Returning from a deployment can be an exciting time as you reunite with family and friends. However, it’s important not to overlook certain financial tasks so you can make the most of the extra money and resources related to your deployment.
Revisit your financial goals
Check your financial goals to reorient yourself. If you don’t have any, this is a good time to set some!
Reset your budget
Check your Leave and Earnings Statement or pay slip for changes in pay and budget accordingly.
- Special pay will be discontinued after deployment.
- Account for changes in taxes. Tax-free income from the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion may cause a decrease in income.
- Your expenses might also change — especially transportation.
- If you increased your Thrift Savings Plan contributions during deployment, depending on your cash flow, you might have to dial it back to normal.
Don’t forget about changes in your loan payments. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protections that lower or suspend interest rates end when you come home, so remember to notify all of your lenders and account for changes.
Guard against the splurge
It’s great to be home and be reunited with family and friends. You might feel tempted to make a “feel-good” purchase that doesn’t align with your budget or long-term goals. Unless you planned and budgeted for it, don’t do it. As an alternative, set a purchase goal and save up for it over time, or treat yourself to something smaller that won’t break the bank.
Make a plan for SDP dollars
If you participated in the Savings Deposit Program, make sure the allotment has stopped. The account will continue to earn the 10% annual interest rate for 90 days after deployment. Then, 120 days after you leave the combat zone, the balance will be transferred electronically (EFT) to the bank of record or you can request the funds through myPAY. Plan how you’ll use these funds before they’re distributed, so you aren’t tempted to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase when the deposit hits. Let your financial game plan be your guide.
Get Going Again
Un-Pause Insurance, Unfreeze Credit, Unwind Legal Documents
Ensure you’re insured
If you made changes to your auto coverage while you were deployed, remember to call your insurance company to make sure you’re adequately covered. Don’t forget to adjust your budget to account for any increase in cost.
Turn off credit protections
If you set an active-duty alert or credit freeze before you deployed, you can lift these restrictions upon your return.
Revisit legal documents
Review any legal documents such as your will and power of attorney you put in place prior to deployment and make any appropriate changes as needed.
Guard or Reserve?
Tips for Members of the Guard and Reserve
Keep these three things in mind to smooth the process of reintegration.
Your job is protected
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) protects Guard and Reserve members from discrimination as they seek to return to civilian employment; just know there are some requirements. Your base legal office might be able to advise if you run into issues.
Your TRICARE coverage is gone
Guard and Reserve members who elected TRICARE health coverage during deployment, will remain covered under Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) for 180 days after separation. Learn more about TRICARE coverage scenarios around activation and deactivation.
Your income could take a hit
Guard and Reserve Service members may see a significant dip in pay as they go from military deployment pay back to civilian pay. Don’t let it sneak up on you — plan ahead for this decrease.