It’s probably something of an understatement to say that life for military families isn’t exactly normal. With all the long periods of deployment, frequent moves, and all kinds of other complications, there’s a lot of things which can make life a little tough to manage. One of the many things you’ll have to worry about, like anyone, is the financial health of your family. Here are some helpful tips which will ensure you have a smooth ride ahead of you.
Make Some Low-Cost Investments
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m always encouraging people to take advantage of the investment opportunities available to them. If someone in your family has worked in the military, they’ll have a distinct advantage here: access to some of the lowest-cost retirement plans in the country. The Thrift Savings Plan, for example, charges a mere 25 cents a year for every $1,000 invested, and allows you to choose from a target-date fund or one of five index mutual funds. Servicemen and women also have access to the Roth TSP, which is pretty much the Roth IRA except without the income restrictions. There are a lot of retirement plans you can choose from, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. When you’re weighing up your options, make sure you’re not cheating yourself out of the low-cost investments exclusive to military members.
Choose the Right Loans
Every now and then, life throws us a curveball, and we have to find other sources to see ourselves through to the next paycheque. When you find yourself having to pay for some expensive auto or home repairs in a military family, it’s important to choose the best possible options available to you. There are a lot of home equity and personal loans with some pretty attractive rates, but you may find that a military loan is a smarter choice. Products like Omni Military Loans offer a flexible range of amounts, and usually operate quick, easy approvals. These lenders are generally very responsible as well, and will weigh up your ability to repay the loan before proceeding with any application. Even if you’re not in the throng of a financial emergency, it’s a good idea to have a look at your loan options now.
Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
One of the many things that makes military life more complicated is regular and often unpredictable transfers. While these aren’t exactly the best part of the job, there’s a certain benefit in them. Military men and women are able to keep legal residence in one state even after being transferred to another, provided they’re still actively employed by the military. This kind of freedom can be a huge help if the military member in your family is stationed in a tax-free state, for example Florida, and is then moved to another part of the country where they’d have to pay state income taxes. The spouse of a military member can also maintain that original legal residency, even if they have to move.