Think you know what you stand to gain by serving in the U.S. military? Most people are familiar with the pay allowances, advanced training, and tax-free housing and food allowances that come with serving, but there are plenty of unique benefits to serving your country. Here are four benefits you may not be aware of.
1. Affordable Travel Benefits
Most people are aware that military members usually see more of the world than the average citizen, although few are aware of the unique travel perks available to military members. As a military member, you are eligible for military flights at no cost to almost anywhere plus stays in special lodging facilities near military bases. You can even enjoy special military discounts at resorts like Walt Disney World or stay in a resort in Waikiki, Hawaii.
2. Low-Cost VA Loans
When it comes time to buy a home, active-duty military members, veterans, and their family enjoy one very important benefit: low-cost VA loans. VA mortgages are generally viewed as the best loan program in the United States with no down payment required, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and very low rates. According to Low VA Rates, the VA loan program was designed to help veterans obtain affordable housing with terms not available anywhere else.
3. Get Help with Your Education
Did you know the military offers a host of education benefits for service members? Tuition Assistance will help you earn your degree by paying the cost of your tuition and some fees up to $4,500 if you’re eligible, which depends on your service branch. You may also qualify for military scholarships and college funds to make your education goals a reality.
4. Low-fee Retirement Savings
Military members are eligible to invest in the Thrift Savings Plan, a low-fee retirement savings program available to federal employees. The TSP gives you a low-cost way to save for your future without counting on a military pension, which requires staying in the military for at least 20 years. With the TSP, you can save your money in a Roth or traditional IRA and, depending on your service branch and your specialty, you may even qualify for matched contributions from the government.
As you can see, serving in the military means more than protecting your country and seeing the world; it also comes with a host of unique advantages that regular citizens do not enjoy.