ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family - We Are The Mighty
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ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

How to use your Veteran Benefits to Help Achieve Financial Independence

Can you, as a veteran, hack military benefits to financial freedom?  Yes.  The average American household spends $5,000/month.  Let’s imagine that this represents you.  If you succeed in stacking your benefits as monthly passive income to outweigh $5K/month, then you win in hacking your way to financial freedom.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

You can win freedom by increasing money flowing in or reducing the money flowing out.  I prefer to focus on income, to think offensively, vs. the defensive approach of aggressive saving and living frugally.  Your expenses can shrink to the floor, but your income has no ceiling.  And as we say in the military, the defense sets up the offense.  The offense remains decisive.

As a veteran, there exist at least four significant sources of passive income that you should hack:  retirement, VADC, SSDI, and VR&E.  You also have at least two state-level benefits on which to give serious thought:  zero property tax, and free college for your dependents.

For illustration, let’s say that you’re an Army Captain (O-3E) retiring at 20 years in 2020.  Let’s also say that you fall under the High-3 pension, with two dependent children, and have a good chance at VA 100.  And yes, presume $5,000/month in expenses.  Sneak peek.  That means $3,700/month (pension), $3,300/month (VA 100), $2,800/month (SSDI), and maybe $1,500/month (VR&E housing stipend).  That adds up to $11,300/month, best-case scenario.

Veteran Retirement and Pension


Retirement qualifies you for a pension.  There exist four pension types:  Final Pay, High-3, CSB/REDUX, and BRS.  The math goes as follows, monthly pension = (retired base pay) x (multiplier) x (years of service).  At present, you can’t choose.  It’s a moot issue.  You have what you have, and that got determined by when you entered.  In our example, the High-3 applies to you.  It calculates as follows, $3,700 = (approx. $7,400) x (2.5%) x (20 years).

There exist five types of retirement:

  • Regular.  Completed 20 years of active service.  You can begin active duty as early as age 17 and retire at 37.  Some do.
  • Reserve.  Reservist with 20 years of service who has reached age 60.  Sometimes called a non-regular retirement.  Ready Reserve recalled to active duty or in response to a national emergency, shall have the age 60 requirement reduced by 3 months for each cumulative period of 90 days (3 months) so performed in any fiscal year after 28 Jan. 2008.
  • TERA.  Temporary Early Retirement Authority.  At least 15, but less than 20 years of active service between 2012 and 2025.  Program expected to end 31 Dec. 2025.  Future use of TERA will require approval by Congress.  Specific eligibility criteria for TERA depends on the service branch.  The Army has in place a limited use of TERA, enough to conclude that it’s not an option.
  • TDRL.  Temporary Disability Retirement List.  Temporary disability rating, placed on retirement rolls by member’s branch of service (max of 5 years) before returning to duty, separating, or proceeding onto PDRL.  Results from a med board.  This results in a military pension.  This retirement check comes from the DOD and not the VA.
  • PDRL.  Permanent Disability Retirement List.  Placed on the retirement rolls by member’s branch of service.

All of the above will result in a pension.  The math will differ for each.  We’ll continue with our High-3 and regular retirement example.  But I’m guessing that you’ll want an idea of how to retire as soon as possible, and with the highest return you can get.  Keep reading.

Regular, reserve, and TERA allow with reasonable certainty for Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP).  That means both the pension plus VADC.  CRDP requires retirement under the first three, as well as a ≥50% VA disability rating.  In our example, that means $3,700/month plus $3,300/month (VA 100), or $7,000/month so far and well over the average in household expenses.

Otherwise, the only way to get both, concurrently, is through Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC).  The criteria:

  • Entitled to or receiving retired military pay
  • Rated at least 10% by VA and combat-related
  • Have waived VA pay from retired pay (the VA waiver or offset) (it’s a bit complicated)
  • Can present documentation for the event resulting in the condition

Notice that CRSC can occur before 15 or 20 years, and pay the pension plus VADC.  The math will adjust accordingly.  To keep this article from getting too long, I won’t go over it here.  Know that less time in service or a lower disability rating means a smaller compensation amount.  Also note that yes, with CRSC, you can stack both the pension and VADC, and well before 15 or 20 years.  Such a case would most likely look like TDRL/PDRL plus CRSC.

By the way, combat-related need not refer to actual combat.  Combat-related may mean training that simulates war, e.g., exercises or field training.  It could mean hazardous duty, such as dive, flight, parachute.  Or come from an instrumentality, such as combat vehicles or weapons.  In 2011, as a Second Lieutenant (O-1E) at Fort Lee, a Private negligently discharged her rifle during a range and almost shot my foot.  If she had shot my foot, that would’ve counted as combat-related.

VA Disability Compensation (VADC)


Here’s the big one.  A high enough VADC rating can lead to SSDI, VR&E, zero property tax, free college for dependent children, student loan forgiveness, and more.  The goal here is not to be disabled but to obtain disability compensation.  And winning compensation is probably much easier than you think.  There’s no lying or cheating required or encouraged – only diligence.  We’ll go over ways to give your claim the best chance possible.

Keep this framework in mind:  How much is it?  How long will it take?  Claims, conditions, criteria, and appeals?  Anything quirky?  Where can I get help?

How much is it?  The amount will depend on the VA’s final composite rating and the number of dependents.  The higher the composite and the more dependents, the higher the amount.  In our example, a 100% VADC (or VA 100) with two dependent children would pay $3,300/month, non-taxable.

The final or composite score consists of adding up the ratings of each separate disability.  Two disabilities, each rated at 50, do not add up to 100.  The VA uses a unique table.  If you search Google for a VA disability calculator, try punching in 10 different disabilities.  With 10 disabilities, you’ll need to score the following individual ratings at the least for VA 100:  70, 40, 40, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10.  Notice that using lay math, these individual ratings add to 220.  The rule of thumb is to shoot for 250+ points to reach VA 100.

How long will it take?  Six months to a year or more.  Anecdotal evidence from my friends who’ve reached VA 100 tell me about two years.  You can begin your claim at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/login, six months from separating or retiring, or upon referral to a medical board.  Fill out the VA Form 21-526EZ.  If you’ve been referred to a medical evaluation board (MEB), your claim will happen as part of the IDES (Integrated Disability Evaluations System) process.

Claims.   Two types, standard and a Fully Developed Claim (FDC).  File an FDC.  The standard claim relies on the VA to obtain your medical information.  The FDC lets you take charge.  It means more work for you, but you don’t want to leave this up to the VA.

When filing your FDC, look for a form to attach to it called a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ).  DBQ refers to a category of standardized forms for specific disabilities.  The VA has created over 70 DBQs, one per disability.  For example, if you intend to file a claim for scars or disfigurement, the DBQ for that is Form 21-0960F-1 (scars/disfigurement).  Check if the disability you intend to claim already comes with a corresponding DBQ.  If not, no worries.  Continue mission.

Conditions.  Two types, primary and secondary.  Primary disabilities refer to those which military service caused or aggravated (made worse).  Notice the part about the military having made worse the condition.  Even if pre-existing, it suffices VADC that military service has exacerbated it.  Primary conditions represent the category that most of us know, and on which we spend most of our efforts trying to win.

