by John Cooney on Apr 5, 2018
It is always a jarring time for you and your family when you get notified that you will be deploying. As your mind races about your job, your family, and your mission, it can seem like there are thousands of things for you to do, and often there actually is! A deployment can also be a time of opportunity, for you personally and financially. One of the benefits afforded to you as a servicemember deployed to a combat zone is that the income you earn as a member of the military in the combat zone is excluded from income taxes (you still pay social security and medicare taxes). The tax-free
by John Cooney on Jan 29, 2018
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed just at the end of 2017, made some of the most significant changes to the tax code in decades, and you have probably heard numerous takes on how good or bad the legislation is. This is not going to be a discussion of the merits of the bill, but instead, I will highlight three changes that taxpayers can use to their advantage starting as early as 2018. Just one big note, this is for 2018 taxes, due in April 2019. For your 2017 taxes, due in April of 2018, the old tax rules still apply.
by John Cooney on Nov 28, 2017
Everyone knows if you qualify for a retirement as a Military Reservist, your pension payments don’t begin until you turn 60, right? Well, maybe not, if you were mobilized after January 2008, you may qualify for a reduced age retirement, which means that your pension payments can start as early as 50. Included in the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act is a provision to begin payments early based on the number of days spent on Active Duty in support of the Global War on Terror or any of its derivatives on or after January 28th, 2008.
by John Cooney on Nov 8, 2017
I am a big history fan and of course a big fan of personal finance, so in honor of Veteran’s Day I thought I’d highlight a few financial planning lessons we can learn from some of the greatest military leaders in history. Sun Tzu, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Marshall have all carved out a spot in the Parthenon of military leaders. There is no reason however that those lessons should only apply to the battlefield, their lives can also help us in living out the financial lives we both desire and deserve. I hope you enjoy it, and to any veterans reading,
by John Cooney on Oct 11, 2017
Individual retirement accounts can be a fantastic vehicle for helping individuals save money for retirement. They can be used in conjunction with workplace retirement plans and social security to help provide income for retirees when they have left the workforce. When it comes to IRAs, they come in two different flavors, traditional and Roth. We will discuss how these two types of retirement accounts are the same, how they are different, and which one may be right for you.
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.
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.