Military Investing

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Re: Military Investing

Postby ChapMan » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:42 pm

Another potential addition:

Income Tax Preparation: Depending on the policies of your particular service and the bases around your area, active duty service members, activated reservists, retirees, and their dependents are often entitled to income tax preparation assistance through the local legal office free of charge. As of the 2011 tax year (doing taxes in 2012), all branches offer tax preparation services. The volunteers are trained by the IRS through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. They can prepare simple taxes, and for complicated taxes, you can try to set up appointment with the local judge advocate/legal assistance shop. This service is especially useful for new officers/enlisted personnel doing their taxes for the first time as the volunteer can walk the customer through basic tax preparation principles.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:22 pm

ChapMan wrote:Income Tax Preparation: ...

I found the IRS site: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - Military

Also found: Tax Information for Members of the U.S. Armed Forces There's a ton of info, including a few YouTube videos.

And: 10 Tips to Ease Tax Time for Military

Maybe it's time to split out a wiki page for U.S. military tax considerations.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby DChen » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:29 am

Hi. I'm not sure if this is worth putting into the wiki, but I believe the military's educational benefits like the Post 9/11 Montgomery G.I. Bill should be included.

One particular thing that interests me in this educational benefit is of the sheer financial value it would provide military personnel after military life.

From what I understand, this educational benefit, if used at the maximum potential, would provide a veteran 3 full years of schooling plus a fixed salary every month. The government will basically pay you to go to school for whatever you wish to study at public institutions.

Here is some of the info from http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_ ... index.html

The Post 9-11 GI Bill will pay eligible individuals:

Your full tuition & fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition & fees are capped at $17,500 per academic year.
For those attending classes at the greater than ½ time rate, a monthly housing allowance (MHA) based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school.
An annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

The best way to use it, in my opinion, is for someone who is planning to get a PhD in their chosen field to max out the benefits per year. $17,500 per year is too much to consume for a bachelors or even a masters degree, depending on which state you reside in. This lets you study full-time while getting paid to work on your doctorate degree. It would be even better if said veteran was married and the spouse could work full-time for the next 3 years to continue saving and investing. I see a very good opportunity to increase one's future income if ever one gets to finish his/her PhD.

It is also possible for career servicemen to pass this on to their dependent.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby desertbandit442 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:55 am

Yes, this is a good deal. I used my GI bill for a masters in aeronautical science while on active duty, then after retirement I used the rest of my GI bill for a masters in education to use up all my GI bill benefits. After retirement from active duty I received my regular retirement pay, plus the GI bill benefits paid all cost for the second masters and I received an additional $600 a month on top of everything else for living expenses. It is well worth it to use up all your GI bill benefits after retirement! I believe you have to use them within 5 or 7 years ( I don't remember exactly) after retirement or you lose them?
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Re: Military Investing

Postby Pruto » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:04 am

To clarify, the post 9/11 GI bill is NOT 3 years, it is 36 months of school, and there is a difference. Excluding summer school the normal school years is 9 months, so the GI bill is actually meant to pay for full 4 years of college at any public university in the country. For private schools, they will pay up to a certain amount, some private schools participate in a yellow ribbon program where they will cover an additional amount of tuition on top of what the GI bill will pay.

IMO the biggest monetary benefit is actually the housing allowance, you can go to http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm to check current 2012 rates, enter E-5 and the zip code of the school. If you're going to a school in a big city, the BAH may actually end up being more than the 17,500 max for tuition. (Using 90007 for my alma mater USC, located in downtown LA, you will get $2001 per month. So 18k for housing per school year, non-taxable.

The G.I. bill is also now transferable to dependents (kids/spouse) if you serve for 10+ years. I took this route and one of my kids can now thank uncle sam for their college education. More people should probably look at this option because the military pays for college while you’re serving. If you’re enlisted and not working on college and taking advantage of free classes then you’re wrong. Why waste that GI bill if you can get it for free?

Unlike the old version, the 9/11 bill isn’t a set amount of cash; it is based on the school you go to. It pains me to see kids wasting it on a community college or online classes. It will pay for a proper university education, take advantage of it!
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Re: Military Investing

Postby SpecialK22 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:45 am

A minor correction, but for the GI Bill the amount of the housing allowance starts with the "academic year" (August). So the 2012 rate doesn't start until August 2012. On the plus side, as long as you are continuously enrolled the housing allowance doesn't reduce if the rates go down in subsequent years.

The post 9/11 GI Bill is a huge benefit: One doesn't have to pay into it like the Montgomery GI Bill; it pays substantially more than the Montgomery GI Bill in most cases; it can be passed down to dependents; and you have a longer timeframe to use it after leaving active duty.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby DChen » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Pruto wrote:To clarify, the post 9/11 GI bill is NOT 3 years, it is 36 months of school, and there is a difference. Excluding summer school the normal school years is 9 months, so the GI bill is actually meant to pay for full 4 years of college at any public university in the country. For private schools, they will pay up to a certain amount, some private schools participate in a yellow ribbon program where they will cover an additional amount of tuition on top of what the GI bill will pay.

IMO the biggest monetary benefit is actually the housing allowance, you can go to http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm to check current 2012 rates, enter E-5 and the zip code of the school. If you're going to a school in a big city, the BAH may actually end up being more than the 17,500 max for tuition. (Using 90007 for my alma mater USC, located in downtown LA, you will get $2001 per month. So 18k for housing per school year, non-taxable.

The G.I. bill is also now transferable to dependents (kids/spouse) if you serve for 10+ years. I took this route and one of my kids can now thank uncle sam for their college education. More people should probably look at this option because the military pays for college while you’re serving. If you’re enlisted and not working on college and taking advantage of free classes then you’re wrong. Why waste that GI bill if you can get it for free?

