Money

Amazon Accepts SNAP EBT as Payment Method

InciSNAP EBT Now Accepted By Amazon Since mid-2020, Amazon has accepted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) payments. This pilot program aims to make food more accessible and more affordable for those most in need. What is SNAP EBT? Uniquely, SNAP EBT is a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that… Read more »

VA Loan For National Guard

VA Loan Eligibility Expanded for National Guard

The National Guard’s COVID-19 response has created some additional benefits, in the form of veteran home loans, or VA Loans. The latter was activated during the pandemic, thanks to a provision in the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act.

live after military

Where Should Veterans Choose to Live After the Military

Deciding where to live and work after transitioning out of the military can be an overwhelming process especially if you haven’t decided which state to live in. We have put together some factors for you to consider. Setting yourself up to make sure your money goes further and living in a state that has veteran employment programs as well as companies willing to hire veterans will help the transition from military life to civilian life.

payback deadline for deferred social security tax extended

Payback Deadline for Deferred Social Security Tax Extended

Payback Deadline for Deferred Social Security Tax Extended With the passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 just last week, the major change affecting service members, federal employees, and their families is the extension for repayment of deferred payroll taxes. Effective September 1, 2020, through a presidential order, military and federal employees’ paychecks presented… Read more »

military financial preparation

Military Financial Preparation: An Introduction

When first joining the military understanding your military pay factors, military benefits that can save you money, and tricks to reduce spending is crucial for financial planning. Understanding your finances from the start and developing a healthy cost-saving mindset can help you throughout your military career. Here’s a quick intro to financial preparation for the military.

transitioning out of the military during pandemic

Transitioning From Active Duty During Covid-19: What You Need to Know

For most service members, making the decision to get out of the military can be just as daunting as the choice to go in. Add to that the current state of the world due to the coronavirus, and things can seem downright terrifying. The best way to combat those fears, however, is to be informed. Getting solid information from reputable sources about education opportunities, unemployment rates and the impact on jobs, and available resources to help make the transition easier is where to begin.

Military Payroll Tax Deferral

Military Impact of Payroll Tax Deferral

President Trump signed a memo last month to allow employers to defer payment of employee-side social security payroll taxes, to provide relief to workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Blended Retirement System Updates

Blended Retirement: BRS Round 2

Blended Retirement: Round 2 On June 23rd, 2020, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the Re-Open Enrollment for Servicemembers to Opt-In to Updated Retirement Choice for Enduring Security (RESOURCES) Act of 2020, which “would promote financial security for military families by improving financial training,” according to a… Read more »

ways to improve your credit score

Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Improve Your Credit Score Lenders use your credit score to evaluate your credit risk and estimate how likely it is that you will pay them back on time. If your credit score isn’t high enough, you won’t be able to utilize any of the benefits that come with it such as receiving loans, credit cards,… Read more »

Veterans Economic Recovery Act

Veterans Economic Recovery Act Bill Introduced

New Legislation for Veterans Economic Recovery Introduced In an effort to get veterans and their spouses back to work so they can provide for themselves and their families, top Veterans Affairs lawmakers on Capitol Hill (Phil Roe, R-Tenn., Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, Senate ranking member Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Mike Levin,… Read more »

aid attendance benefits

Aid & Attendance and Housebound Benefits: What You Need to Know

Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits The best strategies for financial health are staying informed and thinking proactively. Even if you‘re under 65, it‘s wise to do your homework now so you can make provisions for your anticipated needs. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Don‘t leave money on the table by overlooking… Read more »

Veteran’s Mortgage Life (VMLI)

Veterans’ Mortgage Life (VMLI) Overview

Veterans’ Mortgage Life (VMLI) If you have a service-connected disability that the VA concluded was caused or made worse by your service, you may be eligible for a Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) policy. In the event of your death, this insurance can help your family pay off the home mortgage that has been adapted… Read more »

blended retirement system

Blended Retirement System (BRS): An Overview

The Blended Retirement System (BRS) is the new military retirement system. It went in to effect in 2018. The new system blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution benefit that is applied to the service member’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. It is one of the most significant changes to the compensation system since World War Two.

thrift savings plan

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): Everything You Need to Know

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees. The plan is also available for members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. The Thrift Savings Plan was established by Congress in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986.  The TSP offers the same type of savings… Read more »

maximize tsp

Maximize Your TSP Retirement Fund

Maximizing Your Thrift Savings Plan Retirement Fund All government employees are uniquely positioned to set themselves up for a great retirement. How? Through the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP offers the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations provide their employees under their 401-K plans. (Learn the full ins and… Read more »

new tsp options

Service Members Now Have More Options to Invest in TSP

Service Members Now Have More Options to Invest in TSP The Thrift Savings Plan will retire one fund and add six new funds on July 1st. The six new TSP options consist of L Funds or lifecycle funds which are crafted to allow investors to balance returns and risk on their TSP portfolio of holdings…. Read more »

best personal budget plans

Top Personal Budget Plans

Top Personal Budget Plans Monthly budgeting can be a tedious task, but acknowledging that there’s no one perfect way of doing it leaves room for comfort. There are countless ways to control personal finances, depending on income bracket, amount of debt you’re in, desire for control over your finances, or simply personal preference. If you’re… Read more »

CARES Act and VA Loan

CARES Act and What It Means For Your VA Loan

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law to address the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy by “providing fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families.” For most Americans, this included stimulus checks, additional unemployment payments, tax-filing extensions and insurance coverage of virus-related treatments. But for service members and veterans with a VA home loan, there are some additional benefits the CARES Act provides.

