News: Benefit seminar sets the stage for Reservists nearing retirement
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos
SAN DIEGO – The road to retirement for approximately 120 Navy Reservists, Coastguardsmen, retirees and their spouses was accelerated after attending the Reserve Retirement Benefit Seminar at Navy Operational Support Center San Diego, Dec. 17. The comprehensive, one-day seminar served as a “one-stop shop” for a host of benefits, presentations from specialists and retirement information.
“This is a starting point. Just getting the service members here to connect with people and have that one-on-one with these [specialists] … it’s better than making a phone call,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class Arnulfo Torres, command career counselor for NOSC San Diego and event coordinator.
The retirement seminar provided Reservists and their spouses with an overview of the many benefits available and steps necessary to prepare for retirement. Benefit specialists from seven different organizations made presentations, set up booths and provided individual benefit counseling. A representative from Disabled American Veterans reviewed attendees’ medical records to help determine if they qualify for disability benefits. Torres wrapped up the seminar with a presentation on the Navy’s retirement process. There seemed to be something for everyone attending the event, whether five years or five days from retirement.
“This is definitely a good idea to put this on,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Irma Calata, command career counselor for Operational Health Support Unit, San Diego. “I was able to enroll three sailors in this event, who are all retiring from the Navy the next three months. This is actually a big help, because they are getting a lot of information.”
In the past, many Navy Reservists did not have the opportunity to attend any type of transitional retirement workshops to help them get through the myriad of decisions and financial planning needed. Unlike the active component, which has the Transition Assistance Program, there is no mandatory retirement program for Navy Reservists. Leadership at Navy Reserve Force decided it was time to offer retirement seminars. This is the second one for NOSC San Diego, currently an annual event.
“It’s an important part of the service members’ transition from military to civilian life and eventually to retirement. The first thing that we want to get them is the information related to retiring. And as soon as they have all that information, they can start preparing,” Torres said.
The NOSC San Diego retirement seminar also included representatives from TriCare West, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare Systems, Total Access and Total Freedom, Grand Canyon University, and Brandman University.
For more information about this seminar, contact Torres at 858-537-8025 or e-mail at email@example.com.