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5

I got a letter from the DoDDCM, Defense Finance and Accounting Service saying I owe the Department of Treasury $1,800 however due to personal problems I will be unemployed for the next 6-12 months and have absolutely no consistent legitimate way of paying these people back.

Will I go to jail if I can't pay them back? What will happen? Please help !

1

So for years and years I thought that I was not allowed to have both a Roth IRA through my bank AND a Roth TSP.

I have always maxed out my Roth IRA and then I have made consistent contributions to a TRADITIONAL TSP. I now realize that my knowledge was flawed and that I should probably have been making those consistent contributions to a Roth TSP.

Now the question is do I start making Roth TSP contributions or just stick with the Traditional that I already have going? Is there a way to roll the Traditional TSP contributions over to Roth?

12

I'm a new LT and EADing in October. Wondering what my first steps financially should be, particularly in regards to saving and investing.

Right now in assets I have $5,500 in a savings account, roughly $3,000 in crypto assets (fluctuates wildly), and $40,000 in an investment fund from my grandparents that I have access to now. I believe the fund is invested in a T Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth fund.

Expenses/Debt: No college debt, my car is paid off. Insurance is roughly $100/mo and my cell is $40 since I'm still under my parents' plan and will be for the near future. I'll be living with one or two other LTs. I'm assuming my rent will be $750/mo with 1 roommate or around $500/mo with 2 roommates.

For income I'll have: $37,292 base pay, $17,496 in BAH, $3,052 in BAS. I'm a Minnesota resident and don't pay state income tax on military pay. I don't know much about federal taxes but the Total Military Compensation calculator says my marginal tax rate is 12% and my total taxable income is $25,292.

What should my priorities be with regards to saving and investing? I will likely not be at this base for more than a year due to (hopefully) getting picked up on next year's pilot board. Because of that, I felt that renting makes more sense than buying a house.

I plan on getting the USAA 2.5% card and then also the AmEx Platinum and paying them off in full each month.

Any other thoughts or advice for me? Thanks so much!

3

I’ll be getting a sizable reenlistment bonus in the next few months and I wanted to put a portion of it into my TSP account. I’ve tried but can’t seem to figure out how to make the contribution other than putting a huge % of base pay and living off the bonus until I’ve put in the correct amount. Does anyone know how to make a one time contribution to the TSP? Or will I have to go with my option?

10

Has anyone gone through being denied BAH? My wife and I got married during A school, I just finished and now am doing C school. While adding her to DEERS and everything, there's been a problem with BAH. We got a place off base close by and they're telling me that because we're living off base they won't be giving me BAH and that if I lived in barracks they would.... but because I have a home nearby, I can't live in barracks? They seemed just as confused telling me this as I was hearing it and said they'd look further into it to see if they could give me BAH. Just trying to see if anyone has had a similar experience and what could happen

6

Hi,

I am starting a small business as a service member and could use some advice.

Details: The business will be oriented towards mounts for military collectibles. For example I have made 3 20mm gun barrel mounts this month for different Change of Command ceremonies. Other examples are display cases for Flight Helmets and visors, challenge coin racks, probably retirement cases too. I’m good at it and it seems like a great side hustle.

Questions (because there are no new ideas): - is this already covered with a FAQ I missed? - To LLC or Not? If so what state? I live in NV, own property in NC and I am a FL resident. - what is needed? I will only be employing my wife and myself for a while so how does the fact that we already pay taxes and social security play into that. Also insurance.

We will be a bit of a niche market to start. This type of stuff is not really serviced by anyone else in Vegas. I’m ordering a CNC kit later today and will be using that to work custom squadron engraving and carving into the business as well.

Thanks

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17

I’m about to transfer commands and am debating on buying a home at my new duty station. I’m a single E6 and I’ll be at this command for 5 years. Does it even make sense to purchase a home if I just plan on selling it 5 years later and plan on not doing any home improvements?

9

Long time lurker. Quick question for you guys given my current scenario.

I’m about to deploy to Iraq and will have zero ongoing expenses while deployed (single guy living off post, so I will cancel my lease). However, I do have a $30,000 loan I hope to have paid off by the time my deployment is over (there is no interest as I borrowed this through a parent for my graduate degree).

My question is this: I am expected to earn about $60,000 during this deployment. What is the best way to pay off this loan (reminder that there is no interest building up), but maximize efficiency with my earnings given this unique situation where I will have no other expenses?

1.) Should I max out my Roth IRA for the year right away and contribute $5500 with my first two paychecks in Iraq? Or should I continue to keep contributing $458.33 every month to spread out my contributions over time?

2.) Minus what is going into my Roth IRA, should I put my first $30,000 straight to paying off this loan? Again, there is no interest building up with it, I just care that I have it paid off by the time I return to the states.

