by Scott R. Tucker

September 5, 2019

The solution for military financial benefits

Decades Of Out-Dated Advice for Military Financial Benefits

I’ll cut right to the chase. Veterans are suffering the consequences of financial planning theories and military benefits programs leftover from the 70s and 80s. They only show us a limited picture of their military financial benefits. This is hurting both our service-members and the American taxpayers.  

That’s why we launched US VetWealth, to help service-members, veterans, and their families learn how to navigate and leverage their financial benefits so that they get the most out of a lifetime of service.

 At first glance this may not seem like such an overwhelming “problem,” but I assure you, it is. And it’s not surprising—it follows logically from everything else that the military gives us.

We’re all given standard-issue uniforms, bunks, MREs, eye protection, weapons, and the like. We go through boot camp, OCS, and academies designed to burn away our individuality. It is so that we can respond to commands. We are taught to hit the “I believe” button. We are essentially aimed like weapons at objectives decided at pay-grades way above ours. 

This is a great strategy for winning wars. It is an awful strategy for winning at life.

As soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, they always treat us as bulk items. But the one-size-fits-all approach to financial planning for military retirement DOES NOT WORK. 

As veterans, we have to remember how to be individuals. It is about time that we learn to use our military financial benefits as such.


It's Time To Stop Following Orders

When it comes to your Military Financial Benefits, there are questions that “they” hope you never ask. And if you were to ask these hard questions, it would sound suspiciously like you were questioning an order.

We do not do that. 

But these are your benefits, and the taxpayers want you to use them the right way.

It is our responsibility as service-members and veterans to be stewards of these benefits. But when we start being smart about our benefits, this whole rotten bureaucracy would come tumbling down, because it is essentially one bucket of laziness, greed, and a whole lot of “this is how we always do it.” 

It goes to that expression about generals being experts at winning yesterday’s wars.

Our benefits system is great at providing military financial benefits for veterans of WWII who have long since retired. But your pensions are not ration coupons. They are assets we need to leverage.

But when we start being smart about our using military financial benefits, this whole rotten bureaucracy comes tumbling down, because it is essentially one bucket of laziness, greed, and a whole lot of “this is how we always do it.”
The USVW Military Benefits solution

The Unknown Knowns of Military Financial Benefits

  • Did you all know when you signed up for it that the premiums would be payroll-deducted from your LES?
  • Did you know at the time that you most likely qualified for a LOT more coverage for the premium you were being charged?
  • Or did the contractor talking to you about it show you any other option?
  • Did he give you a day—or even an hour—to talk it over with anyone before handing you a form and a pen so you could sign it?

2. How about the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)?

  • Did you know that the premiums would go up every 5 years for the same coverage you had as an SGLI? 
  • Did you know that if you didn’t opt out of it, you would get charged for it, and it would go on your credit report if you didn’t pay for it? 

3. What about your SBP?

  • Did any of you out there do 20 years and then get told to sign up for a Survivor’s Benefits Plan?
  • How clear were they about how the benefits worked?
  • Did they tell you that there’s no equity in an SBP?
  • How about the fact that you would be on the hook for 6.5% of your monthly pension for the next 30 years?
  • Did you know that you and your spouse have to categorically opt out of it if you didn’t want it?
  • Is it even possible to get out of it once you sign up for it?
  • Did they show you what that 6.5% of your pension could get you on the open financial market so that you could compare your options?

4. What about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?

  • Did they tell you who was in control of it? Do you know how to look at it and check your balance? 
  • Do you know how to choose your asset allocations? 
  • Is there anyone you can talk to in order to review your investment strategies based on your military pay?
  • Do you have ANYONE around who can show you how to spend it when you do plan to retire?
  • Is there anyone around who feels as though they have an adequate education as to how the TSP works?

So What can you do?

Too many service members and veterans are “choosing” these benefits because everyone else is signing up for them, or because it’s better than nothing.

But “nothing” is not the only alternative to your military financial benefits. Another alternative is to stop following orders and start educating yourself.

It all starts with reaching out to US VetWealth and asking a simple question: What are my options?
We’re here when you’re ready.

Learn more about your military financial benefits



 
 
 
 
 

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About the author 

Scott R. Tucker

Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country. He's the Rosie Network's #1 Fan and a passionate supporter of the Veterans Cannabis Project.

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