most of the resources that are available to them during the different Phases of service.

Kate Horrell: Yeah, there really are a tremendously large number of differences between the benefits that are available when you are still serving versus the benefits that are available when you get out. And there are some nuances if you’re guard and [00:03:00] reserve, but you know, generally speaking, active duty families, you know, you have a relatively consistent income.

You’re receiving BAH, BAS. Um, there are some, you know, you may be able to use MyCAA for the spouse to pay for some education, tuition assistance for the service member, post 9 11 GI Bill benefits may be transferred. Once you move over to the veteran side of things, um, it’s a very different ballgame. About the only thing that’s the same as the post 9 11 GI Bill, um, there are benefits that come if the veteran has a disability rating and, you know, some veterans, some benefits come with a 10 percent rating and some benefits require all the way up to 100 percent rating.

It just depends on the benefit. Um, there can be, in addition to financial compensation, there can be educational or vocational [00:04:00] training. Obviously, everybody has access to the VA home loan. So yeah, it’s, it’s a pretty comprehensive package, although obviously it doesn’t meet everyone’s needs all the time.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And, you know, as you were talking, I kind of felt like I remembered some of the, uh, the briefings that we had as, you know, getting, transitioning out of the military and coming back off of, you know, active duty status and, um, they go over all these resources that are available. And sometimes it feels like you’re drinking from a fire hose.

There’s just so much available to you that if you’re not. Ready to use it right now. Sometimes, at least in my case, I felt like I’m just not going to remember all this stuff. It’s just so much, um, are there resources or, or places like, like a one central hub or of information that people can go to [00:05:00] and kind of.

Pick through, like as they’re going through the different stages of their military service from, you know, active duty or maybe their National Guard or Reserves, um, to transitioning to veteran status, uh, where they can go and find this information, uh, to, uh, Help them take advantage of what’s available to them.

Kate Horrell: There are, um, what’s available varies a lot based upon where you are in the process, and sometimes also your status. And I got to be honest, if you’re turning around and, you know, trying to search out your benefits, maybe two or four or twenty years down the road, you are going to run into a few more roadblocks because some of those, um, more readily available services are just not going to be, you know, available to you.

But generally speaking, um, your installation or your branch’s family service center, whether it’s Airmen and Family Readiness or, um, Fleet and Family Service Center, [00:06:00] They’ve got people who are frequently willing to help, even if you’re not in their wheelhouse. You know, they may not be getting paid to help you, but they might be willing to talk to you anyway.

This is often where the informal resources really come into play. People like me, who, you know, a lot of my work is just put up at my own blog, and I’m not the only person. And, you know, if you Google Veteran Education Benefits, You might find something from me. Now, I will give a shout out that the VA website is actually pretty darn good.

They make mistakes just like everybody does, but um, it’s not a bad website, and I, I refer to it all the time.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. It’s, I think that’s probably a good first place to start anyways. If, if you’re looking for this type of stuff, because a lot of it does come through the VA umbrella. They, they have a lot of, uh, services and benefits that are available, uh, through them. And so, yeah, why not start there [00:07:00] and. And see what they have.

But like you said, there are other things available, maybe outside of that umbrella, um, that, that people can also look into as well. But yeah, I guess, um, you know, starting off with that search on their website would probably be a good first place to go. But, You know, as, as you, you know, kind of go through those resources and maybe figure that maybe that’s not for you or not available to you, um, there may be some others.

So don’t, I guess, don’t get discouraged if you go to their website and it’s not exactly, uh, lining up to what you need. There may be other things out there for you as well. Um, now, We were talking about kind of a transition period. Um, are there things that people should be doing as they’re preparing to transition as far as they’re, they’re the benefits that are available to them while they’re still, [00:08:00] uh, in the service?

Um, are there things that they should be doing to kind of maximize those benefits? Uh, so that when they do transition, they’ve, they’ve kind of taken advantage of everything that Is available to them.

Kate Horrell: There are so many. Um, I have a, I have a list at my website. I’m not trying to flog my website, but that’s

Scott DeLuzio: No, go ahead.

Kate Horrell: in this conversation. Um, and it’s, You know, I have a separate list for retiring and a list for separating, and they are thousands of words long. The big things that people want to make sure that they’re doing is, you know, depending on how far you are, out you are, you may really want to take advantage of, um, Your educational benefits, right?

