139th News

Coping with Financial Issues of COVID-19 - Part 13

  • Published
  • By Randy Gerard, Personal Financial Counselor

I will continue this week with my Zoom sessions Tuesday and Thursday, between 1:00 - 3:00 in the afternoon to include an approved AF briefing in a condensed form during the first hour on Thursday. This week will be the last module of First Duty Station-Enlisted.

Touch Points-Week 4

I. CZTE and TSP: If your location qualifies for the CZTE benefit mentioned last week please know that the annual contribution limit is increased to $55,000. This can be put into the traditional side of your TSP and still be tax free upon withdrawal at retirement. The best combination then would be to try and max out your Roth side and put any CZTE earnings (not otherwise needed) into the traditional side.

II. Student Loans: For those who have these, work with your loan service to take advantage of available benefits: CZ interest suspension; payment reduction; SCRA interest cap and potential Loan Discharge (37 USC Sec. 310)

III. Medical Coverage: TRICARE begins first day of active duty for members and family. Update civilian coverage as necessary.

IV. Property Insurance: For your car, if not used by others, notify insurer auto is "off the road"; Do not drop coverage; Creditors will still require insurance.

V. Active Duty Alerts: Notify one of the three agencies (Equifax 800-525-6285, TransUnion 800-680-7289, Experian 888-397-3742) who must notify others; Alert lasts one year unless extended, keep records of phone calls, dates, letters, etc.

VI. Emergency Planning: Make sure you have sufficient cash reserves (3-6 months of expenses), a regular payroll addition amount and a reliable process for utilization in the event of health, car, residence or other emergency.

Support Network: Whether it's a spouse, sibling or other support network at home make sure that legal documents previously discussed (will, POA, insurance documents, etc.) can be accessed in the event they are needed. A safety deposit box usually only has one name on it and if the owner (you) is not able to be there, anything inside may be much delayed in obtaining. Remember, I am here after you deploy to assist anyone in your family or support network if they have questions.

If any of this or prior weeks' information is unclear or confusing, give me a call so we can discuss your personal situation.

Don't hesitate to reach out by phone, email or ask for a private Zoom session for you or your family members.

Randy Gerard, PFC
C (573) 415-6934
O (816) 236-3659

This week’s thought: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” ~Dave Ramsey