Monthly Archives: January 2016

Three Reasons to Stay Local After Your Military Transition

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they have to make the decision to get out of the military.  Whether it’s retirement or separation, everyone will eventually have to part ways with their service.  In doing so, they will … Continue reading

Posted in Military Transition | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My Experience With the Post 9/11 GI Bill

When the Post 9/11 GI Bill was signed into law in 2008, one of the first things that I did was review the Navy’s instructions for transferring benefits to my children. At the time, one of the stipulations was that I had to agree to an additional 4 years & sign a Page 13 (Administrative Remarks) that started the clock. I knew that I was planning to retire, but I wanted to start the clock as soon as possible so I did not have that hanging over my head. In my opinion, this turned out to be a stroke of fortune, as I’ve talked with several of my colleagues at other commands who were burned because the paperwork wasn’t routed properly (probably a shock, since the military is known for making sure the paperwork doesn’t get lost, right?). In one case, a shipmate had to postpone his retirement because he reached the 20-year mark before he realized that his paperwork got lost, and the time he was tracking did not count. Continue reading

Posted in College Planning | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

What Will My Military Pension Look Like After Retirement?

One of my friends asked me to write about the impacts to your cash flow when you retire. While your cash flow may go up or down based upon a lot of non-military factors, such as relocation or your follow-on career, this blog post will attempt to address the military-specific changes that occur, and which you should take into account when you’re planning for separation or retirement. Continue reading

Posted in Military Transition | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

VA Loans: Three Things to Consider

1. You can finance up to 100%, but should you?
Lenders generally require a 20% down payment on the purchase of a home, or they will require that the borrower obtain private mortgage insurance. This is to protect the bank’s investment in the case of a default. However, there is another argument that can be made: ‘skin in the game’ is an important consideration. Continue reading

Posted in Real Estate | 3 Comments

Retirement Journal – January 2016

This is the second in my series of retirement journal blog posts.  In case you missed my first article, you can read it here.  Although this post isn’t an update on my personal situation, I wanted to cover something that … Continue reading

Posted in Military Transition, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Survivor Benefit Plan-What Does it Mean to Me?

When a military retiree passes away, their pension automatically stops. Without a plan to replace this lost income, the family’s quality of life could definitely be at risk. In 1972, Congress established the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and its reserve counterpart under Title 10, specifically to help military retirees and their families protect themselves from the risk of financial loss.

SBP and its reserve component counterpart, RC-SBP, are annuity plans designed to replace a military pension once a military retiree passes. Under SBP, you pay a certain percentage of your retired pay (currently capped at 6.5%) in exchange for the right for your dependents to receive 55 percent of your retirement pay. For example, if you have $1,000 per month in retired pay, you’d pay $65 per month for SBP. When you die, your spouse would receive $550 per month. After 360 months and you reach the age of 70, you are considered ‘paid up’ and there is no additional cost to you.

Here are four unpublished reasons you should strongly consider SBP: Continue reading

Posted in Survivor Benefit Plan | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Three Things About Thrift Savings Plan

TSP has the lowest investment costs of any investment vehicle out there. Take a look at Vanguard. Vanguard is generally regarded as the mutual fund industry’s low-cost leader due to its quantities of scale. When compared to their Vanguard counterparts TSP index funds are a fraction of even those. Let’s compare a $1,000 investment in the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (.17% expense ratio) to the TSP C Fund (.029% expense ratio). That means for a $1,000 investment, Vanguard will charge $1.70 per year, while TSP charges 29 cents! By the way, in the mutual fund industry, an annual expense ratio below 1% is generally all right. However, index-tracking funds such as these should be below .5%, so you can see that Vanguard & TSP are both well below the industry standard. But TSP is better. Continue reading

Posted in Retirement Planning, Thrift Savings Plan | Tagged , , | 1 Comment