I've been reading financial discussion boards for over a decade, and they tend to converge on a few perpetual topics. One of them is "How's my portfolio?" Here's a typical example: "Hi guys glad I found this board great to be here. So dudes im reading alot of financial books this month and heres my portfolio check it out: 10% VFINX 34.2% FMAGX … [Read more...] about Building the Ultimate Investment Portfolio
Money Management & Personal Finance
A reader asked questions about choosing a financial planner: First time to your blog. Thanks for setting it up. I am retired military working for a defense contractor and contemplating retirement. Your financial experience parallels mine (except for the no-longer employed part). I am an engineer. In addition to retirement pay I have several IRAs … [Read more...] about Would you like a financial planner with that?
Suze Orman recently gave less-than-great advice to a military couple. If you know JoAnn & Tony from Colorado then I'd love to ask them if their plans have changed. Until we hear from them, today is a great chance to show why financial advisers might not always understand the intricacies of military benefits. For those of you with recorders, … [Read more...] about Suze Orman advises a dual-military couple
Cherie asked a very pertinent question in the TSP post: I joined the Navy in 2002 and contributed to TSP until I got out 5 years later. Since I have gotten out I have lost over 1/2 of the money in my TSP. Should I just leave it there and let it do its thing or should I take what is left and roll into a Roth IRA? I’m only 28 so figured that leaving … [Read more...] about So where should I invest my money now?!?
The last post talked about the TSP's withdrawal options, including penalty-free ways to tap into your account before age 59.5. It also includes the TSP's draft of their rules for the 2012 Roth TSP. Before we get into the "how" of a TSP annuity, let's ask "Why?" If you're retired from the military then you already have an annuity: your … [Read more...] about TSP annuity options
So you've been in the military for a few years and you've been dutifully putting part of your paycheck into the Thrift Savings Plan. (If you haven't been contributing to the TSP then go read this post and get hot.) Maybe you're even maxing out your contributions. But if you're like me, you've been so focused on the "saving" and "investing" parts … [Read more...] about TSP withdrawal options
Today's post will be a sensuous reading experience that only a financial planner or an economist could love. If you're just getting started on your own finances then you probably want to skip this post (!) in favor of reading the “Armed Forces Guide to Personal Financial Planning”, or "The Military Advantage", or another book from the … [Read more...] about Back to the Trinity Study
This "simple little SBP summary" mutated into a two-part description. Today we'll cover Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) for active-duty retirees and in the next post we'll cover the Reserve Component SBP. The SBP will cost you up to 6.5% of your pension, so it's a significant effect on your retirement budget and on the amount of savings needed to … [Read more...] about Military Survivor Benefit Plan – An Overview to Help You Decide if You Should Buy in or Not
Military Dental Care is one of the subjects that didn't fit well into the book (at least not the first edition!), but it could be a significant part of some veterans' budgets. Active-duty servicemembers don't even have to think about dental care because it's provided by their military treatment facility. However, families, Reservists/National … [Read more...] about Military Dental Care – Active Duty and Retiree Dental Care
(Thanks to Tomcat98 of the Early-Retirement.org discussion board for introducing me to one of the authors of the studies quoted here and in the book.) Here's the conclusion to the nitty-gritty details of the following question: If you're receiving a military pension, then how should you invest the rest of your portfolio? Investors are always … [Read more...] about Asset allocation considerations for a military pension (part 3 of 3)