By Hank Coleman
Posted in Credit Cards
You have enough to worry about when you are about to deploy to a combat zone or other area far away from home and your family”s finances should not be one of them. Keep these money moves in mind prior to a deployment so you don”t have to stress once you”re gone:
I used to think that a General Power of Attorney would be good enough to live my wife when I left on a deployment. However, these powerful documents have been abused by so many that they are not accepted by many financial institutions anymore. You need Special or Specific Powers of Attorney.
You will need to have one for each individual power that you are granting your loved one. It is not uncommon to need separate powers of attorney for things like bank accounts, dealing with DFAS, changing allotments, shipping household goods, selling a car and a ton of other ordinary daily tasks. I can remember that my wife had eight Powers of Attorney at one point.
It broke my heart earlier this year when a mother of a former soldier called asking if we kept a copy of her son”s last will and testament. The soldier had died in a car accident and had a will, but did not tell people where it was located and his family could not find the document when they needed it.
Does your spouse know all of your credit cards that you have? Do they know how to pay them if there is an issue? Does your spouse have access to your MyPay account? They should.
You should leave a list of all your accounts including investments, debts and bank accounts. Your spouse should know how to check them online or have account authorization to discuss them with the company’s customer service representative if there is a problem.
Your spouse should also check your statements for you every month to ensure there are no billing errors and all of your payments have posted correctly. You may want to add your spouse onto the account or change the account to a joint account to avoid any problems.
You should regularly review your budget every month, but you should also go over your family”s budget in excruciating detail with your spouse, family member or loved one before you leave on deployment. Dave Ramsey is famous for saying that every dollar that you earn needs to have a name. Every single one of your dollars should be allocated each month before it is spent. Now with extra money from online casino the combat zone, you can allocate more money in your budget for saving and investing.
Servicemembers” Group Life Insurance, or more simply just the acronym SGLI, is a low-cost, group life insurance for members of the military on active duty, reservists, members of the National Guard, cadets and midshipmen of the four service academies and members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Members of the military can receive up to $400,000 in group life insurance for $26 per month if the maximum level of insurance is chosen.
Is SGLI enough life insurance for you, though? Maybe it is, but maybe it is not. You should review your insurance needs annually, but you should also review your needs especially before an upcoming deployment.
You should hold family finance meetings with your spouse on a monthly basis at the very least. However, you may need to and probably should have more frequent meetings about money as your deployment looms nearer. You have enough to worry about during a deployment and money should not be at the top of your list. If you consider these five things before you deploy, it will make your tour go by as smoothly as possible.
Hank Coleman is a Captain in the U.S. Army, freelance writer, and the founder of personal finance sites such as Military Money Might. His writing has been featured on The Motley Fool, Military.com, and many others. You can follow him on Twitter at @HankColeman.