• Episode #31:


Honoring the Military Spouse in the Transition Process with Shelley-Rose Illig

Shelley-Rose Illig is a military spouse to her husband who served in a variety of roles during his active duty career in the Army and who now serves in the Army Reserve. Rose leveraged her experience of growing up internationally and linguistic strengths to launch her current career as a business analyst and project coordinator within the global tech division of a financial institution. She shares a military spouse’s perspective of transitional challenges and offers important financial considerations for both the service member and spouse to discuss before, during and after the transition.     


Lessons Learned:

  • You may need to move more than once after your spouse finishes the military commitment.
  • Active duty life is stressful on the family, and so is the transition out of active duty life.
  • If your spouse holds a position in the Reserve component of his or her career field, you may still have access to needed benefits.
  • Sometimes, the spouse’s advice is taken by the service member as criticism. Everyone is under stress and needs a great deal of patience.
  • Keep lines of communication open.
  • A spouse can be proactive about career and life plans, networking, lining up a job and saving a financial transition cushion.
    • Get involved with groups like Vets2Industry, Veterati, etc.
    • Talk to spouses who already transitioned.
    • Some of your connections might help the veteran as long as he or she is an active participant in building the networking relationship.
  • Cost of living is high, and you probably don’t have an untaxed housing allowance, anymore.
    • Do the research for where you want to live.
    • There are multiple taxes to consider, such as income, property, employment healthcare benefits, etc.
    • If renting, you need to have the money for an application fee, first and last month’s rent, deposits (pets, etc.), early termination, etc. The military waivers don’t apply, anymore.
    • Childcare might cost more, off-post. Kids are expensive!
  • Military spouses need to spend time thinking about and taking care of themselves, too.
  • Service members can and should include spouses in the conversation, be transparent and make good decisions as partners.

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