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Advice for Veterns Seeking Benefits

Veterans often call or email seeking help with their benefits. Almost invariably their compensation issues are snagged on claims snafus. Like the Korean War veteran from Vista who lost a leg in combat and learned his records declared his amputation not service connected. These veterans are frustrated.  They often spend months, years and sometimes decades working through established channels to no avail. What to do? Cast a Wide Net When I need one piece of information, I call five people to get it. Vets should do the same. The more people pulling on the informational oars for you, the more likely you’ll get some place. Veteran advocates, especially today, are thick at the local, state and federal levels. Look them up. Call them. Several of them. Often. If you don’t put elbow grease into your … Read entire article »

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USAA Announces ‘Top Military Communities’

SAN ANTONIO — USAA, a leading financial services provider focused on serving the military community and their eligible family members, developed its first “Top Military Communities” list to help make it easier for active-duty families to find a home to rent or buy this moving season. The new list identifies the top communities in the five U.S. metro areas with the greatest military active-duty and dependent populations, as reported by the Department of Defense1, that offer military families a high quality of life in an affordable, off-installation location. The communities that rose to the top of each metro list are: Fayetteville, N.C. – Fayetteville South Killeen, Texas – Harker Heights Norfolk, Va. – Southwest Virginia Beach San Diego, Calif. – Northeast Murrieta (Camp Pendleton), Mission Valley West (Miramar and Navy Region Southwest) Washington, D.C. – West Stafford, … Read entire article »

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USAA Financial News: Rising Home Prices, Pentagon’s Memories of 9/11

What’s Your Home’s Price Tag Now? As the housing market appears to be bouncing back in many parts of the country, you may be wondering: What’s my residence worth now? Here’s a description of the values and why you should understand each one. Pets Need an Emergency Plan, Too Be sure you have a plan for your pet if an emergency was to occur. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers these recommendations. High-tech Cars: Safe or Scary? If you haven’t set foot in a showroom in several years, you may be surprised to learn that, like phones, cars are becoming smarter. But with increased technology comes increased distraction. Pentagon Memories of 9/11 As we approach the 12th anniversary of 9/11, we take a look at the Pentagon Memorial and remember the stories of those … Read entire article »

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USAA Financial News: Health Care & Retirement, Ways to Save on Your Home Loan

3 Reasons Your Car May Be a Thief Magnet What’s inside your car may be more attractive to thieves than your car. Here are three factors that could make your car a target, and what you can do to fight back. Ways to Save Big on Your Home Loan When it comes to buying a new home, it’s a given that you’ll shop around to get the very best value for your money. But have you done the same legwork for your home loan? Is Your Emergency Kit Stocked? In the aftermath of a disaster, it may take hours or even days for authorities and relief workers to arrive on the scene. Make sure you have these basic supplies in your emergency kit. Don’t Let Health Care Squeeze Your Retirement You’ve worked hard to set aside money … Read entire article »

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USAA Financial Advice: Ways to Pay for College, When to Dip into Retirement $$, Stock Market Pull Back

6 Ways to Help Pay for College With college costs continuing to rise, you probably haven’t saved enough to foot the bill for a higher education. Here’s a look at six options to help cover the cost of college, along with the pros and cons of each. School’s Back in Session When school days return, so do driving hazards. It’s time for everyone to use extra caution. How (and When) To Dip Into Retirement Money You’ve spent years saving for your future, and now you’re ready to relax and take it easy. But one question may be weighing on your mind: Which retirement accounts should you spend down first? In Case of Emergency: Know How to Shut Off Utilities As summer storms approach, be prepared to safely shut off the utilities to your home. Stock Market Takes a … Read entire article »

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USAA Finance News: Money Milestones, Dog Days of Financial Markets

Marriage, Family, Retirement? How to Manage Money Milestones Tips to prepare for life’s biggest events from financial minds across the industry. Defuse the Power of Electrical Surges With high-dollar, high-definition electronics plugged into your home sockets, one lightning strike could prove disastrous — short-circuiting them and your bank account. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes suggests these three ways to help protect your devices. Seasoned Storm Watcher Warms: “Prepare Now” Former director of the National Hurricane Center Bill Read explains that preparedness is the best defense to storm season. Markets in the Summer Doldrums (Market Commentary 8/12) Last week was a slow week in the financial markets, fed by vacation schedules and a lack of market-moving news.   … Read entire article »

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USAA Financial News: Midyear Update, Market Commentary

4 Smart Money Moves for College Students Four tips to help college students make better financial decisions. Life, Simplified: USAA 2013 Midyear Update to Members USAA knows that financial obstacles can greatly complicate life. In the first half of 2013, USAA took steps to help veterans transition and offered members an expanded suite of services, tools and advice to help them take simple but definitive steps on the road to a stronger financial future. Purple Heart Commemorates Cost of Service August 7 marks the 231st anniversary of the Badge of Military Merit, the predecessor and inspiration for the Purple Heart. Military Advantage: Job Research As military members transition to the civilian market, they blast resumes everywhere. Terry Howell, author of the Military advantage, says learning about the company could help the interview greatly. S&P Skyrockets to Record High: … Read entire article »

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USAA Financial News: Back to School Spending, Tips for Hiring Contractors and Credit Card Advice

  7 Tips to Rein in Back-to-School Spending Seven helpful tips to keep back-to-schools costs at a minimum. 12 Key Tips for Hiring Contractors and Builders Twelve tips to help you avoid costly mistakes when choosing and working with contractors and builders. Credit Card: To Transfer or Not to Transfer If you carry credit card debt, don’t ignore the balance transfer offers that flood your mailbox — but don’t blindly jump at every one, either. Military Advantage: Skills Translation Military members have a hard time translating the skills acquired in the military for jobs in the civilian market. Terry Howell, author of the Military Advantage, provides tips in this short video. Motown Sings The Blues (Market Commentary 7/22) Following decades of economic decline, a shrinking population and weak financial management, Detroit finally threw in the towel and filed for bankruptcy … Read entire article »

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From USAA: Midyear Investment Outlook and More

Make Friends With Your Emergency Fund Your grandmother may have called it a rainy day fund, Financial professionals typically call it an emergency fund. Whatever its name, the purpose is the same: having some extra money set aside for when the unexpected happens. Financial Papers: What to Keep or Toss During tax season, you probably found yourself surrounded by piles of papers — and wondering how long to keep all the information. For tax documents, and all your other financial paperwork, here’s your answer. How to Guzzle Less Gas It’s not just the type of vehicle you drive that determines fuel efficiency. Here are three tips to get the most out of your next tank of gas. USAA’s Midyear 2013 Investment Outlook The USAA Investments team takes a look back at what caused the market rally in … Read entire article »

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USAA Financial News: Online Crime, Volatility in the Markets

  Account Takeover: A Dire Online Crime Account takeover occurs when someone gains unauthorized access to one or more of your online accounts. Originally a tactic to target businesses, account takeover has become a serious problem for consumers. A Day to Celebrate Freedom Take a trip around America and experience its colorful mosaic of cultures and it becomes clear that, on the Fourth of July, its people celebrate not only the birth of a nation, but also everything its creation has made possible. Stuck With a Fork? (Market Commentary 6/28) The month of June was marked by volatility that came in threes – U.S., China and Japan. With this trifecta, along with the continued financial crisis in Europe, the USAA team are more cautious than usual. … Read entire article »

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