“Ugh” to “Oh yeah!” — Taking Advantage of Deployments!
Posted in Category: Deployment, Spouse
Tagged with : SMART Goals
Over the course of a 30-year military career, I’ve deployed on multiple occasions. My time in uniform, coupled with more than 20 years as a financial planner, has provided several great learning opportunities. Unfortunately, some of those life lessons came with sacrifices to my wallet.
Here are a few insights I’ll share so that you and your finances won’t have to learn the hard way.
Remember, no one plans to fail…you know the rest.
- Include your spouse or significant other so you are on the same page. MilSpouse Money Mission is a great resource for spouses, with a dedicated section on deployment prep.
- Set SMART Goals to build your savings, get out of debt, or start investing.
- Create a spending plan using the Four-Step Budgeting process. Know what changes in pay and expenses you can expect while deployed.
- Take advantage of personal financial counselors and pre-deployment resources.
- Avoid the temptation to “go through the motions” when attending pre-deployment training. You get out what you put into these courses.
For your own and your family’s peace of mind, create or update these key documents and beneficiaries:
- Record of Emergency Data (DD Form 93)
- Your will and power of attorney
- Family Care Plan
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
- Life insurance policies
- Personal investments and bank accounts
Don’t get overwhelmed with the amount of information. Every march is completed one step at a time.
- TSP contributions, especially if you are deployed to a designated combat zone, where you can contribute more than usual.
- Homeowners or renters, and auto policies coverage amounts
- IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide
- Consumer protections offered by Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Military Lending Act (MLA) offer protections that help protect you.
- Learn about the Savings Deposit Program to boost your savings at a higher interest rate.
Whether in the air, on land, or at sea, deployments can be great opportunities to improve your financial readiness whether it is your first or one of many.
The USAA Educational Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt IRS 501(c)(3) and cannot endorse or promote any commercial supplier, product, or service. The content of this blog is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice.