Your Family’s Business | Finance Tips for Military Families

| October 6, 2014

Bush-Wealth-Advantage-4Stacy Bush, Valdosta Today Business Contributor:

One survey found that 77% of military personnel have some financial worries, mostly regarding their lack of savings to cover retirement or other needs.  While the financial situation of military personnel and their families mirror the general population in many respects, heavy indebtedness and mismanagement of credit cards may be especially acute issues for service members.  Of course, military families face unique challenges, such as deployment to conflict zones, overseas assignments and the constancy of change, making personal finance even more critical for those in the Armed Forces.

Money Tips to Consider  

  • The Thrift Savings Plan is one way to save for retirement and a Roth TSP is now available.
  • The Savings Deposit Program allows eligible personnel serving in designated combat zones to invest up to $10,000 and receive a guaranteed return of 10%.
  • Saving in a Roth IRA may be a good idea if you receive tax-free combat-zone pay. This allows you to deposit tax-free income and take tax-free qualified withdrawals in retirement.
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers the full cost of in-state tuition, up to 36 months.
  • Service member’s Group Life Insurance protects your family with low-cost life insurance.
  • Set Goals—Like any mission, success begins with articulating goals you want to pursue.
  • Establish a Budget—A budget provides the financial discipline that may help you control spending impulses that can lead to greater debt levels.
  • Pay Yourself First—Determine how much money you need to set aside to reach your savings goal, deduct this amount from your paycheck, and attempt to live within the limits of what remains.
  • Establish an Emergency Fund—Uncertainty marks the life of military families, so be sure you have an emergency fund that allows you to be as prepared as possible for these changes.
  • Control Your Debt—Indebtedness is one of the enemies of financial independence.

As you think through your financial goals, remember, taking action today is your first and most important step.


CONTRIBUTOR

Stacy Bush has practiced independent financial advising in the Valdosta area for 14 years. Growing up on a farm in Donalsonville, Georgia, he is keen to the financial needs of South Georgia and North Florida families. Stacy and his wife, Carla, live in Valdosta with their four children. You can submit questions about this article to askstacybush@lpl.com

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