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PCS Financial Tips from the FINRA Foundation

 

PCS Financial Tips from the FINRA Foundation1.       Get on the same page. Start by talking with your spouse about your family’s finances. These steps can help you initiate a discussion that is productive and may help prevent potential financial difficulties.

 

2.       Close out and transfer accounts. Make a list of all your financial accounts. Note which accounts can be transferred and ones that need to be closed and reopened in your new location. Take advantage of the move as a way to shop for lower rates on some financial products (e.g., homeowners’ or renters’ insurance). 

 

3.       Pay all your current bills. To avoid negative impact on your credit, be sure to pay all close-out bills such as electricity, water, etc., before leaving. Provide all organizations with a forwarding address as there may be unpaid bills that will follow you.

 

4.       Compare the value of your housing allowance. 65 percent of military personnel live off-base. As you create a budget detailing expected income and expenses at your new duty station, be sure to compare current and future Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to determine how much house you can afford. Use the BAH Calculator from the Defense Travel Management Office to find out your specific allowance.

 

5.       Save those receipts! Be sure to keep all your receipts and put them in a central place—including expenses that don’t qualify for reimbursement—because they may qualify as tax deductions. Pay off your bills immediately.

 

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6.       Get answers to your questions. As you plan your move, financial questions may arise, such as whether to buy or rent a home. The Foundation’s Money and Mobility publication includes a chapter dedicated to PCS moves, complete with resources, worksheets, checklists and the Make a Moving Fund worksheet to help you plan.

 

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About the FINRA Foundation’s Military Program

PCS planning and tips are just one aspect of a multi-faceted financial education program for military families provided by the FINRA Foundation—a partner in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign. The Foundation also offers continuing education for on-base personal financial managers; oversees a fellowship opportunity for military spouses to receive the Accredited Financial Counselor® designation; and provides free tools, resources and alerts at www.SaveAndInvest.org/MilitaryCenter

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