There also exist secondary disabilities.  Whereas primary refers to a direct service-connected condition, secondary refers to indirect.  Secondary connects to primary.  These seem easier to win.  Whether they are, know that they represent one more way to increase odds of VA 100.  Some of the more common reasons connecting secondary to primary include behavioral health, illness, medication side effects, and overcompensation.  Also, note that the connecting primary may suffice at a non-compensable rating of 0%.

Yes, 0%.  0% compensation for a primary condition still means service connection, although non-compensable.  You may still use it to achieve compensation for a secondary.  One more time, realize that a 0% rating on a primary can still service-connect to a 100% rating on a secondary.  Makes sense?  It doesn’t matter.  One more way to stack the odds and the benefits in your favor.

Criteria.  For the VA rater to decide, you must connect at least three records:

  • What · your present impairment limits your earning capacity
  • When · you experienced an illness/injury while serving active duty
  • Nexus · that illness/injury caused/aggravated the present impairment (service connection)

Something happened on active duty.  That something, or set of somethings, produced or made worse your present medical condition.  You indeed have a medical condition that limits your earning capacity.  Get straight to the point.  Give the rater these records and nothing more.  If you lack one of these records or clog his inbox, it makes work difficult for him and unlikely for you to win.

The medical nexus letter will look like a memo for the record (MFR).  It should contain four parts:

  • Records review.  The medical professional writing the letter must state that he has looked at your relevant medical records.
  • Medical opinion.  The opinion, which must at minimum say, at least as likely as not (the 50% probability evidence standard).  Equipoise.
  • Medical research.  Reason and evidence to support the opinion.
  • Credentials.  The examiner states his relevant credentials.  An eye doctor probably knows more about feet than a VA rater.  But when it comes to your foot problem, the VA doesn’t want your eye doctor’s opinion.

For each disability you claim, you should also fill out a VA Form 21-4138 (statement in support of a claim).  Tell your story.  Say what the condition is.  Identify what it resulted from, the symptoms, and the severity of those symptoms.  Describe the degree to which it has limited your life.

If the claim requires lay evidence, ask someone relevant to your case to fill out a VA Form 21-4138.  When filled out as lay evidence, it now becomes a buddy letter.  In his letter, he should state how well he knew you during the qualifying incident, and then what he observed about you.

Along the way, the VA may ask you to undergo a C&P (compensation and pension) exam.  It’s a medical review with a VA doctor.  It could be a few questions or a comprehensive physical exam.  Be honest, of course, but do not be on your best day either.  The C&P examiner aims to disqualify you.  Furthermore, carry with you the attitude that you gave military life your best effort.  If he sniffs you out as lazy or looking to milk the system, he’ll decide accordingly.

Even if he does decide against you, you may still get a second opinion from an approved examiner of your choice.  Notice the word equipoise above.  Given a 50% probability, such as when the C&P says no, but your doctor says yes, the benefit of the doubt goes to you.

Appeals.  Yes, you can appeal.  Search for VA Form 20-0998 (your rights to seek further review of our decision).  It outlines four review options:  supplemental claim, higher-level review (HLR), appeal to the board, and a U.S. District Court complaint.  File a supplemental claim given new and relevant evidence.  File an HLR when you have no new evidence.  These first two, especially HLR, appear to result in more success than the last two and happen much quicker.  The last two take years.  The VA Form 20-0998 gives instructions on how to file for review.  More ways to win.  Keep at it.

Quirky things.  We’ll discuss SMC (special monthly compensation) another time.  Know that there exist four types of VA 100:  temporary, schedular, TDIU, and P&T.  Temporary means you’re incapacitated or suffering a severe condition.  If schedular, you reached about 250 lay points.  TDIU pays the equivalent of VA 100 if the member rates at least VA 60 or 70 and cannot obtain substantially gainful employment.  Permanent and Total (P&T) provides the least likely chance of reduction later.  You want P&T.  If you’ve reached VA 100 the other ways, you may write to your local VA Regional Office to request P&T.

Recap.  Stack the odds in your favor.  Use FDCs and DBQs.  File for both primary and secondary disabilities, and claim as many as reasonable.  Shoot for 250+ lay points.  Add buddy letters.  Present the rater with what he needs, and nothing more.  Realize TDIU could shortcut to VA 100.  And use supplemental claims and HLRs.

Get help.  Check out www.VAClaimsInsider.com.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)


Yes, the SSA computers talk to the VA computers.  But eligibility with one doesn’t automatically translate into the other.  Check out www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

VADC covers a veteran for loss of earning capacity because of a service-connected medical condition.  SSDI compensates the applicant for the loss of the ability to do substantially gainful work because of a medical condition.  For SSDI, the condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least a year or to result in death.

How much is it?  For our notional Captain (O-3E) with 20 years of work credits, that’s $2,000/month plus $400/month each for two dependent children, or $2,800/month.

How long will it take?  Expect about six months to get a response from the SSA, and a mandatory five-month wait if approved.  Oh, and the five-month wait comes with no back pay.

Claims, conditions, and criteria.  First, you need to meet the non-medical requirements:  sufficient work credits, below retirement age, residency, and not working or earning too much.  As a veteran, you likely already meet all of those.  Then, the SSA asks five questions when evaluating SSDI:

  • Do you work too much or make too much money?
  • Is your medical condition severe?  Will it last at least 12 months?
  • Does the condition meet or exceed a listing?  A listing is a condition found on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments.  It outlines the SSA’s established set of medical conditions determined severe enough to prevent one from performing any gainful activity.
  • Can the applicant perform past relevant work?
  • Can the applicant retrain for new work?

Income, condition, listing, past work, and retraining.  To award SSDI, the applicant must reasonably answer, respectively:  no, yes, yes if so, no, no.  But the gist of it is that the condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least a year or to result in death.

Appeals.  Yes, you can.  Your denial letter should explain.  You typically receive only 60 days from the date of the denial letter to appeal.  If you miss the deadline, you may have to start from the beginning.  Recommend that you seek help by this point.

Quirks.  Instead of applying online or in person, call the SSA at (800) 772-1213.  One book on Social Security puts the burden back onto the SSA when it comes to form-filling and the nuisances of interpreting the forms.  The SSA would know best anyway on how to fill out its own forms.  If you don’t finish it all in one day, the SSA will schedule another phone call to work around your schedule.

You can get SSDI while still serving on active duty.  In what scenario?  Assignment to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU).  Not easy, but not impossible.

Get help.  Check out Side by Side Solutions, LLC, https://www.facebook.com/sbssolutions, founded by Lisa Hiering, mother of a disabled Marine.

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E)


VR&E intends to help a veteran fix his vocational impairment or employment handicap, resulting from a service-connected disability.  It consists of five tracks.  I’ll just cut to the chase.

How much is it?  Track 4 (employment through long-term services) can work just like the Post-9/11 GI Bill and pay a monthly housing stipend, or subsistence within the VR&E language.  Think of it as BAH.  It depends on the school and on attendance, but we could reasonably estimate around $1,500/month.