DIY Home Improvements

DIY Home Improvements to Increase Home Value

Three DIY Home Improvements for Home Resale PCS season is just around the corner. Many military families are once again facing decisions about renting or buying a new home. Selling a home requires understanding that a house is a product. DIY home improvements are excellent ways to pass the time since we are all staying… Read more »

best budget apps military

Best Budget Apps for the Military

Long term planning goes hand in hand with military service. Enlistments and re-enlistments are for years at a time. Military members are always looking to the next inspection, the next physical training test, the next test to rise in rank. Just like some of their civilian counterparts, however, most don’t enjoy planning ahead with money…. Read more »

Financial Steps Early Military

Financial Steps to Take Early In Your Military Career

Set Yourself Up for Financial Success Early in Your Military Career If you are a young or new service member, not only do you have your whole career in front of you, you also have the benefit of having time on your side. It’s important to make smart financial moves now that you’re young, while… Read more »

SSI and VA Beneficiaries Have Until May 5 to File Taxes

Deadline For Some SSI & VA Beneficiaries with Kids is May 5

ATTENTION: SSI and VA beneficiaries You may be eligible to receive an additional $500 per dependent. If you are a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veteran Affairs (VA) beneficiary with dependent children and you have NOT filed your taxes for 2018 or 2019, then you may need to read this. If those conditions apply to… Read more »

Deployment Financial Planning

Financial Planning For Your Next Deployment

Deploying?  3 Tips to Get Your Financial House In Order An overseas deployment rotation is a reality that most service member experience in their careers. However, over the last two decades, there has been an increased requirement of the United States military in areas around the world. In the past, most of this burden would… Read more »

COVID19 Stimulus Check

Best Ways to Use Your Covid-19 Stimulus Money

Covid-19 Stimulus Check Investment Opportunities The American Rescue Plan of 2021 was signed into law by President Biden on March 11th. a key element of the plan includes $1,400 direct payments to individuals. However, direct payment will start to phase out for high-income taxpayers, including some who received stimulus checks in previous stimulus rounds. If… Read more »

veterans benefits banking program

New Veterans Benefits Banking Program

The New Veterans Benefits Banking Program Detailed As of December 20, 2019, the VA has a new program to help veterans receive better access to banking. Through the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP), the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) are working to offer veterans and service members… Read more »

no more VA loan limits

No More VA Loan Limits In 2020

Starting Jan 1st, 2020, there will be changes to the VA loan limits. There will no longer be VA loan limits, but VA loan fees will rise. Read more.

SCRA

SCRA and MLA: How They Can Help You Financially

Have you ever been frustrated about your credit situation? You may have joined the military, hoping to get ahead, but you still have some debt you need to deal with. Did you know there are protections just for active duty military members that can help you financially?  Life in the military can be unpredictable, and… Read more »

Military Star Card

Military Star Card: An Overview

The Military Star Card is a popular credit card available for members of the military. Here is what you need to know about this card. What Is The Military Star Card? The Military Star Card is a line of credit exclusive for military personnel and their families. Those that use the card will receive a… Read more »

SGLI

SGLI Servicemembers Group Life Insurance

What Is SGLI Coverage? SGLI stands for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance.  SGLI provides low-cost term life insurance coverage to service members that are eligible. If the service member is eligible, they are automatically issued the maximum in SGLI coverage. They are automatically enrolled and will not have to apply. Service members can however decline the… Read more »

VA Loan Limits

VA Loan Limits 2019

The max VA Loan amount is virtually the same across the US. But high cost counties allow for more. Here are the 2019 VA Loan Limits.

Best Ways To Use Your Military Raise

Best Ways To Use Your Military Raise

For 2020, service members saw a 3.1% increase from the previous year. Military raises don’t ever seem to be enough, but that doesn’t mean you should just ignore them or not have a plan for that extra money. How to Best Use Your Military Raise There is so much can you do with this extra… Read more »

Save money and energy in your military home

11 Ways To Save Money and Energy in Your Military Home

Home is where the heart is or — for service members and their families — home is where the military sends you. For each and every on-post house that you customize and make your own, there are small tweaks and fixes you can employ that will save your military family money. Some duty stations provide… Read more »

Money saving hacks when one parent is in school

Money Saving Hacks To Use When One Parent Is In School

When a service member or spouse decides to go back to school, there usually needs to be changes to the family’s budget. Most likely, there will be a loss of income. Even if all of the educational bills are paid for through the military and financial aid, saving money during the time they are in… Read more »

Money saving hacks for vacation

20 Money Saving Hacks For Your Next Vacation

When you start to plan your next vacation, you may be looking for ways to save money. Traveling expenses can add up, but if you can find ways to save money, you will be able to keep your costs lower than they would otherwise be. Here are 20 money saving hacks for your next vacation:… Read more »