From frequent relocation to the high demands of the job, the military lifestyle can certainly pose challenges for families. As such, members of the armed forces qualify for some unique benefits not available to civilians. From monetary incentives to subsidized education, these initiatives are in place to enhance quality of life for military personnel.However, navigating the plethora of rewards available to servicemembers isn’t as complicated as it may seem. We’ve made it easy with this list, which highlights five of the most relevant perks that all military personnel can enjoy.
1. Subsidized Education
In order to eliminate the burden of crushing student loans, the Post-9/11 GI Bill fully covers in-state tuition and fees at public colleges for up to 36 months, and up to $21,970 per year for private colleges and foreign schools. The GI Bill also provides a housing stipend and funds for books and tutoring.
This perk doesn’t just apply to service members aspiring towards higher education — spouses and children of service members are also covered.
2. Affordable Life Insurance
Servicemembers have access to one of the most cost-effective life insurance programs available. Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance costs only 7 cents per $1,000 of coverage per month, which amounts to $336 a year for the maximum $400,000. Spouses of servicemembers are also eligible to receive coverage up to $100,000 for a spouse for only $60 a year if he or she is under 35.
3. Tax-Free Housing Allowance
As long as an individual remains in the military, he or she is eligible to receive a monthly subsidy that covers all, or most, of his rent payments. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is determined on a case-by-case basis, with factors such as geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependent status taken into consideration. For military members who own a home, the BAH can go towards mortgage or property tax payments.
4. Low-Cost Retirement Savings
Service members don’t have to worry about their retirement funds, as they are entitled to one of the most cost-effective retirement plans available. While normal 401(k) retirement plans charge an expense ratio of 1-2% per year, the Thrift Savings Plan charges an annual expense ratio of just 0.029% of assets.
5. Low Interest Loans
With this benefit, service members have a security blanket in case of personal financial emergency. Each branch of the military has a special relief fund that offers small, interest-free loans reserved for dire circumstances. Beyond that, credit unions on base also offer short-term loans with fair interest rates.
6. Government Vacation Rewards
For all their hard work, service members deserve a break. With the help of Government Vacation Rewards’ amazing travel deals, that break is all the more financially feasible. Active duty and retired military personnel and their families are eligible for affordable vacation options through this travel discount program. Plan your next trip at a great price, and earn reward points to use on your next vacation.