Trans World Assurance Blog

How to Save Money During Your Spouse's Remote Military Tour

Posted on Wed, Feb 29, 2012
Remote military tours can take a toll on the family unit, as active duty personnel prepare to spend 12 months apart from their families. If your spouse is about to leave for their remote military tour, you can save extra money during their absence by taking advantage of the monetary benefits you receive. 

Family Separation Allowance (FSA)

Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is payable to active duty personnel with dependents who serve an unaccompanied tour at a rate of $250 per month, provided they meet certain criteria. Family Separation Allowance starts to accrue the day before departure and ends the day before they are due to return home to their home station. Family Separation Allowance is paid in addition to any per diem benefits being paid, as long as conditions are met.

If you are frugal, you can bank $3000 of Family Separation Allowance over the 12 month remote tour, which can help to pay down debt. Even if you are married to another servicemember, you might still be entitled to receive Family Separation Allowance (for one, rather than both members) if you can prove that you were living together for 30 days prior to the start of the remote military tour. Once servicemembers have completed DD Form 1561 (Statement to Substantiate Payment of Family Separation Allowance) and it has been approved, they will begin to receive Family Separation Allowance. 

BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing)

Dependents that continue to live in government housing on the military installation during their spouse's remote military tour are not entitled to claim BAH. However, if you and your dependent children move out of government housing, you will be entitled to claim BAH to help cover the cost of the rent or mortgage payments. 

The amount of BAH that you receive will be based according on rank and location. If you budget your BAH well and choose to live in modest accommodation below your means, you can save the difference you receive each month from your BAH.

Not all active duty personnel head off for a remote military tour during their career, but many do. If your spouse is about to depart on a remote tour, take advantage of the financial benefits to be had by saving your Family Separation Allowance as well as the difference left from your BAH after you have paid your monthly housing costs.


Written by,
Sophie S

Sophie S is a freelance writer from the UK residing in California. She holds a BA (Hons) in English with Sociology. She works as a freelance writer, specializing in web content on immigration, expatriate life, cat care and much more. Sophie has had over 3,500 articles published on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, other sites and for private clients.

Tags: personal finance, money saving tips, military pay, military spouses, military spouse, deployment

5 Must Read Articles About Military Members and Life Insurance

Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012

1) It pays to have enough life insurance: Policies beyond SGLI can spell financial security

"Having the money from an extra life insurance policy above and beyond Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance gave Vivianne Wersel extra options after her Marine husband died in early 2005…" - By Karen Jowers


2) Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI):

"What is SGLI?…How Much Coverage is Available?…How Much Does SGLI Cost?…How Much Life Insurance Do I Really Need?…SGLI Conversion Feature...The SGLI Disability Extension..." - U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs


3) Beyond SGLI:

"Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is part of a servicemember's employee benefit package. But it has limitations and like any group life insurance plan, it should not be relied upon to be the sole financial protection for your family…" - By Mike McHugh


4) Do Servicemembers Need Life Insurance?

"Life insurance is one of the most important components of your personal financial plan. Unfortunately, life insurance is poorly understood, and breadwinners' mistakes invariably cause great financial hardship for their survivors. The primary purpose of life insurance is to protect your survivors from the adverse financial consequences of your premature death..."

5) Assessing Your Life Insurance Needs and Options

"Assessing your life insurance needs and options can give anyone a headache! With the wide range of insurance products available and the complexity of your family's needs, determining the appropriate insurance protection is difficult.

In order to make this task easier, VA's Life Insurance Program has provided you with some decision-making tools and helpful information that can assist you in learning more about life insurance and in identifying your insurance needs…" - U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

This list of articles is for educational purposes only. Trans World Assurance is in no way endorsed by any of the above websites, organizations, or authors. 

Tags: military life insurance, military, life insurance needs assessment, military spouses, Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

Surviving a Military Move: A Guide for Spouses

Posted on Fri, Sep 30, 2011


transworldassuranceYou’re a military spouse and you expect this, but relocating is a huge undertaking. The idea of packing up your entire life and moving to a new place is very overwhelming. However, the following tips will get you started down the right path and help you get through your move with ease.

Get Organized

A lot of paperwork goes into a military move. First, find out which documents you will be required to have. Get a large expandable folder and keep everything organized. Make several copies of the most important documents because you will be expected to provide a copy to each of the departments and agencies involved in your relocation.

Be Persistent

Although we would all like to believe in military efficiency, those with experience know that’s not always the case. If you are expecting something, whether it be an answer to a question or a necessary document, and you do not receive it, then you need to speak up. Call or go to the department and remind them of what you need. If you are having an especially hard time getting anything done, your spouse’s chain of command may be able to offer some assistance.


There is a wealth of information to help with military moves on the internet. Do some research ahead of time to help you have a better understanding of what you’ll be experiencing. Military OneSource, Military HOMEFRONT, and SMARTWebMove are all excellent sources of information.


The best source of information are other military families. Most have been through a relocation at least once. If you have a question about something, chances are someone else has already experienced it. Try to connect with families at your new installation. They will have a better idea of the ins and outs of that particular place and will be able to point you in the right direction.

If you’re having a hard time relating to others in your area, there are several online groups that can help. Many of these group’s members include spouses from all over the world and all branches of the military. There are so many support groups on the internet that you can search for one that will best meet your needs and interests.

International Moves

As hard as domestic moves can be, international ones tend to be even more difficult. First, everyone in your family will be required to have a no-fee passport. It does not cost you anything and can only be used for government purposes. You will be using it when you first enter your new country and when you leave it. If you’re planning on doing any traveling while living abroad, you’ll need a tourist passport.

Everyone in your family will also undergo a screening to determine if they are healthy enough to leave the country and live abroad. Any necessary medical procedures will have to be taken care of before you leave.

You should also expect the bulk of your household goods to take several months to arrive at your new home. You will be able to pack vital belongings into a smaller shipment, called unaccompanied baggage, which will get to you much quicker.

Expect the Unexpected

Relocating your family is a big deal! There is so much and so many people involved that getting everything off without a hitch is near impossible. Not everything is going to go exactly as planned. The more you come to terms with this now, the less frustrated you’ll be when it happens.

The life of a military family can be difficult, but it can also be very exciting. You have an opportunity to travel and live in many places all over the country and even throughout the world. The better planned your relocation is, the more you can enjoy this experience!

Tags: military spouses, military move, transworldassurance, relocation