About 4 years ago I was sitting at a Yellow Ribbon event for a Army reserve unit in Georgia. A couple came in to see me to discuss their finances. They were both older, no children, and facing a deployment. As we began to discuss their finances, they seemed to want to talk about something, but they seemed embarrassed to talk about it. I thought they were embarrassed about how they were managing their finances, but as I asked more probing questions, the truth finally came out. We discussed how the military can prepare financially for adoption or fertility because they wanted to borrow money to pay for IVF.
Nothing embarrassing about that situation, Soldier. I’m here to tell you that I’ve done IVF 5 times and there’s nothing to be ashamed of here. I could see the stress melt off their faces as I talked to them about my experience of going through IVF and how we financially paid for it. So, how does the military prepare financially for adoption or fertility? Keep reading.
Podcast episodes to check out for Military Resources
FINANCES OF INFERTILITY EPISODE:
The Military Money Show with Lacey Langford.
- Laura’s personal experience with adoption and infertility
- The average costs of infertility and adoption
- Costs of IUI vs. natural cycle IVF vs IVF
- The myths and benefits of Foster Care
- Fundraising for fertility treatment costs
- Upfront costs
- Infertility and Adoption grants
- Common mistakes in the process
- Marriage stress from infertility and how to cope
- What to do when you have debt
- What Tricare and the VA cover
Preparing Financially for Adoption Episode:
Sheepdog Financial, with Scott Vance
- Laura talks to us about their struggles with fertility, adoption, and the financial burden of both.
- What is the process for adoption? What if you get deployed?
- If you are outside of the United States, there are things you must do to bring an adopted child home.
- When you are living in the United States, you need an ICPC to get permission to take an adopted child across state lines.
- Laura created an adoption financial planner to make sure you have set up an accurate budget.
- Did you know that there are military discounts to get travel discounts for flights and hotels?
- Laura speaks to us about the different ways you can adopt without breaking the bank.
- She brakes the myth about fostering while in the military.
- Does moving all the time with the military, being away from extended does that weight negatively when trying to adopt?
- Laura talks about making her network of people once they moved to Tennessee.
- They chat about the cost of fertility and creating multiple streams of income to fund the full IVF cycle.
- She has a list of grants that can help with IVF and adoption.
- If you are an eligible service member, there is a program called the Compassionate Care that can save you up to 50%.
- Keep all of the receipts for everything you spend, you will want them at tax time. (Tracking documents included in the Preparing Financially for Adoption course.)
- What questions do you need to ask your CPA when you are filing your taxes?
- Laura recommends doing a year-end tax review, tax planning.
- When adopting, how do you protect the child’s credit? Identity?
- When borrowing money to pay for fertility or adoption, make sure you can afford to pay it back.
- She gives us some ideas for fundraisers like renting out your house with Airbnb.
- What kind of long term planning do you need with adopted children? Is it the same as with other children?
- She talks about the insecurities that can come from having a relationship with a child’s birth family.
- Laura gives us her final piece of advice.
Military Financial Resources
Tricare is a a great benefit for servicemembers because of the low monthly premium and the low deductible. Unfortunately because of the low deductible, you aren’t able to utilize the benefits of a Health Savings Account for either fertility or adoption (special needs and/or international adopted children may have high medical needs that an HSA can help with before and after adoption.)
Once a child is placed with you, you’ll need a letter of placement to upload into DEERS to send to Tricare, so your child receives health benefits. You can find more information about that here. Be sure to check out the fine print about enrolling them in the program and time requirements.
Military OneSource provides adoption resources on their website. If you are interested in meeting with me, you can schedule an appointment with me for up to 12 sessions for financial counseling at no cost to current service members. We can put together a financial roadmap towards your adoption or fertility procedure.
How Can The Military Make Extra Money
We know that when you work for the military whether you are active duty, reserve, or national guard; you are busy. There are meetings, more meetings, PT, trainings, drill, schools for advancement, schools for skills you must learn for your position, and early morning formations. How do you earn the money for adoption or fertility if you are paying your bills, contributing to the TSP, saving for your next Harley, or beefing up your emergency savings account? Phew, that’s just too much!
The above word is gold. Now, you’ll need to do some work, but you are in the military, you are use to grunge work. Think of this time as if you are a Private First Class again. You’ve got to do all the hard work the upper enlisted don’t want to do or don’t have to do because they already went through it. They earned that right to sit back and watch you scrub the tanks after you get back from AT.
Here’s a few Passive Income ideas that you can create, but remember it’s only passive after you put in the work.
