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  • I am currently reading Atomic Habits by Janes Clear . He writes compellingly about creating big improvements in nearly any area of our lives by making small steady changes over time. Im not quite done with the book so it is not this months book giveaway tune in next month to win a free copy! This formula certainly works for saving money. Many 401k plans have encouraged the idea by offering an auto escalation feature. With auto escalation the percentage of salary you contribute goes up, typically by 1% each year. When you sign up for this feature this happens automatically which is a great way to save! To see the impact of escalating your savings percentage lets take a look at two young women at the start of their careers: Susan and Sally. Susan and Sally are both 25 years old and they both have jobs paying $45,000/year. Susan decides to contribute 5% of her salary to her 401k plan. Sally also decides to contribute 5% of her salary to her 401k plan. They each contribute $2,250. _________________________________________________________________________ After one year, both Susan and Sally get a 3% raise. Now they are each making $46,350. Susan continues with 5% salary contribution. Sally increases hers to 6%. Susan contributes $2,317 and Sally contributes $2,781. _________________________________________________________________________ After another year, both Susan and Sally again get a 3% raise. So now they are each making $47,740. Again, Susan continues with 5% salary contribution. Sally increases hers to 7%. Susan contributes $2,387 and Sally contributes $3,341. _________________________________________________________________________ This repeats for a total of 32 years: a 3% raise every year, Susan continuing with 5% contribution every year and Sally escalating by 1% each year. Then when they are 57 (and believe me, this goes by in a flash!), their salary is $115,878. That year Susan contributes 5% or $5,793 and Sally has escalated up to 37% of salary or $42,875! _________________________________________________________________________ Now lets assume that those contributions over the last 32 years have earned 5% a year. How much do Susan and Sally have? Sally has a little over a million dollars. Susan has about a quarter of that amount. Of course Your Mileage May Vary historically portfolio returns over this length of time have been better than this! The flip side to saving is of course spending. Because Sally is saving such a large percentage of income, she is spending much less than Susan.Increasing your savings percentage helps slow the increased spending of lifestyle creep. Susan is spending ≈$110K a year and Sally is spending ≈$73K a year. Sally has a larger nest egg and a smaller lifestyle! _________________________________________________________________________ Saving 37% of your income may seem like an impossible achievement. But Sally didnt get there overnight-it took 32 years of steady annual 1% increases. I realize not everyones life proceeds in a linear fashion like this. You might drop out of the work force for a time to care for family members. You might not get a raise every year. On the other hand, you might get a few promotions along the line and get bigger increases! Save, Invest, Repeat. Start early, increase often. *all dollar amounts are rounded *spending includes taxes
  • Tariffs, interest rates, and the economy’s strength are triggering fear and market volatility. Here are the facts. Check Our Video Blog On Key Facts About Tariffs, Interest Rates, And Economic Strength http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • The 2019 military pay charts go into effect on January 1, 2019. You will see the corresponding income in your first paycheck, which should arrive on January 15, 2019. Military members will receive a 2.6% annual cost of living adjustment . While this doesnt sound like a huge raise, it is actually the largest military pay raise since 2010. You can compare the numbers on these pay charts to the 2018 military pay charts to see how they compare to 2018 pay. When Do I Get Paid? Members are generally paid on the 1st and 15th of the month unless that day falls on a weekend or holiday. If so, members are generally paid the preceding business day. The following links will take you to the current military pay dates: Military Pay Dates Retired Military Pay Dates 2019 Military Pay Raise 2.6% Note about these numbers: This is an estimate based on the 2019 pay raise approved as part of the 2019 DoD budgets. These numbers are not the official DoD pay scale numbers those will be released at the end of Dec. 2018, or at the beginning of 2019. How accurate are these numbers? Most likely within $0.10 or less of the final numbers. The DoD rounds the pay to the nearest 10 cents. We simply took the 2018 pay charts and multiplied them by 1.026 to get the numbers found on this page. The official pay charts will likely round these numbers up or down accordingly. So the numbers you see here should be within a few cents of the actual numbers the DoD releases in a couple weeks. (note: the numbers in the footnotes will also change we will update those accordingly when the official charts have been released). We will update these charts as soon as the official charts have been released. 2019 Pay Scale – Officers, Prior Enlisted Officers, and Warrant Officers Officers generally begin their career with the pay grade of O-1. However, there may be exceptions. Some officers have prior enlisted service and qualify as O-1E (E denoting prior-enlisted experience). Some officers may also join the military at an accelerated rank based on professional experience in the civilian sector. This is generally limited to certain professions, including the medical, legal, and similar career fields. Finally, Warrant Officers are technical experts in their career fields and generally start at the pay grade of W-1. However, Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO-2) is the entry-level warrant officer rank in the US Coast Guard. The pay grade for this rank is W-2. Warrant Officers are found in all branches of the military except the Air Force. 2019 Military Pay Chart Officers and Warrant Officers 0 Years 10 Years Pay Grade2 or lessOver 2Over 3Over 4Over 6Over 8Over 10 O-10(*1)------- O-9(*1)------- O-8(*1)10,668.9611,018.6211,250.7111,315.3411,604.9812,088.2312,200.58 O-7(*1)8,865.269,276.789,467.629,619.069,893.3110,164.4810,477.82 O-6(*2)6,722.667,385.667,870.457,870.457,900.618,239.198,283.82 O-55,604.426,313.596,750.056,832.547,105.567,268.397,627.28 O-44,835.545,597.345,971.326,054.126,400.706,772.837,236.07 O-34,251.644,819.225,201.515,671.525,943.626,241.576,434.25 O-23,673.594,183.934,818.304,981.135,083.935,083.935,083.93 O-13,188.503,319.014,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.87 Prior Enlisted Officers Pay Grade2 or lessOver 2Over 3Over 4Over 6Over 8Over 10 O-3E---5,671.525,943.626,241.576,434.25 O-2E---4,981.135,083.935,245.535,518.85 O-1E---4,011.874,283.964,442.484,604.38 Warrant Officers Pay Grade2 or lessOver 2Over 3Over 4Over 6Over 8Over 10 W-5------- W-44,393.854,726.274,861.704,995.295,225.215,452.685,683.22 W-34,012.484,179.624,351.064,407.704,586.844,940.505,308.63 W-23,550.473,886.283,989.704,060.504,291.044,648.704,826.00 W-13,116.483,451.983,542.163,732.693,958.004,290.424,445.25 2019 Military Pay Chart Officers and Warrant Officers 12 Years 26 Years Pay GradeOver 12Over 14Over 16Over 18Over 20Over 22Over 24Over 26 O-10(*1)----16,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.90 O-9(*1)----15,078.5115,296.4315,610.0816,157.04 O-8(*1)12,659.8112,791.5513,187.0813,759.5814,287.1514,639.2814,639.2814,639.28 O-7(*1)10,790.2411,103.5812,088.2312,919.2912,919.2912,919.2912,919.2912,985.47 O-6(*2)8,283.828,754.459,586.7410,075.2210,563.3910,841.3311,122.9711,668.08 O-57,890.768,230.888,751.378,998.539,243.549,521.499,521.499,521.49 O-47,596.207,846.447,990.498,073.908,073.908,073.908,073.908,073.90 O-36,751.296,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.88 O-25,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.93 O-14,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.87 Prior Enlisted Officers Pay GradeOver 12Over 14Over 16Over 18Over 20Over 22Over 24Over 26 O-3E6,751.297,018.767,172.667,381.667,381.667,381.667,381.667,381.66 O-2E5,730.005,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.29 O-1E4,763.514,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.13 Warrant Officers Pay GradeOver 12Over 14Over 16Over 18Over 20Over 22Over 24Over 26 W-5----7,812.588,208.728,503.908,830.47 W-46,029.196,332.996,622.016,858.717,089.257,428.147,706.398,024.04 W-35,482.235,682.915,889.146,260.966,511.826,661.726,821.167,038.46 W-25,000.525,214.135,380.965,532.095,713.085,831.895,926.075,926.07 W-14,661.944,875.245,043.305,197.515,385.275,385.275,385.275,385.27 2019 Military Pay Chart Officers and Warrant Officers 28 Years 40 Years Pay GradeOver 28Over 30Over 32Over 34Over 36Over 38Over 40 O-10(*1)16,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.90 O-9(*1)16,157.0416,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.9016,210.90 O-8(*1)14,639.2815,005.8715,005.8715,380.7715,380.7715,380.7715,380.77 O-7(*1)12,985.4713,245.2513,245.2513,245.2513,245.2513,245.2513,245.25 O-6(*2)11,668.0811,901.3911,901.3911,901.3911,901.3911,901.3911,901.39 O-59,521.499,521.499,521.499,521.499,521.499,521.499,521.49 O-48,073.908,073.908,073.908,073.908,073.908,073.908,073.90 O-36,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.886,916.88 O-25,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.935,083.93 O-14,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.874,011.87 Prior Enlisted Officers Pay GradeOver 28Over 30Over 32Over 34Over 36Over 38Over 40 O-3E7,381.667,381.667,381.667,381.667,381.667,381.667,381.66 O-2E5,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.295,887.29 O-1E4,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.134,981.13 Warrant Officers Pay GradeOver 28Over 30Over 32Over 34Over 36Over 38Over 40 W-58,830.479,272.789,272.789,735.719,735.7110,223.2710,223.27 W-48,024.048,184.098,184.098,184.098,184.098,184.098,184.09 W-37,038.467,038.467,038.467,038.467,038.467,038.467,038.46 W-25,926.075,926.075,926.075,926.075,926.075,926.075,926.07 W-15,385.275,385.275,385.275,385.275,385.275,385.275,385.27 (*1) Basic pay for an O-7 to O-10 is limited by Level II of the Executive Schedule in effect during Calendar Year 2018 which is: $15,800.10. This includes officers serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, or commander of a unified or specified combatant command (as defined in 10 U.S.C. 161(c)). (*2) Basic pay for O-6 and below is limited by Level V of the Executive Schedule in effect during Calendar Year 2018 which is: $12,816.60. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion Pay: The Combat Zone Tax Exclusion  for O-1 and above is based on the basic pay rate shown in note 3 plus Hostile Fire Pay/Imminent Danger Pay which is $225.00 per month (prorated). Academy Cadets & ROTC Basic Pay: Basic pay rate for Academy Cadets/Midshipmen and ROTC members/applicants is $1,087.80. Prior Enlisted Officer Pay Qualifications Prior enlisted officers may be eligible for a higher pay rate based on time in service and other criteria. The pay scale offers the following note: *Applicable to O-1 to O-3 with at least four years & one day of active duty or more than 1460 points as a warrant and/or enlisted member. See Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations (DoDFMR) for more detailed explanation on who is eligible for this special basic pay rate. 2019 Pay Scale – Officers, Prior Enlisted Officers, and Warrant Officers Enlisted members generally begin their service in the pay grades of E-1 through E-3. Military branches sometimes reward higher starting ranks for enlisted members as incentives for joining the military. Common routes to starting with a higher enlisted rank include having some college credits at the time of joining, signing a longer enlistment contract, having earned an Eagle Scout award, and other reasons. The members starting pay grade will be clearly stated in their enlistment contract. 2019 Military Pay Chart Enlisted Members 0 Years 10 Years Pay Grade2 or lessOver 2Over 3Over 4Over 6Over 8Over 10 E-9(*3)------5,308.32 E-8-----4,345.524,537.59 E-73,020.753,296.853,423.353,590.183,720.993,945.074,071.58 E-62,612.612,875.163,001.973,125.403,254.063,543.393,656.36 E-52,393.452,554.742,678.172,804.373,001.363,206.973,376.26 E-42,194.612,306.962,431.932,555.362,664.012,664.012,664.01 E-31,981.312,105.662,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.40 E-21,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.04 E-1> 4 mos1,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.90 E-11,554.08------ 2019 Military Pay Chart Enlisted Members 12 Years 26 Years Pay GradeOver 12Over 14Over 16Over 18Over 20Over 22Over 24Over 26 E-9(*3)5,428.365,580.415,758.325,938.696,226.496,470.576,726.667,119.41 E-84,656.714,798.914,953.735,232.295,373.575,613.965,747.556,075.66 E-74,295.664,482.494,609.924,745.354,797.684,974.365,068.855,428.98 E-63,874.893,941.383,990.014,046.654,046.654,046.654,046.654,046.65 E-53,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.57 E-42,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.01 E-32,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.40 E-21,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.04 E-1> 4 mos1,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.90 2019 Military Pay Chart Enlisted Members 28 Years 40 Years Pay GradeOver 28Over 30Over 32Over 34Over 36Over 38Over 40 E-9(*3)7,119.417,474.927,474.927,848.907,848.908,241.968,241.96 E-86,075.666,197.556,197.556,197.556,197.556,197.556,197.55 E-75,428.985,428.985,428.985,428.985,428.985,428.985,428.98 E-64,046.654,046.654,046.654,046.654,046.654,046.654,046.65 E-53,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.573,396.57 E-42,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.012,664.01 E-32,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.402,233.40 E-21,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.041,884.04 E-1> 4 mos1,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.901,680.90 (*3) For the Sergeant Major of the Army Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the JCS, or Senior Enlisted Advisor Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau basic pay is: $8,361.00.
  • Big Data and AI worked well for President Obama but why did Big Data not work well for Hilary Clinton against Donald Trump in 2016. Check Out This Interview On Big Data http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • When the new tax law was enacted almost a year ago, your take-home pay probably increased. My concern is that the changes will result in millions of taxpayers owing in April.
  • Retirement Pension and Social Security Sweet Spots Coordinating the timing of pensions and social security can create greater wealth during retirement.   Often folks want to take their pensions and Social Security as soon as possible.  Social Security which can be started as early age 62 is penalized for each month taken prior to the Full [Continue] The post Money and More© December 8, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • Disclosure: This article is part of a military personal finance bloggers #BRSBlitz education campaign sponsored by USAA. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. The Blended Retirement System (BRS) officially rolled out on January 1, 2018. Members who joined the military on or after January 1, 2018 are automatically enrolled in the BRS. Members who joined the military before that date were eligible to remain under the previous military retirement plan, or they could choose to opt into the BRS if they had less than 12 years of active duty service (or an equivalent number of points in the Guard or Reserves , which comes out to 4,320). Those with more than 12 years of service are automatically grandfathered into the High-3 Retirement Plan. Theres a catch, however. The decision to change retirement plans is irrevocable, and members only have one year in which to make their decision. That window is closing on December 31, 2018. That means there is only one month left to decide to stay the course with the legacy retirement plan or opt into the Blended Retirement Plan. The decision is a highly personal one and will depend on many factors. As such, I cant tell you which is best for your situation. Only you can do that. But you will need to decide soon. A Brief Overview of Your Retirement Options High 3 vs. BRS The legacy retirement plan, called the High 3 Retirement plan, is a cliff-vesting retirement system which vests at 20 years of service. A cliff-vesting retirement plan simply means that you earn full retirement benefits all at once, rather than over time. This is common for many pension systems. The High 3 Retirement plan takes an average of your highest 36 months of pay and uses that as a multiplier based on the number of years you served. Simply take your average pay and multiply it by 2.5% per year served. 20 years of service will earn you 50% of your average base pay. You earn another 2.5% for each additional year served. (DFAS will actually calculate partial months and days as well, but you get the idea). The Blended Retirement System has a few changes from the High 3 Plan. It utilizes a lower multiple for each year of service, but it also adds matching TSP contributions and a Continuation Pay bonus. The BRS uses the same average of your highest 36 months pay but uses a lower multiplier to determine the amount of your pension. The BRS uses a 2.0% multiplier instead of 2.5%. Half of a percent doesnt sound like much until you run the numbers. Suddenly, a pension based on 50% of your base pay at 20 years is only 40% under the BRS a reduction of 20%. Fortunately, there is more to the story. The BRS also offers members something not offered under the High 3 retirement plan matching TSP contributions, up to 5% of your base pay. Members are also eligible for a Continuation Pay bonus when the member reaches 12 years of service, provided he or she agrees to another service commitment of 3 or 4 years (branch specific). The Active Duty Continuation Pay Bonus is between 2.5x to 13x the member’s monthly base pay. (Each branch of service can determine the exact amount, but it will be no less than 2.5% of base pay). Guard / Reserve Continuation Pay Bonus is between 0.5x to 6x the monthly basic pay of a member of the same pay grade, as if serving on active duty. Comparing The Retirement Plan Options Looking at the above overviews, you can sum up the plans like this: High-3 Plan: 50% pension at 20 years, plus 2.5% for each additional year served. BRS: 40% pension at 20 years, plus 2.0% for each additional year served; Plus matching TSP contributions of up to 5% of your base pay Plus Continuation Pay Bonus at 12 years of service, worth at least 2.5 times monthly base pay How Do I Know Which Retirement Plan is Better? The short answer is you dont. You will have to use some educated guesswork and some nifty tools, like the calculators provided by the DoD , or the BRS Tool available on USAA.com . Both of these tools are available to everyone, and you do not need to be a USAA member to use the BRS Tool on their site. Now input your data and run the numbers. Calculators are useful tools, but they can never be perfect. Keep in mind that no one can predict future stock market returns, inflation, and similar factors. You can also play around with some assumptions to see how changing inputs impacts the end results. The most important thing is to understand how these two plans work, and whether or not one may be better than the other for you. Get started with the Military Retirement Comparison Tool on USAA.com . Now Lets Take a Step Back and Look at the Big Picture Its Not Just About the Money My friend, Doug Nordman, over at The Military Guide , calls the Blended Retirement System, a lifestyle decision masquerading as a financial decision. And he is spot on. The truth is, the vast majority of active duty military members will never make it to retirement. There are hundreds of reasons why personal, medical, professional, you name it. There are as many reasons as there are people in the military. Fewer than 20% of military members actually remain on active duty long enough to earn a pension. That means over 80% walk away from the military with no retirement benefits. DoD officials estimate that close to 85% of participants in the Blended Retirement Plan will leave the military with at least some retirement benefits. That is quite a difference! Staying in the Military Until Retirement Isnt Guaranteed People who separate from the military for a variety of reasons and the vast majority of them never end up receiving any military retirement benefits. I left active duty after 6.5 years of service. I was completely burned out and I needed to change both my personal and professional situation. I left active duty with no military retirement benefits. It was only after meeting Doug and reading his book, The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement , that I realized I may still be able to serve. After an 8.5 year break in service, I joined the Air National Guard and I am now a little over halfway toward earning a military retirement. I bring this up because I was very close to being in the 80+% of servicemembers who leave the military with no military retirement benefits. I later joined the Guard, so I may end up earning military retirement benefits in the end. But even that isnt a given. I would have jumped at the chance to join the Blended Retirement System while I was on active duty, had I been given the opportunity. The Blended Retirement System Gives You Options Participating in the BRS, and taking control of your financial planning, gives you the option to walk away from the military if you want to, or at least help you to be better prepared if you are forced to separate from the military , even through no fault of your own. Being able to walk away from the military knowing youre are on track for retirement is priceless and that can come through your pension if you reach retirement or through the Thrift Savings Plan or other investments. Is participating in the BRS a requirement to save on your own? Absolutely not. But the matching TSP contributions are a nice incentive to contribute to your TSP, and the additional 5% (if you max out the matching contributions) will help you reach your goals more quickly. Again, the Blended Retirement System has a financial element, but its not just about the money . What Else Should I Consider When Making My Decision? There are many things to consider where you are in your career, the likelihood you will remain in the military long enough to retire (keep in mind, fewer than 20% of all servicemembers reach retirement), your civilian career prospects, and many other factors. We have a detailed article that covers 10 factors to consider before opting into the BRS . It was written by Forrest Baumhover, a retired Navy officer and current financial planner. So he is coming at this article with two levels of professional experience. Here are some additional articles you can reference for this decision: Blended Retirement System: How To Choose Between The Military’s Retirement Systems . USAA And The Final Month To Opt In To The Military Blended Retirement System . How To Opt-In To The Blended Retirement System . Which Military Retirement Plan Should I Choose? Again, this is highly personal. Speaking as someone who left active duty after my first term, I can appreciate the flexibility the BRS offers. On the other hand, I can also appreciate the allure of the higher fixed-pension. If you are junior in your career and undecided about your plans, then I would give consideration to the BRS. The decision becomes more nuanced and personalized as you gain rank and years of service. Thats when the math changes. At the end of the day, you will need to examine your military career prospects, desire to continue serving, and your ability to serve. Then run some numbers and come to a decision you can live with. Again, I recommend using both the DoD BRS calculator and the USAA’s Military Retirement Comparison Tool . Both tools should help you have a better understanding of your options. Take Action by Dec. 31, 2018 December 31st is the last day to take action. There will be no extensions to the deadline. That said, I recommend making your decision soon and be sure to take action in advance of the deadline. The last thing you want is to miss the deadline because of a last-minute glitch, or because you get distracted by the holidays. Schedule 30 minutes to an hour to run some numbers, talk it over with your spouse/significant other/mentor/friend, then take action!
