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Making Memories: Balancing Present and Future for Military Families Thumbnail

Making Memories: Balancing Present and Future for Military Families

Managing Your Finances

By Joseph Brown, PhD, CFP®

As an Active or Retired Senior Military Officer or NCO, you know the challenges of balancing service commitments with family life. Creating and preserving family memories when duty often keeps us apart is one of the most significant challenges. Let's talk about how you can make the most of your time together, even with the unique demands of military life.

Balance Saving for the Future with Spending Now.

As a financial planner specializing in military finances, I often find that our clients need reassurance they're saving enough for the future. This reassurance is crucial because it allows you to feel comfortable spending on experiences today without guilt.

For military families, balancing current spending with future savings can be particularly challenging due to unique considerations like frequent moves, deployment-related expenses, and specific retirement benefits. However, remember that your time in service - and with family - is finite and precious.

While many of us in the military are overachievers, aiming for a 99% chance of financial plan success might indicate over-saving! Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), military pension, and other benefits provide a strong foundation for your future. This financial security should empower you to invest in experiences now, not just dollars for later.

Experiences Over Things.

Studies show that experiences bring more long-lasting happiness than material possessions. As military families, we have unique opportunities to create memorable experiences, whether it's exploring a new duty station, taking advantage of military discounts, or planning special homecoming celebrations.

Consider planning family vacations, even short weekend trips, to create shared experiences. Take advantage of your military benefits, such as access to MWR facilities, Vet Tix, GOVX, or Space-A travel to make these trips more affordable.

Don't Forget to Take Pictures and Share.

Capture and preserve memories through photos and videos. Create family photo albums or digital scrapbooks for each year or tour of duty. Use technology to stay connected with far-away family members by sharing your experiences through secure family apps or private social media groups.

Remember, creating memories doesn't always require grand gestures or expensive trips. Simple activities like game nights, cooking family recipes together, or exploring local attractions near your duty station can all contribute to a treasure trove of family memories.

Military Finances are Different.

Your unique military benefits and challenges require a specialized approach to financial planning. To ensure you're providing the best for your family while optimizing your financial situation, it's vital to work with an advisor who understands the complexities of military finances. If you'd like to learn how we can help you create a comprehensive plan that balances memory-making with future security, use the button below to schedule a free initial consultation. 

If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:

5 Questions Military Officers Should Ask Before Becoming a Cosigner

Four Tax Tips for Your College Student Home to Work

How Retired Military Officers Can Set Up Their Small Business So They Can Take a Vacation

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