Tuition assistance, um, if your branch of service has any sort of community college or that type of program, go ahead and do that. If your spouse is eligible, use the MyCAA program. Make sure that GI Bill [00:09:00] gets transferred when you still have four years of service. That may be the largest thing if people want to transfer their benefits.

Um, that four years of service obligation is a super big deal. We’re potentially talking about more than a hundred thousand dollars worth of benefits that they may be restricting themselves if they don’t transfer it. The other one is programs like SkillBridge, which is where the Department of Defense will release you to go do an internship with a private company or a government organization, um, while you are still on active duty and you’re still getting your active duty pay and benefits.

Those programs, I think, perhaps have seen their heyday in the sense that when they very first came out, the Department of Defense and the branches themselves were really generous about releasing people for six months, um, And since it’s been going on for a few years now, [00:10:00] there are definitely cutbacks coming in terms of how long you can go do Skill Bridge, is everybody going to be approved for it?

So just be aware of that.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. When I first heard about Skillbridge, I, Uh, I didn’t use it myself. Uh, I was National Guard. So that wasn’t, uh, I don’t think that was a thing that was available to National Guard soldiers, but regardless, when I first heard of it, um, I, I thought, wow, this almost sounds too good to be true. Like you get six months of, um, your, your.

Time in service where you can go and work an internship at another job. Um, and I was, I was like, I can’t think of any other job that would just let you take six months to go off and do something. So, uh, yeah, kind of what you were saying. I, I do suspect that maybe at some point in the future, some of that might get scaled back a bit.

Um, you know, [00:11:00] maybe. Not quite as long as, as six months or, or not, but regardless, it’s still, uh, it’s not to discourage anybody from checking it out. It’s still a great, uh, program. And, and I think part of the reason why they put it in is so that the service members who are transitioning out have a smoother transition and instead of, um, you know, just, you know, Flipping the switch from one day you’re wearing the uniform.

Next day, you’re, you know, wearing, you know, business clothes going to, uh, you know, conference rooms and all that kind of stuff. You need to have a bit of a transition period there to, um, kind of help you navigate post military life. Right.

Kate Horrell: Yeah, it’s, it is a great program, but there are definitely already changes in the works, and I foresee that there will be more coming.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So I guess, uh, keep that in mind if you are one of those people who are. nearing, [00:12:00] you know, eligibility for that and you’re, you’re maybe, uh, counting on that for, you know, the last few months of your, uh, time in service, may be some changes, uh, and, and it may not be available to the extent that you, you think it is.

So, um, just kind of keep up on that and, and pay attention to it as you are, uh, approaching that, that period of your service. Um, So as we are going through that transition period, um, from, uh, you know, military service to civilian life, um, it’s a big change. A lot of people go through identity crises and all these kinds of things, you know, but, but also financially, um, you went from having a job that, uh, Steady paycheck.

They were covering your housing and food and, and all, all these different things to now you’re out in the world and you’re on your own. [00:13:00] Um, some of the things that the military family should probably consider, uh, I would imagine probably include, um, you know, making sure that they have, uh, enough money in savings just in case there’s a, Gap in employment, uh, a post military service.

Right. And, and are there other considerations that they, they should have, uh, going into that transition?

Kate Horrell: There are so many, um, and you kind of hit on two of them right there in your comments. First of all is to have a financial buffer. And you know what that’s going to look like is very different for every situation. You know, if you get out after four years and you’re going to move home with mom and dad and use your GI Bill and go to college, well, maybe you don’t need a very big buffer.

But, um, when my husband retired, we had three kids in college. No, four, three or four kids in college. Um, and a very large mortgage. And so, you know, our needs for that buffer were, were [00:14:00] pretty significant. The other thing is, we’ve all heard the stories about the person who, you know, started their new job on terminal leave, they were double dipping, I have a friend who went to work for Google and is making, I think he’s with Google, and is Making an absolute ton of money and this sets some unrealistic expectations because this is not going to be most people’s experience.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. Mm-Hmm,

Kate Horrell: A really good rule of thumb, um, is that for every 10, 000 in salary you’re trying to make, it’s going to take about a month to find that job. So if you think you’re going to leave the military and make 80, 000 a year, you should be planning to be unemployed for eight months. Which is a super hard concept.

