My Money & Memorial Day?

In preparation for Memorial Day, Bob (retired Marine & first guest on the WealthSaver Podcast) wrote this monthly newsletter for his Active Duty Service Members he serves at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Due to the value and heartfelt message we wanted to share to you as well as a WealthSaver™ so that you can take proactive measures with your finances. Terms in < > are for his service members that serve as Command Financial Specialist- you can disregard them.

I was looking over the various holidays, celebrations and topics highlighted during May and a few days captivated my thoughts. I couldn’t shake them, despite trying to think of a way to mix in other celebrations. As someone who can admit I have NEVER watched an entire Star Wars anything, May the Fourth be with you!

Hopefully you will get a good night’s sleep while enjoying your Star War’s movie marathon, because Cinco De Mayo is a national holiday (since 2005).

Two days in May are of significance to me however. The first is Mother’s Day. The other is Memorial Day. To be clear, Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor those who lost their lives on active duty.

Over the years, now decades, I have had the honor and privilege to work with surviving spouses and families of the fallen. Though each family was different, I did see many similarities. Some were just a few conversations, others I became friends with to this date. One family that shook me to my core was at Camp Lejeune. I ended up renting one of my houses to them, for what my property taxes and insurance cost me each month (house had no mortgage).Side note: she lived in my house for 6 years, raising her 2 kids, working part time, going to school to earn her BSN and now a thriving young adult (to me) giving back, with both children in college.

As a WealthSaver™, <CFS> I am asking each of you after reading this, to pause and reflect, take a moment of silence and ask yourself “What can I do to be PROACTIVE in working with my loved ones <service members>”.

Start with the person looking back at you as you look in the mirror. In preparation for Memorial Day, it is a great time for pause, reflection and preparation. Here are a few areas to reflect on.

• Who is my investment/brokerage accounts <TSP> primary and contingent beneficiary?
 
• Who is my Life Insurance <SGLI> primary and contingent beneficiary?
 
• Do you understand the impact of listing your under age children as beneficiaries?
 
• Do you have a special needs child and if so, do you understand the consequences of not having a special needs trust either in place or provisions established to have one at your death?
 
• Do you and your spouse have key estate planning documents: will, living will, durable and medical power of attorney? Who is the beneficiary of your checking and savings account?  What happens at your death?
 
• Do you have a binder or folder labeled something like “Grab and Go” or “Bob’s dead now what?” If someone had to come to your home to fill in for you how would they know if your child had any food allergies or any other quirks-needs bedroom door left open, night light on, use certain detergent only.
 
One a lighter note, when was the last time your reviewed your auto and homeowners/renters insurance policy? It might also be a good time to review, shop around for your cell phone, cable, internet and streaming platform providers.

Once you answer these questions with the man in the mirror, think about how you could work with your your loved ones <Marines and Sailors in a classroom setting and/or one on one>. Talking with your loved ones <Marines> about their spending habits, their spending plans is hard enough, talking about their death is a whole other level, but we need to be PROACTIVE in this conversation.

Memorial Day has taken on many symbols- sales, a long weekend, beginning of summer, pools opening to name a few. As a WealthSaver™ <active duty service member> I ask you to reflect on the observance of Memorial Day, think about the impact on Mother’s Day and May the force be with you!

Contact Bob at [email protected] and listen to his WealthSaver Podcast episode Proven Methods here 

 

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