  • Extending a hand in support of a more dovish monetary policy stance, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled a pause in rate hikes in 2019. Check Our Video Blog On Fed Chair Extends A Dovish Hand, Lifting Stocks http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • The MILITARY STAR Card is available exclusively for military personnel and their families. This card comes with a line of credit to help you with your financial needs, including routine day-to-day purchases, or those particular to the military lifestyle. It offers plenty of benefits, which is why it has made our list of Featured Credit Cards for Military Members . How The MILITARY STAR Card Works The MILITARY STAR Card is offered and administered by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). If youre an eligible member of the military, The MILITARY STAR Card is one option you need to check out closely. The card comes with generous rewards and discounts, as well as a low-interest rate on your approved line of credit. The card is available for eligible active military service members and their families. Also, note that you will be responsible for payment of any outstanding balance on your account after separation from service. The MILITARY STAR Rewards Program and Discounts You can gain two points for every dollar you spend when you shop with exchange facilities and armed forces Recreation Center resort hotels. The same rewards points arrangement applies for online shopping at shopmyexchange.com , myNavyExchange.com , and shopCGX.com . You can also earn points at Army and Air Force Exchange Service food courts, Express locations, mall vendors, and other outlets. To be eligible to participate in the Rewards Program, your account must be in good standing. Rewards points will begin accumulating on the day your account is approved. Once you earn 2,000 points, you automatically earn a $20 MILITARY STAR Rewards Card. That means the card has a conversion rate of $1 in rewards for every $50 spent, which is the equivalent of a 2% purchase reward. Rewards Cards redemption. Cards can be redeemed for merchandise or services anywhere an exchange gift card is accepted. There is no limit to how many cards you can earn each year. Points cannot be credited to your account, redeemed for cash, applied to a previous purchase, or used to purchase gift cards or e-gift cards. Rewards points will not expire as long as you have purchase activity at least once every 12 months. Selling rewards cards is strictly prohibited, and can result in termination of your card agreement, and loss of all unused and unexpired points. In addition to the Rewards Program, youll also have the benefit of ongoing discounts as follows: 0% promotional interest  Exclusive savings just for cardholders Shipping: Free standard shipping on shopmyexchange.com and my NavyExchange.com Gas discount: 5 cents per gallon every day Food court discount: 10% daily MILITARY STAR Card Features and Benefits Other significant features and benefits of the MILITARY STAR Card include: The interest rate isn’t affected by your credit score. While your credit score will influence whether or not you are approved for the card, it will not have an effect on your interest rate. The MILITARY STAR Card has a single rate for all borrowers, regardless of your credit. First Day Discount. Upon approval of your account, you will get a 10% discount for purchases on the first day. It will appear as a credit on your first monthly billing statement. Military Clothing Plan purchases. These purchases can be made with a 0% APR. This is a special interest rate waiver, specifically for this plan. The 0% APR applies on purchases of eligible military clothing for up to $500. However, military clothing and equipment offered by other vendors are not eligible for this plan. Authorized users. You can add authorized users to your card. They must be eligible dependents, as defined by the Department of Defense, at least 18 years of age, and with current Exchange privileges. Authorized users will have full use of the card, and can even make payments on your behalf. Credit reporting. Your MILITARY STAR Card payment history will be reported to the major credit bureaus. This will give you an opportunity to build your credit while you’re an active member of the military. MILITARY STAR Card Pricing The card comes with a current rate of 12.24% APR for Retail Plan purchases, and 0% for Military Clothing Plan purchases. The interest rate is variable and will adjust based on changes in the Prime Rate . Your interest charges may also be temporarily reduced based on military activation or deployment. At the end of your activation or deployment, the interest charges or return to the rates in effect at the time of your return. To be eligible for the interest rate reduction, either you or your representative must provide a copy of your activation or deployment orders, either by email, fax, or physical mail. Your monthly payment will be the greater of 2.777% of the unpaid balance, or $10. For purchases under the Military Clothing Plan, the minimum payment will be 12.5% of the unpaid balance. For example, if your card has a balance of $1,000, comprised entirely of regular purchases, the minimum monthly payment will be $27.77 (or $28 rounded up to the nearest whole dollar). If you’re charged interest, the charge will be nothing less than $0.50. However, if you pay your balance in full by the due date each month, there will be no interest charged on your purchases during that billing period. The due date is at least 25 days after the close of each billing cycle. Other fees to be aware of include: Annual fee: None Late fee: None Over-limit fee: None Returned payment fee: $25 Penalty rate: 20.24% The penalty rate applies if you do not pay the full amount of any total minimum payment due within 60 days of the due date, and will apply until you make six consecutive on-time payments thereafter. How to Sign Up for the MILITARY STAR Card You can apply for the card on the ECP website or in-store at a local base exchange. If you apply online, you click the “Apply Now” button on the website, and youll be brought to a login page where you can register. Youll then be taken to a disclosure page which will include several required notices you need to read. From there you can continue on to the application. Youll be asked to provide general information, including your Social Security number and your employment and income information. Your qualification for the card will be subject to credit investigation and credit reports. Your income, employment, and other related information will be verified with third parties. MILITARY STAR Card Pros and Cons Like any product, the MILITARY STAR Card comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Pros: The interest rate on the MILITARY STAR Card is lower than the rate on most popular credit cards. The Rewards Program is the equivalent to 2% cash back on your purchases , which is very generous as an ongoing rewards program, even compared to major bank credit cards. There’s a first day 10% discount for purchases. No annual fee. No late fees or over-limit fees. The interest rate youll pay will not be affected by your credit score. Interest rate reduction during deployment. Ongoing discounts on purchases, gasoline, and at the food court, as well as promotional 0% interest offers. The card can be used to help you build a good credit rating while you’re in the military, through regular, on-time payments. Cons: The card will be terminated once you leave active duty military service. Rewards points are accumulated at select locations and may not be earned on all purchases made. As is the case with all credit cards, loans, and credit lines, late payments made on the MILITARY STAR Card will have a negative impact on your credit and credit score . Approval isn’t automatic. Bad credit could result in your application being denied. Should You Sign Up for the MILITARY STAR Card? Though the MILITARY STAR Card is available only to members of the military, it offers one of the best overall credit card packages available, even when compared with credit card offers by major banks. The low-interest rate, plus the generous rewards and discount programs make the card too good to pass up. If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to sign up for the card, visit the MILITARY STAR Card website .
  • At one time Cricket Wireless had a discount program for military service members. However, that program has since been terminated, and Cricket offers only very limited military benefits compared to other cell phone service providers. However, it has to be noted that Cricket Wireless is also one of the lowest cost cell phone service providers. For that reason, the need for a specific military discount plan may not be entirely necessary. It may be that the regular cost of Cricket Wireless service is even lower than that offered by other providers, even when military discounts are factored in. Cricket Wireless Military Deployment Plan This is not a discount plan in any sense. Instead, it enables you to suspend your phone number when youre called into active military duty service. Thus, you wont be able to use your Cricket Wireless service. Cricket Wireless will hold your phone number in inactive status for up to 36 months. Once you return from deployment, you’ll have up to 90 days to re-subscribe to the service. You are eligible for this plan whether you are being deployed or are currently deployed. In total, Cricket Wireless Military Deployment Plan is a 39-month plan, comprised of 36 months, plus a 90 day grace period. If you fail to reactivate your service within that time frame, your phone number will be deactivated and recycled. To take advantage of the Military Deployment Plan, you can call Customer Support, giving your last name and date of birth. If you signed up for AutoPay, youll be unenrolled to avoid paying unnecessary bills. Your wireless voice, data, and voicemail will be turned off. Unfortunately, youll lose any existing voicemails youve saved. But one of the big advantages with this plan is that while you can deactivate your own phone line, other lines on your account can remain active. Thats a valuable benefit if other members of your family are also on the same plan. Reactivating Your Account When You Come Home Once you return home, youll have 90 days from your final date of deployment to reactivate your account. You can reactivate simply by calling Customer Support. Cricket Wireless also provides expedited unlocking prior to deployment, if it must be done on short notice. Once again, you can call Customer Support to make it happen. To unlock your phone, you have to provide the following information: Your name. Your date of birth. Your phone number. A copy of your documentation of deployment status. The email where youd like the unlocking directions to be sent to. Cricket Wireless Low-Cost Plans Though it doesnt offer a military discount, Cricket Wireless does have some of the lowest priced plans in the industry. For example, their Talk & Text plan provides unlimited calls and texts throughout the US, though it doesnt offer data access. Still, if youre looking for basic phone and text, this is a highly affordable plan. They also offer their popular Unlimited Program. For $55 a month ($50 after AutoPay credit) you’ll have: Unlimited calls, text and picture messages across the US. Unlimited text from the US to 37 countries. Data access, plus unlimited calls, text, and picture messages to and from Mexico, Canada, and the US. Unlimited data access with speeds to 3 Mbps. Video streaming at SD quality (about 480p). With the Unlimited plan, you can stream video and music, surf the web, post photos to social media, send and receive emails with attachments, and download apps, games, and songs. And as youve doubtlessly seen on Cricket Wireless’s numerous TV commercials, they offer four lines of unlimited data for $100 per month with the Unlimited plan. So thats one line for $55 per month or four lines for $100 per month. Whats more, there is no annual contract, no overage charges, and the rate includes taxes. How Does Cricket Wireless Compare to Other Cell Phone Provider Discounts? Since Cricket Wireless doesnt offer an actual military discount, youll have to compare the cost of their regular plans with what’s being offered by other carriers, including their respective discounts. To give you an idea of what Cricket Wireless’s competitors have to offer, below are the other military discounts offered by major cell phone carriers : Verizon Wireless Military Discount Discount: $15 for one line, $35 for two lines, $40 for three or more lines; 25% off select accessories when purchased online Eligible Plans: Go, Beyond or Above Unlimited Eligibility: Active Duty, National Guard, Coast Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the military member is the sponsor), Commissioned Officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Public Health Service Learn More: Verizon Wireless Military Discount AT&T Military Discount: Discount: 25% Eligible Plans: AT&T Unlimited & More Plan Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the military member is the sponsor) Learn More: AT&T Military Discount Sprint Military Discount: Discount: 50% off Family Lines Eligible Plans: Sprint Unlimited Military Plan (comparable to Sprint Unlimited Basic plan) Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the  military member is the sponsor) Learn More: Sprint Military Discount T-Mobile Military Discount: Discount: 20% on first line; 50% on each additional line Eligible Plans: T-Mobile Military One Plan (comparable to T-Mobile ONE Plan) Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the military member is the sponsor) Learn More: T-Mobile Military Discount How Cricket Wireless Gives Back to Veterans Cricket Wireless is now available in 122 military exchanges in US-based military bases. This includes 83 for the Army and Air Force, 26 for the Navy, and 14 for the Marines. A military shopper can take home Risio 2, CoolPad, HTC Desire 550, or Sol 2 devices. Alternatively, they can use a bring-your-own-device kit (BYOD) to activate their own device on the Cricket Network. Bottom Line Cricket Wireless is admittedly weak on providing discounts and benefits for members of the military. But their Military Deployment Plan does make it easier for deployed military to temporarily interrupt their service, without fully terminating either their account or their phone number. And once you return to the US, you can easily reactivate your account, and pick up where you left off. In the meantime, even though Cricket Wireless doesnt offer specific military discounts, they do offer some of the most competitive phone plans in the industry. Their Unlimited plan, providing unlimited data access, calls, text and picture messages across the US, as well as unlimited text from the US to 37 countries, a serious bargain at $100 for four lines. It may not be a military discount, but its the kind of program that can definitely benefit military families. You can find even more ways to save on our military discount list , which we update regularly with all of the best offers available to you.
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  • Black Friday Discount Strategy that works on other days too! I’ve looked at Fitness Trackers for awhile now and have narrowed it down to the Fitbit Charge 3.  I was happy that stores marked it from $150 to $120 on Black Friday.  I discovered that several stores offer additional store benefits as well.   For example, [Continue] The post Money and More© December 1, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • If you are a veteran or active duty military personnel, you have access to a world of military discounts from companies and providers looking to thank you for your service. US Cellular is one such company. Military families can get 15 percent off calling plan charges with U.S. Cellular, one of the nation’s top five cellular carriers. Veterans and members of the reserves can also qualify for the discount. Look at the company and its services carefully to determine whether the discount can save you money and if U.S. Cellular can meet your needs. U.S. Cellular: Military & Veterans Discounts Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile most of the nation’s top cell phone carriers generate instant name recognition because of their advertising budgets. Chicago-based U.S. Cellular advertises, too, but you may not be as familiar with the company, which operates in only 23 states: California Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Maine Maryland Minnesota Missouri Nebraska New Hampshire North Carolina Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina Tennessee Texas Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin. Unlike Consumer Cellular and other discount carriers that use other companies’ towers, U.S. Cellular operates on its own network within its 23-state territory. When you travel outside of U.S. Cellular’s territory, the company has agreements with other carriers to make sure you still have seamless service. Like other leading carriers, U.S. Cellular operates 4G and 4G LTE networks, and it sells popular Apple and Android-based smartphones and tablets. If you live in a state U.S. Cellular serves, it can provide service comparable to the other leading carriers. The company, which has about 5 million customers, won a J.D. Power award (shared with Verizon) for network performance in 2018. About the U.S. Cellular Military Discount A wireless discount can be harder to quantify than you’d think because it usually does not apply to all aspects of your bill. A cell phone bill includes charges for: Line access: Also referred to as a calling plan, this is the backbone of your account. It assigns your number to your device and covers phone calls and text messages. Phone: You’ll also pay for the phone itself, and monthly charges can vary depending on whether you bring your own device or have already paid off your phone. Data: Apps, videos, maps anything that’s not a phone call or a text message on your smartphone needs data. These fees can add up when you’re not on WiFi. Overages: When you exceed your plan’s data, minutes, or text message allotment, your company can charge you extra, depending on how your contract is set up. U.S. Cellular’s military discount applies only to the calling plan (line access) itself. For example, if you have a $55 line access fee plus $45 in additional fees, your entire bill will be $100. Fifteen-percent off the entire $100 monthly bill would be a $15 discount, making your bill $85. But since the discount applies only to your $55 calling plan, your discount would be $8.25, making your total bill $91.75. This is not necessarily a deal breaker, but it is something to be aware of as you shop around and compare phone companies, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Keep in mind you may be able to save money each month by buying a used phone instead of buying one directly from U.S. Cellular. Make sure your phone works on U.S. Cellular’s network before making this happen, though. You can also save money by keeping your data use to a minimum. If you have WiFi at home or work, sign your phone onto that network to save on data charges. U.S. Cellular also offers a data-only plan for tablets which do not include a phone line. Customers with a data-only plan can claim the 15-percent military discount on the plan’s monthly data allotment. The discount will not apply to data overages. How Does U.S. Cellular’s Military Discount Compare? A lot of retailers, restaurants, and service providers show their appreciation to veterans and active duty military members through military discounts . U.S. Cellular offers the discount to veterans and active duty military members from all branches of the service. It also extends the discount to members of the National Guard and Reserves. So how does U.S. Cellular’s program stack up to other leading wireless phone service deals? Let’s take a look at some basics: U.S. Cellular Military Discount Discount: 15 percent Eligible plans: Single Line and Family calling plans; discount can also be applied to a data-only “Shared Connect” plan which does not include a phone line. Who’s eligible? Active duty, veterans, reserves, guard AT&T Military Discount Discount: 25 percent Eligible plan: AT&T Unlimited & More Who’s eligible? Active duty, veterans, reserves, guard, family members (when the military member is the sponsor) More info: AT&T Military Discount Sprint Military Discount Discount: 50 percent off family lines Eligible plan: Sprint Unlimited Military Plan (comparable to Sprint Unlimited Basic Plan) Who’s eligible? Active duty, guard, reserve, veterans, family members (when the military member is the sponsor) More info: Sprint Military Discount T-Mobile Military Discount Discount: 20 percent on first line; 50 percent on each additional line Eligible plan: T-Mobile Military One Plan (comparable to T-Mobile ONE Plan) Who’s eligible? Active duty, guard, reserve, veterans, family members (when the military member is the sponsor) More info: T-Mobile Military Discount Verizon Military Discount Discount: $15 off one line; $35 off two lines; or $40 off account access fee for three or more lines. Also, 25 percent discount on some phone accessories online. Who’s eligible? Active duty, guard, reserve, veterans, family members (when the military member is the sponsor) More info: Verizon Military Discount As you compare plans be sure to consider how you use your phone plan to make sure you can take advantage of the discount. For example, if you have only one phone line, a 50 percent discount on a second line will not benefit you, and you may save more with a flat-rate discount from another carrier. How Do U.S. Cellular’s Services Stack Up? Savvy shoppers already know discounts of any kind can influence you to buy products you don’t really need or use a company you wouldn’t ordinarily prefer. Before taking advantage of U.S. Cellular’s military discount, make sure the company will meet your individual and your family’s wireless phone needs. U.S. Cellular’s Network Performance As indicated above, U.S. Cellular has won J.D. Power Awards for its network performance in the North Central coverage area. The company maintains its own towers and has an adequate selection of phones and tablets. Naturally, if you do not live in one of the 23 states where U.S. Cellular provides service, you should look elsewhere for savings. If you do live in a U.S. Cellular state, the services you’ll receive should be in the neighborhood of another leading carrier, both for price and network quality. Individual expectations of a network vary, so it’s hard to know whether you’d be happy with the company without personal experience. Reviewers have found U.S. Cellular stands out in its customer service, both online and in person. A Word About Extensive Traveling If you travel outside of U.S. Cellular’s service area, you’ll still have phone service, and you won’t be required to pay to use other companies’ towers because U.S. Cellular has deals with companies across the country. However, if you travel extensively, requiring U.S. Cellular to utilize third-party services on a regular basis on your behalf, the company could terminate your service. Customer service reps would let you know well in advance of your plan’s termination, of course, but it’s something to keep in mind before signing on. Ironically, this could become a problem for an active duty military member who gets stationed outside U.S. Cellular’s area of coverage. Opt-In to Paperless Billing to Save More U.S. Cellular will knock $10 off your line access charge when you opt into paperless billing. This equals an 18 percent discount off the normal $55 line access charge for a single line. This discount applies to all customers and not just military members. You’ll still get a bill via email and get text alerts about your balances. It’s a pretty easy way to save $120 a year. How Can You Claim Your U.S. Cellular Military Discount? Military discounts express gratitude for the sacrifice military members, veterans, reserves, and guard members make. They also can help save money month to month. If you think U.S. Cellular can provide your wireless needs and you’d like to claim the discount, here’s how: An existing U.S. Cellular customer who has not claimed the military discount can start the process by dialing 611 from your wireless phone. Non-customers can get started by calling 1-888-944-9400 from any phone. You can also walk into a U.S. Cellular location . Showing Proof of Your Service Like most companies offering military discounts, U.S. Cellular will ask for proof of your service which you can provide in several ways: Active military members can show proof by: Having a military-issued email Showing proof of military pay (LES) Presenting a SCRA Status Report Veterans can provide: A DD Form 214 A Veterans ID Card A Military Retiree Account Statement A VetRewards Card from Veterans Advantage Be sure to check out other military discounts while youre shopping for services and products.
  • With many investment categories currently down for the year, now could be an ideal time to rebalance your portfolio. If you’re a casual investor, you may have heard about rebalancing, wondered what it means, and questioned whether it applies to your situation. In this column we will cover the basics of rebalancing and also investigate whether your investments require it.
  • Did you know several states offer a military veterans bonus? Most of the state veterans bonuses are offered to military veterans who joined the military from that specific state and served during a time of war or a named military campaign. Not all states offer a veterans bonus, and each state sets specific eligibility requirements. For example, most states require the veteran was a legal state resident at the time they joined the military. Some states require the veteran was a resident for a certain amount of time before joining the military. Other requirements include serving during specific dates or during specific conflicts, or having a military discharge rating above a set level (for example, some states do not offer a bonus to a veteran with a dishonorable discharge ). Military Veterans Bonuses Listed By State The following states have a military veterans bonus: Illinois Massachusetts New Hampshire Ohio Pennsylvania South Dakota West Virginia Illinois Military Veterans Bonus The State of Illinois is offering bonuses to veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The state is offering several types of cash bonuses depending on the veterans dates of service. Illinois Veterans  Bonus WWII Vets For veterans of World War II, a bonus payment of $10 per month for those serving domestically and a $15 payment per month for service on foreign soil is payable to veterans that were residents of Illinois at the time of entering service, who have served at least 60 days on active duty between the dates of September 16, 1940 and September 3, 1945, and who received an honorable discharge. Survivors of veterans are entitled to receive a one-time benefit of $1,000 if the veteran died as a result of service-related reasons during the specified time period. Illinois Veterans  Bonus Korea, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Vets For veterans serving during the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf conflicts, a cash bonus in the amount of $100 is payable to service members who served during any of the following time periods: Korea – June 27, 1950 – July 27, 1953 Vietnam – January 1, 1961 – March 28, 1973 Vietnam Frequent Wind – April 29 – April 30, 1975 Persian Gulf – August 2, 1990 – November 30, 1995 Service members who are interested in claiming the bonus payments must have been a resident of Illinois for 12 months immediately prior to entering the service, having received an honorable discharge, and must have also received one or more of the following medals: Korean Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Era Southwest Asia Service Medal Individuals that are currently serving in an active duty capacity who also served in the Persian Gulf are eligible to apply for the bonus before being discharged from service. Survivors Compensation. Survivors of military members killed in battle or by terrorist activities while performing military duties are entitled to a payment of $1,000 if veterans death occurred in the periods specified above. Residency of 1 year in Illinois prior to entering military service is required, as is a separate application. POW Compensation. Persons on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or employed by the United States Government on, or after, January 1, 1961, who were residents of Illinois 12 months prior to entry, and who were taken and held prisoner by hostile forces in Southwest Asia, are entitled to $50 for each month or portion thereof while being held captive. How to Apply for the Illinois Military Veterans Bonus Applicants can download an application at the Illinois State website or contact the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs, PO Box 19432, 833 South Spring Street, Springfield, IL 62794-9432.  Applications should be completed in its entirety and mailed to the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs along with a photocopy of the applicants separation or discharge documents . See the official at the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs website. Massachusetts Military Veterans Bonuses Veterans who lived in the state of Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces or deployment may be eligible for a Massachusetts Military Veterans Bonus.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides these bonuses to veterans or in the case of a deceased veteran, their surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings or other dependents who would also be eligible to receive the bonus.  Surviving family members would be granted the eligible bonus in the order which they appeared above. The bonuses that veterans may be eligible for include the following bonuses: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and the Welcome Home Bonus.  The following information applies to veterans who served in any of above-mentioned wars or conflicts. Massachusetts Military Veterans Bonus Eligibility Requirements World War II: Veterans who meet the definition of a Massachusetts Veteran (as amended by the Acts of 2005) may be eligible for three separate bonuses.  A $100 bonus for veterans who served in active duty from one day to six months, $200 for veterans who performed stateside service for six or more months and $300 for those who performed foreign service. More information . Korean War:  Veterans who meet the definition of a Massachusetts Veteran (as amended by Acts of 2005) may be eligible for three separate bonuses.  A $100 bonus for servicemembers who performed 90 days stateside, $200 for veterans who performed six months or more and $300 for any servicemember serving one or more days outside the continental US. More information . Vietnam War:  To receive the $200 Vietnam War Veterans Bonus, servicemembers must have performed active duty between July 1, 1958 and May 16, 1975.  This bonus is rewarded to those who served for six months or more.  Vietnam veterans who served on duty in Vietnam will receive a $300 bonus. More information . Persian Gulf War: Servicemembers who served between August 2, 1990 and April 10, 1991 for thirty or more days are eligible for the Persian Gulf War Veterans Bonus.  Those called to duty in areas other than the Persian Gulf receive $300.  Veterans who were called to duty and served in the Persian Gulf (war zone or surrounding waters) who have also received the Southwest Asia Service Medal will receive $500. More information . Welcome Home Bonus: To be eligible for the Welcome Home Bonus, veterans must have resided in the state of Massachusetts for at least six months prior to joining the armed forces beginning on September 11, 2001.  Those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan will receive $1,000; those who served stateside or outside the continental limits of the US for six months or more of active duty will receive $500. More information . Veterans who are not eligible: Veterans who have received a dishonorable discharge or those that do not meet the requirements above will not be eligible to receive the specified bonus.  If the veteran in ineligible, surviving beneficiaries would also be ineligible. How to Claim the Massachusetts Military Veterans Bonus How To Claim the Veterans Bonus. For veterans or surviving relatives interested in claiming a Massachusetts Veterans Bonus, applications are available online at the Treasurers website.  To contact the Treasurer, individuals may use the following address for all bonuses listed here: Office of the Treasurer One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor Boston, MA 02108 The telephone number to call for the World War II Bonus is 617-367-3900, extension 308.  For the Korean War Bonus or Vietnam War Bonus, call 617-367-3900, ext 208.  Those calling in reference to the Welcome Home Bonus can call 617-367-9333, ext 350. For Persian Gulf veterans only: Veterans’ Bonus Division, Department of Veterans’ Services 600 Washington Street, Suite 1100 Boston, MA 02111 (617) 210-5927 www.mass.gov/veterans Email: mdvs@vet.state.ma.us Applicants and their relatives may be required to provide proof of residency or next of kin documentation or certain service records to prove eligibility. New Hampshire Military Veterans Bonus New Hampshire offers veterans of the Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism a $100 bonus if eligibility requirements are met. The state previously offered veteran bonuses to those who served in World War II and the Korean Conflict, however, those programs have been expired for almost forty years now. New Hampshire Veterans Bonus Eligibility Requirements Here we will look at the eligibility requirements for those veterans still active or who served in recent conflicts.  To qualify for the New Hampshire Veterans Bonuses, military members must have been a bona fide resident of the state at the time they began active duty. New Hampshire Military Veterans Bonus Vietnam Service. It appears Vietnam veterans who have not made a claim for the $100 bonus can still do so, however, claims made today must be approved by the Adjutant General, Governor and Executive Council.  To be eligible for the Vietnam Veterans Bonus, service members must have served between July 1, 1958 and August 5, 1964, receiving the Vietnam Service Medal or Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. New Hampshire Military Veterans Bonus Persian Gulf. To qualify for the Persian Gulf War Bonus, service members must have actively served between the dates of August 2, 1990 and November 30, 1995, earning the Southwest Asia Service Medal.  This program expired on August 31, 2002, however service members who did not claim this bonus from another state and are otherwise eligible may fall within provisions that allow acceptance after this date. New Hampshire Military Veterans Bonus GWOT. The Global War on Terrorism Operations Service Bonus is available to individuals who actively serviced on or after September 11, 2001, up until a date that has not yet been determined by the Secretary of Defense.  Service members earning the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign or Iraq Campaign Medal qualify for this bonus as long as they meet other conditions.  This program expired on June 11, 2009, but like other War bonuses, there are provisions which allow service members to submit applications after this date. To be eligible for any of the New Hampshire state Veteran Bonuses, service members must have been discharged from duty in an honorable condition and have been a resident of the state at the time they were called into active duty for a current or recent conflict listed above. You will need to provide a copy of your military discharge paperwork , DD Form 214. How to Claim New Hampshire Military Veterans Bonus For more information on the Veterans Bonuses available through the state of New Hampshire, living veterans, as well as surviving relatives of veterans KIA, are encouraged to contact the State Office of Veterans Services for the state of New Hampshire.  You may do so on their website , via telephone at 603-624-9230, or by mail at 275 Chestnut Street, Room 517, Manchester, NH 03101. Ohio Veterans Bonus Program Details Ohio recently created a Veterans Bonus Program to thank Ohio Veterans who served during periods of conflict. Eligible veterans serving on active duty (except active duty for training) anywhere in the world during the specified dates may receive $50 a month up to a maximum bonus of $500. Eligible veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq during certain dates may receive a $100 bonus for each month they served in those locations, up to a maximum of $1,000. An eligible veteran may combine their service bonuses for a maximum payment of $1,500. Who is Eligible for the Ohio Veterans Bonus Program? Ohio veterans may be eligible for the bonuses if they served on active duty in the US armed forces, including those who served in the Ohio National Guard, if they served in the specified locations during specific time periods for reasons other than training (information about eligible locations and dates is below). To be eligible, applicants must have been legal residents in Ohio when they went on active duty and must be Ohio residents when they apply for the bonus. To be eligible for the Ohio Veterans Program Bonus: The veteran must have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions. The veteran remains on active duty service. After active duty service, the veteran remains in any reserve component of the armed forces, including the Ohio National Guard. Eligible Service Dates and Locations Eligible veterans may receive $100 for each month of active duty service in the following locations during these specified dates: Persian Gulf: Between August 2, 1990 and March 3, 1991, the date when Iraq accepted the conditions for a permanent cease-fire. Eligible veterans can apply for a bonus until December 31, 2013. Afghanistan: Since October 7, 2001. Eligible veterans can apply for a bonus for up to three years after the President declares an end to U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Iraq: Since March 19, 2003. Eligible veterans can apply for a bonus for up to three years after the president declares an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq. The maximum benefit for service in those three areas is $1,000. Eligible veterans may also apply for a $50 bonus per month they served during these time periods if they served anywhere else in the world. The maximum bonus under these provisions is $500 and the bonuses may be combined for a maximum of $1500. Families of deceased Ohio veterans may also be eligible for the bonus. There also are other bonuses available to eligible veterans or the families of deceased veterans. For these eligibility details and specifications, please visit: veteransbonus.ohio.gov/odvs_web/Eligibility_Requirements.aspx How to Claim the Ohio Veterans Bonus To apply for the bonus, applicants should go to veteransbonus.ohio.gov , and complete the online application. You may also visit a public library if you do not have internet access or visit your local Ohios County Veterans Service Office for assistance. Application must be signed, notarized and mailed. The final application must be printed, signed, and notarized or acknowledged before it will be accepted. Mail your application to Ohio Veterans Bonus, P.O. Box 373 Sandusky, Ohio 44871. The estimated processing time for Ohio Veterans Bonus Program applications is approximately eight weeks, depending on the volume of applications initially received. Applicants with specific questions can call 1 -877-OHIO-VET or go online at veteransbonus.ohio.gov . Please help spread the word Please forward this information to any Ohio veterans you may know. Those who have been separated from the military for several years may not be aware of this benefit. Pennsylvania Military Veterans Bonus Pennsylvania offers a military veterans bonus for state residents who served in the Persian Gulf during specified dates. This bonus was enacted on April 24, 2006, when Governor Edward Rendell signed the Persian Gulf Veterans Benefit Act into law. The bond issue created a fund to pay compensation to eligible current and former members of the US Armed Forces, Pennsylvania National Guard, or members of the Reserves. The bonus is $75 per month of eligible service (or prorated basis for a fraction of a month). Pennsylvania Military Veterans Bonus Eligibility Requirements Pennsylvania residents who served in the Armed Forces, including active duty, Guard, and Reserves, in the Middle East in support of the Persian Gulf conflict may be eligible for the Persian Gulf Veterans Benefit Program.  Eligible members must have served anytime from August 2, 1990 to August 31, 1991, and must have been awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal. Veterans must either still be on active duty or have received an Honorable Discharge to be eligible for this award. Veterans who are not eligible: Service members, veterans or their surviving beneficiaries may not be eligible for the Persian Gulf Veterans Benefit Program, if they have received a bonus, gratuity, or similar form of compensation from another state, if the service member or veteran has renounced his or her US citizenship, or separated from the armed forces under less than honorable conditions. Survivors claims. Surviving relatives may also be eligible for this bonus if the military veteran is deceased or is deemed incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction. Eligible beneficiaries of deceased veterans include, in the following in order of precedence: Surviving spouse. Surviving children. Surviving parents. If declared incompetent, the order of precedence is: Court-appointed guardian, spouse, children, parents, facility. How to Claim the Pennsylvania Military Veterans Bonus Veterans and military members must provide documentation to prove they received the Southwest Asia Service Medal and were Pennsylvania residents at the time they were awarded this medal. Required information: Proof of  Southwest Asia Medal: Member 4 copy of your DD Form 214 documenting your receipt of the Southwest Asia Service Medal during specified time periods and a discharge under Honorable conditions. If still active duty, must show official documentation proving receipt of Southwest Asia Service Medal. Proof of Pennsylvania Residency at Time of Award. Proof of residency can include listing Pennsylvania as home of record on D Form 214, voters registration records, Leave and Earnings Statements, State tax return, drivers license from the specified time period, or W2 Wage and tax statement from the time frame. Proof of relationship if claiming on behalf of another individual. Documents could include a marriage certificate (for spouse to make claim), birth certificate (for child to make claim), veterans birth certificate (for parents to make claim), or a Proof or authorization for a representative to make a claim. Other: Death certificate, if applicable, or DD 1300 or Veterans Affairs Rating Decision if applicable. Application form: Applications for the Persian Gulf Veterans Benefit Program must be made on an official application form, PG-1. A short form (PG-1 Short) is available for veterans filing on their own behalf, of a long version (PG-1 Long) is available for persons filing on behalf of a veteran who is deceased or incapacitated. You can find these forms at the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs application page. Deadline for claim: Applications for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Benefit Program must be submitted by August 31, 2015. Completed applications and supporting documents should be mailed to: Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Benefit Program PO Box 1109 Harrisburg, PA 17108-1109 For more information: Please contact a representative during hours of operation: 9 am to 5 pm Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Benefit Program at 1-866-458-9182 (toll-free) or visit the Pennsylvania Persian Gulf Veterans Bonus Program website. South Dakota Veterans Bonus South Dakota has established a program for members of the military who are legal residents of the state. South Dakota is paying a bonus of up to $500 for select active members an honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces who meet the membership criteria. Military members must have been a resident of the state for no less than six months preceding their period of active service and who served during one or more of the following time periods: August 2, 1990 March 3, 1991: all active service qualifies for payment March 4, 1991 December 31, 1992: service must have been a hostile area which qualified for the Southwest Asia Service Medal qualifies for bonus payment. January 1, 1993 September 10, 2001: service must have been in a hostile area which qualified for any US campaign or service medal awarded for combat operations against hostile forces qualifies for the bonus payment. September 11, 2001 (end date to be determined) – all active service qualifies for the bonus payment. Additionally, any Veteran with qualifying service before December 31, 1992, during Desert Storm and after January 1, 1993, during Operation Iraqi Freedom may be entitled to receive two separate $500 bonus payments. Veterans who have a service-related disability rated by the Veterans Administration as 10% or more disability will receive the maximum payment of $500. A verification of disability must be provided from the VA along with the application. Any service member interested in applying for the South Dakota Veterans Bonus must provide the branch of the military along with dates of service on a completed application. Certification of the application must be completed by local County or Tribal Veteran Service Officer. For applicants in other states, a certification must be completed by a Post Service Officer from one of the recognized Veterans Service organizations. All applications must be accompanied by a copy of your DD Form 214, which shows proof of military service. Interested applicants can obtain an application via email at john.fette@state.sd.us , online at the State website . Additionally, applications may be requested by calling 605-773-7251 or via mail by corresponding to SD Veterans Bonus, 425 East Capitol, Pierre, SD 57501. Applicants living in South Dakota may request an application through the nearest County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer. See the official South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs for more information. West Virginia Veterans Bonus The state of West Virginia has historically been a very patriotic state, sending many of their men and women into battle to defend this country. In 2004, the governor of West Virginia signed into legislation the West Virginia Veterans Bonus Amendment which was approved by the states voters. This made it possible to facilitate paid bonuses to veterans of the state who served in the most recent military conflicts including those in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The West Virginia Veterans Bonus bonuses include $600.00 paid to veterans who served in a combat zone and received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal; a $400.00 bonus for active duty service outside the combat zone for Afghanistan and Iraq during the specified time periods; or $2,000.00 for a surviving spouse or children of a veteran who was KIA during the specified time periods. West Virginia Veterans Bonus Eligibility Requirements In order to be eligible for the West Virginia Veterans Bonus, military members must have been bona fide residents of the state at the time of and at least six months prior to the time they entered into active duty.  Any veteran who was separated from service under dishonorable conditions will not be eligible for the West Virginia Veterans Bonus.  Also, any member of the armed forces or reserves who were called to active duty by the President are eligible.  For military members KIA, the surviving spouse or children may apply for the bonus. West Virginia Veterans Bonus Deadlines Veterans who were serving on active duty in Afghanistan between October 7, 2001, and a date that has yet to be determined can apply for this bonus.  The dates for those serving in Iraq begin on March 19, 2003, with an end date not yet determined.  Veterans who served in Kosovo and received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal for Kosovo between November 20, 1995, and December 31, 2000, are eligible for the veterans bonus. How to Claim West Virginia Veterans Bonus A surviving spouse or children of a veteran KIA during these periods may request an application for the bonus by calling 1-888-838-2332 or via email at WVDVA@state.wv.us.  Applications can be mailed to the West Virginia Division of Veterans Affairs, 1321 Plaza East Suite 101, Charleston, WV 25301. Living veterans of each conflict must fill out forms which vary based on the area in which you served.  For more information on which forms must be completed as well as any other documentation required to receive the West Virginia Veterans Bonus, please visit West Virginia Division of Veterans Affairs for more information. Be sure to include a copy of your DD Form 214 with your application. This form shows proof of military service, campaign medals, and other important information to prove your claim.
  • Doctors, dentists and business owners with more than $315,000 of 2018 taxable-income have one last chance not to pass up on this tax and retirement planning opportunity. Check Our Video Blog On Last Chance For Pre-Retired Professionals & Biz Owners http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Most people want to be the CEO of their life! The question is how do you? Check Out This Interview On Are You The CEO of Your Life? http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Holiday Spending Is January a painful month financially?  For many people, January it is a not great month for their finances.  One reason folks struggle in January is because they overspent in the December holiday season.  Gifts, meals out, parties and more all take a toll on personal finances.  Having a spending plan for the [Continue] The post Money and More© November 17, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • Cash Is No Longer Trash

    Savers can now earn a modest return. But you still have to work at it. If you’re banking with one of the massive banks, you’re settling for less than you deserve.
  • TRICARE Open Season for enrollment changes is from Nov. 12, 2018 Dec. 10, 2018. TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Standard members need to review their healthcare options to ensure they have the best plan for their needs. Starting in 2019, members will no longer be able to switch plans at will they will only be able to do so during Open Enrollment, or when they have a qualifying life event. In addition, members of the TRICARE Dental and Vision plans also need to spend some time reviewing their options. Membership eligibility for some military members or retirees is transitioning to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Lets dive into this a little more to explain this change and what it means for current TRICARE members. What is Open Season, and What Does it Mean for Military Members & Military Retirees? Open Season, or Open Enrollment, is the time of year when participants can change their healthcare plans. These are very common in the civilian world. In general, participants can change their healthcare selection once per year, unless they have a qualifying life event. There are many life events that may qualify, such as the member or the spouse taking a new job, losing a job, getting married, moving, and more. Well cover qualifying events in more detail later in this article. Open Enrollment helps healthcare providers reduce costs by maintaining more consistent enrollment throughout the year. It also reduces the associated costs of people changing plans at will. Current TRICARE members need to be aware of two different Open Enrollment seasons, TRICARE Open Season, and the Federal Benefits Open Season. TRICARE Open Season TRICARE Open Season is from Nov. 12, 2018 – Dec. 10, 2018. It applies to enrollment in a TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select healthcare plan. It does not apply to other TRICARE plans, such as: TRICARE For Life TRICARE Reserve Select TRICARE Retired Reserve TRICARE Young Adult Continued Health Care Benefit Program Federal Benefits Open Season Federal Benefits Open Season is also from Nov. 12, 2018 – Dec. 10, 2018. It applies to military members or retirees who choose to purchase dental care or vision care through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). FEDVIP Dental Program: the FEDVIP Dental program only applies to military retirees (TRICARE Dental is no longer available for military retirees, starting in 2019). All other military members will continue to be eligible for the TRICARE dental program. We have more information on the Military Retiree Dental Insurance program change . FEDVIP Vision Program: The FEDVIP vision plan does not apply to active duty military members. When is Open Enrollment, and What Do I Need to Do? TRICARE Open Season for enrollment changes is from Nov. 12, 2018 Dec. 10, 2018. The FEDVIP program has the same open enrollment dates. You need to do one thing today: Review your current healthcare selection and ensure it still meets your needs. If your current plan is the one you want to continue using, then you dont need to take any action. Your current enrollment should automatically roll over for next year. Keep in mind that once 2019 rolls around, you wont be able to change your healthcare plan unless you have a Qualifying Life Event (see next section for more information on this topic). Each year you will need to review your healthcare selection to determine which plan you should be in. You should also review your health care plan each time you have a major life event or qualifying life event. Qualifying Life Events A Qualifying Life Event (QLE) is a major change in your life situation. QLEs allow you to enroll in or make changes to your healthcare plan outside of the normal Open Enrollment Season. Its important to understand that each healthcare plan may have its own rules for Qualifying Life Events. For example, the TRICARE website lists 90 days as the window to make changes. The Healthcare.gov website lists 60 days as the window in which you can change your plan for healthcare plans available on the ACA Exchanges. Rules may also be different for federal healthcare plans such as FEDVIP, FEHB, FSAFEDS, or FEGLI. A plan through your civilian employer may also have different rules (this could apply to those who have insurance through a spouses civilian employer, or for retirees who choose to use their employers health care plan). I recommend you check with your specific plan for more information. Qualifying Life Events for TRICARE You can make changes to your TRICARE plan within 90 days of a qualifying life event. However, note that some other healthcare plans may have a smaller window in which to make changes. Below is a list of qualifying life events from the TRICARE website . The TRICARE website has much more information for each of these situations. I recommend doing a little more research into these life events to ensure they will qualify for your specific situation. Military-Related Qualifying Life Events: Activating or Deactivating Injured on Active Duty Moving or PCS Separating from Active Duty Retiring Family-Related Qualifying Life Events: Getting Married or Divorced Having a Baby or Adopting Children go to College Children Become Adults Becoming Medicare-Eligible Moving Death in Family Loss or Gain of Other Health Insurance Qualifying Life Events for FEDVIP The Benefeds.gov website has more information regarding Qualifying Life Events for the FEDVIP healthcare plans. You can read more here . The Benefeds website lists the following QLEs: Marriage Lose Other Dental or Vision Coverage Acquire a Family Member Lose a Family Member Return from Leave Without Pay Return from Active Duty Annuity or Compensation Restored Move Return to Active Duty Transfer Positions When and How Can I Change My Healthcare Plan? You can only change your TRICARE plan during TRICARE Open Season, or when you have a Qualifying Life Event. The option you choose will remain in place for the duration of the calendar year, unless you opt to change it after a qualifyingevent. You can change your TRICARE enrollment in the following ways: Online: Beneficiary Web Enrollment website  (members who live in the US). Phone: Call your regional contractor Mail: Mail in your enrollment form You will be required to pay any enrollment costs (if any) at the time of enrollment. Enrollment Eligibility: The TRICARE website has this helpful chart to help you determine when you can make changes to your TRICARE healthcare or FEDVIP healthcare plan: Military StatusI want to change my TRICARE planI want to enroll in a FEDVIP vision planI want to enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan Active Duty Service MemberYou can only change plans if you’re retiring. At retirement, coverage ends. You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP vision plan. You will continue to get care as you do now.You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP dental plan. You will continue to get care as you do now. Active Duty Family Member* *Not including adult children enrolled in TRICARE Young Adult You can change plans during the TRICARE Open Season.You must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season.You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP dental plan. You can get your dental care through the TRICARE Dental Program. Reserve Component Member or Family Member Enrolled in TRICARE Reserve SelectNo action needed. This doesn’t apply to you. You must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season.You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP dental plan. You can get your dental care through the TRICARE Dental Program. Retired Service Member or Family Enrolled in TRICARE Prime, TRICARE SelectYou can change plans during the TRICARE Open Season.You must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season.TRDP ends on Dec. 31, 2018. You must enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan during Federal Benefits Open Season to maintain coverage. Retired Service Member or Family Member using TRICARE For Life No action needed. This doesn’t apply to you. You must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season. TRDP ends on Dec. 31, 2018. You must enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan during Federal Benefits Open Season to maintain coverage. Where Can I Get More Information? Healthcare benefits frequently change. This is true for TRICARE, FEDVIP, civilian healthcare plans, and plans you may get through an employer. Its not possible for our site to track all changes for all plans. So please consider this aritcle to be informational only. I strongly recommend you check regularly with your specific healthcare provider for more information. You can also see the TRICARE website for some current open season FAQs .
  • Despite the double-digit plunge in stock prices and unusual rebukes by the President, the Federal Reserve Board just repeated its long-held strategy for controlling rates and inflation. Check Our Video Blog On Amid A Swirl Of Controversy, Fed Policy Remained Stable http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • What is Retirement The retirement years, for many, no longer exists the way they use to be for the early baby boom generation.  Pensions are no more for many people.  As a result, they must live on Social Security and the savings from a life time of working.  Some folks continue to work into their [Continue] The post Money and More© November 10, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • Everyone has that one friend or family member who complains about problems that arent really problems. I used to know a woman whose parents-in-law paid for everyone in the family to go on vacation every year to some fabulous place. The problem: She didnt always like the place. Hmmmm.. Not a bad problem to have. Another problem that some fortunate people over 70½ years old have is Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). An RMD is a forced distribution from an IRA for those over age 70½. The dollars contributed to the IRA were (usually) not taxed and the earnings have never been taxed. Eventually the government wants its share. So the rule is you must take distributions starting at age 70½. In most cases these Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are fully taxable. The problem some people have is they dont need the RMD money and they dont want to pay the tax. File that under not a bad problem to have. You can learn more about RMDs HERE. One possible solution to this problem is to make a tax-free Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA to your favorite qualified charity. Recent changes to tax law have made QCDs a more attractive option for many. You help a charity you believe in and you save on taxes win win! Things to know about Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs): You must be age 70½ at the time of the distribution. So if you turn 70 on March 1st, you have to wait until September 1st to make the QCD. The QCD must be from a Traditional or Rollover IRA, not a 401(k) or other employer plan. The QCD must go to a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. (Note: Private foundations and Donor Advised Funds do not qualify) The usual rules regarding charitable deductions apply you must not receive anything of value in return for your contribution to the charity. For my clients, my firms custodian will make a check out to the charity and mail it directly to the charity. Other custodians will make a check out to the charity and mail it to you, the IRA owner. Then you must send to the charity. It does not work if the check is made out to you. Call your IRA custodian for their specific QCD process. You can choose more than one charity. The maximum is $100,000 per taxpayer, you are not limited to your RMD amount. There is typically no minimum amount or fee. The deadline is December 31st, ideally the charity should cash the check by then. So dont wait until the last minute to put this in motion. Now for the tax details: Lets say your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the year is $10,000. You decide to have $7,000 sent to a qualified charity as a QCD and take $3,000 for yourself. Only $3,000 is taxable. Your 1099-R tax form from the custodian does NOT indicate QCD. It is imperative that you tell your tax preparer how much went directly to the charity. This is reported on line 11 of your Form 1040 with the abbreviation QCD. You cannot take the QCD as an itemized deduction. (That would be double dipping). Due to Tax Reform many taxpayers will be taking the standard deduction and not itemizing their deductions, so the QCD is a better option. You can learn more about standard vs itemized deductions HERE. The QCD lowers your Adjusted Gross Income which may reduce your Medicare premiums and also may reduce the amount of your Social Security that is taxable. A Qualified Charitable Distribution can be a great tax savings tool for anyone over 70 1/2 with an IRA who has a favorite charity. But like most everything in the tax code, the devil is in the details, and the potential benefit depends on number of factors. A qualified tax professional can help you sort out the details.
  • Happy Veterans Day! Veterans Day is celebrated this year on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. The Federal Holiday will be on Monday, Nov. 12th. Many restaurants and companies thank our veterans each year by offering them discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, the military community gives a collective thanks! Below youll find a continuously updating list of this years restaurant offers for veterans. Last year over 100 restaurants participated. Most restaurants announce offers at the end of October, up through Veterans Day. We will update this page daily. Download a PDF of these Veterans Day free meals and discounts: Please credit this resource: We are frequently updating this list with new deals and offers for the military community. If you use items on this list, please direct your visitors to this page so they can find the most up to date information: https://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/ Thanks! 2018 Veterans Day Free Meals Without further ado, here is our list of free Veterans Day meals. Stay tuned as we are frequently updating this page as offers become available, and check in with your locations for dates, participation, and availability. Free Meals Before Veterans Day Huddle House, Nov. 9 – 12, 2018. FREE order of Sweet Cakes (Huddle House’s fluffy, platter-size pancakes available in eight different flavor and topping combinations) to all active military members and veterans with proper I.D. on Veterans Day at all Huddle House locations nationwide. Locations . Luna Grill, Nov. 10 12, 2018. Buy One, Get One Free with purchase. Military service men and women and first responders will receive their choice of a complimentary signature wrap, plate or gourmet salad when they purchase a meal at Luna Grill. 10% daily discount for military and first responders. Locations . Pilot Flying J, Nov. 10 12, 2018. Free breakfast, including a free Pilot Coffee of any size with a choice of a PJ Fresh breakfast sandwich, packaged pastry item, or a Cinnabon Center of the Roll. Download (or open) the myPilot app Nov. 10-12 to find a coupon in myOffers. First-time users receive an additional free drink of their choice when downloading the app. Locations . Rock Bottom Brewery, Nov. 10 12, 2018. Free entree for all active duty military and veterans with military ID or in uniform. Other restrictions may apply, see your local Rock Bottom for details . Shanes Rib Shack, Nov. 8 10, 2018. Free sandwich combo, including sandwich, regular side, and 20 oz drink at participating Shanes Rib Shack locations only. List of participating locations . Spaghetti Warehouse, Nov. 9 11, 2018. Buy one entrée, get one free. Coupon Required. Choose any of 11 Original Recipe Spaghetti entrées and receive a second entrée free. Friends and relatives are encouraged to treat a veteran to a meal. More info . Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Nov. 9th, 10th, 12th, 2018. Free Churrasco Meal with purchase of another Churrasco meal. (1/2 price meal available for veterans dining solo). More info . Free Meals on Veterans Day The following offers are all on Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2018. 54th Street Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entree, up to $12, for Veterans and Active Duty Military. Proof of service required, Dine-in Only. More info . A Acapulco, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal. More info . Applebees, Nov. 11, 2018: One of 8 entrées to choose from for a free meal. Military ID or proof of service required. You can read all about the offer in our post here , and get more information  and check out all of Applebees locations  on their website. B Back Yard Burgers, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Classic Burger for veterans and active duty military members. Bring proof of military service. Locations . Bagger Daves Burger Tavern, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Great American Cheeseburger + Fries for military, veterans, and first responders. Dine-in Only. More info . Bakers Square, Nov. 11, 2018. Free breakfast choice of Buttermilk Pancakes, three pieces of French Toast, or a Belgian Waffle for veterans and active duty military members. Bring proof of military service. More info . Bar Louie, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Flatbread or Burger, up to $15, with ID. You can check out Bar Louis website to see all of their locations  and details on their Veterans Day promotion. BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entree, up to $12.95 value, plus a free Dr. Pepper beverage. Offer valid to all active duty military and veterans, with proof of service. Dine-in only. Additional offer: Free Pizookie® for current or retired military from Nov. 1 Nov. 30, 2018, while supplies last.  Locations . Bob Evans , Nov. 11, 2018. Free select breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. For active duty military, retirees, and veterans with ID or proof of service. More Info . Boston Market, Nov. 11 Nov 12, 2018. Buy one individual meal with a drink and get a second free at all U.S. locations; coupon (but no I.D.) is required and available at BostonMarket.com . Available for all veterans, service members, and their families. No ID required. Buffalo Wild Wings , Nov. 11, 2018. Free order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries to veterans and current military members. Dine-in only. Bring proof of military service. C California Pizza Kitchen , Nov. 11, 2018. Choose a pizza, full-size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military I.D. or other proof of service. More info . Cattlemens Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free 8 oz Sirloin Steak Dinner on Veterans Day. Call your local Cattlemens for details and to verify participation. Proof of service required. More info . CentraArchy Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal for veterans at select locations  of New York Prime, California Dreaming, The Tavern at Phipps, Chophouse New Orleans, Carolina Roadhouse, Joey D’s Oak Room, Chophouse ’47 or Gulfstream Café. Find all the details at CentraArchy Restaurants website . Chevys Fresh Mex, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal. More info . Chilis , Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from a select menu. Dine-in only and participating locations only. Proof of military service required. More info . Chipotle , Nov. 11, 2018. Buy-one/get-one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos. Offer valid for all U.S. military (active-duty, Guard/Reserve, and retired military), military spouses with ID, and veterans. For in-restaurant orders only; offer not valid for online, mobile, fax, or catering orders. More info . The Chop House, Nov. 11th, and Nov. 12th, 2018. 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to veterans with military ID or in uniform. Locations . City Barbeque, Nov. 11, 2018. Free sandwich platter at participating locations. Proof of service required. More info . Connors Steak & Seafood, Nov. 11th, and Nov. 12th, 2018. 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to veterans with military ID or in uniform. Locations . Cotton Patch Café, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal for current and former military members. Choices include full-size chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken. Proof of service required. You can learn more  on Cotton Patch Cafes site, as well as seeing where your nearest location  is. Cracker Barrel, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola® Cake for dessert or a Crafted Coffee. More info . D Dunkin’ Donuts , Nov. 11, 2018. Free donut to Veterans and active duty military at participating restaurants nationwide. More info . Locations . E East Coast Wings + Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from special menu (participating locations only). Proof of service required. More Info . Locations . El Torito & El Torito, Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal. More info . F Famous Daves, Nov. 11, 2018, and Nov. 12, 2018. Free 2 Meat Combo served with choice of side and cornbread muffin for veterans and current military members. Bring proof of service. Participating locations only. More info . Friendlys, Nov. 11, 2018. Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner to guests with a valid military ID or honorable discharge card. Meal options include the Big-Two-Do® breakfast (choice of two slices of French toast, two buttermilk pancakes or two slices of toast; two strips of crispy bacon or two sausage links and two made-to-order farm fresh eggs), or All American Burger (fries and a beverage) during lunch or dinner. Dine-in only. This offer is limited to one per person at participating locations only. G Glory Days, Nov. 11 12, 2018. Free appetizer or an order of boneless or grilled boneless wings. Dine-in only and at only at participating locations. More info . Locations . Gold Star Chili, Nov. 11, 2018. Free 3-Way & Drink for veterans and active duty. More info . Locations . Green Mill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free menu item for lunch or dinner. Offer includes any single item from our menu. Some limitations. Proof of military service required. Dine-in Only. More info . Grub Burger Bar, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entree for active, inactive, and retired military personnel. Proof of military service is required. Find your nearest location  here. H Hamburger Stand, Nov. 11, 2018. Free hamburger, regular fries and a small Pepsi. More info . Hickory Tavern, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Tavern Burger with Purchase of a Beverage for all current and former military with ID. More info . Hooters , Nov. 11, 2018. Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to enjoy a free meal from a select menu. Requires drink purchase. Only valid at participating locations. Locations . Houlihans, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal for active military and veterans with ID at participating locations only. Locations . J Joes Crab Shack, Nov. 11, 2018. 20% Off on Veterans Day. More info . L Little Caesars® Pizza , Nov. 11, 2018. Free pizza or $5 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo to all US Armed Forces veterans and active military members between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. With proof of military service, at participating stores nationwide. Call ahead to verify participation. More info . Logans Roadhouse, Nov. 11, 2018 (3 pm 6 pm). Free entrée from the American Roadhouse Meals menu for veterans and active duty military personnel. 10% discount year-round. Call your local Logans Roadhouse for details and to verify participation. More info . LongHorn Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free appetizer or dessert (no purchase required, no restrictions). Additional 10% off for guests that dine with Veterans on November 11. Offer good for Veterans and active-duty military members. Proof of service required. Find a location  near you here. M Main Event, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entrée from a select menu and a complimentary FUNcard good for $10 in arcade play. More info . Max & Ermas, Nov. 11, 2018. Participating Max & Ermas locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes seasoned fries and a fountain drink. Dine-in only. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. Locations . McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2018. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée from a special menu. Veterans must provide proof of military service. No ID needed for Gold Star Family members (parents or spouse). Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. Be sure to review our rundown of this offer,  and if you still need more information visit McCormick and Schmicks Veterans Appreciation Event . McGrath Fish House, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from special menu. More info . Menchies, Nov. 11, 2018. All veterans and current servicemembers will receive their first 6 oz. frozen yogurt free on Veterans Day. Locations . Mission BBQ, Nov. 11, 2018. Free sandwiches and cake for active duty military members and veterans at participating locations. While supplies last. More info . N Native Grill & Wings, Nov. 11, 2018. One free menu item, up to $11.99. More info . Nékter Juice Bar, Nov. 11, 2018. Free 16 oz Juices and Smoothies to Veterans and Active Duty Military all day long at participating locations. Find a Nékter Juice Bar  near you and get their contact info to learn more about their free smoothie offer. Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, Nov. 11, 2018. From 11am 4pm. Veterans and active military, free entrée from the 9 Real Size Entrées for $9.99 Menu. More Info . NYC Bagel Sandwich Shop, Nov. 11, 2018 (6 am 4 pm). FREE Bagel and Coffee. More info . O OCharleys , Nov. 11 12, 2018. Free $9.99er for veterans and active duty service members on November 11th & 12th at participating locations only. More info . Locations . Olive Garden, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entrée from a special menu. Entrées are served with unlimited soup or house salad and garlic breadsticks. Offer good for veterans and active duty military; proof of service required. Read our guide to Olive Gardens Veterans Day special and take a look at their locations . On The Border, Nov. 11, 2018. Veterans and current servicemembers will receive a free Choose-2 Combo Meal. Each combo is accompanied with sides of Mexican rice and refried beans (black beans upon request), plus endless complimentary tortilla chips and housemade salsa. Dine-in only, proof of service required. More info . Outback Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Bloomin Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage. This offer is available to Military Personnel and veterans with ID. Also available 10% OFF Heroes Discount is open to servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and first responders, with corresponding state or federal service ID  through Dec 31, 2018. You can learn more in our post on Outbacks military discount and find an Outback near you with the restaurants locator tool, as well as checking out their Operation Homefront initiative. P Perrys Steakhouses, Nov. 11, 2018 (4 pm 9 pm). Complimentary 3-Course Pork Chop Dinner. Reservations and U.S. Military I.D. required. Each active or former military patron must be accompanied by at least one paying guest (purchasing dinner entrée or Sunday Supper Special). More info . Primanti Bros, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Sandwich for veterans and active duty military at participating locations. More info . R Recovery Sports Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal and one Non-Alcoholic Beverage, from Select Menu. Valid for all Active Military and Veterans, dine-in only. More info . Red Lobster , Nov. 11 Nov. 12, 2018. Free Appetizer or Dessert with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers and desserts. More info . Red Robin , Nov. 11, 2018. Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for all Red Robin guests with a military ID or proof of service. More info . Rib Crib, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from Menu of Honor, which includes choice of two meats and two sides, and your choice of a non-alcoholic beverage. More info . Rodizio Grill, Nov. 11 14, 2018. To show our appreciation this Veterans Day, we are honoring Veterans Sunday, Nov. 11 through Wednesday, Nov. 14. Each Veteran who dines will eat free per purchase of one adult Full Rodizio meal. Proof of Service required. Verified for Denver location. Participation may vary at other locations please call ahead. Romanos Macaroni Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti entrée for current and former military. More info . Ruby Tuesdays, Nov. 11, 2018. Free appetizer (up to $10) at participating locations, proof of service required. More info . Locations . S Sagebrush Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018, 10 am 11 pm. Free meal from select menu for veterans and current military members. Includes non-alcoholic beverage. Bring proof of military service. More info . Locations . Sheetz, Nov. 11, 2018. Free lunch at participating locations. Free car wash also available at participating locations, Proof of service required. More info . Locations . Sizzler Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2018. Free lunch served until 4 pm at participating locations. Veterans can choose between our 6oz Steak, Malibu Chicken or Jumbo Crispy Shrimp. Not valid for salad bar or gratuity. Valid with proof of military service. Dine-in only at participating locations. Locations . Starbucks, Nov. 11, 2018. Starbucks is treating veterans, active duty service members, and spouses to a free tall (12oz) hot brewed coffee. More info . T Tap House Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal on Veterans Day, November 11th. For servicemembers and veterans with proof of service. Dine-in only. More info . Locations . Texas Corral, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from a special menu, plus lemonade, iced tea, or coffee for veterans and current military personnel. Bring proof of military service. More info . Texas de Brazil, Nov 11-12, 2018. Complimentary meal for two veterans, plus up to 20% off for up to six additional guests during dinner service. *Restrictions apply. More info . Texas Roadhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Lunch from special menu. Includes sides and a soft drink, coffee, or tea. Proof of service required. Dine-in only. You can access more info and find locations  on Texas Roadhouses website. T.G.I. Friday’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free menu item up to $12 for all current military members and veterans. Valid ID or proof of service required. Dine-in only at participating locations. Be sure to contact your local T.G.I Fridays for details. More info . Locations . TooJays, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entrée from a special menu on Veteran’s Day. More info . V Village Inn, Nov. 11, 2018. Free INN-credible V.I.B. breakfast for veterans and active duty military. Valid on 4 INN-credible items: Cheese Omelette, Strawberry Crepe, Hickory-Smoked Bacon or French Toast. Call ahead to verify participation of your local Village Inn. Vitality Bowls, Nov. 11, 2018. Free smoothies for current and former military members at all corporate-owned locations and participating franchises. More info . W White Castle, Nov. 11-12, 2018. Free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo meal #1-6 for veterans and active duty military. Bring proof of military service. More info . Wienerschnitzel, Nov. 11, 2018. A complimentary Chili Dog, small fries and 20 oz. drink at participating Wienerschnitzel locations, with valid military ID or by wearing a military uniform. Locations . Wild Wing Café, Nov. 11, 2018. A complimentary meal with proof of service. Veteran may choose from any Awesome Salad, Wild Wrap, Beefy Burger, or Chicken Sandwich. Participating locations only. More info . WingHouse Bar & Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from select menu, at participating locations. Y Yard House, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary appetizer. More info . Free Meals After Veterans Day Free Veterans Day Meals Nov. 12, 2018 Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar, Nov. 12, 2018. Current and former military members will receive a free meal from a special menu. Dine-in only. More info . Locations . Aspen Creek Grill, Nov. 12, 2018. Complimentary Entrée from a special menu. Offer good from 11am close. More info . Black Angus Steakhouse, Nov. 12, 2018.  Day All-American Steak Plate for just $9.99. Includes an 8 oz. Certified Angus Beef® Top Sirloin, mashed potatoes, broccoli with garlic butter and a non- alcoholic beverage. Must show proof of military service or military ID to receive offer. More info . Bombshells Restaurant & Bar, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meals and soft drink, with a 20% discount on meals and soft drinks for accompanying family members. More info . Burntwood Tavern, Nov. 12, 2018. Free lunch or dinner for all active duty military and veterans. Proof of service or ID required. Available at all locations. More info . Locations . Calhouns Restaurant, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal, choice of Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Half Slab of Ribs, Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Pork Plate, Ale Steak, Fresh Chicken Calhoun, and Southern Fried Catfish. Proof of Service required. More info . Locations . Chicken Salad Chick, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Chick Meal and drink. Includes 1 Scoop or Sandwich, plus one scoop, side, or cup of soup. Locations . Claim Jumper, Nov. 12, 2018. Free entrée from select menu, with official proof of service. Dine-in only. Participating locations only. Locations . Dennys , Nov. 12, 2018. Free Build Your Own Grand Slam® on Nov. 12, from 5 a.m. to noon for all active, inactive, and retired military personnel. Participating locations only. Please call ahead. Locations . Farmer Boys, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Big Cheese cheeseburgers to veterans and active duty military with valid proof of service. Locations . Fatz Café, Nov. 12, 2018. Free World Famous Calabash Chicken® meal for current and former military members, 11 am until 11 pm. Proof of service required. Locations . Firebirds Grill, Nov. 12, 2018. Dine with a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member on Monday, November 12 and their lunch or dinner is our treat! Please bring a valid form of military ID or wear your uniform to receive a complimentary entree.. GiGis Cupcakes, Nov. 12, 2018. FREE cupcake to all veterans and first responders on Monday, November 12th at all participating locations. Store locations . Golden Corral, Nov. 12, 2018 (5pm 9pm): The 18th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corrals Military Appreciation dinner , which you can learn all about in our post here . Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Soup, Salad, and Desert Bar. Beverage Included. Available for all veterans and active duty military. Dine-in only, valid ID or proof of service required. Valid at participating restaurants only, 11am 9pm. Hosss website provides you with more info  and locations . Hu Hot Mongolian Grill, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal for current and former military members at participating locations only. Locations . Hy-Vee, Free Breakfast, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Veterans Day breakfast from 6am 11am at all participating Hy-Vee supermarkets with in-store dining. You can get all the details here . IHOP , Nov. 12, 2018. Free Red, White and Blue pancakes from 7 am 7 pm. Participating locations only. Please call ahead to verify participation. More info . Locations . Jon Smith Subs, Nov. 12, 2018. Free 6-inch Steak Bomb sub for current and former military with ID. More info . K&W Cafeteria, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal, including entrée, 2 vegetables, Bread, and Beverage. More info . Kings Family Restaurants, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal for current and former military members, from a select menu. More info . M Italian Restaurant, Nov. 12, 2018. Free lunch or dinner for all active duty military and veterans. Proof of service or ID required. Available at all locations. More info . Locations . Rock & Brews, Nov. 12, 2018. Complimentary pulled pork sandwich and a side dish or Strawberry Fields Salad. Available for Veterans, Armed Forces, and First Responders. Proof of military service required. Participating locations ; Dine-in Only. More info  is available on their website. Rose Italian Kitchen, Nov. 12, 2018. Free lunch or dinner for all active duty military and veterans. Proof of service or ID required. Available at all locations. More info . Locations . Shoneys , Nov. 12, 2018. Free All You Care To Eat, freshly-prepared Breakfast Bar for veterans and active duty servicemembers. Dine-in only, from 6:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. Proof of Service required. More info . Locations . Taco Mac, Nov. 12, 2018. Free 6-Pack of Wings w/ beverage purchase for Veterans and Active Military. More info . Twin Peaks, Nov. 12, 2018. Military Monday. Free menu item from a select menu at participating locations. Please call ahead to verify participation. More info . Locations . Free Veterans Day Meals Nov. 12, 2018 Country Cookin, Nov. 13, 2018 (2pm 8pm). Free meal for current and former military. Proof of service required. Please note the date this is valid the Tuesday after Veterans Day! More info . Veterans Day Discounts Rules of Engagement Proof of Military Service Most companies require some form of military ID or proof of military service . These include: A Military ID Card (active/reserve/retired) VA-issued Veterans ID Card  or a VA Health Care ID card Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) Drivers License with Veterans Designation Photograph in uniform, wearing your uniform (if your service permits) Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW) DD214 , other discharge paperwork, or another form of identification Other restaurants and companies may go by the honor system. Participation Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies. We will do our best to keep this page updated as we find new info, but the only way to guarantee you get your Veterans Day meal is by calling ahead and checking with your location. Tipping This one may be a no-brainer, but you should tip your server thoughtfully regardless of whether you ate a free meal or not. In other words, please tip your wait-staff on the full meal price. Show your appreciation for their service. It’s the right thing to do! More Ways to Save this Veterans Day Weve written multiple posts to share even more military discounts  and Veterans Day deals  at your disposal. In addition to paying an appreciative visit to one of the restaurants above, you can celebrate this Veterans Day with Veterans Day Activities, Events, & Attractions and Veterans Day Retail Discounts & Special Offers , including free National Park Admission, Amusement parks, and retail and regional discounts. Dont miss out on all of the generous offers at your disposal this year. Veterans Day Meals and Deals image and all written content copyright this site. All other images copyright their respective restaurant or brand.
  • Veterans Day is a time to celebrate the service of those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe. While military members dont serve for recognition, its nice to know that many companies and organizations set aside a day to honor their service. This page lists a variety of Veterans Day offers for our nations servicemembers past and present. These offers include free haircuts, free oil changes, free car washes, retail discounts, and much more. There are also tons of free Veterans Day meals and discounted or free events and attractions. You can download a printable pdf that lists many of these offers and additional information (visit this page for sign up form ). We have done our best to verify each offer and we have provided a link to the company website when possible. Please note that some locations may have restrictions on offers. It is always recommended to call ahead to verify participation and to verify details. Have an offer to add? Please use our Contact Page . We will do our best to add offers when possible, but please note we cannot list every offer. Rules of Engagement (Eligibility) In order to access the generous Veterans Day discounts and freebies below, youll probably need to provide some form of ID. Proof of service is recommended! This may include a: current military or retired military ID card , Veterans ID card , VA Healthcare ID card a DD Form 214 , a Drivers License with a veterans designation , or other proof of service . Some locations may also accept a membership card for a Veterans Service Organization (e.g. DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, etc.), a picture of you in uniform, or some other proof of service. Free Stuff on Veterans Day Free Vacations and Hotel Stays Bed and Breakfast for Vets Free Hotel Stay B&Bs for Vets has organized dozens of participating Bed and Breakfasts and Inns across the US and Canada which will be offering veterans a free nights stay on and around Veterans Day. This offer is available to both active duty military members and veterans with ID, but space is limited. Each Inn and B&B has at least one room available for this promotion and reservations must be made directly through the participating Inns and B&Bs. For more information visit BandBsforVets.org . Westgate Resorts 1,500 Free Vacation Giveaways in Orlando, FL Westgate Resorts is giving away 1,500 Bookings on www.westgatesalutes.com on November 9, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST and ending at 11:59 p.m. EST on November 11, 2018, or until all 1,500 Bookings have been claimed, whichever occurs sooner. Bookings are on a first come, first served basis. A confirmation receipt with reservation details will be sent to a valid email address upon successful entry to the first 1,500 Bookings. Note: A One-Hundred Dollar ($100.00 USD) deposit with a valid major credit card is required at time of booking. Deposit will be refunded in-full the day immediately following the day of check-in. Deposit is refundable in-full if reservation is canceled at least seven (7) calendar days prior to scheduled check-in. Eligibility: The free vacations are specifically for current active duty military personnel, retirees, veterans with an Honorable Discharge  that served in any United States government military operations on or after August 6th, 1990, and Gold Star families. For more information, visit www.WestgateSalutes.com . Travel Details: Offer is valid for a two (2) night stay on May 10 – 12, 2019 for up to four (4) persons at the Westgate Vacation Villas Resort & Spa or the Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa in Kissimmee, FL. See full terms and conditions, eligibility, and other important info . Free Gifts from Amazon $20 Amazon Gift Card When You Open a New Personal Capital Account Personal Capital is one of my favorite financial tools you can use it to track your budget, spending, and investments. Simply link your banking and investment accounts and Personal Capital will give you an overview of your current account balances, spending, net worth, and your investment portfolios asset allocation. For a limited time, Personal Capital is offering a Refer a Friend bonus for new customers. Simply open a new account, and link at least one valid investment account (brokerage, 401k, IRA, TSP, etc) with a balance of more than $1,000 within 30 days of registering. (some terms apply). Click here to register your Personal Capital account . Personal Capital will then send you a $20 Amazon gift card within six weeks from the date of registration. The gift card will be sent electronically to the email you provided in the registration process. *Full disclosure: Personal Capital will also send me an Amazon gift card in the same amount. That said, I personally use this tool on a weekly basis to manage my finances and track my investment portfolio. You can learn more about Personal Capital in our review . Sign up here for the new Personal Capital account and $20 Amazon Gift Card . Free Book Download Operation Money: A Financial Guide for Military Service Members and Families will be available for free download on Veterans Day. The book written by Jean Chatzky, best-selling author and financial editor at NBC Today, is a great free tool for veterans. Download Kindle version . Free Haircuts for Military & Veterans Great Clips , Nov. 11, 2018 Great Clips will be offering a free hair cut to Veterans with a twist. If a non-veteran comes into Great Clips on Veterans Day and gets a haircut, theyll be given a card which any veteran can redeem for a free haircut. More info . Sports Clips, Nov. 11, 2018 Sports Clips is also offering a free haircut on Veterans Day . Participating Sport Clips locations will offer free haircuts to all active duty military and veterans (with valid ID.) For a list of stores offering free haircuts on Veterans Day, please click here . Free Car Washes Grace for Vets Nov. 11, 2018  Car washes across the country will be getting in on the Veterans Day action this year. Thousands of car washes across the nation are offering vets a free car wash on Veterans Day. You can find a list of over 3,500 participating car washes at Grace for Veterans . Free Wedding Dresses Brides Across America Brides Across America, a non-profit organization, provides eligible military brides with a free wedding dress. In general, you qualify if you are a military bride/first responder (or the fiancé of a military member or first responder). Participants must attend an event to choose a wedding gown. A $40 tax-deductible registration fee that is paid when registering for the event. The fee covers administrative costs associated with running the event. Brides Across America is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. Brides experience financial hardship may contact us about waiving the registration fee. Learn more here . Veterans Day Discounts Veterans Day Deals from Amazon In addition to offering a free download ofOperation Money: A Financial Guide for Military Service Members and Families and a $20 gift card when you open a Personal Capital account, Amazon may offer special discounts on Veterans Day. You can check out more Veterans Day Offers on Amazon here. Veterans Day Retail Offers & Discounts Academy Sports + Outdoors 10% Discount: This Veteran’s Day, Academy Sports + Outdoors is honoring military service members by giving all current and former military members and their immediate families 10 percent off their entire purchase, valid Oct. 31 through Nov. 11. All you have to do is show proof of verification at academy.com/military or present a valid military ID at checkout. Buckle: Military receive 10% off online purchases every day at Buckle.com. From November 6th-21st, 2017, Buckle is thanking veterans and other military personnel for their service with free standard shipping on all orders. Buckle Military Discount . DC Shoes: 15% hero discount to servicemembers and first responders. To redeem the discount, visit dcshoes.sheerid.com/ and verify your military status to receive your one-time use coupon code. Eastbay. 