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August 2019 News from MOAA National

Dateline: 8/8/2019

Lump-Sum Strategies: What to Do With That Extra Money

By: Lt. Col Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®; Program Director, Finance and Benefits Information

 

You get a retention bonus. You sell a house. You receive an inheritance. You receive life insurance proceeds. You sell a business. What do you do with the extra cash?

First, define and evaluate your objectives for all your household income. The objectives determine your priorities, savings strategies, and the saving/investing vehicle.

You may notice that your emergency savings objective is running low. This objective requires a safe, stable, and liquid strategy. Your vehicles are checking, savings, CDs, money markets.

Maybe you have 2-year-old Joey’s college to consider. The strategy may be growth in the early years flexing toward preservation of value as Joey nears college. This would require a higher stock portfolio in the early years and less in the later.

Savings are about stability and liquidity, not growth. You may think there is growth because you earn an interest rate, but interest rates will not offset the impacts of taxes and inflation over time; you lose money – purchasing power – over the long haul. Savings are great for short periods, but not for long ones.

 

Investments are about growth. Investments buy into markets: Stocks, housing, commodities, currencies, etc. Markets are naturally volatile in short periods. However, over long periods, markets tend to provide growth rates that offset taxes and inflation. Investing for short periods is gambling: That’s not a market problem, it’s a strategy problem. So investments are bad for short periods, good for long ones.

 

VA Will Begin Deciding Blue Water Navy Benefit Claims on Jan. 1

By: Kevin Lilley

Senior Digital Content Manager

 

The VA will begin deciding Agent Orange exposure claims of Blue Water Navy veterans on Jan. 1, 2020, under the terms of MOAA-backed legislation signed by President Donald Trump on June 25.

The move complies with the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which outlines eligibility rules for the benefit and includes Jan. 1 as an effective date for the mandatory changes. VA has put the number of potential recipients as high as 560,000 Vietnam-era veterans, but other estimates put the figure at 90,000.

Veterans whose previous claims for Agent Orange-related conditions were denied may reapply under the new law, the release states. Survivors of veterans who served off Vietnam’s coast may also apply for benefits. Veterans with life-threatening illnesses or those over age 85 will have claims priority, though no cases will be decided before Jan. 1, per the release.

More information on filing an Agent Orange exposure claim is available the Agent Orange section on the VA website, or by calling the VA at (800) 827-1000.

MOAA Caribbean Cruise

 

The Maryland Council of Chapters is sponsoring through MOAA Vacations a 12-night cruise out of the Port of Baltimore departing Jan. 11, 2020. Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas will sail from the Port of Baltimore to the Southern Caribbean, with port calls at St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands), St. Maarten (Netherlands), St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Kitts/Nevis.

Planned events on board (at no additional cost to members) will include a welcome reception, a cocktail party, optional daily programs at sea, a film night (where we'll be selecting the film), military stories (told by members of the group), a number of competitions, and other activities and tours.

Rates start as low as $899 per person (double occupancy, inside stateroom) and $1,079 per person (double occupancy, ocean view). MOAA Vacations has a limited number of rooms available at these rates. To book your room, call (800) 211-5107 or go to the MOAA Vacations website. You can also reach MOAA Vacations via email at mail@MOAAvac.com.

MOAA Vacations trips and cruises generate income for your chapter. For this cruise, each cabin reservation will earn $50 paid directly to your chapter. MOAA members can bring along family and friends, which also generates the $50 chapter commission.

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