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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Aug. 1, 2022

Build your financial readiness as you increase your earnings through promoting or advancing  

By Nicole Bertrand, MyCG writer

Promotions and advancements reflect a great achievement on your part as you progress through your career. Knowing what to do with your money as you start earning more can set you on a path of financial security. Financial Readiness Promotion Touchpoint Training is required for members E–5 and below, and O-4 and below. Promotion Touchpoint Training should be delivered within 180 days of the posted promotion or advancement list.

To build financial wealth, you will need a solid plan, and this starts by evaluating your spending, saving, and investing habits, as well as reviewing any debt you may have. Monitoring your income and expenses for the next 30 days is a great first practical step.  

As part of your plan, you can aim to save and/or invest 10%-15% of pretax pay and limit your housing expenses to 25%-30%. Also, trying to keep your transportation expenses at 15%-20% of your pay is a good guideline. Make sure you have three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund.

If you feel that continuing your education will further your career, then explore eligibility for tuition assistance. You may also be able to leverage your time in the military by verifying if your experience translates into civilian credentials. This could save you money. You can also look into programs to improve your marketability, which may be free, such as apprenticeships.  

“Be proud about your promotion, because you have earned it!” said John Daskauskas, Base Miami Personal Financial Manager (PFM). “Now take the promotion pay difference and start building up an emergency fund (if you don’t have one or it’s inadequate) and start retirement accounts via the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or Spousal IRA. For members enrolled in the Blended Retirement System (BRS), please fulfill your matching contribution with your 5% into your TSP account to get the free government 5% matching contribution.” 

To manage your current and future investment choices, log onto your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account here.  

To complete the mandated Financial Readiness Training, log into the Coast Guard learning portal.  

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