20% military discount is now available to veterans, reservists and the National Guard, in addition to active service members and their dependents. The online discount is applied at checkout when military shoppers click military discounts under promo codes on http://www.eastbay.com/ . After a successful verification, the discount is automatically applied to the entire order. Food Lion, Nov. 11, 2018. 10% off all groceries (some exclusions such as cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) for Active & Retired Military Personnel with military ID and MVP card. Some exclusions may apply. More info . Home Depot Military Discount: Home Depot and Lowes 10% Military Discount Available Everyday . The 10% military discount is available every day for active duty and retirees, but not all veterans. Home Depot makes this offer available to all veterans on major military holidays, including Memorial Day , Veterans Day , and 4th of July. The Home Depot(R) is offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families (with ID card) a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veterans Day. Some limitations may apply. Find Home Depot discounts online . Lowes Military Discount: Lowes Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via Lowes.com, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards. Lowes offers this discount daily to active duty military members and veterans. Find exclusive discounts at Lowes.com . Mattress Firm, Nov. 9 Nov. 12, 2018. 20% off any purchase for current and former military members, veterans’ families, and first responders. Offer valid in-store with military or first responder ID or online through call or chat. Some exclusions may apply. Meineke Military Discounts, Nov. 11, 2018: Meineke is discounts on Veterans Day. Please call ahead for details! (more info ). Mens Wearhouse: Mens Wearhouse is offering veterans and service members $25 off any purchase of $100 or more. Microsoft Office Products $9.99 (current military members only): The Microsoft Home Use program allows current military members and DoD workers to purchase Microsoft Office for the low price of $9.99. There is also an option to purchase additional products at substantially reduced prices. Please note this offer is only available to current military members, and those who work for select companies and organizations. Learn more about the Microsoft Office military discount . Musicians Friend: 10% off one item of $199 value or more for veterans, reservists, National Guard, active duty and their immediate family members. Learn more at the Musicians Friend discount page . Oakley Sunglasses: Oakley Standard Issue offers discounts for military members and first responders. Receive an additional discount on Veterans Day. Free shipping on orders over $75 and free returns. Find Discounts at the Oakley website . Publix, 10% off, Nov. 11, 2018: Military members, veterans, and their families save 10% on groceries on November 11 (proof of service required). This offer excludes prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, gift cards, lottery tickets, postage stamps, and money services. Learn more about the Publix discount here . Quiksilver. All active duty, reservists, National Guard, veterans, retirees, dependents, and spouses are eligible to receive 15% off their purchase online with Quicksilver. Visit quiksilver.sheerid.com to receive a unique coupon code. Rosetta Stone 10% Military Discount: Rosetta Stone® bills itself the worlds best language-learning software. You can buy their programs on disk, download them, or use them with an app. Their military discount is open to all current military, retirees, and veterans. Learn more at the Rosetta Stone military discount page . Sears Garage Services, Nov 9-12: 10% Discount on all products and services with a valid military ID. Sears Garage Doors site . Target 10% Off, Nov 4-12, 2018: 10 percent discount on purchases, in-store and online, from Nov. 4-12, 2018. Eligible guests can visit Target.com/military to register and receive the discount. (Some product exclusions apply; discount via a single-use coupon). Tractor Supply Company 15% discount: This Veterans Day, customers with a valid military ID or proof of service and their dependents will receive 15 percent off their entire purchase at Tractor Supply. This discount will be offered on Nov. 11 and will be available at all of Tractor Supply’s more than 1,725 locations nationwide. Find a Tractor Supply location near you . Under Armour 15% Discount: 15% Off for Veterans, Service Members, and First Responders during Veterans Day week (normally 10% through the rest of the year). Under Armour supports the military, veteran, and First Responder communities year-round. Click here to learn more about the Under Armour Military Discount . Veterans Day Military Discounts USA Military Medals, Nov 5-12: USA Military Medals is offering customers 15% off their purchase of Military Medals, Ribbons, Rank Insignia, and More, with a coupon code that will be displayed on their site on those dates. This is a great place to buy military rank, insignia, medals , ribbons, uniform items, dog tags , and similar military gear and memorabilia. They ship fast and guarantee the quality of the items they sell. Visit USAMilitaryMedals.com . Veterans Advantage Discount Program: The Veterans Advantage Program offers nationwide benefits to current and former military members through a membership plan. Members get access to discounts for shopping, restaurants, insurance, travel, and much more. There are three option available for membership and pricing ranges from a one-year membership at $59.95 to a five-year membership at $199.95. Interested individuals can also start a 30-day trial membership for just $4.95 . Trial memberships can be canceled at any time. Veterans Day Hotel Discounts Hyatt Military Discount 10% to 15% Off: Available to individuals who have served or are currently serving in any official government-sponsored branch of the United States armed services and their immediate family members. Valid at any participating Hyatt-branded hotel in the United States with offer code MILVET*. (Coupon code will be in effect indefinitely). More info . Red Roof Inns: Red Roof Inns offers several ways to save. 10% discounts for military, family members, and government employees under certain circumstances. Save up to 20% Off year-round with Veterans Advantage membership . Learn More at the Red Roof Inn Military Page . Limited Time 20% Discount: Home for the Holidays Military Discount for Active Duty Members and Veterans. Use discount code VP623095. Available for all active duty military and veterans when they book from November 1 – December 31, 2018, and complete their stay by February 28, 2019. The Home for the Holidays rate is only available when booked online at redroof.com or by calling 800.RED.ROOF (800.733.7663). The discount can be applied at any Red Roof Inn, Red Roof PLUS+ or The Red Collection properties. *May not be combined with any other discount or offers. May not be available on high demand nights. More info . Super 8 Hotels: 20% discount off your next qualified stay at participating Super 8 hotels, plus 500 Wyndham Rewards bonus points.* Offer valid for any current or retired military personnel, veterans, and their families who book and stay at participating Super 8 hotels in the U.S. and Canada. New bookings only made through October 16, 2018, and December 11, 2018. Must book through a Wyndham direct booking channel for 500 bonus points. More info .
  • Veterans Day is a great day to remember and celebrate those who have served our nation in our armed forces. There are many ways to show our appreciation to those who have served. Many cities, towns, and municipalities have a Veterans Day ceremony or parade to honor those who have served. I highly recommend attending one of these events if you have the opportunity. They can be a fun way to meet other veterans, and the experience of being thanked by people you have never met can be humbling. This page lists a variety of Veterans Day events and attractions for our nations servicemembers past and present. We cant list every local event. The best place for that information is your local city website or your local media. Instead, we have focused on locations that offer free admission to a larger population. How To Get Veterans Day Discounts In addition to offering discounted or free attractions and special events, organizations and companies may honor veterans by offering free meals , Veterans Day discounts , or free or discounted admission to museums . Proof of service is recommended! This may include one of the following forms of ID or proof of service: Current military or retired military ID card , Veterans ID Card , or VA Health Care ID card , DD Form 214 , or a Drivers License with a veterans indicator . Some locations may also accept a membership card for a Veterans Service Organization (e.g. DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, etc.), a picture of you in uniform, or some other proof of military service . If you know of any events youd like to see added here, please use our Contact Page . Priority will be given to those events that have the largest reach. In the meantime, take a look at all of the attractions and events available to you this Veterans Day. 2018 Veterans Day Free & Discounted Activities and Events Free Parades and Other Events Americas Parade: Americas Parade is a national parade held in New York City, NY. See the website for more info . National Veterans Day Ceremony: The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. You can find more info  on this remarkable event here. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Day Celebrations: Many local VA centers, hospitals, and cemeteries feature a Veterans Day ceremony. Contact your local VA center for more information. Veterans Day Parades: If you dont live in one of the cities mentioned above but still want to attend a Veterans Day parade, take a look at VetFriends. VetFriends has a national list of Veterans Day parades (login required). VetTix Free Event Tickets for Military and Veterans: VetTix is an excellent organization that offers free tickets to current and former military members to concerts, shows, sporting events and more. You can learn more here . Aquariums, Zoos, and Wildlife Parks Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA:  Military and veterans receive free admission on November 11. Friends and family will need to buy tickets at your local MWR/ITT office or receive $3 off adult and $1.50 off child admissions by showing a Military ID card at our ticket window. More info  can be found on the aquariums website. Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham, AL: All veterans, active and retired military, and their dependents with proof of service will receive FREE admission on November 11 12, 2018. More info  on this promotion is accessible here. Cincinnati Zoo: Free admission to the Zoo on Memorial Day, July 4 and Veteran’s Day. And current and former military personnel can purchase up to six (6) half-price admission tickets for their immediate family. Military & First Responders – $3 off adults / $2 off child admission. Valid military, fire, or police ID is required to obtain a discount. Tickets must be purchased in person. Find more info  on the Zoos website. Nashville Zoo: Nashville Zoo and Regions Bank invite active military personnel, military veterans and their immediate families to receive free admission during Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, November 11, 2018. In addition to regular Zoo activities, a special children’s fun zone will be set up on Festival Field with bounce houses, games and activities. More info . Newport Aquarium: Free admission from November 10th to 18th, with ID or proof of service. Family members can receive their military discount of $3 off adult tickets and $2 off child tickets. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Tacoma, WA: Free admission on November 10 12, 2018 for all current and former U.S. military members. Immediate family members will receive half-off general admission. More info . Oregon Zoo: Nov. 11- 12, 2018. Free admission for military veterans and active military personnel and their family members. Families of deployed military personnel also will be given free admission. Additional 10% discount at zoo store and at all food outlets for veterans, active military personnel and their families, with proper identification. More info . Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma, WA. Free admission on November 10 12 for all current and former U.S. military members. Immediate family members will receive half-off general admission. More info . Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, WA: Nov. 11, 2018. Free Admission to all active, retired, and veteran U.S. military personnel and their spouses with valid service identification on Veterans Day. Veterans Day discounts cannot be combined with other offers or zoo discounts. More info . Free Admission to Museums on Veterans Day Country Music Hall of Fame: Free admission for all active duty and retired military members and up to 3 immediate family members Nov. 10-12. There will be special, live musical performances and activities during the Veterans Day weekend. More info . Harley-Davidson Museum®: The Harley-Davidson Museum® is offering free Museum entry for all active Military, Veterans and their families* on November 9-11, 2018. *Free entry with valid Military or Veterans ID for 1 additional adult and up to 4 children 18 years old or younger. Visit the Harley-Davidson Museum® website for more information . National September 11 Memorial & Museum: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum will pay tribute to our country’s veterans during a special five-day Salute to Service from November 7 through November 11, 2018. A series of events and special programs will be available on the memorial for veterans and their families, as well as the visiting public. Throughout our tribute, veterans will receive free museum admission. Veterans will also receive half-price museum tickets for up to two family members during the tribute. Ticketing for Salute to Service will be available at a dedicated ticket window at the museum entrance. More information can be found on the National September 11, Memorial & Museum website . Patriots Point Museum, Mt. Pleasant, SC: Nov. 10 11, 2018. Free admission to all veterans on November 10th & 11th, 2018. More Information . Pro Football Hall of Fame Free Admission, throughout Nov. 2018: Free Admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for all veterans and active military plus one guest, during the entire month of November. More information . National Parks & Landmarks Free Admission for Everyone at US National Parks, Nov. 11, 2018: To honor America’s service men and women, the Secretary of the Interior has announced that areas managed by the National Park Service would not charge entrance fees for Veterans Day, November 11, 2018. Everyone is eligible, not just veterans. Over 100 national Parks will be participating in this event . Learn more about free admission at National Parks . Colonial Williamsburg: Active duty receives one complimentary admission ticket per year (and as many as three direct dependents). Retired military and Veterans qualify for 50% discount on Single-day tickets or on Annual Passes for up to five direct dependents. Special Veterans Day ceremony. Free admission to all active-duty military, retired, veterans, activated or drilling reservists, National Guard personnel, and up to three direct dependents on Memorial Day Weekend and Veterans Day weekend. November 11, 2018 . Army Corp of Engineers Recreation Areas: Waived day use fees for veterans, active and reserve component service members, and their families at the more than 2,800 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide on Veterans Day. The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. Get more info  on the website here to answer any further questions. Amusement Parks Free & Discounted Tickets Anheuser-Busch Parks: Anheuser-Busch Parks offers Active Duty Service Members free admission for them and up to 3 dependents to any of their parks once a year. Throughout 2018, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents may enter SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission. The Waves of Honor program is only available to Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman. Eligible parks include Adventure Island, Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay or Williamsburg), SeaWorld (Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio), Sesame Place, Water Country USA, or Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark in San Diego. Not valid at Discovery Cove. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. is not included as part of this program. There are additional discounts for veterans. Must register in advance. You can obtain your ticket voucher online at the Waves of Honor website . Knotts Berry Farm: Knotts Berry Farm has an annual Military Tribute event in which they offer military members past and present by offering free park admission. This year the Military Tribute Days runs from November 1 15 and November 26 December 21, 2018. Active, Retired or Veteran U.S. Military Personnel may receive free admission for themselves and 1 guest (maximum of 2 complimentary admissions will be issued). Additional discounted tickets may be purchased at the ticket booth. Discounted admission tickets are also available for purchase at local military bases. Must present proper ID at Knotts turnstile (DD214, Veterans Administration Hospital ID or Active Military Service ID). More info . LEGOLAND Florida, Winterhaven, FL: FREE Admission November 1-30, 2018. For all veterans and active duty military of the U.S. armed forces. Veterans also can purchase theme park tickets for up to six guests at a 50% discount on the same dates. To receive free admission and purchase discounted tickets, veterans must present valid military ID or proof of veteran status at LEGOLAND Florida Resort ticket window on the day of their visit. Free standard parking is available at LEGOLAND Florida Resort for veterans and active duty military with valid military ID during the month of November. Active duty members receive free admission year round . Deeply discounted tickets are available at each military bases Information, Tickets and Travel (ITT) office that include a 2nd day FREE! Check with your local office on base for pricing. To receive free admission, U.S. veterans must present valid military ID or proof of veteran status at the theme park ticket windows on the day of their visit. This offer is not available online or by phone. More info . Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL: Disney World offers current military members discounted Park Hopper passes throughout the year. You can save a substantial amount by buying the discounted tickets. Also look into the Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World . This is a military-only resort located on the Disney World grounds (Shades of Green is open to current military year-round, and veterans during the months of September and January). World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Ga: Active duty, reserves, and retirees are eligible for free admission year-round. From Thursday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, members of the Armed Forces may purchase up to four half-price general admission tickets for their friends and family. Tickets may be purchased with a valid Armed Forces ID card at the attraction’s ticketing windows. More info . Even More Veterans Day Savings To all who served a simple thank you is never enough. But Ill say it anyway. Thank you for your service. Note: We continually update this article each year and republish it with current information. Please contact us if you have any additions or corrections. More Veterans Day Discounts! Please click through to 2018 Veterans Day Free Meals & Restaurant Discounts , and 2018 Veterans Day Freebies, Retail Discounts, and Special Offers , or download a list by clicking the box below.
  • New jobs surged in October, unemployment stood at a 49-year low, and wages rose more than they have in nearly a decade. Check Our Video Blog On More Good Economic News On Friday http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Someone contact me recently about how to set up a Roth IRA. It’s a common enough question that it feels like a good time to revisit this topic. In this article I’m going to tell you exactly why, where and how to set up a Roth IRA and even make three investment suggestions for three [] The post Why, Where How of Roth IRAs appeared first on Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® .
  • New jobs surged in October, unemployment stood at a 49-year low, and wages rose more than they have in nearly a decade. Check Our Video Blog On More Good Economic News On Friday http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Every leader has a shining vision of “how things could be.” However, most leaders fail miserably at relaying these insights to their people—and it can drive an organization into the ground. Check Our Video Blog On Leadership Communications http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Every leader has a shining vision of “how things could be.” However, most leaders fail miserably at relaying these insights to their people—and it can drive an organization into the ground. Check Our Video Blog On Leadership Communications http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Maintenance While cleaning up and doing tent maintenance after a recent Orland Park Cub Scout camping trip, I thought about how important it is to perform maintenance on many items including my investment accounts.  This part of financial planning is necessary yet a very unexciting chore.  I perform such cleaning tasks as making sure beneficiaries [Continue] The post Money and More © Orland Park, November 3, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • You know you need emergency money, right? But what does that actually mean? Here are the three kinds of emergency money I counsel my clients to have. One is what I call strange change. You should have some cash in the house that you can use if you need to Get Out Of Dodge right [] The post Strange Change, Rainy Days and Big Emergencies appeared first on Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® .
  • Gifts are not taxable income. However, they can come back to haunt you! There are three ways gifts can cause issues. The first is if you are applying for a mortgage and the bank is trying to determine where youre getting the money for your down-payment. They want to make sure youre not taking out [] The post A Halloween Story about Gift Tax appeared first on Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® .
