personal finance

Free Personal Finance Book, Changes to the TSP L Funds, and Finance Friday Articles

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The Physician Philosopher is offering his new book, The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance, for free if you sign up for his e-mail list. I haven’t read the book yet, but his blog posts are quality which portends well for the book.

Here is the Jan – Feb 2019 edition of the TSP Highlights newsletter. It mentions the changes to the Lifecycle funds that started last month and will give them a more aggressive asset allocation. They include:

Effective in January 2019, we will increase exposure to international stocks (the I Fund) from 30% to 35% of the overall stock allocation in all L Funds. The L Income Fund stock allocation (C, S, and I Funds combined) will increase from 20% to 30% over a period of up to 10 years. The L 2030, L 2040, and L 2050 overall stock allocations will hold steady for a period of years before resuming their transitions from stocks to bonds. In addition to improving investment outcomes, this pause will align the L 2030, L 2040, and L 2050 Funds with the L 2060 Fund, which will be introduced in 2020 with an initial stock allocation of 99%.

Here are this week’s personal finance articles:

7 Risks of Investing in Real Estate

13 Rules for Real Estate

B Is for Bias

Budgeting With Cardi B

Military tax tips: New tax law is (mostly) good news

Should You Invest in Real Estate Over a 401(k)?

Stocks Got You Down? How to Stop Worrying

Stop Whining About Job Satisfaction

Student Loan Management When Both Spouses Work

The Reality of Real Estate Investing: It’s Not as Easy as It Seems

What is a 1099 Form?

Why the Future of Life Insurance May Depend on Your Online Presence

VITA Connects Service Members to Tax Support

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From Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The 2019 tax season is underway, and, once again, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is open to eligible Navy personnel, dependents, and retirees at select locations around the globe.

VITA links active-duty and retired service members and their dependents, as well as deployed civilians, to free self-service tax software via Military OneSource.

“VITA is designed to accommodate the increasingly busy lives of Sailors and their families,” said Lt. John Schwietz, the Navy’s VITA program manager at the Office of the Judge Advocate General in Washington, D.C.

As the trend toward self-service tax preparation gains more momentum, VITA has evolved, and the Navy no longer requires Region Legal Service Offices (RLSOs) to stand up brick-and-mortar tax centers. Therefore, Schwietz advises those interested in filing their taxes in-person to first consult the below list of VITA tax centers, and also contact their local RLSO for more information about availability and hours of operation.

“While VITA tax centers are an excellent resource, many find it more convenient to simply access the very same tax filing software used at the tax centers and file on their own,” Schwietz said in reference to the software provided via Military OneSource.

“Customers can securely file their taxes from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection,” he added. Users in need of assistance also can call the Military OneSource helpline to reach tax counselors seven days a week.

The following VITA tax centers are offering self-service VITA services to eligible customers. Customers eligible for VITA under 10 U.S.C. section 1044 can locate the nearest RLSO.

RLSO Midwest VITA Tax Center

Great Lakes

RLSO Southeast VITA Tax Center

Guantanamo Bay

Key West




RLSO Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia VITA Tax Centers





RLSO Japan VITA Tax Centers




RLSO Northwest VITA Tax Centers




Whidbey Island*

RLSO Southwest VITA Tax Centers


San Diego*


* A site that limits VITA services to E1 to E6 service members and their dependents.

Customers are advised to have the following items on-hand when preparing their taxes:

Valid identification for taxpayer/s

Social Security Numbers (including spouse and children)

Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number and address

2016 adjusted gross income from last year’s tax return (if you have a copy, VITA volunteers can show you where this amount is)

IRS E-filing PIN (you can get one at or call IRS at 866-704-7388

Income data (W-2s)

All end-year tax documents (1099s)

Student loan payment information

Receipts for child care payment

Receipts for educational expenses


For more information about VITA and tax preparation, read frequently asked questions at For more news from Navy Judge Advocate General, visit

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For more news from Navy Judge Advocate General, visit