Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
Money tops worries of military families

A new survey shows military families are worried about money.

No kidding.

The Military Family Advisory Network conducted a recent study that showed the stressors toping military families worry list are financial problems associated with health care, education, child care and frequent moves.

After my husband retired, multiple civilian friends asked us if we missed what they dubbed the “cash flow” from Uncle Sam – housing allowance, access to commissaries, discounts from retailers, deployment pay.

New bill gives employers tax credit for hiring military spouses

Military spouses know employers are getting their money’s worth when they hire a spouse, but now the federal government may actually give employers a tax credit for giving spouses a job.

Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Boozman (R-AR), are expected to introduce the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act of 2018 next week. A key component of the bill would give businesses a tax credit for hiring military spouses, reports Military.com.

The Salmon of Wisdom

By Amy Nielsen

Deep in the highlands of Scotland, in the streambeds and shallow river bottoms, in the chill of early spring, salmon spawn hatch. They begin to grow and learn this place they call home. Living in the rivers and loch of the highlands, feasting on a bounty seen few other places in the world.

Running late but not behind

It was a cold and stormy night. The rain hammered on the RV roof. Slowly it gentled to a lulling pattern pushing her deep into much needed restorative sleep. Upon waking, she stretched, yawned, and heard the distinct toot of a car alarm – bolting upright she realized she had over slept and was late to class. How embarrassing since she got to park the RV overnight a few hundred yards from the classroom.

Nothing like waking up in the parking lot and still being late to class.

Did you receive mysterious extra military pay? Let it be

Beware pay periods bearing gifts.

Occasionally, actually more than a lot, the gurus at the Defense Finance and Accounting Services, the guys who pay military members each month, make a mistake.

And those mistakes can land an extra $20 or even $200 in your paycheck.

What’s the best advice I’ve ever heard as a military spouse? Don’t touch this extra money. Ever. Don’t spend it. Don’t assume it’s yours. Don’t assume it is back pay from something your service member did way back when.

Ready to leave military housing behind and buy your very own house? Not so fast

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

It’s also one of the things many soon-to-be military retiree families look forward to the most. We want to buy curtains and rugs that actually fit and match, paint the walls and replace the flooring and install whatever countertops we like best.

We want a place of our own. Or, as many call it, a “forever home.”

But is buying a house a wise choice when in the midst of leaving the military?

Military Spouse Job Fairs in March

Fire up your resumes. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting more spouse only job fairs in March.

If you live in Europe, there will also be a transition summit near the end of the month to help spouses and military families tackle the task of leaving the military.

Don’t forget to dress for success and bring several copies of your resume. For a full list of job fairs the foundation hosts throughout 2018 visit, www.uschamberfoundation.org

March 7

Dover, DE

Change to maternity leave rules long overdue

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, made headlines earlier this year for announcing that she vowed to change senate rules to make it easier for future senators to take maternity leave.

In fact she told CNN, it was ridiculous that these types of changes were still making headlines in 2018.

She’s right. The U.S. lags far behind the rest of the developed world in granting workers not just maternity leave, but also any guaranteed paid leave of any kind. The U.S., in fact is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid sick or maternity leave.

New Dynamics - juggling childcare in multiple states

By Amy Nielsen

Next week I add a new dynamic to this already crazy life. My younger daughter starts weekly medical treatment at a hospital three hours from home.

Normally this would not be a huge addition to our week as it is really just a day trip and easily done. We’ve been doing it for years almost like clockwork in the early part of the year. Because of the nature of her treatments our appointments are conveniently always on Monday.

Retired? Murphy will still find you

You know that old saying about Murphy, and how he always seems to show up during a deployment?

I’m here to tell you he likes to visit during retirement, too. In fact, Murphy followed us all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, although it did take him awhile to catch up.

We left Stuttgart, Germany, on terminal leave in August, 2016, and spent most of the next year traveling the country in our RV, with a cat and two teenagers.

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