  • If youre looking for ways to save money on your monthly bills, your cell phone plan is a great place to start. Data plans can get expensive, especially if you want unlimited data or streaming services. Thankfully, wireless carriers across the nation offer promotions on their phones and data plans, with the most popular carriers offering special rates to military personnel and veterans. Verizon offers military discounts to current military members, veterans, and their family members when the veteran is the primary account holder. Verizon offers these discounts on their Verizon Wireless cell phone plans, as well as Verizon Fios, which is their Internet, cable, and home phone line service. Verizon Military Discount Eligibility If you have ever researched military discounts, you know that offers vary from company to company, especially with regards to eligibility requirements. In some cases, military discounts do not extend to family members. In other cases, you might find discounts limited to active duty military personnel. Verizon is not one of those companies. Verizon offers the Military and Veteran Discount Program to all active military members, veterans, and their family members. Family members are eligible for the discount as long as the military member or veteran is the primary account holder. Verizon lists the following groups of military personnel (and their immediate families) as eligible: Air Force, Army, Marines. Navy, Coast Guard, commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, commissioned officers of the United States Public Health Service, all military reserves and National Guard, and veterans of all branches. In order to gain access to Verizons military or veterans discount, you will be required to present proof of military service. This can be done in-person at a store, or online. Active military members: Verify military discount eligibility online Military-issued email Military pay stub (LES) SCRA Status Report Veterans: DD Form 214 Veterans ID Card Military Retiree Account Statement VetRewards Card from Veterans Advantage Note: If you currently have a plan with Verizon and are eligible to receive the military or veterans discount, you can begin receiving the discount with one of the proofs listed above. To register your existing account, click the Existing Customers link in the menu on the Verizon website and enter your Verizon mobile number in the My Verizon User ID or mobile number field to start. Verizon Wireless Military Discounts Verizons military discount is a flexible one that can be applied differently to your plan depending on how many lines you have and when your plan was activated. Heres how Verizon Military Discount applies to the following plans: Discounts on Go, Beyond, or Above Unlimited Plans: Do you have one line on your account? Save $15. Two lines? Save $35. Three or more lines? Your best savings are $40 on your account access fee.* Other Eligible Plans: Not on one of the plans above? No worries. You can get a 15% discount off other eligible plans monthly account service fee. Accessories: You can get up to a 25% discount off select accessories when purchased online through My Verizon. *The line-based tiered discount for the Go, Beyond or Above Unlimited plans applies if the account was activated with, or plan changed to, one of these plans 6/28/18 or later. Any Go or Beyond Unlimited plans activated prior to 6/28/18 will receive a flat $15 account level access fee discount. At any time the plan can be changed to the new Go, Beyond or Above Unlimited plan to receive the line-based tiered discount. If youre wondering whether your particular plan is eligible for Verizons Military discount, you can check with your local Verizon store or visit the Verizon Wireless website for current offers and additional information . Limited Time Offer $200 Prepaid MasterCard with a New Smartphone Activation on Device Payment Limited Time Offer Expires 11/26/2018. Military can get a $200 prepaid MasterCard with a new smartphone activation on device payment. Approved military docs required. $30/line/mo for 4 lines on Go Unlimited, less $40 account discount. Auto Pay (checks, home banking or debit card only) & paper-free billing req’d. In times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic (only after 22 GB/mo on Beyond Unlimited and 75 GB/mo on Above Unlimited.) Offer valid 10.18.18 – 11.26.18. Device payment purchased and new line of service req’d. New line must be in good standing for 45 days. A prepaid gift card will be mailed w/in 10 wks after receipt of claim and be charged back if service is canceled in 6 mos. All required materials must be submitted within 60 days of purchase date. Learn More at the Verizon Wireless Website . Verizon Fios Military Discounts Comparable to its competitors, Verizon offers discounts to those veterans and military members looking to bundle home phone, TV, and internet (or all three!). While you should always shop around for the best rates, bundling your technological services can ease your monthly payment process and save you money. Verizon offers three bundling options, which can save you anywhere from $60 to $120 when you choose Fios as your internet provider. The Verizon Military and Veteran Discount includes the following Fios features: $120 off/ year on Fios Triple Play or Triple Play. Includes Home Phone, Internet, and Fios TV. $60 off / year on Fios Double Play. Includes Internet and choice of Home Phone or Fios TV. $60 off / year High-Speed Internet (HIS) Double Play. Includes Internet and Home Phone. How Does the Verizon Military Discount Compare to Other Cell Phone Provider Discounts? The Verizon military discount plan offers its military customers up to $40 off on unlimited plans with 4 lines or 15% off of other eligible plans. But how do those numbers stack up against the competition? You may be able to save more overall with T-Mobile or AT&T, but Verizons discounts still compete and their coverage is expansive. To give you an idea of what Verizons competitors have to offer, below are the other military discounts offered by major cell phone carriers : AT&T Military Discount: Discount: 25% Eligible Plans: AT&T Unlimited & More Plan Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the military member is the sponsor) Learn More: AT&T Military Discount Sprint Military Discount: Discount: 50% off Family Lines Eligible Plans: Sprint Unlimited Military Plan (comparable to Sprint Unlimited Basic plan) Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the  military member is the sponsor) Learn More: Sprint Military Discount T-Mobile Military Discount: Discount: 20% on first line; 50% on each additional line Eligible Plans: T-Mobile Military One Plan (comparable to T-Mobile ONE Plan) Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when the military member is the sponsor) Learn More: T-Mobile Military Discount How Verizon Gives Back to Veterans Verizon demonstrates dedication to serving its military and veteran customers and employees in more ways than providing them with discounts. The company is committed to hiring veterans, with over 11,000 employed today. It has been named a Top 10 Military employer by Military Time. Verizon has also won the 2018 Military Friendly Award, and it was 2018s number 1 Military Friendly employer. Military Times also named Verizon the #6 Best for Vets Employer of 2018. Verizon also partners with Hirepurpose, Hiring Our Heroes, Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and Wounded Warrior Project. By partnering with these organizations, Verizon works to thank members of the military for their service to our nation. Bottom Line Verizon is one company who thanks veterans by offering them discounts, but also by giving to organizations who support the members of our military. With Verizon, you can get stellar coverage, competitive prices, and an additional military discount for you and your familys phone plan. You can also bundle your data with other services you love and use regularly, saving even more. Take a look at Verizons plans today and consider taking advantage of their generous military discount. Find more military discounts on our discount our list . Verizon Military and Veteran Discount Program Verizon Military and Veteran Discount Program - Available to Current and Former Military Members and their Families! Learn More Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Phone bills and data plans can get expensive quickly, but unlimited plans are becoming more accessible as phone carriers offer special rates and promotions to their customers. If you are an active duty member of the military or a veteran, there are even more discounts at your disposal.  One company offering enticing military discounts on their phone, data, and streaming plans is AT&T. With competitive costs and coverage, multiple bundling options, and a major military discount, AT&T could be an excellent carrier choice for you. AT&T Military Discount Offer The AT&T military discount is a generous one. With this promotion, you can save 25% per line on the AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan. The AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan is robust, pairing limitless data, texts, and talk with a variety of entertainment options. In a nutshell heres what you get with the plan: More choice. More perks. More on-the-go entertainment. Get 30+ channels of live TV** Binge 15,000 movies and hit shows Unlimited talk, text, and data with no overage fees, ever Send unlimited texts to 120 countries Enjoy unlimited calls to Mexico & Canada, and free roaming while you’re there It is important to note, however, that while your data is unlimited, your speed may be slowed down in congested areas, and you are subject to encounter streaming limits. AT&Ts 25% off discount is offered to active duty members of the military and veterans alike, as well as spouses of living or deceased members of the armed forces. If youre active duty, signing up is as simple as registering online with your .mil email. If youre a veteran, youll need to sign up in person. Well talk about acceptable forms of ID in a moment, but first, lets take a look at AT&Ts other military initiatives. Additional Savings on DIRECTV and Internet Since finalizing its acquisition of DIRECTV in 2015, AT&T has been able to offer competitively priced internet and TV bundles. Alongside those bundles come even more military discounts. AT&T Also offers a $15 military discount on DIRECTV when you have an AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan. In addition to saving money on DIRECTV, you can get a discount when you choose to bundle your internet with AT&T. Save $15 a month on AT&T Internet when you have an AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan. Saving $30 a month on services you will likely use anyway is a great deal! Getting your internet, tv, and phone service from the same provider can also save you time and energy, streamlining your payment process. Learn more about all of AT&Ts plans at the AT&T website. AT&T Military Discount Eligibility AT&T offers a Military and Veteran Discount of 25% off the AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan for all Active Duty military members and veterans with an honorable discharge. AT&T Military Discount for Active Duty Members: You’ll need your .mil military email address handy. AT&T Military Discount for Veterans:: Bring one of the accepted forms of ID below with you to an AT&T store: Department of Defense Form DD214 , indicating an honorable discharge Valid retired military ID Current AMVETS membership card Veteran designated driver’s license Veteran Health Insurance card Spouses of active duty military service personnel can sign up at a local AT&T store or participating dealer. Bring a valid Department of Defense sponsorship card. Additional AT&T Employer Discounts With the AT&T Signature Program, you can get even more discounts from AT&T. It’s easy to find out if you’re eligible for savings for your qualified AT&T wireless service through your employer, school, or other association. Just enter and submit your work or school email address and we’ll show you whether you qualify for applicable discounts and benefits on wireless services, devices and more. Check your Discount Eligibility here. How Does the AT&T Military Discount Compare to Other Cell Phone Provider Discounts? The AT&T military discount plan offers a 25% savings on the unlimited plans. Here are some other military discounts offered by major cell phone carriers : Sprint Military Discount: Discount: 5o% off Family Lines Eligible Plans: Sprint Unlimited Military Plan (comparable to Sprint Unlimited Basic plan) Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when member is sponsor) Learn More: Sprint Military Discount T-Mobile Military Discount: Discount: 20% on first line; 50% on each additional line Eligible Plans: T-Mobile Military One Plan (comparable to T-Mobile ONE Plan) Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when member is sponsor) Learn More: T-Mobile Military Discount Verizon Wireless Military Discount:  Discount: 15% off Eligible Plans, or up to $40 off Unlimited Plans; 25% off Accessories Eligible Plans: Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retirees, Veterans, Family Members (when member is sponsor) Learn More: Verizon Wireless Military Discount Overall, the AT&T military discount is competitive with the other major cell phone providers in the US. The T-Mobile military discount is the most generous, coming in at 20% for the member, and an additional 50% savings on each additional line. But AT&T has some benefits that T-Mobile does not, including the ability to bundle Internet, TV, and landline offerings, and in some areas, get better cell phone coverage. AT&Ts Commitment to Veterans In addition to offering generous discounts on their wireless plans, tv, and internet, AT&T is dedicated to enriching the lives of veterans, with a current initiative aimed towards hiring 20,000 veterans by 2020. Below are a few of the ways AT&T seeks to thank and support past and present members of the armed forces: Cell Phones for Soldiers: AT&T donates funds from recycled phones to this nonprofit dedicated to giving veterans and active duty military members access to free communication and emergency funds for phones. You can learn more about the organizations work on their website. Operation Hand Salute: Operation Hand Salute is AT&Ts own mentorship program that helps disabled veterans succeed in the business world. Operation Phone Home: AT&T gives international phone cards to the USOs Operation Phone Home program so military members can stay in touch with their families while serving. Bottom Line AT&T demonstrates its dedication to seeing yesterday and todays armed forces succeed at home and abroad with their hiring initiatives and their nonprofit partnerships. But they also do so with competitive military discounts on their services. Whether you want an unlimited data plan for your family, youre looking to upgrade your entertainment with a DIRECTV plan, or you want to bundle in internet, AT&Ts military discounts give you access to some great savings. With a 25% discount on its AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan and an opportunity to save an additional $15 on DIRECTV and $15 on internet coverage, AT&T could be your one-stop shop. Take a look at AT&Ts military discounts and start saving today. AT&T Military & Veteran Discount Program AT&T Military Discount Available to Current & Former Military Members. Learn More Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Last week the stock market continued its October rout as the SP 500 neared a 10 percent correction from last month’s highs. How should we react to this bad news?
  • The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell into correction territory on October 26 by dropping more than 10% from its all-time high five weeks earlier. Check Our Video Blog On Analyzing The Market Correction http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Employee engagement has been consistently cited as a top and growing priority by CEOs, managers, and human resources leaders across the country. Check Out This Interview On Employee Incentives http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Funding a Trust My financial planning training and estate planning lawyer suggested I create a living trust for my estate planning situation.  I went through the process of creating and signing legal documents with my wonderful attorney, Amy Delaney.  After that, the real work began. I needed to fund the trust.  That means I worked [Continue] The post Money and More ©, Orland Park, October 27, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • Disclosure: I am participating in a Membership campaign for MetLife FEDVIP Dental Plan. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with MetLife and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. Currently, military retirees and their families have many choices for dental care. They can purchase a dental insurance plan through the military, take advantage of the benefits offered by a private employer, or pay for their dental costs directly. As the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) ends and military retirees become eligible for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), their dental choices will be even more substantial. What’s Changing If you missed the notice, the TRDP is ending on December 31, 2018. For coverage effective 1 January 2019, military retirees and families will be eligible to purchase any of the dental plans offered through the FEDVIP program. With this change comes new enrollment rules you will no longer be able to opt in and out of the program at any time. Changes to FEDVIP coverage are only allowed during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season each fall, and if you have a FEDVIP qualifying life event that would necessitate a change in coverage. You’ll have to enroll in the FEDVIP program during the open season this fall, if you want to have dental coverage through FEDVIP in 2019. The 2018 open season will run from Monday, November 12, 2018, to Monday, December 10, 2018 (ET), and during this time, you will make selections for your coverage during 2019. FEDVIP has a wide variety of plans from which to choose. Each plan has a different cost and provides different benefits. So you’ll have to do some reading and thinking to find out which plan might be right for you. Employer-Sponsored Options If you are working after military retirement, you may have the opportunity to purchase a dental plan with your private employer picking up a portion of the dental costs. For those who want dental insurance, you will want to carefully compare the costs and benefits of any private employer-sponsored plan with the cost of other options, including the plans offered through FEDVIP. If your employer is heavily subsidizing dental insurance purchase through work, then it might be a great choice for you instead of FEDVIP. Plans Offered Through The FEDVIP Program For most retirees, the two hardest parts about the switch from the TRDP to the FEDVIP program will be the new open season model and choosing between the many FEDVIP options. Depending on your zip code, you may have more than a dozen plans to choose from. Each plan has a different premium and has different coverages, deductibles, co-pays, and plan maximums. Importantly for those transitioning from the TRDP to the FEDVIP plan, some FEDVIP plans have a waiting period for orthodontia, though some plans are making exceptions for those moving directly from the TRDP. MetLife’s FEDVIP Options MetLife offers two plans through the FEDVIP program , with two tiers of benefits to meet the needs of military retirees switching from the TRDP program. Both plans offer: Child and adult orthodontic coverage No waiting period No cost-share on preventative services such as cleanings and exams No deductible for in-network services No out-of-pocket costs for in-network cleanings, X-rays and exams Higher annual and lifetime plan maximums One of the nation’s largest networks, with over 393,000 dentists nationwide Transition services: Any treatment started with TRDP will be covered by your MetLife plan option including root canal, crowns, bridgework, dentures, orthodontia services (except for adult orthodontic under the standard plan ) In addition, the HIGH option includes 70% coverage on orthodontics, with an incredible $5,000 total coverage on child orthodontics and $3,000 on adult orthodontics, plus no annual maximum benefit amount. You can learn more about the MetLife FEDVIP plan here . Which Dental Insurance Option Should You Choose? There is no single right answer for everyone, and every person probably has a couple of choices that would be good for them. The most important thing is that you have to take action during the Federal Benefits Open Season, if you want to have FEDVIP dental coverage in 2019. Get started researching your options now on Tricare.benefeds.com so you will be prepared to sign up when open season begins on November 12, 2018. Enroll in FEDVIP at BENEFEDS.com .
  • With the end of 2018 flying by fast, here is information about a new twist on an old strategy that could save you a thousand dollars or much more in taxes if you act by the end of the year. Check Our Video Blog On Act By End Of 2018 For Big Tax Savings On Charity—A New Tax Wrinkle http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Red Robin, home of the bottomless order of fries, invites veterans and active duty military members for a free meal at one of its 528 locations this Veterans Day. We haven’t gotten official word about this year’s deal, but Red Robin usually offers a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries Meal. The restaurant also hopes you’ll share photos of your meal on social media using the hashtag #RRVetsDay. With a portion of its restaurants being individually owned, youll want to double check to make sure your local Red Robin is participating. Bring Your Proof and Get Ready to Dig In To get your free double burger and bottomless order of fries, be sure to bring proof you’re a veteran . One of the following documents should do the job: a Military ID Card a Veterans ID Card a veterans organization membership card (DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc.) a DD Form 214 a Drivers License with your military designation Or, bring a citation or a commendation from your time in the service or a photograph of yourself in uniform. Need a simpler option? Just wear your uniform to the restaurant. If you’re not sure whether your form of identification will work, find your nearest location on Red Robins website and give them a call before Veterans Day. More About Veterans Day at Red Robin Some Veterans Day deals require you to buy something in order to access the free food. We get it: A restaurant needs some way to control the amount of free food leaving its kitchen. Red Robin doesn’t usually do it that way, though. You’re free to claim your free Veterans Day food even if you don’t buy anything else, so long as you’re dining in. More info . Chances are you will want to buy something else, though. You should also note that drinks and desserts are not included in the free offer. Gratuity isn’t either. And as far as we know, Red Robin does not offer discounts for family members or friends of veterans or military members. If you plan to bring a group, anyone at your table who hasn’t served in the military will need to pay full price. When Is Red Robin’s Deal on Active Duty? Red Robin’s free meal offer takes place only on Veterans Day, November 11. Veterans Day happens to fall on a Sunday this year, which means the federal government has officially marked the following Monday for its observance. Still, Red Robin and many other restaurants offer their special Veterans Day promotions only on Veterans Day itself, Sunday, November 11. If you wait until Monday it’ll be too late. Red Robins tend to stay open kind of late 10 or 11 pm in most markets. Be sure to check with your local Red Robin to confirm its hours since some locations may close early on Sundays. It’s always a good idea to check your location for participation in this or any special offer, too. About 100 of the chain’s 528 locations are franchised, meaning local owners could potentially opt out of the deal. Other Restrictions to Know About Red Robin’s offer includes only the Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries Meal. Other burgers and side items will cost full price, as will drinks and desserts. This offer is valid only for dine-in customers, and like many similar offers it does not include beverages or gratuity, so be sure to bring along some money even though the food itself will be free. Remember, too, that a few municipalities still have laws prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays. If your Red Robin’s bar is shut down when you arrive, that’s probably why. Red Robin Honors Vets Year Round, Too Naturally, we’re a huge fan of free food for vets and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day. We’re also a fan of places that honor vets and service people year round, and those places include Red Robin. The restaurant’s loyalty club, called Red Robin Royalty , gives all its members perks such as coupons during their birthday month and the ability to accumulate points toward free food. Royalty club members who have served or are currently serving the military also get special deals throughout the year. (The club also includes special rewards for teachers.) If you join Red Robin Royalty, or if you’re already a member, please note that your free meal on Veterans Day will not count toward your points total. What’s the Deal with Those Bottomless Fries? Even if you’ve never eaten at a Red Robin, you may have heard of their bottomless steak fries. It’s literally true: Your fries will be served in a container with no bottom. Instead, it’s a stainless steel tube resting on your plate to hold the fries in place. It’s also figuratively true: When you run out of fries, your server will bring more. Run out again and you’ll get more, just like you’d expect with a glass of water or soda. Along with more fries than you can eat at Red Robin, you can also expect: A contemporary setting with a 1950s theme in some locations. Loud but not obtrusive rock ‘n’ roll music on the sound system. To wait for a table during busy times. Full table service (be sure to bring money for a tip). TVs playing sports, news, or weather programming. A full bar in most locations. Eating and Tweeting: Red Robin’s Hashtag Not every meal is worthy of a photo on Instagram or a shoutout on Twitter, but Red Robin hopes you’ll enjoy your double burger and bottomless steak fries meal enough to post about it. The company’s marketing department suggests using the hashtag #RRVetsDay if and when you post on social media. Of course, the offer is in no way contingent upon your willingness to share it with your friends. But if you’re going to post something anyway, you may as well add the hashtag so you can be connected with other vets around the country eating at Red Robin on Veterans Day. Red Robin’s corporate leaders will also feel the love. Enjoy Your Veterans Day Discounts Why not enjoy spending this Veterans Day out and about with friends, family, and other veterans? Military discounts  give companies a chance to salute the veterans whove served the country, providing discounts you can thankfully accept. Red Robin is just one of the restaurants who will be offering discounted and free meals this November, so youll have plenty of appetizing selections to choose from. You can also pair a delicious meal with a shopping trip, as there is no shortage of retailers offering discounts on Veterans Day . Last, you can attend events honoring veterans and find discounts on attractions . Take a look at all of the discounts on the market and enjoy your Veterans Day!