And it’s particularly a hard concept because we do know all those people who got jobs immediately. And you think, well, it’s not going to take me eight months. Don’t be ridiculous, Kate. That’s just, but that’s what the data shows. [00:15:00] Right? The other thing that the data shows is that the average veteran changes jobs at least once in the first two years after they leave the military, um, and for some people at the five year point, they might be on job three, four, five, six. And having an appropriate expectations about how that’s going to unfold really can inform some financial decisions that people make. If you go out, you buy a house, you get a great job in Waco, Texas, and you buy a house in Waco, Texas, and that job doesn’t work out, well, Now you’re kind of stuck in Waco,

Scott DeLuzio: Right, right,

Kate Horrell: Or you’ve been saving and you’ve really, for retirement present, want that F 150 that you never bought because it wasn’t convenient. It wasn’t going to fit with your lifestyle, but then you hate your first new job and you still have an F 150 payment, right?

Scott DeLuzio: right.

Kate Horrell: So people need to just have, [00:16:00] um, clear expectations of how long it’s going to take to find a job and how long that job’s going to last, right?

Particularly people who’ve been in the military for decades, like it’s just inconceivable to them that they might only be in a job for a year, but they might. So that’s definitely a mindset shift, but from a financial planning perspective, that’s super important to keep in mind.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And to your point, you know, if you’re. Looking for an 80, 000 a year job. It may potentially take eight months to find that job. Um, that is good information to have, uh, because how much money you should have saved up so that way you, you can survive for those eight months without an income, um, by, by having savings that you can fall back on, um, I mean, [00:17:00] it’s simple math, but you may not think about it.

It’s like, go back and look at, you know, your last year’s worth of expenses that, that you have for your, your household and figure out how much do I need per month in order to survive for eight months or nine months or however long that time period is, because. I may need that. And before you get out of the service and separate, you should have that saved up.

So that way you’re able to survive for that, that time period. Um, now does that data that you were talking about, Does that shift at all if people start applying for jobs, um, you know, while they’re still in service, like before that transition out to civilian life, like, like, let’s say I started applying six months before I’m, I’m, I’m scheduled to get out, um, would that, Shorten that to like two months [00:18:00] after, uh, transitioning out or, or how does that work?

Kate Horrell: So, you know, that’s a hugely broad brush data. And so it’s really very specific, right? If you’re getting out and you’ve been doing cyber for 20 years, you probably have a pretty good chance of being employed relatively quickly, but there are military specialties that don’t have really good civilian, um, translations, and so those people are perhaps having to get some more education, or otherwise kind of retrain, maybe they’re going to use the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation, or what are they calling it now?

Scott DeLuzio: I forget what they call it now. I know what you’re talking about. Yeah,

Kate Horrell: Yeah, um, readiness education program to, you know, to learn how to do a new skill because maybe their military career just doesn’t have a civilian translation.

Scott DeLuzio: And even the ones that do have a pretty clear civilian translation, [00:19:00] like a medic and like a EMS or something like that. Like there’s a pretty clear, um, uh, correlation there between the military and civilian. You may not have the right. Credentials or training or whatever in order to just step right into that job.

You may need to go for additional education or, um, additional training or I don’t know the specifics about it, but I know that there are some differences between, um, jobs like that. So, so to your point, there, there may be a period of time where you do need to, uh, Schedule that to, to go and take those classes or, uh, get that additional training, whatever the case may be.

But, um, uh, you know, you, you’ll end up having that period of time. So it’s useful to do your research and figure out how long is that training going to last or that extra education? Is it a four year degree? Is it a [00:20:00] six month, uh, you know, Uh, turn around for, you know, whatever training you need, whatever it is, you got to figure out how am I going to survive for that period of time?


Kate Horrell: Yeah, it’s, it’s a different calculation for every person. And it is definitely. a good example of it’s really about the planning, not about the plan. No plan survives impact. My husband and I had a very large transition fund, um, and we went through it pretty darn rapidly, our first, his first year that he was out.

Um, but they were all choices that we made, and we were really thankful to Have the opportunity to make those choices because we had a, you know, built up that large transition fund and would we have survived? Otherwise, probably just fine, but we would not have been able to do things the way we wanted to.

Scott DeLuzio: And that gives you that freedom to be able to do things the way you want to, like you just said. Um, [00:21:00] Yeah, sure. If you add 0 in your savings account and you, you had nothing as you’re transitioning out, except for that last paycheck that, that you got, you got paid, um, yeah, it would be a whole lot more difficult.

