A reader writes: Sir, your post on "IRS Denies Military Retirement Net Disability Exclusion" could not have been more timely. I am a retired warrant officer working for the military, and recently there was an ad in the base newspaper stating "You may be entitled to a refund from the IRS". It had the typical pitch as you had … [Read more...] about This is why we blog: another “net disability exclusion” story
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One of the book's contributors alerted me to this problem. Some military retirees (or their tax preparers) are incorrectly applying the net disability exclusion to their pensions. This error has floated around the Internet since at least 1999 and it's already introduced a number of veterans to their friendly IRS tax auditors. Here's a typical … [Read more...] about IRS Denies Military Retirement “Net Disability Exclusion”
A reader asks: I'm in the Reserves and I also have a full-time job with a 401(k) and employer match benefits. I believe the max I can contribute between my 401k, employer match, AND the TSP that is tax deductible is $19,500. Beyond that number, any contributions from myself, my employer, or via the TSP are all after-tax dollars, and I cannot … [Read more...] about Contribution Limits of the Thrift Savings Plan + 401(k) + IRA = ?!?
This post is brought to you by Mark Delaney at The Veteran Professional. If you're interested in contributing at The-Military-Guide.com, please see our posting guidelines. My commander looked at my packet of paperwork to leave the military and saw that I was planning on signing out on terminal leave in December. When she asked me what my plans … [Read more...] about How I Planned 8 Months of Travel
We’re aging out. As many of you know from your research, 59.5 is the minimum age for starting optional withdrawals from an IRA. Nearly everyone worries about how they’ll tap their IRA for living expenses when they reach financial independence before 59.5. (Although there are many penalty-free exceptions to this tax law.) I hit that dubious age … [Read more...] about “I’m 59.5 Years Old And Done Writing About *My* Money”
My spouse and I enjoyed a heck of a year. The end of 2019 marks 20 years of our financial independence and over 17 years of my military retirement. I’ve written about military personal finance for over 15 years and I hope I have a few decades left! And yeah, I empathize with my fellow math nerds who insist that 2019 isn’t the end of the decade. … [Read more...] about Yet Another Decade In Review Post
Your journey to financial independence can be a little lonely if you’re doing it all by yourself. Even social media, podcasts, and videos are poor substitutes for hanging out with people who share your goals. This post will cover different ways to get a little boost of FI endorphins to last for months... or at least until the next boost. Better … [Read more...] about Should You Attend FinCon, Military Influencer Conference, Camp Mustache, CampFI, and FI Chautauqua?
Here’s the latest information and tools to make your military Blended Retirement System decision-- and a new way to think about your career and your choices. [Note: I'm participating in Kate Horrell’s #BRSBlitz initiative. I’m not compensated by USAA for this campaign and you won’t see any FTC disclosures like “#USAAPartner”, "#ad”, or … [Read more...] about USAA And The Final Month To Opt In To The Military Blended Retirement System
[September 2020 update: We have a new answer on this question! Financially, you'll get the biggest pension boost from retiring on 1 March of your chosen year. See the end of this post to download Douglas Fowler's research paper and review the math. You'll still have to pick the best date for your family, your bridge career, your travel plans, … [Read more...] about How Much Is The COLA On My Military Pension?!?
Over three years ago, I suggested that buying a home on active duty is setting yourself up for financial failure. That post has aged exceptionally well, and now it’s time to double down. Don’t buy a home when you leave active duty, either. You’re setting yourself up for more financial failure and a heartache with mortgage … [Read more...] about Don’t Buy A Home When You Leave Active Duty