Author: Kimberly Lankford

Should You Choose the New Military Retirement System?

by guest blogger Kimberly Lankford, author of Kiplinger’s Financial Field Manual: A Personal Finance Guide for Military Families

If you joined the military from 2006 through 2017, you have from January 1 to December 31, 2018, to decide whether to switch to the new “blended retirement system.” If you don’t do anything, you’ll continue to be covered under the old plan. (People who join the military after January 1, 2018, will automatically be enrolled in the new system, and those who entered the military before 2006 remain in the old system.)

The current military retirement system provides a generous pension – starting at 50% of your base pay every year for life if you stay in the service for 20 years, or up to 75% if you remain for 30 years. But if you leave the military before 20 years, you get nothing – and about eight out of 10 service members don’t stay long enough to collect a pension.

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Big Changes Coming to the Military Retirement System

by guest blogger Kimberly Lankford, author of Kiplinger’s Financial Field Manual: A Personal Finance Guide for Military Families

The military retirement system is going to change in 2018. Service members may be able to participate in the new blended retirement system, which changes pension guarantees but also provides matching contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan.

Q. I hear there are going to be big changes to the military retirement system soon. How are the pension and retirement-savings options for service members changing, and do I need to make any decisions now?

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10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families

by guest blogger Kimberly Lankford, author of Kiplinger’s Financial Field Manual: A Personal Finance Guide for Military Families

Members of the military have a lot of special financial challenges that most people don’t encounter. However, they have access to many special benefits, tax breaks and legal protections that can make a huge difference in their families' personal finances. Here are ten of the top financial benefits available to servicemembers and how to make the most of them to improve your family’s financial future. My husband was an Army doctor for 21 years and was deployed three times; many of these resources and benefits helped our family a lot over the years.

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