My Experience With the VA Home Loan

Submitted by John Cooney on Sep 28, 2017

If you are a veteran and in the market for buying a house, chances are you have heard about or have looked into using the VA Loan benefit for this purchase.  I am in the middle of buying a house for the second time and for the first time, I am using the VA Loan Benefit, so I thought I’d take a few minutes and talk about what the VA Loan is, my personal story with the VA Loan, and tips for anyone looking to use it in the future.

 

Veteran Benefits

Strategy vs Tactics When it Comes to Investing

Submitted by John Cooney on Sep 14, 2017

When people find out that I am a financial advisor, the first question I am usually asked is “What should I invest in?” or something close to that.  My answer is almost always the same, “What is it you are investing for?”  If your advisor is telling you what to invest in, before you have talked about what you are investing for, I highly recommend you find another advisor.  When I think about investing, I often think back to my military education days and learning about the three levels of war; Strategic, Operational, and Tactical.

investing, retirement

Improvements to the TSP May Be Coming Soon!

Submitted by John Cooney on Jul 17, 2017

When I talk to people about the Thrift Savings Plan the most common complaint I usually hear is how difficult it can be to withdraw funds from your account.  Well, you may not believe it, but there is a bi-partisan effort underway in Congress to improve these rules and allow for greater withdrawal flexibility for TSP participants.  In April, Senate Bill 873, The Thrift Savings Plan Modernization Act was sponsored by Senators Portman and Carper, and at the end of June, a companion bill, HR 3031, was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representatives Cummings, Meadows, and Norton. 

Thrift Savings Plan, retirement, military retirement, TSP

Congratulations, You Just Graduated From a Service Academy! Now, Start Planning for Retirement

Submitted by John Cooney on Jun 22, 2017

Congratulations, you just spent the past four years in one of the most challenging college environments that exist.  You were pushed to your physical, emotional, and intellectual limits and earned the right to be commissioned as an officer in the United States Military.  So now, while you are enjoying a little leave, on your way to your basic officer course, or already at your first assignment leading troops, you need to make sure you are planning for retirement.  Wait, what, retirement, but you just graduated?  Remember, you will never again get the chance to start planning for retirement

military retirement, USMA, USNA, USAFA, USCGA, graduation, Thrift Savings Plan, blended retirement system, IRA, Roth IRA, Class of 2017

BRS Comparison Calculator is now live!

Submitted by John Cooney on May 26, 2017

     After a month or so delay, the DoD’s Retirement Comparison Calculator is now live!  The comparison calculator allows service members to input some of their basic information and provides a detailed comparison on what their retirement income would look like under both the current retirement system and the new Blended Retirement System.  This is a valuable tool to help provide service members with more information that they can use in making the decision on whether or not to opt-in to the new retirement system when it is implemented in 2018.

blended retirement system, military retirement

Understanding the Military's New Blended Retirement System (BRS)

Submitted by John Cooney on Mar 7, 2017

Understanding the Military’s New Retirement System, the Blended Retirement System

For years, those who have served in the military have had one constant; if you serve 20 or more years, you get a pension for life, if you don’t, you get nothing.  This changed a little when the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) came into effect in the late 1980s.  With the TSP, the government did give service members a mechanism for saving money direct from their paycheck.  The big key here is that it was ONLY the service members money, Uncle Sam kicked in nada.  If you contra

retirement, military retirement, blended retirement system