Post-military service

Make a smooth transition into civilian life by creating a financial plan that will help you reach your goals.

Plan for civilian life in 3 steps

Step 1: Transition interview and support

There is a lot to consider when leaving the military. The first step in helping you get ready to leave the military is your transition interview with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

The interview identifies the right programs and services to help meet your needs as a civilian. You’ll find out how to apply for VAC programs, including disability benefits, plus receive financial advice for managing lump-sum payments if required.

Learn more about the Transition Interview.

Step 2: Financial planning assistance

If you don’t already have a financial planFinancial plan Your financial plan should cover every aspect of your finances: saving and investing, paying down debt, insurance, taxes, retirement planning and estate planning.+ read full definition, it’s important to create one. A financial plan looks at where you are today and where you want to go. It helps define your goals and determine how you’re going to achieve them.

Here’s what your financial plan should cover.

If you already have a financial plan, update it as necessary to ensure it reflects your changing circumstances and new goals for civilian life.

SISIP Financial is a division of the Canadian Armed Forces Personnel and Family Support Services. It provides financial planning advice, investmentInvestment An item of value you buy to get income or to grow in value.+ read full definition and insurance solutions for serving and former members of the Canadian military. If you haven’t already met with one of their representatives, you may consider reviewing your financial goals with them as part of your transition to civilian life.

Another option for financial advice is to consult the services of a fee-only financial planner. They typically charge an hourly or flat rate to create a financial plan for you. They can provide professional and unbiased help with your investments, budgetBudget A monthly or yearly estimated plan for spending and saving. You work it out based on your income and expenses.+ read full definition, and retirement planning.

Learn more about how advisors get paid.

Step 3: Investment advice

For your new life as a civilian, ensure that you get sound financial and investment advice from a trusted source. Decide if you want to:

1. Work with a qualified financial advisor
If you’re not sure how to choose investments that can help you reach your financial goals, you might want to work with an advisor. Advisors can help with:

  • Investing
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Insurance
  • TaxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition planning
  • Estate planningEstate planning The plans you make to build and manage wealth for your lifetime and thereafter. Goals may include leaving the most money possible to your loved ones, with the least amount of taxes. Other goals may include caring for children, paying off debt or passing on a business.+ read full definition

Learn more about finding an advisor.

2. Work with an online investment advisorOnline investment advisor A business that offers professional money management services to investors over the internet. Often referred to as “robo-advisors.”+ read full definition service.
Often referred to as a robo-advisorRobo-advisor A business that offers professional money management services to investors over the internet. See also, Online Investment Advisor.+ read full definition, an online adviser makes investment decisions on your behalf without your specific approval for each tradeTrade The process where one person or party buys an investment from another.+ read full definition. And it’s not robotic: it’s a hybrid model where a human adviser uses online tools for efficiency but is required to meet all regulatory standards.

Learn more about working with an online investment advisor.

3. Be a self-directed investor.
There are pros and cons to being a do-it-yourself investor. It’s important to find out what’s involved to decide if it’s right for you.

Learn more about self-directed investing.

Always check the registrationRegistration A requirement for any person or company trading investments or providing advice in Canada. Securities industry professionals are required to register with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business.+ read full definition of any person or business trying to sell you an investment or give you investment advice. Registration helps protect you from unqualified or fraudulent individuals. Here’s how to check before you invest.

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