Um, could you find another job that maybe isn’t your ideal job that can, uh, you know, pay the bills just to get by until you find that ideal job? You probably could. Um, But that’s not really what you want, right? You want to be able to have that flexibility and freedom to do the things that you want to do in the way that you want to do them and not be relying on, uh, you know, a job that Isn’t exactly what you were looking for, right?

Kate Horrell: Yeah. Um, you know, one of the things of the military is you just learn to do what you need to do with what you got, but. It’s nice to have other options.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. Sure. Um, [00:22:00] and like you said, no plan is going to, uh, survive that first impact. Like you’re, you’re going to have a plan and something’s going to come up. You’re going to have medical bills or the water heater goes or, you know, something’s going to happen. It always does. It’s, you know, Murphy’s law. If it can go wrong, it will.

Um, and so yeah, uh, having That transition fund, if you will, um, with a little extra thrown in there, like, like don’t, don’t have just enough to have you screaming into the finish line with, You know, 0 just about to turn red. Uh, but then, Oh, great. I got this job and now I can start saving again. Um, you still want to have some money in savings because there’s always going to be those unexpected things.

And so that will help with. This transition because it’s hard enough as it is, uh, to transition out of the military [00:23:00] when, uh, you take finances out of the equation, even if that wasn’t an issue, um, there’s still enough, uh, going on in, in that transition, uh, that, uh, You know, why make it harder? And so, um, you know, having, having that fund there that you can rely on, um, to get you through until you do find that job, um, but even After that first job, like you said, most veterans tend to stay in that first job for about two years.

Um, so what are you going to do afterwards? And, and having that plan for the two years, five years, you know, even 10 years down the road, um, to, to figure out, you know, what are your next moves going to be? And, and you may not know exactly, um, because you. You may start working that job realizing, Hey, I hate this.

I don’t want to work in this field anymore. Um, so what’s next, but, um, at least knowing what [00:24:00] educational, uh, resources are available and, um, financial and other, uh, resources that are available, available to you, um, will help you, uh, kind of figure out what to do. How to transition through that, all of those changes, right?

Kate Horrell: Yeah, it’s the more you know, the easier it’s going to be. But as you said, there are so many aspects to getting out of the military. It’s emotional, you’ve got a lot of logistical concerns. Really, the one you have the most control over is your finances. You can’t really control the emotional control. side of it.

You can’t really control the logistical side of it. If your, you know, personnel office is not getting you your DD 214, you can go and yell at them every single day. But at some point, like you can’t make that happen, but you do have the ability to make yourself be financially ready.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And I think it also comes down to making [00:25:00] wise, uh, purchasing decisions as well. You were talking about like a home, um, in maybe an area that doesn’t have a ton of employment options, but, uh, you may love the area, but. If that job doesn’t work out for you, now you’re kind of stuck in that area. So making a little more wise purchasing decision as far as where your house is, um, even, even smaller expenses that tend to add up.

Add up over time, those subscriptions that you forget about and all these other things. Um, there’s really no need to continue spending money on, on all that type of stuff. And really think like, is this something I really need right now? Um, is this something that I can, I can put off a little delayed gratification maybe, and, and, and kind of help yourself out that way.

So you’re not having so much money go out the door. Right.

Kate Horrell: Yeah, um, it, [00:26:00] leaving the military is a challenging time in the sense that for a lot of people, they feel some freedom to spend some money that they’d been waiting to spend, particularly in the house buying department. But it’s kind of the worst time to do that. Now, that’s obviously a broad generalization.

Some people leave the military and they’ve scrimped and saved the whole time and they, you know, they’ve got tons of money in TSP. Maybe they serve for 30 or 35 years. They’ve got low expenses. Their military retirement pay is going to cover, you know, their basic living expenses. This isn’t one size fits all, obviously.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And. Getting out, we all have different issues, financial issues, and things like that. Even, even if you’re at the same. Pay rate. If you’re in one part of the country versus another, um, the cost of living is going to be different and you’re going to have different financial needs.

Um, but I think one of the things that maybe anyone can [00:27:00] take advantage of is the, the education benefits. Um, you know, unless you’re starting a job straight out of the military and you’re making 150, 200, 000 a year, um, you know, or something like that. And, uh, You don’t have time for taking those classes and using that education benefit.

Um, then, you know, that might make sense to, to just go straight into that work. But, um, But for other people, like you were saying before, there are some, uh, jobs in the military where, um, they don’t have a great correlation to a civilian job. I was an infantryman and there’s really not much, uh, of a correlation there, you know, uh, with, with the civilian world.