3.) Once I pay off that $30,000 loan and save the rest of my earnings, should I start putting those earnings in a brokerage fund once I have a cushy emergency fund in my savings? Or is there a more efficient course of action? I’m in my late twenties and hope to purchase a house at some point in my early to mid thirties.

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks in advance.

1

Not trying to make this one of those posts debating which one is better if you only picked one... I ended up starting a Roth IRA years back. However, I’m hoping to get some tips on how to manage having both.

I’ve been on active duty for five years, however I’m looking at switching to the National Guard and finishing 20 years there to pursue another passion of mine, a career in law enforcement.

I have no issues maxing my vanguard Roth IRA, however I never got started on the Army’s TSP since I’m leaving active duty. I was never sure if it transferred over to the National Guard or not. I also don’t make enough to max that out at 18k as I am already maxing out the Roth IRA at $5,500. Still paying off a student loan.

Do you think I’ll be well off enough if I retire with my police officer pension, Roth IRA, and national guard pension? I know they aren’t much and I won’t be rich, but they seem to add up to a comfortable lifestyle.

OR..... Should I look into starting a TSP and having that transfer into the National Guard in addition to also having my Roth IRA? Seems ideal, I just don’t see how I’ll afford to max out both. Any tips? Currently 28 years old. Thanks again!

3

Have been in since January but just started funding my BRS this month. Is there any way to put more a specific amount in to make up for those months I didn’t fund it?

And side note, if it’s been like 4 weeks and I still haven’t gotten my TSP login info in the mail should I be worried?

10

The lease loan is in good standing and has a $0 balance. It officially closed out earlier this week and now has pretty much killed my credit. I've already sent in a dispute, but is there anything else I can do?

4

So I'm just out of training and currently on house-hunting leave and don't quite understand all of my benefits yet. I'm an O1 in the USAF and was wondering:

  • How good is TriCare? My wife is a teacher and can get coverage through her job and I'm wondering if we need to double up on any of the coverage.

  • Should I be investing in Roth TSP over Traditional TSP since this is probably the highest percentage of my pay that will be non-taxable?

10

I’m 25 years old and I am Medically Retired from the Army. I collect 100% VA ($3,400) monthly and I am able to collect SSA but i feel like I am too young to let my disability dictate the rest of my life. I also want to make he best of my future financially. I am currently going through a divorce so money right now is hard for me. I also made many mistakes as a young soldier when I first got money by applying for everything and negative equity with a car. Credit Card debt is high due to mistakes I’ve made in my past. I want to eventually open my own business or something of that nature improving my local community which is Camden, New Jersey. If any Veterans read this please give me any advice. I know I’m going to make everything happen I just want to learn from others who have made it to give me advice so i don’t follow same mistakes. Thanks in advance !!

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7

I'm still a resident of my home state and do not wish to change this whatsoever, but am stationed somewhere else. I do not wish to get car insurance using my current address if possible, because it will likely be much more expensive and I don't do a ton of traveling in my vehicle other than places around 15 mins or less in my area with the occasional 20-25 minute drive. We also have decent public transport anyhow for longer travels and I carpool with buddies instead of using my car etc etc. usually.

I'm trying to find online or somewhere what the laws are so I am in compliance, but also to see if I can save by keeping the insurance in my state of residence. One thing I will be sure to do is update the coverage to whatever minimum coverage is required for my current address, but any guidance on how to find out would be lovely.

Thank you all in advance!!!

2

Is there a way I can track the gains/losses each of my tsp funds have made? I've tried using mint and personal Capital but have had issues with both.

Mint shows that I've lost money since I've started contributing to the TSP is January. However, if I'm doing my math right, I've actually made a couple $100.

Personal Capital just seems to show the current value of my tsp contributions and doesn't distinguish actual gains from monthly deposits.

Is it possible I have one or both of these configured incorrectly? Or is there another software that you would recommend?

5

In the very near future I will be receiving a very large bonus for extending another four years. My wife and I are thinking about buying a house in Texas, if it so happens to be if I get stationed there next. I'm trying to consider my options on where to put this money until we are ready. The only thing is if we don't get Texas than we'll have to hold it. My questions are:

  1. If we end up getting Texas, that means we'll be buying within 2-4 years. Would a money market account be the best choice for a short term gain? I don't want to put our money somewhere where we would get hammered by fees from withdrawing our money when the time is right.

  2. If we do not end up getting stationed in Texas, we could be holding on to that money for potentially 5-10 years until we are ready to buy. What's the best option then?

My wife (civilian) and I (E-5) are both 30 years of age with our first child due at the end of this year. I'm a little new to all of this and would like honest feedback, even if that feedback is that we should wait on buying and to put our money elsewhere . Thank you.

