Back to Basics: The Real Costs of a DUI

Preface

In the civilian world, there are professions where the impact of DUI conviction might not have an effect on the person’s career.  Not so with the military.  In the military, a DUI conviction is only the beginning, as it will have a direct career impact on the servicemember.

With that said, this article will focus on the military aspects of a DUI, particularly its impact on your ability to accumulate long-term wealth over the course of a career.  After all, the best financial planning advice is this:  Avoid bad decisions that lead to life-changing incidents.  Continue reading

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5 State Tax Considerations For Your Military Transition

Taxes can be a major consideration in your military transition planning.  As I outlined in a previous military pension article, your take-home pay can be up to 40% less than what you see on paper.  Federal taxes are obviously a significant part of that equation.  However, there are several ways in which state taxes (and local taxes) could play a part in your relocation decision. Continue reading

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Weekend Wrap-up: Military Personal Finance Articles You Should Read (11/11-11/17)

I hope you enjoy this version of the Weekend Wrap-up! Below are some of the top articles that I’ve read this week, most of which hail from our military financial blogger community. So, without further ado, here are this week’s articles: Continue reading

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What Military Landlords Should Know About Section 1250 Depreciation

Just because you joined the military, you shouldn’t have to give up the right to buy a house.   While there are many things to consider, you may:

  • Buy a starter home
  • Purchase a home that you plan to live in, fix up, and sell for profit
  • Buy a home that you plan to live in after leaving the military

Whatever the reason, things don’t always work out as planned.  When that happens, many military people become .  This article looks at one of the more overlooked aspects of being an accidental landlordSection 1250 depreciation. Continue reading

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Weekend Wrap-up: Military Personal Finance Articles You Should Read (11/4-11/10)

I hope you enjoy this Veteran’s Day version of the Weekend Wrap-up! Below are some of the top articles that I’ve read this week, which hail from our military financial blogger community. So, without further ado, here are this week’s articles: Continue reading

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Military Pension Tax Rates By State

There are several websites with plenty of information on which states tax military pensions, and which ones don’t.  However, when you’re making your post-military decision, taxes on military pensions are only one part of the tax equation.  It’s also important to consider taxes on the rest of your income.

Since I couldn’t find a website with detailed, state-by-state tax information on the whole income picture, I decided to create my own.   Where applicable, I try to include links to the relevant state website, so you can double check this information whenever you want.

Many states have multiple tax brackets, based upon taxable income.  However, this article only contains the highest marginal individual tax bracket.  For a true side-by-side comparison on tax liability, you might want to run the numbers yourself.  If you are planning a more complex post-retirement career, such as owning your own business, you may want to sit down with a tax professional or fee-only financial planner for more detailed tax planning.

Continue reading

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Weekend Wrap-up: Military Personal Finance Articles You Should Read (10/28-11/3)

I hope you enjoy this week’s version of the Weekend Wrap-up! Below are five of the top articles that I’ve read this week.  Most of these articles hail from our military financial blogger community. So, without further ado, here are this week’s articles: Continue reading

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5 Factors You Should Consider When Evaluating the Survivor Benefit Plan

Everyone planning a military retirement has a very important decision:  “Should I take the Survivor Benefit Plan or not?”  As I’ve said previously, this is a very personal decision, and should not be taken lightly.  While the best decision might depend upon the circumstances, it’s important to note the factors that might help inform your decision.  Below are five of those factors, and the reasons why they are important. Continue reading

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Weekend Wrap-up: Military Personal Finance Articles You Should Read (10/21-10/27)

I hope you enjoy this week’s version of the Weekend Wrap-up! Below are four of the top articles that I’ve read this week.  Most of these articles hail from our military financial blogger community. So, without further ado, here are this week’s articles: Continue reading

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SGLI Conversion-Why VGLI Might Be Better Than Whole Life Insurance

According to the VA Department, SGLI ends when you leave the military, unless you qualify for a disability extension.  Although you’ll no longer have your SGLI, there are two ways to continue your $400,000 coverage.  If done within a certain timeframe, you can continue coverage without having to prove good health (part of the insurance underwriting process).  You can convert to either:

  • Veteran’s Group Life Insurance (VGLI):  Must be done within 240 days of discharge.
  • A permanent commercial life insurance policy, such as whole life insurance.   Must be done within 120 days of discharge.

These two options are codified in U.S. law and are in place to allow any servicemember to continue this coverage permanently. Continue reading

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