What are the Benefits of Serving in the National Guard?

Some people might be thinking about improving their lives by joining the National Guard. This is a great option for people who want to serve without having to put forth the commitment of active duty military service. Perhaps more importantly, there are significant benefits that can help you get ahead in your career. People who serve in the National Guard enjoy substantial retirement benefits, substantial pay, solid discounts, and certain loan advantages that go along with service. For a person who wants to serve while enjoying impressive fringe benefits, the National Guard remains a very attractive option.

Retirement benefits are the crown jewel

For any person who chooses to serve, retirement benefits are almost always the most important thing going. The National Guard has a retirement system that is aligned with the traditional military retirement system. This means that if you put in 20 years worth of service, you will draw a monthly retirement check until the day that you die. You will also receive wonderful healthcare benefits in retirement. The upside to serving in the National Guard is that you can receive these benefits in addition to any benefits that might be coming from your career in the civilian world. In addition, the National Guard allows you to use your prior military service to count toward the 20-year requirement.

Surprisingly good supplemental pay

Those people looking for a way to supplement their income will enjoy the pay grade for National Guard soldiers. You are paid a military salary for every day that you serve. More importantly, you are considered on active duty while you are in the midst of basic training and job skill training. This means that you will take home a nice check each month to supplement the cash that you make in the civilian world. One of the good things about the National Guard is that your pay will be dependent upon your time in, your rank, and even your education level. If you have an advanced degree, you have a chance to come into the National Guard at a higher level, and you will earn more money.

Discounts make life cheaper

There are many ways that National Guard service can make your life a little bit easier. Many stores and restaurants feature significant discounts for people who serve. Though this might not seem like a big deal, it can save you a lot of money over the course of the year. In addition to the little discounts that you will receive on things like groceries and gas, you may also receive discounts on recreational activities, including golf memberships. This can make life both easier and a lot more fun.

Loan advantages are beneficial

National Guard soldiers are able to take advantage of the loan advantages offered to military personnel. If you are thinking about buying a home, then you might be able to get an affordable loan from a lender who likes to work with the military. In addition, you can likely secure personal loans and student loans much more easily when you are serving in the Guard. These things can really add up, saving you thousands of dollars when repaying an expensive loan. Some National Guard soldiers are able to secure interest rates two to three points lower on higher-interest loans.

Further Reading: http://www.nationalguard.com/benefits