Um, and so a lot of times you’re going to need to use, uh, some sort of education benefit. Um, and, and the post 9 11 GI bill is one of those resources that we were talking about. Um, That is [00:28:00] available for veterans and some. eligible family members, uh, looking to, uh, you know, get into, uh, education there, right?

But can you provide an overview of how these benefits work? The, the post 9 11 GI Bill and, you know, who’s eligible to use the, the post 9 11 GI Bill and how long do the benefits last after Leaving the service. Uh,

Kate Horrell: So the post 9 11 GAI bill is available to anyone who has served more than 90 days since September 2001. Um, now if you are guard or reserve, how your days count is, you know, a magical mystery formula. It’s not really a mystery, but you do have to, you know, just be a little aware of this is going to count, but this isn’t going to count. Towards your VA benefits. Starting at 90 days, you have a percentage of the GI Bill available to you, [00:29:00] and after three years, you’ve earned all of, you know, 100 percent of the 36 months of the GI Bill. I’m just going to say super quickly that when you say a percentage, 50 percent of 36 months, people go, Oh, so I have 18 months of benefits.

Nope. Has to be different, right? You have 36 months of 50 percent benefits. Magic math. Um, but it is available to the veterans themselves, and then depending on the situation, they may have been able to transfer those benefits to, um, a spouse or child, and that has to happen while you’re serving. because there is a service obligation that comes with the transfer of benefits.

Scott DeLuzio: okay.

Kate Horrell: So once those benefits, if whether it’s the veteran using them themselves or if they’ve been properly transferred to a family member and the service obligation has been met, [00:30:00] then the benefits can be used. There are slightly different rules, Three sets of rules, actually. For spouses, for the veterans and the spouses, there’s either a 15 year limit if they got out of the military, hold on, on or before January 1st, 2013. If you’re going to use this rule, go double check that I just told you the right date. After that date, there is no expiration for the veteran or the spouse’s benefits. That was a bill called the Forever GI Bill. For children, there is an age limitation. They can only use it up to age 26, unless there are some certain situations, if they serve in the military themselves, they may be able to use it a little bit longer.

If there are some extremely extenuating circumstances, just, just count on 26 as being the age cutoff for kids to use the benefits.

Scott DeLuzio: Okay. [00:31:00] Yeah. And, and that is good to know too, because, uh, like you said, there’s some service requirements and if you don’t do things while you’re still in the service, then you may not be able to take full advantage of all those benefits by, you know, transferring it to a spouse or a child or, or whatever.

So, um, Yeah, don’t just leave the service and expect everything to be available, uh, to you. You probably want to do a little research and say, you know, does it, does it make sense to be able to transfer it to, um, you know, a spouse or a child, uh, before you, you leave the service, um, which like you were saying, when, when your husband left the, the service, you had kids in college and, and, uh, that’s a huge expense.

Um, if you were. You know, able to transfer some of that, uh, post 9 11 GI bill to, um, [00:32:00] your children that would help, you know, possibly alleviate some of those expenses, right?

Kate Horrell: Absolutely. You know, there is, you could do a whole show on post 9 11 GI Bill strategy, but. It is certainly one of the resources in your pocket, and if you’ve, you know, transferred at the right time in your career and done your service obligation, it can be a tremendous tool to make the transition process easier, because a lot of people, just due to the nature of the timing of life, Are leaving the military either, um, while they have kids in college or maybe kids that are, you know, preparing to go to school.

So it is a huge tool in your toolkit.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And can cover, like you said, quite, quite a bit of the expenses. Are there other things outside of tuition that the post 9 11 GI bill covers?

Kate Horrell: Yes. Um, so tuition, the Post 9 11 J. I. Bill can cover some or all of tuition depending on the school and how much [00:33:00] it costs. It also offers a monthly housing allowance that is similar to BAH. And it is based on the location of the school, and this is, can be a tremendous benefit. One of my kids went to school in New York, and if we’d use the GI bill for her, right, the housing allowance that it’s based on is thousands of dollars a month. Um, yet there’s also a books allowance. Those are the three big ones, a books allowance, housing allowance, and then the tuition payments. There are also a few smaller benefits that some people do use. If you are coming from an extraordinarily remote location, there’s a small payment to help you, a transportation benefit. There are payments for tutoring. If you’re struggling with a particular class and you’re utilizing VA education benefits, you can perhaps get the VA to pay for tutoring for you. [00:34:00] There are also sometimes individual colleges will have programs. You may be able to get a work study job through the VA office, not through the regular work study office, little things like that.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and you mentioned books as one of the, the costs that is one of the big costs that gets covered and for folks who haven’t had the, had the privilege of dealing with college bookstores and buying these books as books for all the, the classes that they are going to be taking, um, They’re expensive.

