November 11, 2015 2:40 am
“Military families do an amazing service for this country,” says American Bankers Association (ABA) President and CEO Frank Keating. “The nature of their jobs is inherently stressful – but financial stress shouldn’t be part of it.”
Servicemembers and their families can pave the way to a strong financial future by taking steps to cement their finances. The ABA advises:
Meeting with Your Banker before Active Duty
The Servicemember Civil Relief Act offers all military personnel entering active duty a variety of financial protections. The SCRA covers issues ranging from interest rate reductions to limits on debt accrual. Ask your banker about the key provisions of this law and how it can help you.
Considering Housing Options
Frequent relocations and deployments can make owning a home challenging and expensive. Renting may be a smart option for short-term assignments. Decide what’s best for your family and your finances.
Planning for Deployment
Before deploying, have a conversation with your family about managing the household budget. Consider granting power of attorney to your spouse should they need to make any urgent financial decisions while you are gone. Check with your bank to see if they have pre-printed forms you can use for bank accounts. Military personnel also receive additional funds while deployed, so decide on the best use for that extra cash.
Budgeting for a Single-Income Household
Frequent moves are an inevitable part of military life and can make it difficult for spouses to establish stable careers. As a precaution, make plans to operate on a single-income household budget. That way, should your spouse’s employment status change, your family will be prepared.
Setting Up Automatic Bill Pay
Whether you’re stationed stateside or overseas, automatic bill pay will give you and your family one less thing to worry about each month. It can be particularly helpful during deployments in regions where Internet access is unreliable and mobile banking isn’t an option.
Contributing to a Thrift Savings Plan
Military members have access to the Federal Thrift Savings Program, which offers the lowest-cost retirement-savings plan available. Have automatic contributions withdrawn from your paycheck.
Published with permission from RISMedia.