5

Finally! An event decades in the making. My 60th birthday is still months away, but I can apply to collect my retired pay from the Air Force Reserve.

I found the required forms and directions online, and I'm ready to get the ball rolling. I've been sitting in the so-called retiree grey area for years after doing my time as a Traditional Reservist. I haven't had much contact with the Air Force lately. I have some questions for anyone who has been through the process in the past year or two.

What can I expect once I send the forms to the good old Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC)? What kind of snags has anyone hit with getting their application processed? Can I expect to start getting paid right after my 60th birthday? If not, how long have people had to wait? How easy is it to follow up with ARPC?

I hope your answers can help some other people too. Thank you.

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8

This has been gnawing at me for a while now...some background I'm 28 an O3 with 7 TIS. 102K TSP-Trad (60/20/20), 12K Roth IRA Vanguard (VFIAX) 10K Tax Brokerage (VMFXX) and 15K USAA Savings.

I'd like to get a more stable investment I've felt I have way to much riding on the markets and think that some percentage like 10-15% should be in land (parcels) is this a good idea or should I just go with bonds?

I know I'm young and there are more gains in the market long term for me but I've also heard that prudent investors should diversify. I don't think I've got the bandwidth to deal with buying and renting out a house which I've thought of but I'm a bit more inclined towards passive investments.

17

Was just wondering for those who've made it to 20, did you fully retire or did you end up picking up another career? Follow your passion?

Did you career in the service set you up for the next stage or was it a the pension that help you towards that?

4

I'm just about to get BAH as I made E5 recently. I am just about 2 years into my 4 year contract. I am in San Diego and will be here for an undetermined amount of time, (~1 to 2 years depending on whether or not I re-enlist.) San Diego BAH is $2241 and I am not willing to let all of that green slip through my fingers and into some landlord's pocket. I've searched around online and on this subreddit and haven't found a satisfying answer so I'm asking here - what is the best way to use my BAH to build my wealth?

Option 1: I could buy a boat for ~10k and moor it for 300-600/mo which would eat up all my BAH until I pay off the boat. I would only see that money again when I sell the boat. I also hear the Navy moves boats upon PCS but have heard they may not based on certain factors. Then again, I don't know where I'll be in 3 years, anywhere from Japan, Virginia, back to San Diego, home, or elsewhere. Also, I have recently picked up sailing and would love my own boat. And if I get out, I can go for a long sail which is something I would love to do.

Option 2: I could find super cheap rent (500-1000) and simply pocket the rest. This would be the most familiar and straight-forward way.

Option 3: I could buy a house with a 2 hour commute and then rent it out when I leave. This sounds like the best bang for my buck and I really want rental properties some day but it's the most complicated and riskiest. Plus, if I use VA home loan, I will be scraping by that 1 year mark if I decide to reenlist and head to C-school.

I'd be fine buying a van and living out of it but from what I understand you need a lease and an address.

Does anybody have any 20/20 hindsight or advice they are willing to share? Thanks.

14

I have these two cards and I'm trying to decide which one I should use. I like to keep things simple, so I'm streamlining everything to one card.

The AMEX platinum has some heavy rewards on flights and hotels, but is limited in what it can be redeemed for.

The USAA on the other hand can be used for literally everything, and 2.5% is a pretty solid return.

Your thoughts?

0

Are there options for me? I’m kind of nervous about it, used NCMRS too many times and I’m thinking about pulling early from TSP. And that’s LAST resort. Help!

6

Semi-recently started contributing (a lot) to my TSP, and hadn't really paid any attention to the global economy prior to that.... now that I am paying attention, I'm concerned that I started this at a horrible time.

Is this kind of crap normal? The advice I generally see is to not try to predict the market, but when you have something as blatant as a world leader (in this case our own president) threatening to straight-up stop trade, at what point does that advice switch to "there's a storm coming; get your shit into the G-Fund!"

3

All I'm seeing is pie charts of my percentage allocation to each fund. I want to see how much money I've earned/lost in each fund; a line chart of my account's performance over time.

Is there a way to view this?

6

I am currently stationed at Fort Carson. I bought a house off post two years ago. I will PCS to Fort Bliss next year. I think I will be at Fort Bliss probably 2 years no more than 3 years. If I sell the house I have now, I can buy a house in El Paso all cash (with borrowing money from family I can pay up to 130,000). However, after I did the math, if I intend to sell it 2 or 3 years later, its not necessary cheaper to buy a house. Commission for agent, property Tax, insurance, maintains cost, interest lost, and If I cannot sell in time, it may cost even more. So, as the title says, should I buy a house when I pcs to Bliss?

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We members of the military are given many benefits, yet I see far to many of my fellow Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen not taking advantage of those opportunities.

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