This past holiday season, a vast number of Service Members, Veterans, and their families received (or will soon receive) one-time stimulus checks of $600 under the trillion-dollar federal funding package and COVID-19 relief bill President Trump signed into law.
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 »
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.
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.
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: 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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
The Blended Retirement System (BRS) was created with the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. What is the Blended Retirement System (BRS)? The Blended Retirement System, or BRS, is a new military retirement system. The new system blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution benefit. This benefit is applied to the… Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Key Points for CARES Act and Your VA Loan The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. Its purpose is 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… Read more »
Three DIY Home Improvements for Home Resale Although occurring in slow motion this year, PCS season is upon us. 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… Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Covid-19 Stimulus Check Investment Opportunities Thanks to the Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act millions of Americans will be receiving stimulus checks throughout April. A single taxpayer will receive $1,200, a married couple filing jointly will receive $2,400, and each qualifying dependent will add $500 to the check. Quick math will show a… Read more »
The VA Loan, A Military Benefit You Should Use As a service member or veteran, you have a very important benefit you can use to help your family, the VA loan. The VA Home Loan program has been available for more than 75 years now. And can be a good way to get into a… Read more »
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 »
Starting on January 1st, 2020, there will be changes to the VA loan limits. Because of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, VA loan limits will be eliminated and VA loan fees will rise. This new law was signed into law by President Trump earlier this year. This bill has been a… Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »