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The Stars Are Aligning + July Benefits Recap

Welcome to August!

We have been hard at work behind the scenes getting our ducks in a row after getting officially certified as an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) Nonprofit this past June.

First, we're excited to welcome 3 new directors to our board!

Kirk Windmueller

A well decorated veteran having served over 20 years in the Army Special Forces community and has passion for helping transitioning service members.

Eduardo Aguilar

A Prior-Enlisted security forces member, USAFA grad, and currently an AD Air Force officer with a passion for sharing FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) & rewards point hacking to service members.

Patricia McFarland

A food science technical writer and Navy spouse eager to help fellow spouses optimize their benefits


Second, we have attained state/national approval to raise funds and have thus kicked off our Firestarter Campaign with a goal of $2,000. By reaching the goal we can cover all of our basic operating expenses and kick-start our Donation Fund with $200 to give to a military family in financial need at the end of the year.


CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO OUR MISSION TO EMPOWER MILITARY FAMILIES


CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A MILITARY FAMILY IN NEED


Third, we published our second BLUF Mil Benefits video breaking down the DoD SkillBridge program that helps transitioning service members work for a private company within the last 180 days of service time. I had the privilege to interview recently separated Capt Catherine Ferraro in how she utilized program to go from a Space Officer to a Yoga Executive.

Our Facebook Community Group was granted first early access and can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/201989053803366


Otherwise be on the look out next week for the public release!

- The following is a recap of our popular posts in July -

  1. SECDEF signed an Exemption to Authorized Leave Memo

  2. More TSP Lifecycle Funds

  3. View Your Benefits as Vested Investments

  4. Pre/Post Birth Checklist


(1) SECDEF Exemption to Authorized Leave Memo

As of 29 June - SECDEF signed an Exemption to Authorized Leave memo authorizing DoD Service Members leave outside their local area with approval from their unit commander

** Note as of 29 June you will still need a waiver to travel to California, Florida, or Michigan as they are still ‘red’.

Learn More On Our Military COVID-19 Benefit Updates Page Here


(2) More TSP Lifecycle Funds

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) program added more Lifecycle (L) Fund accounts to better reflect your retirement date.

There are now 10 funds broken up into 5 year increments from 2025-2065 + the L Income fund for those with matured accounts

  • Each fund is made up of the combination of the five individual TSP funds (G, F, C, S, and I) that maintains an optimal balance of investment risks and rewards for a particular time horizon. More time = more risk to maximize reward. Closer to retirement = a more conservative fund mix.

  • All new members after Sept 2015 were defaulted with 3% contribution and into an L fund. 2010-2015 the default was 3% in the G find. Before 2010 the default was 1%.

  • As of April 2020. All new members will default with 5% contribution into an L fund.

Read more here: https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/FundOptions/index.html


(3) View Your Benefits as Vested Investments

Have you ever intentionally turned down or not applied for a military benefit?

Great article from Jim, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Captain, now a Veteran Service Officer that accounts his experience and thoughts with many veterans that feel they “don’t deserve it.”

  • Though not all service members experience miserable conditions, horrible working conditions, or personal combat action, they were ready for anything, to be called into combat

  • See your time in service as an investment in this country and the benefits offered during and after service is your investment vesting

  • ”The government, the Veterans Administration owes you this. They owe you your life.”

Read the article here: https://www.thedailyworld.com/opinion/veterans-have-earned-the-benefits-available-to-them/?fbclid=IwAR1bUN8EibYRnFYZyu7NOYh4U_G-Oixw3h5X3Kr0Fab3kB2hfHcEcDIZBIU


(4) Pre/Post Birth Checklist

In July my family welcomed new baby Olivia. A military family has a lot to juggle Pre and Post new baby and we found an excellent resource created from our friend at the Military Working Mom that we were very excited to share!

You can find the checklist here: https://themilitaryworkingmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Military-Pre-Post-Birth-Checklist_2020.pdf

Wishing you and your family all the best as we continue to get through this pandemic!

Jeff Mitchell

CEO, BLUF Military Benefits

jefferson.mitchell@blufmilitarybenefits.com


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©2020 by BLUF Military Benefits

501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation | EIN: 85-0925700

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Contact us at info@blufmilitarybenefits.com

DISCLAIMER

BLUF Military Benefits is a private nonprofit corporation and is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site contains information about GI Bill benefits, VA loans, news and services for military veterans and is not connected with any government agency. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement