As our country strives to stop the spread of COVID-19, the loss of jobs, business operations, and other financial concerns are starting to come to light. To help military and veterans plan for what’s happening, here are some tips we found to share:
Are you looking to transition from military to veteran?
It may take you a few months to land the job you want. At the same time, you may face new expenses—like housing and transportation—that require cash upfront. If you can, set aside enough money to cover a few months of essential expenses. Starting small and saving a few dollars a month can help you build toward this goal.
Credit card debt can pile up.
Whether you knew it or not, you may have been protected from high credit card repayment rates while you served, thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. When you leave active duty, though, standard interest rates can kick in. Credit card rates are usually well into the double digits so that interest charges can pile up quickly. Paying those bills late—or ignoring them—can damage that all-important credit score. Even carrying a large balance can start to hurt your credit. Try to stay on top of your credit card bills as much as possible, and be sure to read the fine print and know when payments are due.
It’s Never Too Early To Start Thinking About Retirement.
During your transition, your primary focus is likely your shorter-term needs, but it may also be an excellent time to start thinking about longer-term goals, like retirement. As a civilian, you will have a new range of retirement investment options available to you—like employer-offered 401(k)s or 403(b)s. If you don’t have access to employer plans, you can consider setting up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
Furthermore, to help respond to the needs created by COVID-19, Bank of America in Arizona has already allocated nearly $900,000 in grant funding to local nonprofit partners. The funding is going to five Phoenix-area nonprofits: A New Leaf, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Boys, and Girls Club of the Valley, United Food Bank, and St. Vincent de Paul.
You can find more resources online at https://www.bankofamerica.com/military-banking/overview.go.