There’s also a Track 3 (self-employment) that could pay up to $100K towards business startup costs.  Yes, up to $100K, to you.  You can ride Track 4 up through a doctorate and then get $100K through Track 3 to start your practice.

How long will it take?  Expect about a month to get a meeting with a Voc. Rehab. Counselor (VRC), then another two months to get a decision.

Claims, conditions, criteria.  Fill out a VA Form 28-1900 at www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/login.  The VA will also ask you to fill out an Individualized Employment Assistance Plan (IEAP), in which you outline exactly what it’ll take to help you.  You’ll need at least a VA 20 rating, or VA 10 for a serious employment handicap.

There’s a 1,200-page manual called the M28R that the VRC uses to do his job. If you’re wondering what questions he’s trying to answer, then check out Part IV, Section B, Chapter 2 (evaluation and planning determinations).

Appeals.  Can you?  Yes.

Quirks.  The C in VRC may stand for counselor, but you should treat him like the C&P examiner.  Think of him more as an interviewer.

Get help.  Check out attorney Benjamin Krause at www.DisabledVeterans.org.

Zero Property Tax · State-Level


Some states, like Texas or Florida, provide zero property tax for disabled veterans.  Also called a homestead exemption.  Typically for VA 100.  Rules vary by state.  For a quick list of states that offer this, check out https://hadit.com/disabled-veterans-property-tax-exemptions-state/.

For a summary of all benefits by state, check out https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil.  It’s an Army website that summarizes veteran benefits applicable to all service members.

Free College for Dependents · State-Level


Florida and Texas also offer free college tuition in-state up through a BA/BS for the dependents of a disabled veteran.  Typically for VA 100, but a lower rating might suffice.  Varies by state.  Check out https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/scholarships-for-veterans-and-dependents/.

Although not direct cash, that’s still a BA/BS degree that would’ve cost $40K at a public four-year college (in-state student), $90K public four-year (out-of-state), or about $180K private.

Bonus · Four More Financial Freedom Hacks!

House Hack · VA Home Loan Guaranty


Use the VA home loan guaranty to get zero down on a residential property.  This hack lets you obtain up to a four-plex.  You could reside in one unit and rent out the other three.  In the unit you live, you could further hack that with roommates or Airbnb.  Eventually, you could refinance to then re-use the VA home loan guaranty and obtain yet another multi-family.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

Credit Card Hack · SCRA (Title 50 USC Chapter 50)


Credit cards typically come with a low introductory rate (anywhere from 0% APR to a little more) before becoming about 20%+ APR.  However, if you serve on active duty or if the military called you onto active duty, among other benefits, the SCRA provides a cap at 6% APR and a waiver of service and renewal fees.

By the way, Chase gives me 0% APR as part of its SCRA benefit.  If your side hustle consists of e-commerce, use this credit card hack to boost your margins from arbitraging goods.  How often do the credit card companies check?  About once a year, otherwise, they use your anticipated (hint, self-reported) end date.  Self-reporting applies to those with indefinite contracts.  If this is you, I’m sure you can see how you could self-report an end date far into the future.

Student Loan Hack

 https://DisabilityDischarge.com


On 21 Aug. 2019, President Trump signed a memo to cancel student loan debt for disabled veterans.  To qualify, you’ll need to have either reached VA 100 or have been approved for SSDI.  See https://disabilitydischarge.com for details.

Time Hack · Army Career Skills Program

 www.DODSkillBridge.com


The Army’s Career Skills Program (CSP) allows a Soldier to spend the last six months of active duty interning with a school or employer.  While on CSP, the Soldier still gets paid as if on active duty but instead reports elsewhere.  I’ve seen this flow as smoothly as a one-page form signed by an OIC.  Are you separating or retiring?  Do you have a friend who also happens to have her own business?  It’s like shaving six months off your contract.

This article originally appeared on Active Duty Passive Income. Follow them on Facebook.

Articles

There’s no business like the arms business — here’s how defense giants are doing

Nobody spends money on arms like the US of A.


Starting with a base of $534 billion in discretionary funding, coupled with another $51 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations funding (aka the “war budget”), the Pentagon’s spending power comes to a grand total of $585 billion.

Defense industry giants, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon posted second-quarter earnings on Wednesday (Lockheed Martin earnings released last week).

Here’s a look at how they did…

Boeing

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
Boeing KC-46 Tanker program first test aircraft (EMD1) flies with an aerial refueling boom installed on its fifth flight. | Boeing

Boeing, the world’s largest plane maker, reported a smaller-than-expected second Q2 loss on Wednesday. The company’s first quarterly net loss in nearly seven years amounted to $234 million.

Boeing’s KC-46 tanker program for the US Air Force is delayed from August 2017 until January 2018 due to test flight problems. Modifications to the aircraft are expected to cost Boeing an additional $393 million (after taxes).

What’s more, Boeing could end production of its most iconic aircraft.

“If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747,” Boeing said in its filing on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Boeing won a US Air Force contract worth $25.8 million to start work on the next fleet of Air Force One aircraft.

The aging Air Force One and it’s twin decoy will be replaced with two Boeing  747-8 and are expected to be operational in 2020.

Up to Wednesday’s close of $135.96, the company’s shares had fallen about 6% since the start of the year.

Highlights from Boeing’s quarterly earnings report:

•Operating cash flow of $1.2 billion (with 28.6 million shares repurchased for $3.5 billion)

•Cash flow of $3.2 billion, (down 2% from 2015)

•Core earnings per share loss of $0.44

•Revenue rose 1% to $24.8 billion (from earlier estimate of $24.5 billion)

• Demand still high with more than 5,700 commercial plane orders still in the works

Reuters contributed to this report.

General Dynamics

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
The littoral combat ship USS Independence operates off the Hawaiian Islands during exercise RIMPAC 2014. | General Dynamics

General Dynamics began their earnings conference call on Wednesday highlighting their “very good second quarter.”

The Falls Church, Virginia-based company announced $7.6 billion in Q2 revenue and achieved $758 million in net earnings.

General Dynamics recognized their aerospace unit (with a revenue of $2.13 billion) and maritime division.

At the end of June 2016, the defense giants’ National Steel and Shipbuilding division won a $640 million Pentagon contract to construct a T-AO 205 Class Fleet Replenishment Oiler. The contract could be worth up to $3.16 billion if the Pentagon decides to buy an additional five ships.

In March, the US Navy announced that General Dynamics will be the prime contractor for development of 12 new submarines.

Shares rose less than 1% to $145.09 in the afternoon and since the beginning of this year, the company’s stock has climbed 5.2%.

Highlights from General Dynamics’ quarterly earnings report:

•Revenue fell to $7.67 billion (down by $217 million from the Q2 2015)

•Raised 2016’s full-year earnings forecast to $9.70 per share (from $9.20, analysts’ expect $9.52)

•Profit margins could be as high as 13.8% (up from January 2016 estimate of 13.3%)

Reuters contributed to this report.

Lockheed Martin

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
Behold, the F-35. | Lockheed Martin

While the F-35 Lightning II continues its turbulent march to combat readiness, the jet’s manufacturer posted better than expected quarterly revenue earnings last week.

Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s top weapons supplier, also lifted its 2016 revenue and profit forecasts for a second time — despite significant snags in developing America’s most expensive arms program.

Considered a bellwether for the US defense sector, Lockheed Martin’s stock also posted  a record high of $261.37 in early trading on July 19. What’s more, the world’s largest defense contractor’s shares were already up approximately 18% this year.

“(The) consensus expectations are finally positive for the F-35 and for improvement in the defense budget, which has led to a higher valuation,” Bernstein analyst Douglas Harned wrote in a note, according to Reuters.

The now nearly $400 billion F-35 weapons program was developed in 2001 to replace the US military’s F-15, F-16, and F-18 aircraft.

Read more about the F-35 »

According to Lockheed Martin, sales in its aeronautics business, the company’s largest, rose 6% in the past three months due to delivery of 14 F-35s.

The company has said it plans to deliver 53 F-35 jets in 2016, up from 45 a year earlier.

Highlights from Lockheed Martin’s quarterly earnings report:

• Net sales rose to $12.91 billion (from $11.64 billion in Q2 2015)

•Net income rose to $1.02 billion (or $3.32 per share), which is up from $929 million (or $2.94 per share) in Q2 2015

•Generated $1.5 billion in cash from operations

•Raised 2016’s profit forecast to $12.15–$12.45 per share (from $11.50-$11.80)

•Raised 2016’s full-year sales of $50.0 billion-$51.5 billion (from earlier estimate of $49.6 billion-$51.1 billion)

Reuters contributed to this report.

Northrop Grumman

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
Northrop Grumman/EADS Euro Hawk rollout on October 8, 2009 at Palmdale, CA, USA. | Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman’s earnings report showed sales reaching $6 billion with the company’s aerospace unit seeing a 4% increase in sales due to higher demand for drones and manned aircraft.

“Autonomous Systems sales rose due to higher volume on the Global Hawk and Triton programs, partially offset by lower volume due to the ramp down on the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance program,” the company said in a statement.

“Manned Aircraft sales rose due to higher restricted volume and higher F-35 deliveries, partially offset by fewer F/A-18 deliveries and lower volume on the B-2 program.”

It should be noted that Lockheed Martin, is the prime contractor for the F-35 Lightning II, however, Northrop Grumman develops the fifth-generation fighter jets’ center fuselage, radar and avionics suite.

Northrop is also a subcontractor to Boeing on the F/A-18 Hornet.

Highlights from Northrop Grumman’s quarterly earnings report:

•Sales increase by 2% to $6 billion (compared to $5.9 billion in Q2 of 2015)

•Earning per share increase by 4% to $2.85

•Earning per share guidance increase to $10.75 to $11.00

•Cash from operations of $604 million

Raytheon

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
A Patriot Air and Missile Defense launcher fires an interceptor during a previous test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The latest configuration of the system, called PDB-8, has passed four flight tests and is now with the U.S. Army for a final evaluation. | Raytheon

Raytheon, the world’s largest missile manufacturer, announced $6 billion in net sales for Q2 2016, which is up 3% compared to $5.8 billion in the second quarter 2015.

Earnings per share was $2.38 compared to $1.65, this time last year.

“We begin the second half of 2016 with continued confidence in our growth outlook, and we have increased our guidance for earnings and cash flow as a result of our strong year-to-date performance,” CEO and Chairman Thomas A. Kennedy said in a statement.

Highlights from Raytheon’s quarterly earnings report:

•Sales increase by 3% to $6 billion (compared to $5.8 billion in Q2 2015)

•Increase in operating cash flow to $746 million (compared to $376 million in Q2 2015)

•Backlog and funded backlog at the end of the Q2 2016 was $35.3 billion and $26.1 billion, respectively.

MIGHTY MILSPOUSE

Warrior Rising helps vetrepreneurs build sustainable businesses

Almost every military career ends with the service member making a decision: find a job or start a business. For those in the National Guard or reserves, this choice parallels time in uniform.

Veterans who choose the path of entrepreneurship have an added resource to lean on. Jason Van Camp founded Warrior Rising — a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans and their immediate family members start their own businesses.


“When you were getting out of the military you had a question, and that question was ‘now what? What am I going to do with myself?'” Van Camp said. “You probably thought to yourself ‘you know I could just sit back and collect my retirement or I could get a job or I could start a business.”

Starting a business after leaving the military is a journey Van Camp knows well. The former green beret left the Army after a seizure disorder forced him to medically retire. He founded Mission 6 Zero, a leadership development firm with high-profile clients including the NFL and Major League Baseball.

Warrior Rising was launched to help other veterans make the transition to business ownership. The resources provided by the organization are free to veterans and their immediate family members. It is funded by donations with 82.4% of every dollar going to veterans. The rest, Van Camp said, goes to overhead. He added that initially, 100% of donations went to veterans, but the company grew too large and he had to hire paid staff to keep up with demand.

In the five years since its founding, Warrior Rising has grown exponentially. In 2015 the company helped six veterans establish businesses. Last year the number was 1,016. This year, Van Camp said, Warrior Rising on pace to help 1,500 veterans start new businesses with about 40 signing up every two weeks.

Despite frequently saying during an online interview that “business is hard,” Van Camp said Warrior Rising already has some success stories.

Firebrand Flag Company, for example, recently sold out on a limited run of fireproof American flags.

“They’re ramping up business right now and I have no doubt this is going to be a multi-million-dollar company,” Van Camp said.

People interested in using Warrior Rising’s free services should first go to the organization’s website to sign up. Van Camp said an intake specialist will call the applicant within 48 hours.

“So, you have an intimate one-on-one conversation with someone about your business idea, what you’re trying to accomplish, why you’re trying to do it. Is it a good idea? Do you have the money for this? Does your spouse support you?” Van Camp said. “Questions about the actual journey you’re about to embark on.”

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

From there, applicants are sent to Warrior Rising’s education platform, Warrior Academy – online training that translates a military operations order into a business model. Van Camp said the training is designed to be difficult to prepare would-be entrepreneurs for the realities of owning a business.

“You can’t start out with 0,000 salary. That’s not how it works in business,” he said. “You’re going to have to grind and go without pay and suffer for a while before you start seeing revenue — before you start seeing everything start to pay off and you see a return on investment.”

After the training is complete, applicants are paired with mentors who are successful in the industry the veteran hopes to succeed in. Van Camp said the mentors are usually, but not always veterans.

Eventually, after the veteran has met all of the requirements, they can ask Warrior Rising for financial assistance and the organization will assist them in finding investors, loans or grants.

But that’s not the end of a veteran entrepreneur’s journey with Warrior Rising.

“What I realized is it wasn’t just about starting a business and finding your purpose through business ownership, it was also about creating a community and joining a community and joining a tribe of people that can support you and you can feel comfortable with like you’re part of the family with,” Van Camp said. “We have platoons all over the country.”

In the past, the organization hosted numerous in-person events, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced Warrior Rising to turn to online venues for events.

Van Camp described coronavirus as a game changer in many ways for those hoping to start businesses. First, he said, more people are applying for Warrior Rising’s assistance.

