Saving and Investing for Veterans
Use these tips to grow your hard earned money and avoid fraud
SET GOALS AND MAKE A PLAN
Paying off high-interest credit card debt is priority #1.
The best way to attain financial security is by saving and investing over a long period of time. Get started today by using Investor.gov’s Savings Goal Calculator to see how much you need to contribute each month to meet your goals.
If you have high-interest credit card debt, consider paying that off first, since few investments will pay you the 15, 20, or 25-percent interest that credit and retailer cards can charge monthly.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EMPLOYER SPONSORED PLANS
The TSP may be your best option.
If offered by your employer, take advantage of your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan. Your contributions are automatically deducted from your pay and often your employer also contributes in the form of a match.
These plans provide tax advantages either today (traditional) or in the future (Roth). The TSP is the federal government’s version of a 401(k) and one of your best options for retirement savings if you are still in the military.
FOCUS ON FEES
Consider index funds to avoid paying extra fees.
When choosing among investments, pay attention to fees because high fees can lower your returns over time. Even small differences in fees can have a significant impact on earnings over time.
Compare the fees of mutual funds and ETFs and keep in mind that historical data shows that index funds have, primarily because of their lower fees, enjoyed higher returns than the average actively managed fund.
PROTECT YOUR MONEY
Visiting Investor.gov is a great first step for each stop of your investing journey.
If you plan to use an investment professional, be sure to do a background check on Investor.gov and make sure the person is licensed and registered.
Be careful of scammers who may appear legitimate and try to convince you that they are trustworthy because they go to your church, live in your community, or are a veteran of your service.