Military families face major life changes on a regular basis, but there are some significant events that require special financial strategy and attention. How do you know when it’s time to get outside help? Here are 9 key life events that could benefit from professional financial guidance.
1. Military Transition
Transitioning from the military to civilian life is one of the most significant decisions you can make. Nearly every aspect of your financial future will be impacted. Without a plan, your income, retirement, and taxes may all be at risk.
Working with a military financial advisor can help ensure the money you saved while serving continues to serve you after your military transition.
2. Full Retirement
Full retirement may be the most important phase in your financial life. From maximizing and managing your benefits to developing a distribution strategy, the right military financial advisor can be an invaluable resource.
We all want to feel comfortable in establishing our long-term financial security, so it’s worth taking an honest look at your current financial situation and goals.
3. Graduating from College
College graduation marks the first major transition into adulthood. The progression from school to career is a significant milestone and the perfect time to get financial advice.
Whether you or a loved one has graduated, this is also a great time to assess college debt repayment, savings strategies, or insurance.
Luckily, most recent graduates have time on their side. With the decades ahead and the power of compound interest, it’s the perfect time to discuss the benefits of saving. The financial foundation you build now will have a major impact on the rest of your financial life.
4. Marriage or Divorce
Professional finance advice is extremely beneficial at any point in your marriage, but particularly helpful when you first walk down the aisle. Goals like combining finances, handling credit issues or debt problems, and building a successful financial life with your spouse will be hard to establish without a professional, objective point of view.
On the other end of the spectrum, divorcees should ensure they protect their finances. If you’re entering divorce proceedings, important tasks such as updating your will, changing your insurance policies, and protecting your investment accounts need to be handled with care and are best managed by a professional.
5. Adding a New Member to Your Household
A new addition to your family can be exciting, but also comes with huge financial and lifestyle changes. College funds may need to be created that take existing GI Bill benefits into account; wills and insurance policies need to be updated; and a whole host of new expenses will need to be managed. Make sure your new family member is off to the best start possible by bringing in a military financial advisor.
6. Job and Income Changes
Even outside of your military transition, whether you are starting a new job, changing careers, or accepting a promotion, there are important financial considerations to address. During a job change, you’re better off with a financial planning professional who can help you minimize taxes by rolling over retirement accounts and making the most of your stock options. A professional can also help you adjust your financial plan so you can start putting more money aside and preparing for a future of continued financial growth.
7. Buying and Selling Property
The frequent moves required of military families make buying and selling property a part of life. It’s essential to work with a military financial advisor who can help you review your situation in an effort to maximize your tax benefits, deal with capital gains exclusions and taxes, and find write-offs and deductions you might otherwise have missed. Buying and selling property can be complicated, and often it’s not worth tackling on your own.
8. Illness or Hospitalization
An unexpected illness or hospitalization can strike at any time and, when it does, your finances may be at risk. If you find yourself hospitalized or stricken by a sudden illness, reaching out to a professional could minimize the financial impact and help you recover more quickly.
A military financial advisor will also help with long-term care options and VA benefits, estate planning, life insurance, and a host of other planning topics that can affect your overall portfolio.
9. Receiving an Inheritance
Dealing with an inheritance can be complicated. If it comes in the form of a lump sum, it is important that you minimize the taxes and address outstanding debts. If you are inheriting a retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA, you’ll definitely benefit from investment advice when making decisions about rollover options and tax-efficient strategies.
Whether it's transitioning to civilian life, adding a new member to your family, or fully retiring, life’s key events can have a major impact on your finances. Guidance from a military financial advisor including the team at AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust (AWM&T) can help you feel confident in your financial future regardless of what life throws your way.
Are you facing a life event that could benefit from professional financial advice? The team at AWM&T can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment with a Relationship Manager who will discuss your situation and give you a personalized action plan to help protect your financial future.