SGLI Blog

SGLI and securing your family’s future

| September 1, 2015

If you’re like many servicemembers, you never owned life insurance until you were issued SGLI. So you may not realize what a bargain it is to be able to purchase $400,000 of coverage for a mere $29 per month. In fact, if you’re not married and don’t have any dependents, you may even be tempted to decline SGLI, or at least reduce the amount of coverage in order to reduce your monthly premium.

But in most cases, this would amount to being penny wise and pound foolish. Reducing your SGLI from $400,000 to $250,000, for example, will save you exactly $10.50 per month – that’s about 35 cents per day. And even if you’re single, chances are you have parents or siblings that it would make sense to name as beneficiaries until you have a family of your own. The bottom line is that, for most servicemembers, the low cost of SGLI makes keeping and paying for the full $400,000 a smart financial decision even if it’s more coverage than you need at this stage of your life.

There is a risk, however, in assuming that there’s something magic about that $400,000 amount. Yes, it may be more coverage than you need…now. But believe it or not, it may also be less than you need. The only way to know for sure is to take the time to assess the needs of your survivors if anything were to happen to you. Would it be necessary to replace some portion of your income? If you own a home, would you want your spouse to be able to pay off the mortgage? If you have children, would you want money to be set aside for their future education? These are just a few of the questions that need to be asked – and answered – in order to accurately assess your family’s needs and ensure that you have the right amount of life insurance.

There’s one more issue you need to consider – and that’s how you’re going to replace your SGLI when you leave the service. That may sound like an “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” dilemma, but the problem with taking that approach is that life insurance becomes more expensive with every birthday – and if you’re unfortunate enough to have medical issues, you may not even be able to qualify for new coverage. That’s why it’s wise to plan ahead and consider securing personal life insurance that can supplement your SGLI now and replace it when you leave the military.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, a reminder to Americans of the need to include life insurance in their financial plans. So regardless of whether you’re just beginning your military career or close to separating or retiring, don’t make the all-too-common mistake of putting off a discussion on this important topic. A financial advisor who is knowledgeable about military benefits can not only help you determine how much life insurance you need, but also provide advice on how you can prepare for the eventual loss of SGLI and what type or types of coverage will best meet your family’s needs.



DoD Sequestration News

This week in DoD sequestration news

| August 28, 2015

The Department of Defense has two big budget questions: 1) Will Congress resort to passing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded in FY16 and 2) Will the military receive a reprieve from returning to sequester-level funding in FY16?

Continue reading...


Transitioning from the military

Finding the ideal second career starts with self-reflection

| August 24, 2015

Whether you’re active duty with years to go before retirement, in the process of transitioning out of the military, or you’re a veteran taking the time to reflect on your successes, you can count on your strengths and passions to launch your personal journey toward discovering your ideal second career.

Continue reading...


DoD Sequestration News

This week in DoD sequestration news

| August 21, 2015

Military families’ anxiety about sequestration remains steady as we near the end of the fiscal year. Nearly three-quarters of military families surveyed in the most recent First Command Financial Behaviors Index® are anxious about cuts to defense spending, with nearly four in 10 indicating they are extremely or very anxious.

Continue reading...


Servicemembers rank their most important benefits

| August 17, 2015

When it comes to military benefits, servicemembers rank basic pay as their top benefit based on importance. Military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) were supplied with a list of eight benefits in the latest First Command Financial Behaviors Index® survey and asked to rank each one in order of importance.

Continue reading...



DoD Sequestration News

This week in DoD sequestration news

| August 14, 2015

Army Times interviewed outgoing Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno. Here’s what he had to say about sequestration and Army downsizing:

    The Army is in danger of becoming too small for an increasingly dangerous world and that may embolden our enemies to act.


Continue reading...
Mature couple dancing

I’m getting ready to retire; Should I choose the Survivor Annuity?

| August 10, 2015

You’ve made it!  It is finally time to retire from federal service, something that you and your spouse have been looking forward to for years.  But wait, before you clean-out your desk and turn in your building pass, let’s review one of your most important retirement decisions—whether or not to elect a survivor’s benefit for your spouse. 

Continue reading...


DoD Sequestration News

This week in DoD sequestration news

| August 7, 2015

Senators left Washington, D.C. this week for their summer recess, which means when Congress returns to session in September, they’ll have to vote on the government funding bill in the few short weeks before the beginning of the next fiscal year. 

Continue reading...


Back-to-School-Spending

Military families spend more on back-to-school shopping

| August 3, 2015

Many career military families plan to bump up their back-to-school spending this year, even as widespread concerns about sequestration and defense downsizing continue to prompt many of them to curb everyday spending, according to the latest findings of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.

Continue reading...


DoD Sequestration News

This week in DoD sequestration news

| July 31, 2015

With only two months until the beginning of FY16, 52 percent of military households are still holding on to the belief that Congress will void sequestration before the scheduled return to the full budget cuts in October.

Continue reading...