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Military and Family Readiness, Personal Financial Management Program
382 Avenue D
Dyess AFB, TX 79607
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
Resources are available to help you understand and manage your finances, including one-on-one financial counseling to assist you and your family with financial readiness. Services are designed to focus on money management issues throughout your active-duty lifecycle and into retirement. Financial readiness educational opportunities range from basic planning to long-term investing. Check out the information below to see what’s available at your installation.
Making a permanent change of station move can be expensive. There are many hidden costs involved in moving, and you need to plan for as many as you can. As soon as you receive an assignment, a spending plan should be developed to save extra money early on to assist with the moving expenses. If you are married, your spouse should be involved in the development of the spending plan.
You may contact the Military and Family Readiness Center at 325-696-5999 or DSN 461-5999 for information on personal financial management counseling and other financial matters that may be affected by your move. Everyone would do well to formulate a personal financial plan including a one-year plan for short-term goals and savings, a three-year plan for their current enlistment and a five-year plan for long-term savings and investments. These plans should include legal documentation to protect their finances, such as wills, powers of attorney, family care plans, insurance policies (with up-to-date beneficiaries), tax documents for the last three to five years, automobile titles and deeds to homes and mortgages. The M&FRC can help you make a budget for current and projected income and expenses to assist you in the financial planning process. They can also assist with your one-year, three-year and five-year planning and goals.
Our quality of life depends on how well we manage our resources. Those who plan for the future reap the benefits of peace of mind for themselves and their family. We do not know what the future holds for us, but we do realize there will be a need for money. Personal Financial Management offers financial guidance to those experiencing money management difficulties, those who wish to be in control of their finances and those who are interested in investing. This program can be of tremendous value to you in making sound decisions affecting your personal finances. Remember, it is not your level of income but how you manage the income that matters over the long term.
The M&FRC offers one-on-one financial counseling, budgeting assistance and many classes and workshops on personal financial readiness including home buying, home selling, car buying, wealth building, budgeting and debt reduction, the First Term Airman Class, the Officer’s First Duty Station Mandatory Financial Briefing, money and marriage/money and divorce, financial concerns of security clearance, mortgage-related issues and foreclosure prevention, retirement planning and Thrift Savings Plan. They also have classes and briefings on spouse employment, Bundles for Babies, separation/transition and deployment and offer information on scholarships and portable career training opportunities for spouses, all of which can affect family income. The M&FRC can also assist you in making a budget for the Child Development Center reduced child care rates for hardship (if applicable).
The Air Force Aid Society is part of the A&FRC and can make emergency loans to individuals and families in transit or upon arrival or departure from a base when on PCS orders.
Cost of Living
Average costs for the Abilene area are mid-range. Housing rentals average $800-$1330 for a two- or three-bedroom apartment or house. Homes for sale usually cost $80,000-$350,000 or more, with some high-end homes costing upwards of $500,000. Monthly utility bills tend to be high ($120-$325 depending on square footage and thermostat settings and use), and electricity tends to be higher in the summer because of the high heat (air conditioning usage). Gas usage is higher in the winter due to the cold weather and costs range from $90-$225 or more depending on square footage and thermostat settings (furnace usage).
The Air Force Aid Society promotes the Air Force mission by helping to relieve the short-term financial distress of Air Force members and their families. Financial assistance is given when a qualifying individual cannot otherwise pay for specific basic needs, and emergency financial assistance is given for emergencies arising during transit, such as if your car breaks down en route to Dyess Air Force Base. Other agencies that offer assistance in emergency situations include TRICARE, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local hospitals, local police and fire departments and the American Automobile Association (for automobile breakdowns, towing and other needs).
Members in receipt of PCS orders may apply for Advance Pay not earlier than 30 days before their estimated departure date and not later than 60 days after arrival at the new permanent duty station. No more than three months’ Advance Pay may be drawn. The advance is normally repaid in equal installments over 12 months; however, those members who can show hardship can extend the repayment period up to a maximum of 24 months. Advance Pay is your base pay, not pay with allowances. Think twice about obtaining Advance Pay. Advance Pay repayments can become a financial hardship as the repayments will be automatically withdrawn from the service member's monthly pay, reducing your monthly income drastically in some cases! Many times Advance Pay is spent on other things and is not around to assist with the moving expenses. Advance Pay automatically reduces your take-home pay to use for bills and unforeseen moving expenses. Consider talking with the Personal Financial Management manager at your A&FRC prior to drawing Advance Pay. Remember, all Advance Pay must be repaid. It is a debt you owe to the government!
If approved by your commander, an advance Basic Allowance for Housing can be drawn. You must prove that this money will be used for housing costs. Advance BAH is up to three months for a stateside move. The allowance cannot exceed the anticipated housing cost. Advance BAH may be repaid over a 12-month period. Remember – all Advance Pay (including advance BAH) must be repaid.
Government Charge Card
Beware of misuse or overuse of your government charge card. This is not a personal credit card! The government charge card is to be used for official travel-related expenses only. Personal use outside of this boundary is considered fraud. Since this is a charge card arrangement, balances are to be paid in full upon receipt of the statement.
DLA is generally payable whenever you are required to relocate your household in conjunction with a PCS move. If you have dependents, their travel must be authorized in your PCS orders, and DLA will be payable upon completion of their travel. If you have no dependents, you may be authorized DLA at the without-dependent rate if you are not assigned to permanent government quarters (dormitory) within 60 days after arrival at your new duty station (with approval from gaining commander).
Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation
MALT (mileage reimbursement) is payable for military members performing a PCS who are traveling by privately owned vehicle. Service members receive a MALT when they drive to a new assignment. The allowance is computed on federal tables of the mileage between the old and new duty stations. In the event the official distance is longer or shorter than the service member drives, the official distance determines the allowance payable. These rates apply to spouses authorized to travel alone or with family members and to sponsors traveling with family members. These rates also apply to travel in a second car when its use is authorized. MALT is paid at the time of travel. MALT is also paid to those going overseas, if they drive from the stateside location to the port of embarkation for transcontinental plane or from the port of debarkation to the new duty station.
Per Diem Allowance
Along with DLA and MALT, food and lodging are allotted when making a PCS move. The allowance is paid at a per diem rate for you and your family members. POV travel at the rate of 350 miles per day is a per diem amount. Per diem (for food and lodging) is paid for members and their dependents for each authorized travel day when travel is performed by POV. For non-concurrent travel, the spouse and dependents are authorized per diem in accordance with joint federal travel regulations. Contact your Finance Office for more information or visit the Defense Travel website. If other than POV travel, check with Finance for applicable per diem rates.
Temporary Lodging Expense Allowance
The TLE allowance is for PCS transfers within the United States. TLE is paid to offset lodging costs for 10 days for lodging expenses incurred locally before departing an old duty station or after reporting to a new duty station. The actual TLE amount is determined by a complex formula based on several factors, including family size, local per diem rate, actual cost of lodging facilities and whether cooking or dining facilities are available. TLE is paid after arrival at the new duty location.