My social media has lit up this year with complaints about vehicle insurance.
It seems as if every military family whos transferred to a new duty station has paid more money to insure the same autos and the same drivers. Even families who havent moved (yet) are unhappy when they renew their policies: more money for the same coverage. Its not just geckos or good hands or eagles or good neighbors or mouthy mascots. Insurance seems to cost more no matter whos selling it.
The trend is clear: everyones auto insurance premiums are rising across the industry. Many insurers are paying out more than theyre earning. Theyre all trying to cut costs, but were going to see rising rates for a few more years.
You could shop around for the cheapest deals (again!), but this time its not going to be easy or happy. There are a few tactics you can apply to your insurance choices, and well talk about those after diving into the problems.
First, let me establish some credibility. Im not just re-writing press releases here, and this discussion came from months of patient pers
From: Military Retirement
So how do you know where you should move or PCS to? My argument here will be that your next duty station could hold the key to upping your Effective Income by over $15,000 per year. This is due to the difference in locality pay also known as Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
Every zip code has an associated value for your BAH. Its important to remember that you dont use the zip code your house will be in but instead use the zip code that your office will be at and in some cases where the nearest base is. BAH is such a beautiful thing because not only is it huge in some areas, its also tax free.
This is part of the reason military members have such low effective tax rates. Currently 40% of my income is non-taxable because I live in a high BAH city. So instead of paying taxes on my true $91,200 salary, I only pay taxes on $55,000.
The tax difference comes out to be $7k vs $16k owed to the IRS. Another way to look at this is that for every $1 of BAH, you are getting the same worth as about $1.25 of normal income, depending on your tax bracket of course.
First, I would narrow my list down to areas that are even potential spots for yourself. For some career fields you may be able to go just about anywhere and for others you may only have a handful of bases to choose from. Once you have a list, you can go check all the BAH rates over at
For instance an 0-3 would receive $1083 per month without dependents if you were stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Montana. The same 0-3 stationed at Hanscom AFB in Massachusetts would receive $3063 per month. Your first thought might be that theyre so different because Hanscom is near Boston which is vastly more expensive than Montana.
This is potentially true in some situations but
From: Military Retirement
Do you need a little help with your business idea? Are you growing your revenue but not sure how to reinvest it for growth? Are you worried about financing or interested in talking with an investor?
Rey Ybarra has worked with entrepreneurs for years, and
From: Military Retirement
Are you ready to make your choice about
USAA can help with that.
The Department of Defense is
feverishly hustlingbuilding a calculator that will analyze which retirement system is better for servicemember careers and finances. The calculator was supposed to be launched back in January 2017 but its run into delays. (The contractors are fixing the last few bugs.) A few of us bloggers with DoDs BRS roundtable are helping with the beta testing, and its expected to go live at the end of March.
USAA is cutting the rates on their new life insurance policies. Let me explain why in less than
1800 2000 words but its all good.
Ive learned a lot about insurance over the last 30 years, and its a necessary evil. We buy it to help ourselves (and our families) recover from disasters, and we only keep it as long as we need it.
Everyone knows a story about someone who was devastated by a personal catastrophe which destroyed their finances.
This post is brought to you by Rich of
BLUF: In college I paid off $32k in student loans in a year. On a military salary I paid off a $280k mortgage in seven years. Ive bought several rental properties with cash. I did this through paying off debt, having a high savings rate, and investing well.
My name is Rich. Im an Air Force Lt Col of 16 years. Im married with 2 young kids.
Here is my message:
Dont work until youre 65. Not even 55. You can save enough money to retire in 20 years or less. I mean after 20 years of work, NEVER WORK AGAIN (unless you want to). This method doesnt depend on a military retirement, thats just a bonus!
I currently make enough money from my investments to live on. I could quit working today, but Im less than four years from a generous military retirement.
I worked for Fidelity Investments as a stock broker during college. Ive read almost every finance and real estate book out there.
Most of what Ive read is useless. Money is strikingly simple.