SHOWING 1 - 1 OF 1 RESULTS
United States Air Force
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk United Kingdom 09459-4702
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.
Personal Financial Readiness Program
The Personal Financial Readiness Program at the Airman and Family Readiness Center offers individualized financial planning assistance, workshops and classes on a recurring basis to any Department of Defense identification card holder. There are trained staff members available to provide education on a variety of financial topics:
Living in the United Kingdom can be more expensive than living in the United States. You should start saving for the move months before you make a permanent change of station. Below is a list of items for you to research and consider prior to PCSing.
Loss of income
If you are married, take into consideration the possible loss of a second income either for the duration of the tour or a short time while your spouse is job searching. Visit the Royal Air Force Mildenhall Eyes on Jobs Facebook page to see the most current job announcements.
Cost of Living Allowance
To help offset the higher price of non-housing goods and services, you will receive an Overseas Cost of Living Allowance. To find more information about your COLA, visit the Defense Travel Management Office website.
The exchange rate fluctuates daily. To obtain the most up-to-date exchange rate values, check out the XE Currency Converter. You may also want to contact your local financial institution in advance to obtain foreign currency for traveling.
This transition may require several set-up costs, including new appropriate clothing for the climate change, a new vehicle, deposits, your first month’s rent for housing, deposits for utilities, British specification household items and more.
Many American financial institutions will not let you open new bank and investment accounts while you are living in the U.K., due to regulatory agreements. Check with your financial institution before moving and make the appropriate arrangements.
The U.K. requires a yearly Ministry of Transport car inspection (approximately $85). To find the current fees, visit the U.K. government website.
U.S. vehicles shipped over to the U.S. will need a light conversion (price varies but can be as high as several hundred dollars).
A road tax is required to use U.K. roads. It can be paid for six months (approximately $240) or a full year (approximately $475). To find the current cost, visit the U.K. government website.
You may be required to pay the first month's rent (which can range from £700-£2,500) and a security deposit equivalent to one month's rent, in advance. To find houses in the local area, you can look at rightmove.com and the government housing article on the website.
Try to get a house that is priced less than your Overseas Housing Allowance; check online at the Defense Travel Management website. Otherwise, as the pound/dollar exchange rate fluctuates, there may be a significant impact on your out-of-pocket expenses. You can get Advance Pay when relocating, but keep in mind that this amount with be automatically withdrawn from your pay, reducing your income. Most landlords require payment through a monthly Standing Order, which should be paid from a pounds sterling account. This can be set up through both base financial institutions (Community Bank and Keesler Federal Credit Union) or through off-base banks.
Utility bills are issued quarterly. Setting up a monthly direct debit from a pounds account can help ease the financial burden of paying quarterly.
Your first bills are calculated on what they expect you to use based on the previous tenant’s usage. Submit your meter readings online or over the phone to the utility company to have an accurate price charged to your account.
You can go to moneysupermarket.com to compare the market prices for help finding the cheapest utilities.
Value Added Tax:
Value Added Tax, which is similar to sales tax in the U.S., is a 20% British tax on all products and services, with the exception of children's clothing and food. This tax is not applicable to items purchased on base. After you arrive, contact the VAT office in Building 450 for information on how to make tax-free purchases on certain items over £100. You must have a ration card in order to participate in the program.
Emergency assistance en route
It is possible that you may need emergency assistance while en route. There are various agencies that can assist you, including the nearest military facility, the Air Force Aid Society, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army or the USO.