Financial Tips for Your Next PCS Move

Military families move all the time, but to prepare for a life of moves, you need to know what to expect both before and after a move. That means asking a lot of questions and doing some research. Know the costs involved, make a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) plan, and set aside funds specifically ear-marked as a PCS fund.

The following tips can help you plan financially for your next move.

  • Get on the same page. Start by talking with your spouse about your family's finances. The FINRA Foundation offers eight steps to help you initiate a discussion that is productive and may prevent potential financial difficulties.
  • Close out and transfer accounts. Make a list of all your financial accounts. Note which accounts may be transferred to your new location and which ones need to be closed and reopened. Moving to a new location may provide an opportunity for lower rates on some financial products such as auto insurance, homeowners, or renters insurance. 
  • Pay all your current bills. To avoid negative impact on your credit, be sure to pay all close-out bills promptly, such as electricity, water, or other utility bills. Provide all organizations with a forwarding address for any unpaid bills that post after the move.
  • Compare the value of your housing allowance. As you create a budget detailing expected income and expenses at your new duty station, be sure to compare current and future Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to determine how much house you can afford. Make sure you keep utility costs in mind, too. Use the BAH Calculator from the Defense Travel Management Office to find out your specific allowance.
  • Save those receipts! Be sure to keep all your receipts—including expenses that don't qualify for reimbursement because they may qualify as tax deductions.

As you plan your move, more financial questions may arise, such as whether to buy or rent a home. The Foundation's Money and Mobility publication includes a chapter dedicated to PCS moves, complete with resources, worksheets, and checklists. Plan today for a smoother move tomorrow.

Visit MilitarySaves.org or the FINRA Foundation’s www.SaveAndInvest.org for more information and resources. Take the Military Saves Pledge today and receive motivation to achieve financial success.

Courtesy of the FINRA Foundation

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