are available 24/7 through your installation Family Advocacy Program.
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.
All advances and settlement vouchers are to be processed by the gaining accounting office. In addition, all settlements are to be filed within 10 work days of the completion of each portion (i.e., house hunting, in route, first-30 temporary quarters subsistence expenses) of travel. Although you have two years in which to complete your move, vouchers are to be promptly submitted for liquidation of travel advances and timely reconciliation of funds. Any request for an extension to the two-year limitation for real estate purposes must be submitted in writing to the gaining personnel office prior to the expiration of the two-year period. Save every document (receipts, bills of sale, invoices, etc.) for every incurred expense in the move, for reimbursement and/or tax purposes. Be sure to keep a copy of all submitted documentation and a copy of all settled vouchers for your records.
This installation does not have a Financial Readiness Program.
The cost of living in Battle Creek and surrounding areas is "modest,” according to the Battle Creek Unlimited website. Be sure to check out the cost-of-living comparison available on the Military OneSource Relocation Essentials website. This site allows you to enter your current city and state and the city and state where you are relocating. It will compare the cost of living between the two areas.
The Fort Custer Education Center offers single and double rooms at affordable rates. Visit minationalguard.com/about, then click on Installations, then Fort Custer Training Center for rates, locations, information about the facilities, eligibility, reservations and more.
The Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center does not have government temporary housing facilities, so the cost is based on local apartment complexes. Most locations lease for one year, but many of the apartment complexes will accommodate a short-term lease for a minimum of one to six months. The average cost increase added to the normal lease amount for minimum leases are one to three months $100-$150 over the normal lease cost. Six months or longer $50-$100 over the normal lease cost. For average apartment leasing costs and reviews on apartments in the area, check out rent.com or apartments.com or apartmentratings.com
Finding a home to purchase in any price range is not difficult in Battle Creek. The median home value in Battle Creek is $155,724. For information about home and renters’ insurance, check out Your Guide to Homeowners Insurance for Michigan consumers.
Go to Military OneSource and click on Plan My Move.
Furnaces run from October through April usually. In the city, the typical furnace is fueled with natural gas. A deposit is required to set up an account for the natural gas utility. The monthly bills can be budgeted with 12 equal installments, and will be reevaluated in the winter to determine if the budget amount should be adjusted. The budget amount is usually determined in late summer. There are two primary sources for natural gas in Battle Creek. Which company you choose depends on the area you live in: Semco Energy Gas Co. and Consumer's Energy. Check out their websites for more specific information.
Air conditioners usually are turned on in June and run through August/September. Consumer's Energy is the primary utility company for electricity. A deposit is required to set up an account with the electrical company and it can be budgeted as well.
In town, the water, sewer and trash collection are all on one bill. Trash pick-up is on a separate bill from a company of your (and your neighborhood's) choice if you choose to live outside of the city. The only source for the city water, sewer and trash collection (inside of city limits) is the city of Battle Creek.
Taxes in Michigan are fairly high. There is a state income tax of 4.25%, and sales tax of 6.0%. The city personal income tax is accessed at 1% for residents and 0.5% for non-residents. Non-residents pay the 1% throughout the year, then are reimbursed the 0.5% when filing their annual income tax forms. Property taxes are based on the home's assessed value.
Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state, which makes personal auto insurance costs high. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle is required to purchase a no-fault auto insurance policy that includes the following coverage: personal injury protection, property protection and bodily injury and property damage liability.
You can find Your Guide to Automobile Insurance For Michigan Consumers online, which provides a complete explanation of these three types of policies. As of July 2, 2020, there are many changes to the existing no-fault auto insurance law, including giving Michigan drivers a choice in their level of PIP coverage. Under the new plan, drivers are able to choose from up to six options for PIP. There are several insurance calculators sponsored by various insurance companies available online to help with cost estimates for your vehicles.
It is expensive to relocate, and if you are not prepared financially, it can burden your family’s finances significantly. If the relocation is an approved permanent change of station (PCS), many, but not all, costs are reimbursed. Be sure to review your PCS package to determine what costs you'll have to pay out of pocket. If you are unsure, contact the servicing human resources office for assistance for civilian employees, or the military personnel office travel office for the military member. An advance of PCS costs may be requested from the orders issuing agency, but be sure to claim the advance on the final settlement voucher.
Advance repayments may be requested as a last resort, and will be automatically withdrawn from the service member's pay monthly, reducing their monthly income in some cases, drastically. If emergency assistance is required, military members can contact one of the following: the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Center at 877-272-7337 or Army Emergency Relief (AER) at 866-878-6378, or the local Family Advocacy Program Manager at 269-961-4051 or DSN 312-661-4051.