Smart Money Page 17

  • Avoiding Mechanic Money Traps

    Avoiding Mechanic Money Traps

    Let’s face it: If you don’t know a spark plug from a cylinder head, going into a mechanic shop can be intimidating. While the vast majority of mechanics are ethical professionals, there’s always a few bad apples. And that can make it easy for consumers to find their way into a bad deal. Too much trust and some slick jargon may leave you spending money on unnecessary or nonexistent repairs. Here are some w…

  • Thrift Savings Plan: Invest in Your Retirement

    Thrift Savings Plan: Invest in Your Retirement

    After years of proud service to our country, the last thing military retirees deserve is to spend their golden years living check to check. Even with a 401(k) plan, it can take years of planning and saving to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. While a career in the military does not grant a 401(k) retirement package, service members do have the option to enroll in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP is an imp…

  • Recent Changes to the GI Bill

    Recent Changes to the GI Bill

    The Post 9/11 GI Bill will soon experience a major upgrade. August 1, 2011, in an effort to make the program more efficient, uniform and simple to navigate, GI Bill 2.0 is being implemented. The improvements to the GI Bill are intended to assist veterans and current military members in their academic pursuits. But without fully understanding the changes to the program, military members may find themselves in a dif…

  • Saving During Deployment

    Saving During Deployment

    Deployment can be a time of anxiety and uncertainty for both service members and their families. Finances have a tendency to take a back seat to spending time with family and preparing for deployment. However, if you take some careful steps before deployment and maintain good habits while away, it is actually possible to return to a much better financial situation than when you left. Before you are deploy…

  • Would You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

    Would You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

    It makes sense to pay off debt early, right? It seems everyone is preaching that you should pay down credit cards, loans and anything else hanging over your head as quickly as possible to gain financial freedom and security. That is generally a solid plan, especially when it comes to credit card debt, but should that same principle apply to mortgages as well? Paying off your home loan early can have its advanta…

  • Retroactive Stop Loss Pay: You Still Can Apply

    Retroactive Stop Loss Pay: You Still Can Apply

    Extreme circumstances can lead active duty military members to serve longer than their expected window. For example, during periods of war military members can be required to serve up to six months after the conflict ends. Stop-loss, the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty, was invoked after the September 11th attacks. To compensate military members for extra time served, the government is prov…