4 Financial Challenges Your Loved Ones in the Military May Be Facing

4 Financial Challenges Your Loved Ones in the Military May Be Facing

This Memorial Day, it may do us good to be aware not only of the sacrifice previous generations have made to defend our country, but also the challenges today’s service people face. Below are four financial struggles common to service men and women. Your loved ones in the armed forces can probably relate to these. The mixed blessing of home ownership. When assigned to a base, it may seem like a blessing to buy a home that accommodates a family lifestyle nearby. In some markets mortgage payments may even be less than rent. But military careers often involve multiple relocations over the years. When service people are assigned to a new base, they say goodbye to their local social network, their spouse’s job, their children’s school. They also separate from the local economy. If you’re friend or relative in military service is thinking of buying a house you might encourage them to weigh the benefits against the potential future costs. In a few years when they are reassigned, will they be able to sell before they move? If not, will they be able to afford two mortgages? Will they be able to find a tenant willing to sign a month-to-month lease so a buyer can move in on short notice? As a long-distance landlord, will they be able to handle the costs of properly management services? These are important questions to consider before signing on any dotted lines. Lack of account access while deployed. Online banking makes it possible to manage money while overseas, but it can be difficult to do so while on a foreign tour of duty...
Parents: Don’t Sacrifice Yourself on the Altar of Your Children’s Education

Parents: Don’t Sacrifice Yourself on the Altar of Your Children’s Education

by Joe Delaney Parents have sacrificed their financial futures on the altar of their children’s education. Fueled by easy federal money and self-interested colleges, the result is a student loan crisis that appears already to be eclipsing the catastrophic proportions of mortgage indebtedness leading up to the financial collapse of 2008. I’m not anti-education. In fact, I valued my college education so much that I went back to teach at my alma mater, Towson University, for seven years. Please allow me to disclaim a few things: I believe that a college education is a) inherently valuable, b) an enhancer of career prospects and c) fertile ground for unforgettable life experiences beyond the classroom. I’m a parent. I’ve encouraged my two sons, 13 and 11, to strive for a college education, and I’ve also offered to share in the financial burden. I’m not a prognosticator. Therefore, I’m not predicting an imminent crisis akin to the Great Recession, led by student loan defaults. Crystal balls don’t work, and anyone who claims to have one is selling something. I’m also not a conspiracy theorist, but the facts, according to a new Wall Street Journal article, are indisputable: Overall student debt—with over 42 million loans outstanding—is north of $1.3 trillion. Roughly 40% of borrowers had credit scores below the subprime threshold of 620. Subprime mortgages peaked at nearly 20% of mortgage originations in 2006. The vast majority of the loans were originated by the federal government and cannot be eliminated, even in bankruptcy. As of September 2015, 11% of borrowers had gone at least a year without making a payment on a Parent Plus...