Ask Scott & JJ - Sponsored by USAA
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Let the Tax Brack­ets Guide Your Retire­ment Plan Withdrawals
“Save, save, save!” That’s my mantra when it comes to prepar­ing for retirement.
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Car Buy­ing: Is Cool Worth the Cost?
When it comes to cars, “cool” and “finan­cial cat­a­stro­phe” are often inter­change­able descriptions.
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Make Sure the Joke’s Not on You
The last thing you want with your finances is to be found the fool. As a defen­sive tac­tic, I’ve com­piled five signs that you could be headed for a not-so-funny finan­cial joke.
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Use TSP to pay off high interest credit cards?

Q: Should I use money from my TSP to pay off high inter­est credit cards? –Joseph, Colum­bus, Ohio A: I wouldn’t rec­om­mend it.  As a mat­ter of fact, I’d even go as far as to dis­cour­age it. Real Feel­ings Don’t get me wrong, I get the issue.  On one hand, hav­ing a bunch of high inter­est rate debt can be a huge

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How long will a credit line I co-signed continue to affect my credit?

Q: If you co-signed on a credit line and then closed it while there’s still a bal­ance on it, will it still affect your credit score if the pri­mary account holder doesn’t pay it off? –Linda, Colum­bia, South Car­olina A: It depends on the rest of your credit pro­file but it could impact you for a long time.  Basi­cally, as long

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Continue saving or pay down debt?

Q: Should I save for emer­gency funds 3–6 months, pay off a stu­dent loan, or pay off 10K in debt? I’m not sure what I should do. I cur­rently have 10K saved and my monthly expenses are 4,000 per month. So, I have 2.4 months of emer­gency sav­ings. –Mar­cella, Cincin­nati, Ohio A: Great ques­tion – thanks for ask­ing it. A Nice Start My

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How much can I contribute to Roth?

Q:  I’m a gov­ern­ment employee and try­ing to fig­ure out how much I can put into the com­bi­na­tion of my TSP, the Roth TSP, and a Roth IRA.  Also, how are all of these affected by the age 50+ catch-up amounts? For 2014, the TSP says that I can con­tribute a total of $23K ($17.5K TSP + $5.5K Catch-up) to

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I’m medically retired, does my wife get benefits?

Q: I was deemed 100% dis­abled dur­ing the Iraq war in 2004. I am now fully retired as a result (at 30). I just got mar­ried two weeks ago. Is my wife eli­gi­ble for any med­ical ben­e­fits as well? –Patrick, Cal­i­for­nia A:  Con­grat­u­la­tions on get­ting mar­ried!  I’m sure it’s an excit­ing time for you and your wife.  If I under­stand you

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Is my VA loan funding fee tax deductible?

Q: Can I deduct my fund­ing fee 100% on my 2013 taxes? My CPA can­not decide. We refi­nanced our home from builder-owner financed to a VA loan in 2013. Our fund­ing fee from VA was $6300 and is lumped in with set­tle­ment costs (orig­i­na­tion fee, etc) on our set­tle­ment sheet from the lender, although the sec­ond page indi­cates I believe

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Is there a deadline for a former spouse to get SBP coverage?

Q: I am an ex-spouse of a naval offi­cer. We divorced in 2002. I receive 50% of his retire­ment pay. In the divorce papers we agreed to take out Sur­vivor Ben­e­fit Plan (SBP). My ex hus­band has paid me him­self 50% of his pay all of these years. I never thought it was a prob­lem. Now he has remar­ried and

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Military retirement soon, should we cut savings to pay down mortgages?

Q: We would like to know if decreas­ing our retirement/savings at this point makes sense in order to pay off the mort­gages early (that are cur­rently being cash flowed). Mar­ried, one child, active duty offi­cer, just hit the 20 year point. Due to mul­ti­ple PCSs, we are reluc­tant own­ers of two homes (DC and GA) that are cash flowed with rents

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Pull money out of IRA to pay off debt?

Q:  Should I pull money out of my IRA to pay off my credit card?  I know it might not be a great idea but I really want to get rid of that debt.  We’ve always been good at keep­ing it paid off, but we have let it pile up and are now stressed. Thanks, –Jim, Texas A:  Thanks for

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Should I keep my Variable Universal Life Insurance policy?

Q: I have a VUL that I have been pay­ing $140 into every month since 2007. My aver­age ROR is 9%, and I am 31 years old. I am try­ing to cut my monthly costs and I was won­der­ing if this was the best option for me right now. Would a term life insur­ance pol­icy be more ben­e­fi­cial to me

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