Military Financial BenefitsBLUF: The financial benefits of the military go well beyond the pay, education programs, and retirement plans that are often discussed.  Here is a list of benefits that I have used or assisted others in using that directly attribute to gaining wealth in the military.

Different For Everyone

The reason I joined; free gym membership, among many other reasons.

The benefits of serving vary for everyone.  Of course there is the pride and honor of serving something bigger than yourself.  Yet, there are numerous other benefits of the military that can spring board anyone into a very successful, fulfilling, and financially secure life.  I urge others to become familiar with all the different programs available.  Not only for your own personal use but to inform others who may not know what is out there.

I have used or assisted others in using all of the military financial benefits listed here.

Financial Benefits Of The Military

  • Decent pay
    • Increased significantly since 1973, when the US went to an all-volunteer force
    • Pay raises are equitable
    • Established promotion system
  • Job security
  • Thrift Savings Plan
    • A relatively transparent 401(k) program that is scrutinized closely
    • Extremely low expense ratios
    • Continuously rated as one of the best programs
  • Housing allowance
    • Based on location (high cost of living area results in more compensation)
    • Tax free
    • There is often base housing available if you do not want to live in town
  • Free health care
    • Decent price on family health care / dental
  • VA loan
    • Allows for 0% down
    • Very competitive interest rates
    • Like the TSP, it is scrutinized closely
  • GI Bill
    • Four year college education for free (with additional benefits)
    • Ability to transfer benefits to your spouse or children
  • Tuition Assistance
    • Able to take college classes while serving
  • Many work related education opportunities
    • Various certifications (OSHA, Six Sigma, Heavy Vehicle Licenses)
    • Potentially earn your master’s degree for free (or numerous degrees)
  • 30 days of paid leave per year
    • Leave can roll over from one year to the next
  • Space-A Travel
  • Commissary
  • Base Exchange
    • Will price match with competitors
    • The exchange is tax free
  • Discounted child care
  • Work supplies / equipment all provided
  • Free gym membership
  • Savings Deposit Program (when deployed)
    • Guaranteed 10% return
  • Tax free income (when deployed to specific areas)
  • Base auto centers
    • Access to tools and experts which allow you to fix your vehicle yourself
  • Free DIY car washes on base
  • Outdoor center to cheaply rent stuff
    • Canoes, scuba, BBQ equipment, camping stuff, etc.
  • Free online libraries
  • Free tax services
    • Provided on base, or
    • Online programs
  • Financial planners available on many bases for free
  • Low cost veterinarian services on base
  • Free or significantly discounted entertainment
  • Free National Park pass
  • Discounted gas prices when living overseas
  • Military discounts at numerous businesses
  • Life pension for those who meet requirements

The benefits alone should not be the reason for joining or staying in the military, but if you and your family like the lifestyle, then take advantage of what is provided.

Let me know if I missed any.