30 Day Financial Transition Challenge Day 23: PCS Move

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of the “30 Day Financial Transition Challenge.”  Today’s article focuses on your post-military household goods move and relocation.

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) 

As you exit the military, you’ll want to make sure you understand your entitlements for your final PCS move.   Even if you plan to stay in the local area after your transition, circumstances might change and require you to relocate.  If that happens, you’ll appreciate the time you took to learn more.


In the military, we’re accustomed to dealing with periodic relocations.  However, we usually do so while insulated from the true costs of a PCS move, which can be tens of thousands of dollars.  If you don’t know what you’re entitled to, you may end up making a decision that costs you money, time, or a lot of hassle.


Today’s goal is to make sure you have a plan for your PCS move, and to make sure that you have access to the appropriate resources in case you need to make adjustments to that plan.

What you need



This exercise consists of a simple checklist of questions to help frame your approach.

  1. Are you moving or not moving after your transition?
  • Even if you’re not moving, you should do some research to learn your options
    • How long after you leave active duty can you exercise your move?
    • How long do you have temporary or non-temporary storage entitlements?
    • A PCS move from overseas takes additional time, consideration, and planning
  1. Learn more about your entitlements
  • Move.mil will be the starting point for most people. However, each service has different policies
  • Move.mil can point you to your service-specific policies
  • If possible, schedule an appointment with your installation’s transportation office
    • Go to your appointment with a notional plan, then go over it to see if it’s feasible
    • Build a list of questions, such as the ones mentioned above
  1. Unique circumstances, which might require further research.
  • Are you relocating from overseas? If so, are you relocating to a temporary place (i.e. with family), or do you have a plan to move to a permanent location?
  • Do you plan to have a house built, or move locally (i.e. from base housing)?
  • Do you plan to have some items in non-temporary storage?


By the end of today’s exercise, you should have a good idea of your post-military household goods move & relocation plan, possible options, and where you can turn if you need to change course.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss your post-military employment, which we touched on earlier in this series.  It’s particularly important to make sure that your financial decisions are aligned with your post-military employment plans.




About Forrest Baumhover

Forrest Baumhover is a Certified Financial Planner™ and tax professional. His firm, Westchase Financial Planning, focuses on the unique financial planning needs of servicemembers and families looking to separate or retire from active duty.If you’d like to learn more about Forrest or his services, please check out the About Forrest page at the top of this article.
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One Response to 30 Day Financial Transition Challenge Day 23: PCS Move

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