They are super expensive and people are thinking, Oh, how much could a book be? I mean, I’ve, I, this is 20 years ago now, but I was in college. I had books that were four or 500 sometimes. It was, it was stupid how expensive some of these books were. Um, so yeah. Definitely use that benefit. Um, it can [00:35:00] definitely save you quite a bit of money.

I bet. Um, cause I don’t, I don’t know, I don’t know how they get away with charging that much money for those books, but they do. I don’t, I don’t get it. Um, so any other benefits or resources that, that folks should be aware of at this point?

Kate Horrell: The educational benefit is really, um, kind of the, the big one, right? In most people’s minds. And from a practical standpoint, it is the, the big one. Um, whether it’s for the service member or their spouse to get an education or for their family members, I will throw out there, but I talk to a lot of clients who are really determined to save their GI Bill for their kids. And I certainly understand. You know where that’s coming from. That makes a lot of sense when you just are looking at it from the surface. What I encourage them to do is just to [00:36:00] think critically about what type of impact using those GI Bill benefits would make if mom or dad used them or mom or mom or whatever the family situation may be.

Um, You know, if, let’s say, um, one of the parents is an RN and they use this to go get their BSN and they earn another 30, 000 a year every year for the rest of their working life, that’s probably a bigger benefit to that family than saving the GI Bill for a kid.

Scott DeLuzio: Right.

Kate Horrell: So, um, You know, it’s, it’s all a cost benefit analysis of how much is this going to pay and, you know, what am I giving up, what are my other resources to pay for school at this point in time, but certainly saving it isn’t always the best idea. Often it is, you know, it’s, it just every situation is different.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s right. I was just going to say, uh, it’s that, that classic, um, [00:37:00] Well, it depends, you know, kind of answer. And it’s not, um, you know, not to say, uh, that we, you can’t find a definitive answer for whatever your situation is, but your situation may be different from the next person and the next person. So, um, You know, it’s just a matter of, um, really figuring out what makes the most sense for you.

Like you said, if you can make 30, 000 a year more, uh, for ever, you know, um, you’re probably going to be in a better place. place by doing that. If you use the benefits and then save some of that 30, 000, uh, to pay for your children’s education, um, then you would be, if you didn’t use it, you made 30, 000 less each year and then just use the GI bill for that.

Uh, for that child, um, you know, once when they, they got into college, because [00:38:00] like you said, it could be, you know, 100, 000 or so, um, of, of benefits, but you would make that in a little over three years if you were working and, and earn that. So, um, you know, the lifetime of a child before they start going to.

School could be, you know, 18 years or so, multiply that by the 30, 000. That’s a big chunk of change that you’re talking about, right?

Kate Horrell: It is. So another thing I would encourage people to do in addition to educational benefits is just be aware that there are So many non profit organizations out there that want to help veterans make a transition. There are people to help you rewrite your resume, to practice interviewing techniques, to work on your LinkedIn profile, to connect you to a mentor.

Some hotel chains will give you points to use to go to interviews. There are [00:39:00] charities that will help you buy clothes, you know, to get a suit at a reduced rate. So wherever you are in your transition journey, if you have a need that you think there might be somebody out there who can help you with, hop on the internet, type in Suits for Transitioning Veterans, and you’ll be amazed at the number of resources that are out there and organizations that really do, you know, want to help support you as much as they can.

Scott DeLuzio: I would actually kind of amend a little bit of what you just said there. Uh, and you said, if you think there’s an organization out there that might be able to help, I would say, even if you don’t think there’s an organization out there, search for it anyways, because there’s probably someone out there and they probably are going to you know, looking to help people just like you with any number of things.

Like you said, suits for transitioning veterans, um, or, [00:40:00] you know, that type of thing, or, or points for a hotel. Stay to, uh, you know, go to a job interview. I wouldn’t have thought of that. Um, that. That’s just not something that would have occurred to me, but what the hell? Give it a search. What are you going to lose?

