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Financial Benefits and Opportunities of Military Service

Joining the military gives you the chance to fight for your country and show your pride, but you can also get incredible financial benefits. Enlisting allows you to go to college for free and so much more. Here is an overview of some of the best benefits you can get from joining.

Free College

There are many programs in the military that allow you to go to college for low-cost or even free. These benefits are sometimes transferable to your spouse or even child. The post-9/11 GI Bill covers the full cost of in-state tuition at public colleges for up to 36 months. 

Affordable Life Insurance

Military members have the benefit of enrolling in low-cost life insurance programs. For around $27 per month, active duty and reserve servicemen and women are enrolled in life insurance that covers a maximum of $400,000 in death benefits. Additionally, service members can receive Traumatic Injury Protection for an additional dollar per month. Traumatic Injury Protection pays $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the injury.

Retirement Savings Plan

Military members have a savings plan similar to a 401k, but with much lower charges. At the moment, the charges are an annual expense ratio of .029%. However, costs are offset by an automatic 1% contribution after the first 60 days of service. There are proposed changes to this plan, which may be beneficial. 

Savings Deposit Program

Deployed service members have the ability to invest up to $10,000 into a savings deposit program. The money you put into your account accrues interest of 10% annually, compounded quarterly. Your savings must remain in the account while deployed, except during exceptional circumstances. Withdrawals can be made after your eligibility of the program has ended, usually due to redeployment or leaving a combat zone.

No Down Payment Mortgages

Veterans have the ability to get a mortgage without paying a down payment. VA loans are made by private lenders but are backed by the federal government. The amount borrowed is protected by the federal government, meaning if the borrower defaults on the loan, the federal government pays the lender for the loss. There are limits for each loan, which you can find on the website for Veteran Affairs.

Tax-Free Housing Allowance

When a service member doesn’t occupy government quarters or barracks, they’re given a basic allowance for housing. This benefit provides a place for them to live as well as their dependents. The allowance is nontaxable money paid on a monthly basis. The amount received depends on the pay grade of the service member, location in the United States, and if dependents are involved. The monthly rent of a home isn’t considered when it comes to the housing allowance. If you’re interested in determining how much you’re eligible for, you can check using the Basic Allowance for Housing calculator.

 

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