“It’s been even more prevalent because of COVID,” he said. “Because people are at home looking for that next step because they ask the question ‘now what’ and they come to Warrior Rising for help.”

He said the pandemic will continue to affect the business world for the foreseeable future. He said trucking and logistics, online services and recreational vehicle sales businesses are doing well. His outlook is equally optimistic for credit card processing companies, home security and solar sales.

The outlook is less rosy for commercial real estate.

“Clients of mine that have office space, they’re realizing right now that they don’t need office space. They can work from home,” Van Camp said. “They’re putting as much product out the door as they did before. Private equity firms, venture capitalist firms, the companies that basically control their finances are going to say ‘listen, anything that doesn’t affect the bottom line, get rid of’. They’re going say ‘we don’t need office space. We don’t need to pay rent.’ Coronavirus is going to change the game.”

Van Camp said it’s hard to predict what kind of businesses will be successful. The deciding factor usually has more to do with the would-be entrepreneur than the business itself. Even those with ideas others think are bad might succeed if they’re tenacious and adaptable, he added.

“We try to make it difficult for them and if they continue to try to move forward and if they say ‘I don’t care what you think. I don’t care if you laugh at me, I’m doing this no matter what’, those are the guys that succeed,” Van Camp said. “We try to make sure they understand all the risks. We try to help them understand there’s no guarantees and they’re probably going to fail. We give them all the stats. For some people it scares them off. That’s a good thing because they would have been scared off during their business endeavor anyway. I’ve seen some things that I thought ‘well that’s a dumb idea.’ Because they didn’t quit, they proved me wrong.”

Veterans interested in starting a business can find resources on the Warrior Rising website at https://www.warriorrising.org.

This article originally appeared on Reserve + National Guard Magazine. Follow @ReserveGuardMag on Twitter.


MIGHTY MONEY

Finance Friday: 4 things to look for in finding the right lender

When you’ve made the decision to start shopping for a home loan, it is important to make sure you find a lender who will be your partner in the home buying process. It is encouraged to shop around; you won’t be penalized because the credit bureaus expect it. This is a lot of money you’re about to invest! The most frequently asked question from home loan shoppers is, “What is your interest rate?” but it is absolutely essential to understand that there is so much more to a home loan than just a rate.


Dealmakers and breakers beyond the stated interest rate:

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media.defense.gov

Are there fees or points baked into the loan?

You want to make an apples-to-apples comparison, and that goes far beyond rate. Take a look in “Section A” of the lender estimate to look out for things such as origination fees, processing fees, underwriting fees, and points. All of these fees impact your bottom line, and even if the interest rate is better, it could still be the worse deal for you. Mortgage math can be complicated; you want a lender that will not charge these fees and break down your estimate line by line. Your lender should empower you to make an informed decision, rather than boxing you in a loan product that wasn’t necessarily the “right choice” for you.

Is your lender accessible?

When you’re out shopping for a home on your evening and weekend time, you want someone who is available to answer financing questions on the particular property. A good lender will work real-time with your Realtor to send over updated approval letters specific to the home, to include accurate property tax information (which is important because I’ve seen many cases where a lower-priced house costs more monthly because of taxes or HOA). You want a lender who will answer your frantic calls on the weekend when you have a burning question that just can’t wait. You want a lender who will answer a text when you have something pop up. You want a partner in the process that values you as a person, not just another file.

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Can you close on time?

Look at your lender’s track record of closing turn time. Some lenders will advertise interest rates with a lock period of 45+ days. That is an indicator of how long it is going to take them to get the job done. Most mortgages need to close within 30 days or less, and the last thing you want is to jeopardize the contract on your home or the sweet rate you’ve locked in.

Does your lender educate you?

You want a trusted guide that takes the time to answer all of the questions you ask, and the ones you didn’t. A mortgage loan is full of information you don’t know that you don’t know. You want someone who takes the time to explain #allofthethings and makes you feel well informed and empowered throughout the entire process, start to finish.

Bottom line is you want to feel like you’re working with a lender that is your advocate and partner throughout the entire home purchase experience. It is important to have a relationship you can trust with the most important of all investments – your home.

Articles

This Marine just saved the government $15 million

The Marine Corps was paying $60,000 more than it was supposed to for a type of radio cable since 2007, according to Stars and Stripes.


The cable was discovered to be overpriced in October 2016, when Marine Cpl. Riki Clement had to fix a radio. After being told that the needed parts would take six to eight months to arrive, he decided to reverse engineer a replacement using old parts and found out its true cost was actually closer to $4,000.

Later that month, the Marine Corps said the corporal had saved the government $15 million.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
The cable that the Marine Corps was overpaying by $60,000. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The defense contractor that makes the cable, Astronics, had been charging $64,000 for each cable. Astronics did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“There may be a good reason for the price, but based on us taking apart the cable and researching the individual parts, we’ve found no reason for this part to cost as much as it does,” Clement told Stars and Stripes in December 2016.
The overpriced cable was one of six in the same parts catalog, Barb Hamby of Marine Corps Systems Command told Stripes.

“The catalogued mistakes were made nearly seven years ago,” Tony Reinhardt, the command’s team lead for automatic test systems, told Stripes. “We went through every [item] in the kit to confirm the prices and fix the errors.”

Reinhardt said the cable costs $4,000 because of the material that goes into it, as well as the process of designing, developing and manufacturing it. He added that there’s no record of the Marine Corps ever purchasing individual replacement cables. The originals were part of kits, and Marines had been using parts from other kits for repairs.

The cost of each kit was $21,466, Capt. Frank Allan, a project officer at Marine Corps Logistics Command, told Stripes.

This isn’t the first time the military has been caught overspending.

In December 2016, it was discovered that the Pentagon had buried a study from late 2015 exposing $125 billion in administrative waste. President Donald Trump has also attacked defense contractors for overpriced weapons, despite recently calling for a $54 billion boost in defense spending.

MIGHTY MONEY

There is no one in NFL history more devoted to veterans than Jared Allen

During his 12-year NFL career, Jared Allen was a heavyweight defensive player, making his presence known on multiple teams, especially the Minnesota Vikings. It was as a Viking that Allen went on a trip that touched his heart and soul, touring with USO to visit servicemen and women deployed overseas. He even told the assembled troops as much.

That’s what led to Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors (JAH4WW).


“It has been one of the best experiences of my life – something that I’ll never forget,” Allen said of his time visiting troops. “We, as players, probably get more out of it than you do as soldiers and Marines.” Even though his grandfather and younger brother were Marines, the experience changed Allen, inspiring him to create his own charity to support America’s wounded.

Even after he was traded to Chicago and later Carolina, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors carried on no matter where Allen was playing. Even though he’s listed as one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings of all time, the uniform he wore on the field wasn’t what defined him. If you ask the man himself, he’ll tell you what he does off the field is what matters most.

“Football is what I do, it’s not who I am. The things that we do today — to impact these lives, to change people’s lives — can last forever,” he told SB Nation. “We have a great responsibility to the community that supports us, and to our veterans who allow us to do what we do.”
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Former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen presents free Super Bowl LII tickets to eleven-year-old Tallon Kiminski, son of Minnesota Air National Guard member, Maj. Jodi Grayson.

