Few members of the population sacrifice more than military families. Not only do they often live for months at a time without a loved one, but they have to live day to day unsure of whether he or she will make it home unharmed. The sacrifice does not go unnoticed, as military families have many benefits they can take advantage of. However, sometimes they may not know what exactly is available to them. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the financial benefits military families should consider using.
Thrift Savings Plan
Many families may be concerned about having enough money for the future, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is put in place to help alleviate any worry. The TSP closely resembles a 401(k) in that it allows families and servicemembers to contribute regular amounts of their paychecks to an account. Additionally, families who use TSP and are part of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) can enjoy dollar-per-dollar employer contributions up to 3 percent, and then 50 cents per dollar up to 5 percent.
What are the benefits of TSP? Many families may think their retirement pensions are enough to get them by once they leave service, but while it's a good start it may not always do the whole job. TSP allows families to contribute $17,000 a year to six different mutual funds to help add some financial security.
Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts
Military spouses sometimes find it difficult to land a job, especially if they have to change location from time to time Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) can help them take steps toward earning the certification for certain jobs.
This benefit is available to spouses of active duty servicemembers who fall in the E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2 pay grades. Specifically, this benefit offers spouses up to $4,000 a year to help them work toward associate degrees, certificates or licenses.
Post-9/11 GI Bill Transfer
Military spouses aren't the only ones who can enjoy education benefits by being in the family. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which pays for four academic years of educational tuition for servicemembers, can be transferred to their dependents if the soldier has 10 years of service. Additionally, these benefits do not get taken away in the event of separation from service.