Utilize your home
- AirBnB- will you be gone for a deployment, Annual Training, or school and your home can be rented out while you aren’t there? One First Sergeant rented her home out during the Masters and made $12,000 a year.
- International Students
- Rent Storage out to deployed service members
Utilize your car
Use your car as a billboard by contracting with companies to wrap your car with an advertisement. Here’s where you can find a company.
- Sticker Ride
- Pay Me For Driving is available for St. Louis drivers
- Free Car Media
- Car Bucks
Tip: Some of these companies require you sign a contract, so read the fine print.
Purchase a rental home
I bought my first home, rented the other two rooms to roommates and then purchased a 2nd home and rented out the first home. Many active service members will rent out their home when they PCS and start their real estate portfolio that way.
Advertising is key to finding a renter, so place a listing on Rent.com and Zillow for maximum exposure. Do some research on pricing for your area because if you get no applicants, you may discover that you are priced too high and if you get many applicants you may decide you’ve priced your rent too low.
If you own commercial property you can advertise on Loopnet/Costar for future tenants to rent from you.
Put up a billboard in your yard
One client had a piece of property near a busy intersection. They contacted several billboard companies about putting up a billboard. They were paid $10,500 annually and they did nothing, but lease the land to the billboard company. (A Marine told me about his dad that lived in Kansas City when Google came to their city, they paid him $10,000 a month to put their tower in his back yard.) You can also look into solar power or windmills if you own some land.
Here’s where you can find a billboard company.
Tip: You make more money leasing to a company that does a digital billboard vs a stationary billboard.
Tip: The billboard company will provide a lease to you. You can negotiate to remove terms such as “First Right Of Refusal” or length of lease and payment annually or monthly. Remember to consult an attorney before signing a document and read thoroughly, so you understand the terms and conditions.
Military Spouse Income
After you’ve determined your spending plan(we provide you all the resources in the Preparing Financially for Adoption course as well as the 21 Day Challenge on how to create your spending plan.) You’ll have identified your total household income. Can you live on just one income and save the other person’s income?
As a military spouse, you can find work online to help you with continuous employment between moves.
Income sources online for spouses
- VIPKid check out how one woman makes $1000 a month teaching English part time.
- Proofread Anywhere- take their course on how to proofread.
- Become an audio book narrator with ACX.
- Find Voiceover work (if you have a silky smooth voice or even a unique voice, this would be a fun job to have. I worked with an Airman that did this as a side hustle. He read children’s books with character voices. I made him do it for me because I was intrigued and I loved his different voices. There are definitely hidden talents in our military.)
- Find a remote job through these 2 websites Just Remote and Remote.
- Become a Transcriptionist
These are just a handful of ideas on how to make money online. I love to listen to the Side Hustle School podcast where Chris interviews people that have successfully created a side hustle that makes a minimum of $500 a month. There’s some crazy ways people have made money and some pretty ingenious ideas.
Other employment that I’ve seen spouses have that have been flexible include: yoga instructor, eye lash consultant, online behavioral therapist, Etsy shop owner, dog walker, and nurse. It’s just a matter of finding your passion and then going after it.
Develop a game plan with your personal finances
When you build a house you start with the foundation. It’s important to recognize that your personal spending affects whether or not you can reach your goals. You can make great money, but if you are spending it all, then it causes stress and fulfillment in your life.
If you have struggles with over spending on personal items or an addiction to online spending, but you need a tool to help you restrain yourself, then check out Qube Money. I highly recommend their Qubes or categories to help plug the leaks in personal spending as well as set up automatic savings for your goals such as adoption and fertility.
During the 21 Day Challenge, I help you set up your spending plan and give you the tools you need to get your finances on the right track. The course includes:
- Specific Daily challenges that will help you change your behavior with your money.
- Obtain worksheets and downloads that coaching clients receive.
- Access to Financial Coach, Laura inside a private Facebook Group.
- Accountability and Motivation from other participants inside the private Facebook Group.
- Activities inside the Challenge will help you gain intention, focus, and assist you in reaching your financial goals.
Check out DFAS for adoption reimbursement for $2000 with a max of $5000 per calendar year for eligible adoption expenses for active duty personnel. Here’s the DD 2675 form you’ll need to file for the reimbursement.
Adopt US Kids– check out the resources for service members stationed over seas. You can still adopt while deployed. One bit of advice, have a limited power of attorney, so if your spouse needs to go to court with the child and you are unable to attend, the proceedings can still happen.
This article contains links from partners. We may be compensated if you purchase from their website.