Unlike the old version, the 9/11 bill isn’t a set amount of cash; it is based on the school you go to. It pains me to see kids wasting it on a community college or online classes. It will pay for a proper university education, take advantage of it!


Wow! I had not thought of it as paying for 4 years. Thank you for correcting me. This makes it even better.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby Nords » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:15 am

SpecialK22 wrote:The post 9/11 GI Bill is a huge benefit: One doesn't have to pay into it like the Montgomery GI Bill; it pays substantially more than the Montgomery GI Bill in most cases; it can be passed down to dependents; and you have a longer timeframe to use it after leaving active duty.

Veterans of a certain age will remember the "Veterans Educational Assistance Program" (VEAP).

I was darn glad to cash out of it...
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Re: Military Investing

Postby umfundi » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:03 am

May I second the motion to put this in the Wiki?

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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:36 pm

Actually, the G.I. Bill has been in the wiki all along(?). Look under "Take advantage of educational opportunities available in and through the military." I added a link in the footnote to the above posts (which explains it in much better detail than I can.)

If the G.I. bill was missed, some reformatting is needed. I moved all the paragraph headings to bullets, which should be easier to read. How's this look? Military finances

Can these items be grouped any better (anything in common that can be put under a new heading)? I see possibilities with Taxes, Consumer Affairs, and Insurance.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:54 pm

Thanks to the State of Wisconsin, we just updated the wiki to include a link to a comprehensive state-by-state list of active duty military pay tax provisions. If you want to know how US active duty military pay is taxed in your state, look here.

Wiki article link: Military finances

It's added as a reference note in the "If you aren’t a resident of a state with no income tax..." section. The direct link: Individual Income Tax Provisions in the States (Table 1, page 10)
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Re: Military Investing

Postby elgob.bogle » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:59 pm

South Dakota also has favorable tax rates.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/s ... akota.aspx

RV Enthusiasts who travel around the US like to make South Dakota their domicile of record, sometimes via a mechanism like this:

http://mydakotaaddress.com/SD%20Residency%20faq.htm



Best Regards

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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:32 pm

Heads up: The Thrift Savings Plan Roth Option is up and running for the Marines. Navy, Army, and Air Force will follow in October. COMING THIS OCTOBER: ROTH TSP OPTION FOR USA, USN & USAF MEMBERS

I updated the wiki: Military finances

Thanks to baw703916 in this post: [US Military] Help with Portfolio!!!
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Re: Thought's on EmergDoc's original post

Postby 29palms » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:43 pm

[off topic comment deleted by admin alex]
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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:38 pm

The Roth TSP option is now open for (Marines), Army, Navy, and Air Force. See: ROTH TSP OPTION FOR USA, USN & USAF MEMBERS

Reservists and National Guardsmen start dates for Roth TSP deductions have now changed and will occur during 2013.

Wiki article link: Military finances
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Re: Military Investing

Postby turning_page » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:15 am

Roth TSP is available today - easy enrollment through mypay.dfas.mil. Takes about five minutes to read through the information on the site (rules / restrictions / summation of differences) and make your selection for contributions. Easy money, easy day.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:39 pm

I'm bumping this thread to make sure military personnel are aware of TurboTax's free filling offer for E1-E5, reduced cost for E6-E10 and officers: TurboTax® Free Military Taxes & Tax Preparation, Tax Filing for Active Duty Military and Reserves

Note: While Intuit's website states the offer is for "E6 - E10 and officers," the highest enlisted rank is E9. See: DoD Enlisted Rank Insignia (thanks to gwrvmd for pointing this out)
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Re: Military Investing

Postby Fotivator » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:57 pm

http://www.militaryonesource.mil H&R Block at Home FREE for ALL Military personnel.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:05 pm

Thanks! You need a login to go further, but here's a direct link: Access the Military OneSource Free Online Tax Filing Service

If you are eligible under the Military OneSource program, you can complete, save and file your 2012 Federal and up to three State returns online for free with the H&R Block At Home® Basic tool.


For E6 and higher, H&R Block is the better deal.
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Re: Chase Military Investing

Postby Taylor Larimore » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:43 am

Bogleheads:

Chase Bank offers little-known special benefits to current and veteran military:

https://www.chase.com/online/military/m ... rsonal.htm

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Chase Military Investing

Postby dratkinson » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:47 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

Chase Bank offers little-known special benefits to current and veteran military:

https://www.chase.com/online/military/m ... rsonal.htm

Best wishes.
Taylor


Most interesting. I'll have to look into local branches for the availability of safety deposit boxes.
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Re: Military Investing

Postby Van-Guard23 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:41 am

Wow...just stumbled upon this thread from a link provided by Duckie. What a treasure trove of financial advice for military members. I went ahead and shared with fellow Soldiers (in addition to a link the PBS' Frontline "Retirement Gamble") in hopes of opening some eyes in the military community.
Thanks EmergDoc!
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Re: Military Investing

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:12 pm

There's more to personal finance than investing, such as insurance and estate planning. If you haven't thought about this, or need help to understand what's going on, the members have started a financial literacy project here. Financial literacy is a skill that will help you throughout your life and is worthwhile to learn.

Nords has contributed a PowerPoint presentation created by retired Marine Mark Hensen, which may be freely shared. The presentation is in: Bogleheads® financial literacy project, (Personal Financial Management Basics for U.S. Military) What's financial literacy? That's covered here.

This is for you (and civilians). Please pass it around, use it to help your buddies.

Nords blogs about the presentation here: Mixed plate: Tricare, “back pay” issues, early Reserve & Guard retirement (scroll down to Free PowerPoint presentation for basic financial management training).

I added financial literacy to the wiki article: Military finances (Under "Military Specific Investments" --> "Financial literacy")
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