In today’s post, I want to share 10 things to do before you deploy. If you’re serving in today’s military, there is a good chance you will deploy at some point. Preparation is key. You should be mentally, physically, financially and spiritually prepared at all times, so you can deploy, get the mission done, and return home safely.
This post includes some of my best tips. They are listed in no particular order. They are just things I wish I had done prior to my two deployments. Enjoy.
# 1 Get Your Personal Finances in Order
Before you deploy, it’s vital that you get your personal finances in order. Close out any bills you no longer need. Set up a monthly budget for you and your household. Communicate with your spouse (if you are married) about who will pay the bills and how the bills we be paid. If you are single, consider setting up everything on bill pay. Make a list of all of your debts, along with the contact information of each merchant, a give a copy to someone you trust.
# 2 Your Will / Living Will / Power of Attorney
Take the time and draft up your will, living will and power of attorney. You can hire a lawyer to help you or do it yourself online. Make sure you have these updated documents. More importantly, make sure your loved ones know what your final wishes are, in case you die. Give a copy of these documents to someone you trust and keep a copy yourself.
# 3 Update Your Life Insurance
Update your life insurance. Get the highest amount possible through the military that you can. Depending on your financial situation and family size, you might want to consider getting additional life insurance. Talk to a local insurance agency and get a quote. Ideally, you want your family well cared for in case something happens to you.
# 4 Spend Time with Your Family, Friends & Loved Ones
Spend as much quantity and quality time with your friends, family and loved ones before you deploy. Tell them that you love them. Make sure they know how you feel about them. If possible, go on a mini-vacation with them and create some fantastic memories.
# 5 Create an Automatic Savings Plan
For most soldiers, they will earn more money on a deployment than when they are at home. I suggest you come up with an automated savings plan, so you can save some of this extra money. You should come home from a deployment in a BETTER financial situation than when you left. Don’t leave this to chance. Automate your investments and debt reduction plan.
# 6 Have a Plan for Your Pets
If you have a cat, dog or pet, make sure you have a plan of who will take care of it while you are gone. Make sure you choose someone trustworthy, so you know your pet is in good hands with them. Draft up a written contract with them, so you are both on the same terms.
# 7 Close Out Your Apartment
If you have a family that lives with you, this tip won’t apply. However, if you are single, you should consider closing out your apartment (or renting out your home) and putting everything in storage while you are away. That way you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars per month while you are deployed.
# 8 Do Something on Your Bucket List
This tip might sound crazy to some people, but I think it makes sense. Do something neat for yourself, preferably something on your bucket list. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never done before. Go skydiving, scuba diving, take a fishing trip, visit a cool place, rent a motorcycle for a week, etc.
# 9 Set Some Goals
Prior to your deployment, set a few goals for things you want to accomplish while you are deployed. Perhaps, you want to take some online college classes. Maybe you want to write a book while you are deployed. Brainstorm three or four things you want to achieve during your deployment, prioritize them, and come up with a plan to make it happen.
# 10 Learn About the Country You Will be Deploying To
Whether you are deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan, or another country, take some time and educate yourself about that country. Read a few books about the country. Learn about the language, customs and courtesies of that country. If nothing else, this will give you a better understanding of the environment you are about to be in.
There you have it folks. These are 10 things you should do before you deploy. What are your thoughts? What tips and suggestions can you share with our website visitors about what they should do before they deploy? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.