Like a couple of minutes of your time? Like, just do a search and try to see if, um, you know, any of these, these companies out there can help you out. And, um, you know, they, the thing is they want to help. Um, that’s, that’s. What I want to get across to the, the veterans out there who feel like, Oh, I don’t want to be a burden to these people or, you know, whatever it’s like, no, they, they are doing this because they want to help you.

Um, you’re not a burden. You’re not, uh, you know, putting anyone out or anything like that. They’re, you know, a lot of times, especially like these hotel chains, chains, they, um, They have empty rooms anyways, so it’s not like you’re really putting them out much [00:41:00] by, you know, spending the night in one of their hotels.

So, um, you know, they’re, they’re willing to help you out. Might as well take advantage of that, that offer and, and use it to, uh, benefit you and your, your career and your financial future.

Kate Horrell: Yeah, I talk to a lot of veterans who are really struggling with transition, and certainly not all of the time, but Some of the time, they are just not utilizing the tools that are out there, right? They’re not getting practice with interviewing techniques. That there’s a non profit out there that they’re more than one that will help you practice your interviewing techniques.

Um, building their network, because we all know that most jobs come from networking. They don’t come from sending out resumes. So, take advantage of all of these many organizations that exist for the sole purpose of helping veterans [00:42:00] transition.

Scott DeLuzio: Perfect. Yeah. Um, you mentioned your website. Uh, earlier, but you didn’t tell folks where they can go to find the website. Uh, tell us, uh, where they can go to find more information about what you do and, and some of the resources that you were talking about.

Kate Horrell: Sure. So, my website is katehorrell. com, two R’s, two L’s, um, I imagine you’ll drop it in the show notes somewhere. And in addition to just general articles about, hey, here’s how the Department of, get the Department of Defense to pay for you to ship your second car when you move or something like that. I have a pretty comprehensive.

transition checklist, and I have a pretty comprehensive separation checklist. There’s also a PCSing checklist to make sure you have the best move that you can possibly have. Um, and supposed to be finished in two weeks, but absolutely not going to be finished in two weeks is my GI Bill book. So [00:43:00] people can keep their eyes out there, um, for whenever that actually gets done.

Scott DeLuzio: Excellent. And by the time this episode comes out, hopefully that gives you a few more, uh, weeks to get that out. But if it’s, if it’s not out, um, I’m sure you can find it. Reach out and find out more about when, when that’ll be available. So, um, you know, we’ll definitely, like you said, we’ll have the link to your website in the show notes.

Um, definitely, uh, copy that link down, bookmark it, whatever you want to do. Um, and, and use those resources that are available in there. Um, before we wrap up this show, um, I always like to end an episode with a little bit of humor. Um, just, Sometimes, uh, some of the topics, not today so much, but some of the topics could be a little bit heavy for some folks.

And, uh, I’d like to reliable smile on people’s faces, even if they’re laughing at me because the joke is so corny, I don’t, I don’t really care. That’s fine. Um, so [00:44:00] before we wrap this episode up, I’m going to drop a quick joke. Hopefully it makes folks laugh. Let’s see. Uh, so. A guy’s getting out of the shower, just as his wife is finishing up with her shower, uh, and the doorbell rings.

So the wife quickly wraps herself in a towel, runs downstairs, and she opens the door. There is their next door neighbor, uh, Bob. And before she says a word, Bob says to her, I will give you 800 to drop that towel. And after thinking for a moment The woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.

And a few seconds later, Bob hands her 800 and leaves. And the woman wraps back up in the towel, goes back upstairs. And when she gets to the bathroom, her husband says, Oh, so who was at the door? And she goes, Oh, it was Bob, the next door neighbor. And he goes, Oh, great. Did he say anything about the 800 he owes me?

Kate Horrell: Okay, that was pretty funny.[00:45:00]

Scott DeLuzio: Uh, at least it put a smile on, on one person’s face. So I thought it was pretty good, but, um, hopefully other folks out there laughed as well. And, um, um, and also check out those show notes again, uh, for the, the resources. Uh, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll put some of the other things in there that we talked about, uh, during the show, like links to the VA website and, uh, Uh, the Post 9 11 GI Bill and Skill Bridge and other things like that.

So, um, for the listeners, definitely check out the show notes and, uh, I want to thank you again, Kay, for taking the time to come on and share, uh, your knowledge and, and everything with us, uh, that you did today. So thank you.

Kate Horrell: It was great being here. Thanks for having [00:46:00] me.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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