(U.S. Air National Guard photos by Capt. Nathan T. Wallin)

When it comes to helping wounded veterans, Jared Allen is a godsend. On its website, the JAH4WW says, “Jared was moved by the commitment, dedication, and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom. He wanted to say thank you to every soldier in the only way that Jared knows how. By embracing the conflict and making a positive life-changing difference in the lives of those who need it most, Jared and his JAH4WW will help make life for wounded vets just a little bit easier.”

Talk is big, but in practice, Jared Allen is much, much bigger than just words. Since its founding in 2009, his organization has helped raise funds to build or revamp homes for injured veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, raised tens of thousands of dollars from corporations like Wal-Mart and Proctor Gamble to provide everyday household goods for veteran families in need, and on Veterans Day, you can always find the now-retired Allen doing something to help veterans in need.

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NFL player Larry Fitzgerald signs an autograph for troops from the Washington Army National Guard at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, along with Will Witherspoon from the St. Louis Rams, Jared Allen from the Minnesota Vikings, and Danny Clark from the New York Giants in 2009.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Suhr)

“I knew I had to do something to serve our country,” Allen once said of the Jared Allen Homes for Wounded Warriors. “I feel the best way to do that is serve those who serve us.”

If you’re a veteran of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan who is in need of housing or alterations to suit your disability, apply to Jared Allen Homes for Wounded Warriors on the organization’s website. Jared Allen is one guy you definitely want in your corner.

Articles

Pentagon to pursue bonuses mistakenly paid to Guardsmen

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook updates reporters about the California National Guard bonus repayments at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Jan. 3, 2017.


The Pentagon announced yesterday that they had met Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s deadline of January 1 to set up a streamlined system to recover bonuses they had accidentally paid to thousands of California National Guardsmen several years ago.

Late last year, Carter ordered the suspension of efforts to recover the funds from soldiers until a system could be set up to fairly recover the bonuses.

Peter Levine, acting as the undersecretary for personnel and readiness, headed up the team to develop the recovery system. Levine spoke to reporters during the press conference, admitting that, though some of the Guardsmen might have made mistakes, “sometimes the service does” as well.

Levine said he had worked with the National Guard Bureau, the Army Audit Agency, the Army Review Boards Agency, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to develop the system, and that part of that system involved screening each case to determine if there was even enough information to pursue a resolution.

Cases that are determined to have enough information will go before the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, and Guardsmen will have an opportunity to make their cases then.

There are currently about 17,500 cases up for review which have been separated into two categories.

Also read: Gary Johnson speaks out on California Guard repayment scandal

The first category consists of roughly 1,400 cases where the Guard has determined that recoupment should happen, and they have been referred to DFAS for collection of those funds.

Levine said that he expected to see half of those debts forgiven.

For the remaining approximately 16,000 cases, Levin anticipated about 15,000 not meeting the criteria for pursuit.

The other thousand cases, according to Levine, will go through the same process as the 1,400 currently referred to DFAS.

In all, he said, he expects “fewer than 1,000” of the cases to go before the Board of Correction of Military Records.

Levine believes that the Board of Correction of Military Records will be able to hear all of the cases by July — the deadline set by Carter.

MIGHTY MONEY

5 times to consider putting your savings in a CD for at least a year

Since interest rates are down compared to last year — and likely to remain unchanged or fall even further in 2020 — it’s a good time to be strategic about where you save money.

A certificate of deposit (CD) can offer good earning potential without any of the risk of a stock market investment or the variable interest rates of a high-yield savings account.

When you open a CD, you agree to lock your money up for a specific period of time — usually anywhere from three months to five years — in exchange for a fixed annual percentage yield (APY). You typically can’t access your cash until the CD’s maturity date without incurring a penalty, which makes it a good place to safely grow money that you need at a certain date and not before then. It can also help curb impulse spending.


Currently, the best CDs are offering between 2% and 2.25% APY for varying minimum deposits and terms between 12 months and five years. Generally, the longer the term length, the higher the rate. Any term shorter than a year probably isn’t worth it right now, since the rates are comparable to the best high-yield savings accounts.

You can’t add money to a CD after the initial funding period (usually between 10 and 14 days), so it’s not the right type of account for actively saving money. But if you already have cash set aside for a future purchase, a CD is worth considering. Here are five times to open a CD for your savings:

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1. You’re waiting to buy a house

Saving for a down payment can take years. But just because you finally reach your savings goal doesn’t mean you have to buy a house right away. Maybe mortgage rates aren’t where you’d like them to be or you just haven’t found a place you love yet. If you’ve decided to wait at least a year to buy a house, a CD can keep your down payment safe and earning a consistent return in the meantime.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

2. You’re planning a home renovation

If there’s a home improvement project on your to-do list next year, but you already have the cash, consider opening a CD to earmark the savings. As long as the renovation isn’t something that needs attention right away (think: a big leak or a damaged roof), then you can lock in a high interest rate now to earn more on your money while you iron out the details of the project — and actually find the time to do it.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

3. You spend a lot during the holidays

The end-of-year holidays seem to get more expensive every year. Make it easier for your future self by setting aside a cash reserve now that you can use next year for shopping, booking travel, and buying gifts. Once your CD matures, you can use the cash to put toward your holiday purchases if the timing is right or replenish the fund you pulled from.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

4. You have big travel plans

If you’re actively saving for a travel fund, a high-yield savings account is the way to go. But, if you’ve already reached your goal, or even part of it, and want to make sure the money stays safe until you’re ready to jet off, try a CD. You won’t be able to dip into the account for impulse spending and you’ll wind up with even more money than you started with thanks to above average interest rates.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

5. You’re preparing for a move

Between packing supplies, movers, and buying new stuff, moving can run up a lengthy tab. But setting up a moving fund? That’s something many of us plan to do, but never quite get around to.

If you know you’ll be moving in the future, whether to a new state or just a new neighborhood, consider setting aside some extra cash in a CD so you can be sure there’s no scrambling for money when the time comes. It doesn’t need to be a ton of cash — some of the best CDs require to open — but you’ll need to add something to start earning a return.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

11 valuable tax tips and benefits for military families

The holidays are over, and we are now in the year 2020. It’s a good time to start working on our 2019 taxes, because April 15 will be here before we know it. Taxes are overwhelming and complex, but there are numerous tax benefits for military families, so it is important to understand the basics.


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Income

Servicemembers receive different types of pay and allowances. It is important to know which are considered as income and which are not. For servicemembers, income typically includes basic pay, special pay, bonus pay, and incentive pay.

Exclusions

Items normally excluded from income include combat pay, living allowances, moving allowances, travel allowances, and family allowances, such as family separation pay.

Combat pay exclusions are a substantial benefit to servicemembers and spouses. Combat pay is that compensation for active military service for any month while serving in a designated combat zone. This may also include a reenlistment bonus if the voluntary reenlistment occurs in a month while the servicemember is serving in the combat zone. Note that for commissioned officers, there is a limit to the amount of combat pay you may exclude.

The most common living allowances are Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence. Moving allowances are those reasonable, unreimbursed expenses beyond what the military pays for a permanent change of station.

Sale of Homes

Servicemembers and spouses often decide to purchase homes when moving to new duty stations. Often, we then turnaround and sell the homes a few years later before moving again.

What happens if you make a profit from the sale of this home? If you are fortunate enough to profit, you may qualify to exclude up to 0,000 of the gain from your income, or up to 0,000 if you file a joint return with your spouse. This is referred to as the Sale of Primary Home Capital Gain exclusion. Normally, this exclusion requires that you owned the home for at least two years and lived in it for at least two of the last five years. There is an exception, however, for servicemembers. If you were required to move as the result of a permanent change of station before meeting these requirements, you still may qualify for a reduced exclusion.

Claim for Tax Forgiveness

If a servicemember dies while on active duty, there are circumstances where the taxes owed will be forgiven by the IRS. Contact your closest Legal Assistance Office immediately for assistance using the website provided later in the article.

Extensions

If April 15 is quickly approaching and you are running out of time, remember, there are several different extension requests that military families may make. If the servicemember is in a combat zone, an automatic extension covers the time period the servicemember is in the combat zone plus 180 days after the last day in the combat zone.

Avoid Tax Scams

In November 2019, I wrote an article on common scams during the holidays. Unfortunately, scams are not limited to the holidays. There are numerous tax scams that have stolen personal information and millions of dollars. Scammers use the mail, telephone and email to initiate contact. Please remember that the IRS never initiates contact by email, text messages or on social media pages to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contact through the regular U. S. Postal Service mail. Finally, the IRS never uses threats or bullying to demand payments.

If you have any questions, contact the IRS with a telephone number you find on its website (www.irs.gov) and verify what you received is legitimate before doing anything. To protect yourself, only use an IRS telephone number from its website. Do not use a telephone number you received that you suspect may be part of a tax scam from an email, text message or social media page.

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Signing Tax Returns

Normally, both the servicemember and spouse must sign jointly filed tax returns. If one spouse will be absent during tax season, it is advisable to have an IRS special power of attorney, IRS Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative). You may access this form on the IRS website.

Military Tax Centers

Annually, many Legal Assistance Offices worldwide help servicemembers and spouses file their federal and state income tax returns starting in early February. Last year, for example, Army Legal Assistance personnel and volunteers prepared and filed over one hundred thousand Federal and over sixty-four thousand State income tax returns saving servicemembers and their families more than million in tax preparation and filing fees.

If you don’t live near a military installation, visit the Department of Defense Military One Source website at https://www.militaryonesource.mil for additional information on accessing free online tax assistance.

Legal Assistance Offices

If you have specific tax questions or receive correspondence from the IRS, contact the closest legal assistance office to schedule an appointment. Use the Armed Forces Legal Assistance website (https://legalassistance.law.af.mil) that I provided in the October 2019 blog to locate your nearest legal assistance office. The quicker you address your issues, the better likelihood that you will successfully resolve them.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

Valuable Tax Tip for 2020

Finally, here is a valuable tip for next year’s taxes. Does it seem like every year you are scrambling to find tax documents and receipts from throughout the tax year? Relieve this stress by getting a folder and writing “Tax Year 2020” on the front of it. Keep it in an easy-to-find place, and every time you receive a document or receipt that may impact your taxes place it in the folder. That way, at the end of this year, you will have most of the supporting documents you need already together.

Future Blogs

Be on the lookout for future blogs that will continue to discuss specific legal issues often encountered by servicemembers and military spouses. As always, this blog series will help to protect your family and you!

This article originally appeared on Military Spouse. Follow @MilSpouseMag on Twitter.

MIGHTY MONEY

Designer of the F-15 & AH-64 is responsible for 30% rise in Dow this year

A single company, Boeing, has accounted for nearly 30% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s year-to-date gain of 11.5%, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Boeing shares have soared 34% this year, contributing 812 points of the index’s 2,807-point gain so far this year. Without Boeing’s contribution, the index would be up about 8% YTD.


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(Bespoke Investment Group)

The index’s outsized gain is driven by Boeing having the heaviest weighting, 11.4%, among the Dow’s 30 stocks. The Dow is a price-weighted index, meaning the company with the highest share price, Boeing, has the heaviest weighting. Boeing’s stock price is the highest in the index and the only one over 0.

Unlike the Dow, the SP 500 is weighted by market cap, meaning Microsoft has the heaviest weighting. By comparison, Boeing commands the 15th biggest weighting of SP 500 names.

Such effects cut both ways and a 10% move in Boeing’s stock would move the DJIA index by over 250 points. The second-highest contributor to the Dow is Goldman Sachs, responsible for about 8% of the YTD gain.

Boeing shares were trading near all-time highs thanks to strong fundamentals and solid earnings growth based on the planned launch and development of the 777X, the largest and most-efficient twin-engine plane.

On Jan. 30, 2019, Boeing reporting strong quarterly results, with annual revenues topping 0 billion for the first time. The company forecast full-year 2019 earnings of between .90 and .10 a share, well ahead of Wall Street expectations.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

These are some of the best federal jobs for veterans

The federal government invests a lot of time and money into training service members of the armed forces. As a result, it’s to the advantage of the government to retain service members for as long as possible. Retention programs and bonuses incentivize service members to stay in, but if you no longer wish to volunteer for an all-volunteer service, you can leave (provided your contract is up, of course).

After all, skills and certifications acquired in the military are highly sought after in the civilian workforce. Whether you’re a missileer who goes to work for Raytheon, an intel analyst with a secret clearance who gets scooped up by Booz Allen Hamilton or a diesel mechanic who takes a job with Union Pacific, your experience and training in the military makes you a valuable asset to any organization. For those that want to continue serving their country outside of the military, many federal agencies are more than willing to hire vets to fill their ranks.


In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Employment Initiative. Meant to promote the hiring of veterans in the executive branch, the program has also served as a model for companies in the private sector to make hiring veterans a priority. “As the nation’s leading employers, the federal government is in need of highly skilled individuals to meet agency staffing needs and to support mission objectives,” said the director of veteran services at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Air Force vet, Hakeem Basheerud-Deen. “Veterans get a lot of training and development during their military service, and their wide variety of skills and experience—as well as their motivation for public service—can help fulfill federal agencies’ staffing needs.” In no particular order, these are some of the best federal jobs for veterans of any background.

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(National Park Service)

1. Park Ranger

If you’ve been stationed in Alaska, Colorado, Fort Drum (you have our condolences) or any other location where outdoor activities are plentiful, you may have developed an affinity for open-air recreation. If you have, you might consider a job as a ranger for the National Park Service. As a ranger, you would investigate complaints and violations of park regulations, provide visitors with guidance and information, and generally protect the land set aside for future generations to enjoy. If an office job sounds like a prison sentence, this might be the job for you.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

(Fort Bliss Public Affairs Office via DVIDS)

2. Law Enforcement

Looking for a post-military career that will keep you in the action? You might consider a job in federal law enforcement. This is a very broad job field, though. You could work as a federal police officer at a military installation, a park police officer under the National Park Service or even an FBI agent serving as a legal attaché to an overseas embassy.

