If you have a family, the single most important thing to think about when it comes to deployment is ensuring that they're well taken care of while you're away. Finances are a big part of this, but they can also become a source of friction. According to a survey by the National Military Family Association, 28% of military families say financial issues are among their greatest challenges during deployment. If you don't have a family, you will still deal with many similar financial issues, though on a smaller scale. We focus on a few of the more important areas.
There are a number of situations that may arise in life that you simply do not have control over. Experts recommend saving three months' worth of your income for emergencies if you're a couple and both of you work, and six months' worth of your income if only one of you is working.
If you're married, your spouse will likely be paying the bills while you're away. Consider adding both your names on important accounts, especially in case of emergencies. This will make it as easy as possible to move money between accounts so that finances can be handled from anywhere, whenever needed.
Consider opening a living trust, which facilitates the distribution of assets in the event of death. Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, or SGLI, offers coverage up to $400,000. This money is paid directly to the named beneficiary or beneficiaries. It could also be used to fund a Trust Account. A trustee can be appointed to carry out the wishes of the deceased servicemember. Upon the death of a servicemember in combat, SGLI pays additional monies to the family, as well.
A lot of angst and preparation goes into deployment. Whether it's legal, financial, personal, family, or home-related, you can learn more using the resources on this page. Don't forget to print out the DoD Pre-Deployment Guide, along with a checklist to help you in the process.
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Knowing what to expect and where to turn for support can help ease the pain of deployment.