Military.com offers original podcasts for the military community. Whether you’re on active duty, a veteran, a spouse or family member, or just someone who’s interested in the military, you’ll find a podcast here that’s a “must listen.” Listen now, download for later, or subscribe via iTunes.
In this week's Military Benefits Podcast, we chat with Lida Citroën, who has made a career of helping people and companies create new or enhanced identities. She is donating her time, expertise and effort to help returning war veterans learn how to compete in a civilian career. She is also the writer of Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for military-to-civilian transition. Listen to the podcast for tips on how to "brand" yourself for life outside the military, along with other job hunting tips.
As April 15 nears, we invite Navy veteran and financial advisor Cmdr. Todd Severance from the Echelon Group to join us, and offer his tax tips for servicemembers, military families and veterans. Have feedback or comments? Sound off in the comments field below. For free tax preparation services and discounts for military families and veterans, see this Military.com article.
What retiree benefits will change or might change in the DoD's proposed budget for 2015? In the latest edition of the Military.com Benefits Podcast, we sit down with benefits expert Terry Howell to get the latest word on COLA, possible changes to TRICARE, retirement compensation, and other benefits that may affect retirees.
Have feedback or comments? Sound off in the comments field below. If you want to get in touch with your local Congressmen about these issues, visit the Military.com Legislative Center.
- COLA rates will remain the same for all retirees who joined the military prior to 2014.
- Servicemembers who enter service in 2014 and beyond will be subject to a COLA rate that will be 1% lower than the current cost-of-living inflation rate, until they hit age 65 (no longer "working age"), where they will receive a COLA rate that matches the current inflation rate.
- In the proposed 2015 budget, TRICARE Prime, Extra and Standard would be consolidated in one TRICARE system, which includes the ability to go outside primary care physicians (as in Prime), but unlike Standard, there will be a "participation fee" which is essentially an annual fee.
- The TRICARE for Life system for retirees would include increased fees, capping out at $818 for flag officer retirees.
- Will these proposed TRICARE changes go through? We'll likely see some changes after both houses of Congress finish their review of the budget.
- The Military Compensation Retirement Modernization Commission has asked the Rand Corporation to examine different options for a new retiree pay and compensation system, including a "401(k)-like" program and lump sum retirement packages.
- Commissaries are eyeing a decrease in savings for all users (including retirees) from 20 percent to 10 percent.
In our inaugural Military Benefits podcast, Military.com benefits expert Terry Howell takes a look at the proposed TRICARE changes in the 2015 defense budget, and how it will affect military families moving forward. Have feedback or comments? Sound off in the comments field below.
- The proposed changes include elimination of TRICARE Prime and Extra, and the establishment of a single system with a premium similar to the current Standard program.
- The catastrophic cap would be increased to $5000 per military family.
- The new system would change cost shares for active duty families, depending on whether the military family uses an on-base Military Treatment Facility or an off-base doctor. For example, if you are a retiree living far away from a base, this will probably result in increased cost shares for you.
- New annual premium for TRICARE for Life, based on a percentage of an individual's retirement pay (existing TFL beneficiaries are grandfathered in). TFL fees will increase each year up to 2019, capping out at $818 for flag officer retirees.
- Working-age retirees (38-65 years old) could be seen as being "in the crosshairs" if this legislation goes through, if they depend on TRICARE for their health care.
- Our "crystal ball" prediction: Even if TRICARE Prime and Extra are maintained, there will be a push to have a new premium for TRICARE for Life and TRICARE Standard.
Senator Kay Hagan, D-NC, stops by the Editor’s Desk to talk about the latest around the defense budget, veteran employment, military benefits, and pay. Is the burden of sequestration here to stay? Hear Sen. Hagan's forecast.
Legendary actress Kelly McGillis stops by The Editor's Desk to talk about her role in the movie "Top Gun". What was it like working with Tom Cruise? How does she feel about the movie today? And what is her favorite line from the movie?
Benefits expert Tom Philpott stops by the Editor’s Desk to chat about what’s at risk as Congress edges the nation closer to the "fiscal cliff." What services might be lost? What payrolls could get trimmed? Who might be forced to make the transition to civilian life before he or she is ready?
Author Mark Bowden stops by the Editor’s Desk to talk about his latest book, "The Finish", which deals with the events that lead up to and the decisions that approved the mission to take down Osama Bin Laden. Mark talks to Ward about what happened behind the scenes at places like JSOC and the White House, the differences between the Bush and Obama approaches to the al Qaeda threat, and how the F3EAD doctrine evolved in the modern military.
This month on Tara’s TALE we chat with my friend Janet Farley. How many of you out there have ever tried to find a job – a real honest to God career type job – as a military spouse? Some days it feels impossible, and definitely overwhelming. Janet is here to help us through this challenge. Janet has authored several books for military families, most recently The Military Spouse’s Guide to Employment: Smart Job Choices for Mobile Lifestyles; the Military Spouse's Complete Guide to Career Success and the Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job.
Tara Crooks, or "Household 6" in the Crooks' family, is best known for her ability to motivate and empower others. Tara's journey with the military began in 1998 when she and her husband PCS'd to their first duty station, Ft Hood. She and her husband, Kevin (US ARMY), have two beautiful little girls, Wrena and Chloe. Their family, including two dogs and a cat, is all snuggled in their cozy home in Fort Sill, Okla.
Tara currently writes columns for several military publications, one of which, can be found here on www.military.com. She is the host of Army Wife Talk Radio and cofounder of the popular website www.ArmyWifeNetwork.com. Army Wife Network is interactive empowerment for Army wives. Featuring Army Wife Talk Radio the original internet talk radio program for military wives, "Field Problems" a self-syndicated question and answer column for military families, "Field Exercises" live interactive events for military spouses, Loving A Soldier blog, featured columns, and a robust Facebook community.
What's this sequestration thing about, and how might it affect everything from your military pay to the future of military contractors? Military.com Editor-in-Chief Ward Carroll and Managing Editor Phil Ewing give their insights in this in-depth chat with Julie Mason on SiriusXM.
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