Another commonly thought of job under this umbrella is Border Patrol Agent. However, under Customs and Border Protection, you can also find CBP Officers. These are the men and women who protect the country at all ports of entry. From screening passengers at passport control to combing through cargo containers for illicit cargo, CBP Officers oversee everything coming into the country. Aside from DEA and FBI agents who train at Quantico, Federal Law Enforcement agents train at specialized Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. FLETC is headquartered at the former Naval Air Station Glynco in Georgia and operates two other residential training sites in Artesia, New Mexico and Charleston, South Carolina.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

(207th Regional Support Group via DVIDS)

3. Human Resources

Paperwork is the lifeblood of the government. It moves information, initiates action, and can mean the difference between you getting paid or owing money. Though many systems have moved online to database or system entries, there is still a plethora of Standard and Agency-specific Forms that the federal government relies on.

Coming from the military, you’ll be familiar with having to fill out paperwork for everything from life insurance and emergency contacts to leave requests and requisition forms. Though more senior positions might require civilian HR certifications (a good time to use that post-9/11 GI Bill), there are still entry-level positions that allow veterans to get their foot in the door with their service experience alone. If it’s not on paper, it didn’t happen.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

(U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy via DVIDS)

4. Range Tech

Almost everyone who has donned the uniform has been to a range. Even some chaplains hop on the firing line to test their aim (unofficially, of course). You know those civilians who run the computers? You could be one of them! Though some bases contract these jobs out to private companies, there are still jobs that pop up on USAJobs.gov for range tech positions across the country.

As long as you have some experience learning something new and working with your hands (you went to basic training, after all), you’re good to go. Now, there’s a bit more to it than just pressing buttons, laughing at the people who struggle to qualify, and refreshing the ancient program running on Windows 95. But, if you like being on the firing line and you’re willing to learn how to maintain and operate a range, this job could be your perfect fit.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family

(USPS)

5. Postal Service

As of February 2020, the USPS employs more than 97,000 veterans and is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country. Don’t want to be a letter carrier or work customer service? Contrary to popular belief, Postal Service careers extend beyond the aforementioned positions. USPS offers careers in accounting and finance, operations, marketing and sales, human resources and admin, processing and delivery, and many more. If you’ve deployed overseas, you know just how valuable mail is. Especially during the COVID-19 timeframe, the personal touch of a physical letter can be just what someone needs to brighten their day. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…

Whether you’re retiring from the military or separating after your first contract, your service and experience in the armed forces sets you apart from people that haven’t served. A federal job allows you to continue that service. A steady paycheck and maintaining your TSP aren’t bad perks either.


Articles

This fund helps the wounded and caregivers in ways the VA can’t

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
(Photo: azcaregiver.org)


Years of war have rendered Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) service members with severe physical, mental and emotional scars that will likely impact them throughout their lives. The financial implications and consequences of these scars are well documented and can affect all aspects of their lives and lives of their family members to include housing, employment, and their financial well-being.

The PenFed Foundation’s Military Heroes Fund provides wounded veterans, military families, and caregivers with financial assistance and support that the Veterans Administration cannot offer due to budgetary and regulatory restrictions. These unmet needs are identified by VA advocates, National Guard case workers, the Army Wounded Warrior Program, and non-profit referral partners.

The Military Heroes Fund has two components:

  • Emergency financial assistance for OIF/OEF wounded warriors and their families facing short-term financial difficulties.
  • Family and Caregiver Transition Support
    • Child Care support provided for families of the wounded OIF/OEF families while receiving outpatient care at a VA medical facility, family visits, doctor visits, job-related.
    • Short term training or education expenses for job certification, licensure requirements and/or course materials such as course books technology fees, etc.
    • In-home health care for injured veteran to support caregiver respite needs.

The Military Heroes Fund gives grants to wounded veterans who:

  • Served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
  • Have been wounded, ill or injured during your OIF/OEF service
  • Have received an Honorable discharge
  • Are facing a financial emergency which is short-term
  • Can provide a DD214 and VA Disability Rating Certification or have one in progress
  • Can help us confirm your status by being referred by your Army Wounded Warrior advocate (AW2), Recovery Care coordinator (RCC), VA doctor or social worker, or another nonprofit advocacy organization

The Military Heroes Fund also gives grants to caregivers who:

  • Are a Family member and/or caregiver of an Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veteran
  • Can provide a DD214 and VA Disability Rating Certification for veteran, or have one in progress
  • Send copy of invoice or estimate for requested services from a licensed/certified individual, institution, or facility on official letterhead
  • Can help us confirm your status by being referred by your Army Wounded Warrior advocate (AW2), Recovery Care coordinator (RCC), VA doctor or social worker, or another nonprofit advocacy organization

The PenFed Foundation continuously examine potential grantees who meet all the above criteria. If you qualify, fill out and return the application form along with copies of your DD214, VA Disability Statement and the bill from the institution or creditor which you need assistance with. (From receipt of all documentation, it can take up to 10 days to process the grant. Grants are paid directly to the creditor.)

For more on the PenFed Foundation go here.

MIGHTY MONEY

The Pentagon is expanding a program that helps vets heal with art and writing

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
National Endowment for the Arts Chairperson Jane Chu announces its expansion of sites within the Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Network at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 21, 2016. (DoD photo by Amaani Lyle)


Walter Reed National Medical Center announced this week a plan to expand a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Defense Department that focuses on creative art therapy for service members, veterans, and family members.

The “Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network” focuses on art therapy such as writing, painting, and singing to help service members address and deal with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

It’s currently offered at Walter Reed in Maryland and Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

“Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury are notoriously complex conditions to treat,” the NEA chairman Jane Chu said, noting that day long workshops don’t dig deep enough into the issues surrounding PTS and TBI.

Understanding that, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence decided to add a therapeutic writing program to its already existing creative art therapy program. That program now incorporates visual arts and music therapy.

ADPI H.E.L.P.S: Six Secret Hacks to Financial Freedom for Your Family
Masks, decorated by service members, sit on display as part of the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 21, 2016. (National Endowment for the Arts courtesy photo)

The program, which received an additional $1.98 million funding in fiscal year 2016, has plans to expand to Marine Corps Bases Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune; Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska; and Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

The NEA and DoD have enough funding to open those and five other sites around the country in 2017, the Pentagon says.

Readiness, diversity, location, population density and leadership were all taken into consideration when determining where to open expansion clinics, Chu said. Leadership is “critical to the success of our work together,” Chu explained, adding that the expansion will also work with a network of community based nonprofit organizations.

The goal with the expansion, according to Chu, is to develop a web of resources and tools to help local organizations and communities as they work with the military community among them.

Chu reports that, through the program, veterans are better able to manage stress.

“We’re seeing such transformational results in our service members and our expansion plans have come as a result of them saying that they want this program to be closer to their communities as they make a transition back into civilian life,” Chu explained. “This is a way to help service members and veterans … understand the dignity that they already have and so much deserve.”

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