Love and War: Financial Basics for Families Facing Deployment

Leaving home for an extended period of time can leave a family’s finances in limbo, especially when the extended stay from home is sudden or lasts for an indefinite length of time. The U.S. troops and contractors serving overseas face this scenario more often than not. And while the government and auxiliary organizations have stepped up their work to support the men and women armed forces pre- and post-deployment, here are a few tips to make sure that veterans have their finances in shape when they return:

1. Communicate: Loved ones and/or an appointed trusted friend should know where all of your financial accounts are located and how to access them. Compile a list of your account names, passwords, and points of contact. Make one list and give it to one person (spouse, partner or confidante).

2. Insure and Protect: Service members qualify for life insurance through Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI), but it never hurts to find supplemental insurance for family members. Also, spouses should consider obtaining power of attorney during the time the service member is deployed.

3. Look into DOD Savings: The Department of Defense has a Savings Deposit Program that allows deployed military members to contribute $10,000 to the account and earn 10 percent for up to 90 days after returning from deployment. Those who make contributions made while deployed in a designated combat zone are completely tax-free.

Head to USAA for more tips on how to successfully leave for a while and still maintain financial stability.