The sacrifice risked by active-duty military members is shared by their family. Needing to stay mobile means that many military spouses struggle to build a career in one location. The ability to get great training through the GI bill can help stabilize the income of military families, as can access to quality health insurance and specialized mortgages.
Active duty service members and their families have a variety of options for their health insurance plans. While there are multiple plans available for active-duty personnel, they transfer easily and offer similar coverage no matter the housing location.
In addition to covering the spouse and dependent children of active duty service members, there is also coverage for dependent adult children. Medicare is available as a transition option as well. Finally, dental care is also an option.
For active duty service members looking for a mortgage to buy a home in California, the Calvet loans program. Because these loan programs are funded by grants, it’s important for applicants to stay in contact with lending officers when they go shopping for their new home.
However, once approved military families will be able to borrow up to 100% of the loan value needed. Because military families often need to settle in regions of the country that do have very high property values, this 100% financing option, funded by a grant, is critical for the security and safety of the families of active-duty military personnel.
While civilians who choose to invest in a Roth IRA have to pay taxes on the money earned before it can be added to the Roth, those receiving tax-free combat-zone pay can put tax-free earnings into a Roth IRA. The Roth IRA option can be doubled to provide retirement savings for a stay-at-home spouse.
Current cash limit contributions for a Roth IRA top out at $6,000 per year. However, depending on your age you may be able to contribute more. No matter if you’re military or civilian, you can’t pull money out of a traditional or a Roth IRA until you’re 59 and 1/2. Talking with a financial planner is critical as you get older so you can plan your contributions effectively.
Guaranteed Savings Rate
If you are ready to put some money in savings but need a bit more flexibility accessing the money before the age of 59 and 1/2, the Savings Deposit Program for deployed service professionals allows a $10,000 deposit during each round of deployment.
The savings interest rate on these funds is 10%. This means that you will earn many times more than a standard savings account on these funds. Be aware that there are time limits on how long you can leave the money in there and how much you can take out when you need it. However, your CO can approve a large withdrawal if needed.
The GI bill can provide 36 months of tuition coverage for yourself, your spouse, or your children depending on when you signed up and if you qualify for a re-up after 6 years. Because many high school programs allow high school juniors and seniors to earn credit prior to leaving high school, the 36-month allowance can cover all or nearly all of a 4-year degree for many students.
An active duty member may also choose to transfer their GI bill benefits to their spouse. Depending on the intended field of study, investing in training that can contribute to freelance or online career can be a terrific benefit for a military family with one civilian spouse.
Access to financial support is a critical perk that can be provided to military families. With careful planning, an active duty military member can save for retirement, find an affordable mortgage, choose family health insurance and pay for college.