Complete all the items in the 36 to 24 months, 24 to 18 months, 18 to 12 months, and 12 to 6 months checklists. If you are just beginning your preparations for retirement you must work on all items simultaneously, including those in this list.

It’s the home stretch and your focus must go from planning to execution. Most of your focus should be on your retirement now.

Any decisions you postpone now may adversely impact your retirement or benefits.

Do the following tasks prior to the beginning of your terminal leave and transition administrative assistance:

  • Update your wills and powers of attorney with the Staff Judge Advocate.
  • If moving:
    • House Hunt
    • Schedule delivery of your household goods with the Transportation Office.
  • Schedule and finalize your retirement ceremony.
  • Change your email address in any account that contains your DoD email address.
  • Apply for a DS Logon, so you have access to DoD systems such as your Army personnel records, VA and TRICARE records after you turn in your CAC. It is easier to do this prior to retirement, while you still have your CAC. For more information, view the DS Logon FAQs.

    NOTE: Find location and contact information for installation offices such as legal services and transportation on the MyArmyBenefits Resource Locator for your state.

    • Submit DD Form 2656 [Data for Payment of Retired Personnel and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) election] and, if needed, DD Form 2656-1 (SBP election for a former spouse) to your servicing RSO. 

    NOTE: If you have not already, you must contact an RSO and receive SBP Counseling prior to completing DD Form 2656.

      • Under the Blended Retirement System (BRS)—submit the form(s) at least 90 days from retirement if you want a lump sum of your retired pay at retirement
      • Not under the BRS—submit the form(s) at least 60 days from retirement

    IMPORTANT: If you decline SBP or elect a reduced amount, your spouse must sign the DD Form 2656 and it must be notarized.