  • Simple gestures go a long way, especially when you’re saying thank you for something invaluable. Shoney’s, the diner chain with locations around the Southeast, takes a simple approach to thanking veterans and military members for their service. Rather than offering a special menu or giving you a free appetizer on a holiday, participating Shoney’s locations will simply knock 15 percent off your check any day of the year. This discount is also available to first-responders, including police, firefighters, and EMTs (with ID). Order what you want something from the menu, the breakfast or all-day buffet, a hot-fudge cake for dessert and you’ll pay 15 percent less at the register all day, every day, and not just on Veterans Day or Memorial Day. What’s On the Menu at Shoney’s? At its height in the late 1990s, Shoney’s had 1,300 locations around the country. Since then, the Nashville, Tennessee-based chain has retreated closer to its West Virginia roots with about 150 locations in 17 states, mostly in the South. Remaining locations continue to serve their communities well and are favorite breakfast and lunch spots for people who like Shoney’s buffet-style All-You-Care-To-Eat specials: All-You-Care-To-Eat Family Favorites on Monday Steak Night on Tuesday Endless Breakfast for Dinner on Wednesday All-You-Care-To-Eat Ribs Night on Thursday Endless Seafood on Friday Endless Seafood and Steak on Saturday All-You-Care-To-Eat Southern-Style Favorites on Sunday. Shoney’s breakfast menu is another draw for customers. Most stores open at 6 am and have a full breakfast waiting when customers arrive. Breakfast features include: All-Star Breakfast which includes about everything Shoney’s Steak Breakfast Pancake Breakfast (all you can eat) Signature Slim Jim Omelet Create Your Own Omelet, a three-egg omelet with your choice of cheese and toppings. And anyone who’s ever been to a Shoney’s has probably been tempted by the chain’s hot-fudge cake for dessert. How to Claim Your Military Discount at Shoney’s Bring your valid military identification  or current military ID with you to claim your 15 percent discount at Shoney’s. Veterans can prove their status in several different ways, a few of which are below: With a U.S. Uniformed Forces Retired ID Veterans ID Card or VA Health Care Card With a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) With your DD214 discharge form . Other forms of veteran or armed services identification should work too, including state-issued drivers licenses or ID cards with a Veterans stamp or membership cards from veterans service organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion . Other first responders may be eligible as well, with ID. Check with your local Shoneys for more information. 2018 Shoneys Veterans Day Free Meal This year, Shoneys is offering current and former military members a free breakfast from the fresh food bar until 11 a.m. on Monday, November 12th. You can find more info here . Make Sure Your Location is On Board It’s always a good idea to call ahead to make sure a restaurant participates in a special discount, and to make sure your form of ID will suffice. It’s even more important to call before arriving at a Shoney’s location because many restaurants are locally owned and operated, which means managers have the freedom to opt in or out of any regional or national promotion. This can be good or bad. It’s possible your closest location does not participate, but some Shoney’s locations may offer more than a 15 percent discount. Independently owned franchises may also have Veterans Day-specific specials such as free entrees, especially in communities with military bases. Without checking in first it’s impossible to know for sure what your local Shoney’s may offer. Some local Shoney’s also offer discounts to first responders, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. Shoney’s: Seven Decades and Still Going In 1947, as highway construction and car ownership soared, Alex Schoenbaum opened the doors of the Parkette Drive-In in Charleston, W.Va. The restaurant drew crowds. It expanded. Through a series of business deals, it merged with the existing Big Boy chain of restaurants in West Virginia and eventually developed the name Shoney’s. The “Big Boy” mascot survived into the 1980s as Shoney’s expanded around the nation, as did two menu favorites, the All-American and Big Boy burgers. The All-American burger was always served with an American flag. The chain developed a fuller menu as the decades passed and started to specialize in breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets for hotel guests and other travelers. Though smaller than in previous decades, the current chain of Shoney’s restaurants draws auto travelers alongside busy Interstates connecting Maryland, Ohio, Texas, and Florida. A National Trend: Food as Thanks We all know how to say thanks for our food, and veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces know as much as anyone the value of a hearty meal. It makes perfect sense that more and more restaurants have switched things around and now offer free or discounted food to vets and military members as a way of saying thanks for their service on Veterans Day. We enjoy a lot of freedom as Americans, including the freedom to go out and have dinner together. Eating out is part of our culture. It’s something we do on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. This Veterans Day, active duty military members as well as veterans have a lot of options for free or discounted food at some of our nation’s leading restaurants. So if there’s not a Shoney’s in your area, you can find another establishment to welcome you and say thanks for sacrificing in order to protect our freedom and way of life. If you do have a Shoney’s nearby, check-in before arriving to make sure it will honor your service with a 15 percent discount or some other promotion. And if youre looking to do more than dine out this Veterans Day, you can find tons of attractions and events in your area, as well as Veterans Day retail discounts .
  • Women can lean in and find mentors, and education can push STEM. Check Out This Interview On Women Breaking Barriers http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Sunday ACP Conference My most important professional organization is the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP).  ACPs tax-focused model and financial planning philosophies align with my own.   I, very much, look forward to the conference each year.  It has been my pleasure to be part of the conference committee for this National level conference for the [Continue] The post Financial Planning Weekly Thoughts for October 20, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • Most of us associate Outback Steakhouse with Australia, but the restaurant will be All-American this Veterans Day, November. 11. Outback will have a special deal for veterans and active duty military members at its more than 1,000 locations around the country. It’s part of a Veterans Day trend: restaurants offering deals to veterans who have served to protect the American way of life. It’s a fitting tribute since our way of life favors good food served well. Outback’s 2018 offer is similar to previous Veterans Day promotions. As always, make sure to call your location to make sure they are participating. 2018 Veterans Day Offer at Outback Steakhouse To honor current and former military personnel on Veterans Day, Outback Steakhouse will add its signature appetizer, the Bloomin Onion, to your meal at no cost. Outback will also pick up the tab for your beverage. And, members of your party who have not served in the military will be eligible for a discount. They do things differently “down under” and this deal is no exception: Most Veterans Day restaurant offers do not include non-military members of your party; even family members usually pay full price. Adding a free drink to the offer is also different since many offers exclude beverages. More information . Here’s a Rule: Get Verified as a Vet Outback Steakhouse’s “No Rules, Just Right” slogan may need some revision on Veterans Day. Your Outback location will have to enforce a few rules to make sure only veterans and military members claim a free Bloomin’ Onion and drink. To show your status as a veteran, bring some documentation as proof of your military service and present it to the host when you sign in for a table. Here are a few common proofs you could bring: Your Military ID Card Your Veterans ID Card DD 214 Your DD Form 2765 (100 percent disabled retired veterans, Medal of Honor recipients) Your drivers license with veterans designation Getting cleared as a vet or a currently serving military member right away will make things easier as your server calculates your ticket when your party finishes ordering. If you’re worried about confirming your status, call ahead to make sure your form of verification will work. More Details About this Deal As stated above, Outback is offering veterans and current military members a free Bloomin’ Onion and a free beverage to go along with their meal on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Veterans become eligible for the free appetizer and drink on Veterans Day by ordering lunch or dinner from Outback’s regular menu. This policy differs from most other casual dining Veterans Day offers which give veterans a free entree often from a limited menu but require the full price for additions such as appetizers and for drinks. There’s nothing wrong with mixing it up a bit. If you like Outback, and if you’d like one of the largest and most-filling appetizers out there, you’ll love this deal. If not, veterans have more places than ever to choose from this year as dozens of restaurants offer free or discounted meals on and around Veterans Day. Family and Friends? Included in Outback’s Deal Only a veteran who has shown proof of service (or an active duty military member) can get a free Bloomin’ Onion and drink on Veterans Day, but the rest of the table isn’t left out in the wilderness. Outback will also give friends and family members of veterans 20 percent off their meals on Veterans Day if they’re accompanying a verified veteran and dining in. Since most people don’t dine alone, especially on Veterans Day, this bonus feature makes Outback’s offer even more attractive. And don’t forget: Not even a veteran can usually eat an entire Bloomin’ Onion. Chances are good the rest of your party will also enjoy part of your free appetizer. Discounts Leading Up to the Holiday, Too Along with the free Bloomin’ Onion and drink and the discount for family and friends on Veterans Day, Outback also has discounts on the three days leading up to November 11. On November 8, 9, and 10, Outback will give veterans or military members and their families a 20 percent discount on dine-in orders. This offer cannot be combined with other specials and ongoing promotions at Outback. This 20 percent discount also can’t be combined with Outback’s ongoing 10 percent discount for law enforcement and first responders known as Operation Homefront. Also, please note that none of the discounts above apply to alcohol sales or to gratuity. What is a Bloomin’ Onion Anyway? Outback Steakhouse burst onto the casual dining scene in the early 1990s with a flurry of advertising and entry into most large American markets. Though Australian in theme, the chain has its roots in Tampa, Fla., and its menu features steaks, soups, salads, seafood, and sandwiches. The Bloomin’ Onion, one of the restaurant’s most distinct choices, combines deep fried onion petals arranged into a plate-sized bloom with the restaurant’s signature Bloom sauce. If you’ve never added one to your Outback meal, Veterans Day will be the perfect time to give it a try. Bottom Line You’ll find Outback Steakhouses along busy shopping corridors and Interstate exits throughout the country. The restaurant’s website automatically identifies your nearest location (assuming your computer or device gives it permission to do so). The site also tells you how long you’ll have to wait to be seated at your nearest Outback. As with any special holiday promotion, it’s a good idea to call ahead before arriving to make sure your location participates. This Veterans Day, you can also find some pretty generous discounts from retailers across the country, as well as special rates on events and attractions . On Veterans Day and every day, there are companies out there who want to thank you for your service with military discounts .
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill has joined the ranks of restaurants offering free or discounted meals for veterans and active duty military personnel this Veterans Day. And while many eateries serve free food to veterans and current service men and women, Chipotle takes it to another level: Its participating locations also serve military spouses and members of the National Guard and Reserves. This year, Chipotle is offering a Buy One Get One Free offer on Veterans Day (at participating locations only). Make it Easy: Bring Proof of Your Service Like any restaurant or retailer offering an exclusive deal, Chipotle Mexican Grill will want to verify you served (or currently serve) in the military before extending its special offer to you. This verification process tends to be easier at sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s or Buffalo Wild Wings because you can present your credentials to the hosting staff before ordering. At places like Chipotle, where you first encounter a staff member when you order your tacos, burrito, bowl, or salad, you may need to be more proactive about verifying your status as a veteran or service member. Be sure to tell the staff you plan to take advantage of the Veterans Day special. You may also need to remind the staff member running the register in case the message didn’t make its way down the line with your food. Naturally, to prove your status you’ll need to show proof of service in a form such as: Your Military ID card. Your Veterans ID card. Your DD 214. Your State-Issued ID Card or Drivers License if it has a Veteran Service Label Leave and Earnings Statement (LES). Veterans Organization ID Citations or commendations along with a photograph in uniform. Wearing your uniform itself, especially if your name is on it. Having clear, easy-to-verify proof of service lets the staff focus more on getting your meal prepared and less on verifying your status as a veteran. Days and Times for the Offer May Vary Chipotle Mexican Grill tends to share details of its Veterans Day offer around the first of November. Be sure to check the restaurant’s website  to find the location nearest to you and call to check the details before arriving at the restaurant. This is true for any Veterans Day offer but especially important at Chipotle since the restaurant recently shook things up with its annual special. For example, the promotion’s day of availability tends to vary. Rather than honoring veterans on Veterans Day itself, Chipotle may pick a weeknight leading up to the holiday for the promotion. Last year the restaurant honored veterans on Tuesday, Nov. 7, four days before Veterans Day. Once the day has been set you’ll also want to pay attention to the hours of availability. In 2016, the offer was valid from 3 pm until close on the designated day. Last year, veterans could claim the special from 5 pm until close. Make sure you’re arriving on the right day and time. What Does the Veterans Day Deal Include? Once again you’ll want to check the details before arriving since they haven’t been released yet. But based on previous years we’re expecting a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotion  at participating locations on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th. The offer usually includes burritos, bowls, and salads, as well as taco orders. And like many BOGOs, the free entree must cost the same amount or less than the paid entree. So if you order steak tacos for yourself and chicken tacos for your guest, you’ll pay for the steak tacos since they usually cost more. The chicken tacos will be free. The offer usually does not include chips or drinks, all of which will be charged at full price even when they accompany a free entree. Extending and Limiting a BOGO offer As the number of restaurants with Veterans Day promotions has increased, we’ve noticed a trend: Most places allow only veterans and active duty service members to participate in their promotions. This is understandable. After all, we don’t expect restaurants to ignore their key mission: making money for shareholders, owners, investors, and covering costs for food, staff, and equipment. But Chipotle has bucked the trend by extending its offer to members of the Reserves and the National Guard as well as military spouses, all of whom must present valid proof of their status, of course. Like all promotions, however, you should be aware of some limitations: The offer can’t be combined with other coupons or promotions. If you have a 10-percent off coupon or another free burrito coupon, save it for another trip. Only one free menu item will be granted for each verified military veteran, spouse, or active duty service member. To get the free item a customer must first purchase an entree of equal or greater value. It’s a dine-in only offer. While most locations will likely participate, some have the freedom to opt out, so check with your area location before arriving. We said it above but it’s worth stressing again: Find out the day and time of this year’s promotion since it may not be on Veterans Day itself. What to Expect When You Eat at Chipotle Founded in Denver back in 1993, Chipotle recently moved its headquarters to Newport, California. The chain now has more than 2,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. When you walk in you’ll notice a fast-casual approach, usually with clean and simple dining areas and an ordering counter near the back of the store. At the counter, you’ll choose a kind of entree (tacos, burrito, salad, or bowl) then assemble the meal to your liking by choosing meat (ground beef isn’t typically available), beans, sauces, salsas, and other toppings such as Romaine lettuce. At the end of the counter you can add chips, salsas, and drinks, then pay. If you like Mexican or Southwestern flavors, you should enjoy taking Chipotle up on its offer of a buy-one, get-one entree to honor veterans this year. Enjoy Your Military Discounts this Veterans Day Every day, companies provide veterans with military discounts on a range of services and products. Veterans Day provides even more opportunities to save as these companies generously offer gifts and promotions to veterans. Whether you are looking for opportunities to dine out for free , save at your favorite stores with retail discounts , or visit some new attractions or events this November, you can plan a memorable Veterans Day with loved ones and lots of savings.
  • While giving is primarily inspired by our desire to help others, getting a tax break in April is frosting on the cake.
  • In light of recent volatility, we thought it would be wise to remember that, ultimately, corporate profits drive stock prices, and that profit levels currently indicate stocks are trading within their normal historical price range. Check Our Video Blog On Analyzing The Risk Of Stocks After The 6.9% Drop http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • We all hate to lose. Our fear of loss drives too many decisions when it comes to money, and costs us dearly. Check Out This Interview On Mind Over Wealth http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • 10/7/18  Sunday Simplifying Some days are just not good ones to be dealing with personal finances and that is OK. Though I am passionate about financial planning, there are those days when I just dont want to deal with my own finances because other things are going on in my life or I am just [Continue] The post A Week of Thoughts for October 13, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • Im having rebellious thoughts about credit rating agencies. Always one to play earnestly by the rules, I have always checked my credit report once in a while to see if any bad data had crept in. Perhaps someone was claiming to be me and running up debt someplace, right? Gotta keep on that. But over the past [] The post Why check your credit rating? appeared first on Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP® .
  • Not since the 1950s, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said this past week, have inflation AND unemployment remained so low for so long. Check Our Video Blog On Fed Chair - We Remain In Extraordinary Times http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow: Chickens, Spare Change, and Micro Investing. My grandmother had a chipped gravy boat in her kitchen cupboard. My grandparents operated a small farm in South Dakota. My grandfather looked after the cattle, hogs and crops. My grandmother oversaw the chickens, did the books and a million other tasks. She had hundreds of laying hens and once a week the egg truck would come and take most of the eggs. But she held some back to barter with and sell on the side. For years she paid her hairdresser with eggs! Her side egg money and spare change went into the chipped gravy boat. Every time we visited, my sister and I would get the gravy boat and dump it on the shag carpet in the living room. (This was the 70s, shag was all the rage). Wed count the change and roll it. Then wed triumphantly announce the total, something like $23.42. Our grandmother was invariably surprised how much it was. Decades later I am still an avid saver of spare change. (No chickens or eggs for me though, thank you very much). I have a piggy bank at home and one at my office. I still get a thrill out of taking my change to the free-for-members coin counter at the Bridgewater Credit Union in Quincy. But heres the thing. In our modern age, I dont have many cash transactions and therefore not a lot of spare change. Almost all of our (my husband and I) transactions get auto-debited from our checking account or charged on our credit card. I like getting the credit card points (Amazon in our case) and I like seeing documentation of each transaction. This way I know exactly how were spending our money. I pay the credit card in full each month. Recently a new client alerted me to micro investing with Acorns , a nifty way to save and invest your digital spare change. You link a checking account to Acorns. This is your funding source. Then you link one or more credit/debit cards. Every time theres a transaction on a linked card, Acorns rounds up to the next dollar. If you charge $53.74 then 26 cents is the round up. Once the round ups reach $5.00 or more that amount is automatically transferred from your funding source to your Acorns portfolio. Acorns chooses one of five portfolios for you based on a questionnaire or you can choose your own. The portfolios range from Conservative at 20% stocks to Aggressive at 100% stocks. The portfolios are a nicely diversified mix of Vanguard index exchange traded funds. (ETFs) Every dollar is automatically invested in over 7,000 stocks and bonds! The cost for the basic Acorns Core account is $1/month. Its a glorious age we live in when a mere $5 gets you a diversified stake in the wealth creating power of the global capital markets! The site also has good educational articles on basic investing such as this one on the three principles of being a successful investor: Invest early, Invest often, and Stick with it. Acorns is not for everyone. I realize this is not going to make me rich. The amounts are small. But money saved and invested is money that is not spent. For me theres something about scooping up the change that gives me great satisfaction whether its in a shag carpeted living room of the 70s or a digitized space of the 21st century. Happy Saving and Investing! Photo credit
  • The most effective way to achieve what we set out to accomplish is to identify a specific goals and find people who can support us along the way. Check Our Video Blog On Just Do It http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • The most effective way to achieve what we set out to accomplish is to identify a specific goals and find people who can support us along the way. Check Our Video Blog On Just Do It http://masteringyourmoney.com/
  • 9/30/18  Sunday Saving Money For long term gains in controlling spending and increasing my savings, I look at one area at a time.   Working successfully on just one area leads to a snowball effect of change.   For example, my son wants to cut back on after school activities to increase his weekly downtime.   [Continue] The post A Week of Thoughts-October 6, 2018 appeared first on Essential Financial Strategies .
  • With the fall semester underway, most college-bound seniors are enjoying their last year of free education. Parents know too well that big costs loom. In my experience, people in their 30s and 40s worry more about paying for kids college