Monthly Archives: March 2016

Back to Basics – Emergency Fund: How Much Money Should I Have?

When dealing with money, the most important question is: “How much money do I need to deal with unexpected emergencies?” If you can honestly answer this question and put this amount of money aside to address issues that come up, then the rest of your money should be put to work in low cost, tax-advantaged investments that will grow over time. Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s Your Biggest Concern About Your Military Transition?

Cash flow is king, or so the saying goes. Almost everyone that I’ve talked with has stated cash flow as a concern for their post-active duty life. It seems that a lot of these concerns boil down to two questions: Continue reading

Posted in Military Transition | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Amended Returns: Does the IRS Owe You Money?

According to the IRS, 5 million people were expected to file amended tax returns for 2014, out of 131 million original filings. For 2015, the IRS expects over 150 million individual returns, which means even more amended returns can be expected. Continue reading

Posted in Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why You Should Strongly Consider Not Participating in the Survivor Benefit Plan

My first book, Military In Transition’s Guide to the Survivor Benefit Plan, is available for pre-order on and will be available for download on June 30.  If you’d like to learn more, please send me an email or join Military … Continue reading

Posted in Insurance, Survivor Benefit Plan | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

3 Tax Considerations When Selling Your Rental Property In The Military

When you make the decision to sell your home, it can be for any number of reasons: relocation, buying a bigger home, downsizing, or because it makes financial sense to do so. In fact, I previously wrote an article about this here. However, there are times in your military career where you just can’t sell your home as soon as you leave it: you’re underwater, you might move back into it later on, it’s got potential to make a lot of money as a rental, or timing issues. From the moment you have a tenant move into your house, it’s no longer your home…it’s a rental property. Whatever the reason for selling your home, let’s take a look at three tax considerations you should take into account: Continue reading

Posted in Real Estate, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Why Estate Planning Matters to You in the Military (Even if You Think it Doesn’t)

This article was published a couple of months ago online, but I’ve made some changes specifically to point out how estate planning should matter to you throughout your military career. I was recently at a financial planning conference, when I … Continue reading

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Terminal Leave: Take it or Sell it Back?

There are any number of articles out in the web-space about whether you should take terminal leave upon retirement or separation, vice selling back your unused leave. Ryan Guina’s Cash Money Life article is a very good primer on why this should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and why each decision on whether to take terminal leave is a personal one. Continue reading

Posted in Military Transition | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Back to Basics – Payday Loans and What They Mean

This is the next article in my ‘Back to Basics’ series. You can read my first article, on compounding interest, here. This article is meant for everyone. If you’re a junior enlisted person or junior officer, please share this with a friend. If you’re a leader of junior troops, feel free to use this article as a set of talking points for your one-on-one sessions. The focus of this article is to protect our junior personnel, many of whom may still be trying to get a handle on the responsibilities that military life hands them after high school or college. Continue reading

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