Financial Counseling

Financial Counseling refers to the services provided to help an individual or family organize their finances, avoid long term debt, and/or recover from long term debt. Financial counselors help people learn to manage their own financial resources. As a process, financial counseling involves at least two people; the person who counsels, and the person or persons being counseled. Financial counseling usually extends over a period of time, since most true change does not take place immediately. Ultimately all decisions are left to the person being counseled. Financial counseling involves reorganizing financial management attitudes and practices so assets can be found for financial planning purposes. Financial counseling may be needed before financial planning can take place. Financial counseling typically involves financial problem solving, setting immediate and long-range goals, cash flow budgeting, record keeping, and perhaps debt restructuring through negotiation with creditors.


An IRA (Individual Retirement Account) can be thought of as an individual savings account that has tax benefits. You open an IRA for yourself (that’s why it’s called an individual retirement account) and if you have a spouse, you’ll each have a separate account. An important distinction to make is that an IRA is not an investment itself; rather, it is an account where you keep investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. You get to choose the investments in the account, and can change the investments if you wish. Your return depends on the performance of the investments held in the IRA account. An IRA continues to accumulate contributions and interest until you reach retirement age, meaning you could have an IRA for decades before making any withdrawals.

Can withdrawals from retirement accounts affect which tax bracket you fall in? Whether income from retirement account withdrawals can push you into a higher tax bracket depends entirely on the type of account. Any income you earn after retirement from part-time employment or rental properties is still fully taxable at your normal income tax rate. However, if the bulk of your income comes from retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) or IRA accounts, your tax bracket may be lower than you think.

Of those countries considered friendly to the United States, the Philippines has one of the lowest standards of living and an easy, inexpensive path to retirement residency. The Philippines is also one of the few countries where an expatriate retiree is allowed to work or start a business once granted residency. You can use health cards issued from foreign countries at Philippines hospitals. You are exempt from income taxes on annuities and pensions, and you have unrestricted travel to and from the country.

Yes, you can contribute to both a Roth IRA and an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k), SEP or SIMPLE IRA. However, each type of retirement account has annual contribution limits. For a Roth IRA, the maximum annual contribution for 2016 is $5,500 (or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or, if you earned less than that, the limit is your total taxable compensation for the year. You can contribute to a Roth at any age, even past retirement age, as long as you’re still earning taxable income. A working spouse can also contribute to a Roth IRA on behalf of a nonworking spouse. For a 401(k), the 2016 contribution limit is $18,000, unless you’re 50 or older, in which case the limit is $24,000.

Elderly recipients of Social Security benefits are a highly targeted group for online con artists. Some scams operate over the phone, typically through callers impersonating Social Security Administration (SSA) employees who solicit personal information from senior citizens. Other scams originate online using email or online forms which request personal information by preying on the victim’s limited understanding of online technology.

While the names are very similar and they have similar purposes, there are a few marked differences between Social Security Disability and Social Security Income. Some of these differences include qualification guidelines, program financing, Social Security benefits income amount and medical coverage.

  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • Family
  • Survivors

On August 14, 1935, U.S. President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act, a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers a continuing income. Over the years, Social Security has evolved to pay four different types of benefits:

There are numerous theories that speak to the best method to save for retirement – a traditional asset allocation based time frame, inclusion of alternative asset classes to achieve broader reach and the consideration of dividends as a means to hedge against market risks. Here, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing dividends when saving for retirement.

• Social Security spousal benefits are partial retirement or disability benefits granted to the spouses of qualifying taxpayers.
• Qualifying for Spousal Benefits
• To qualify for either type of spousal benefit, you must be at least 62 years old or caring for a child of the primary beneficiary. This exception only applies to spouses caring for children who are under the age of 16 or disabled.
• Disability Benefits
• In addition to the above work requirement, your spouse must also have a qualifying disease or disability and be actively collecting for you to qualify for spousal disability benefits.

A travel rewards credit card may be worth it, depending on how frequently you travel, whether you can afford to charge the amount required on the card to qualify for rewards and whether you can pay off the card balance on a monthly basis. Travel rewards cards typically benefit people who travel a lot, for work or recreation, and can afford to charge the high amounts on the credit card required to earn significant numbers of points or miles. You can also compare bonus incentives to determine whether travel rewards credit cards are worth it.

Each service branch has emergency financial assistance organizations to help Active and Retired members in need

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)
Providing Sailors and Marines with the resources and support they need, such as: Emergency Travel, Budgets for Babies, and Quick Assist Loans.

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS)
Support made possible through contributions from fellow Airmen and friends of Airmen, featuring: Emergency Assistance, Education Support, and Community Programs.

Army Emergency Relief (AER)
Interest Free Loans, Grants, and Scholarships for Army Soldiers, Retirees, and their Families.

Additional Financial Resources:

Military OneSource
Military OneSource provides many free financial and tax services, including consultations and online tax preparation and filing.

Thrift Savings Plan
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve.