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
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
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.