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StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for America's Small Businesses

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Virginia Newell

Virginia Newell is an Army Wife and a mother of two rowdy boys. She graduated from Lindenwood University with a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and has been freelance writing since 2015. As a military spouse for the last six years, she is excited to contribute to the veteran community as a content writer for StreetShares. In her spare time she loves reading, coffee, working out, cooking, and blogging.

Recent Posts

The Blended Retirement System: 2018 Military Retirement Changes
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on March 28, 2019

Military retirement changes are happening for many of our nation’s service members in the form of a new, blended retirement system. Anyone who joined the military after January 1, 2018 was automatically enrolled in the Blended Retirement System (BRS), so it’s important to understand exactly what it is and how it might impact you.

 Click here to download our guide to military retirement: Blended Retirement  System

Why Did Military Retirement Benefits Change?

According to the DoD, only about 19 percent of active duty members and 14 percent of reserve members actually hit the 20-year service mark previously required to receive retirement benefits from the military – about 1/6 of our military population.

To alleviate this problem, the Department of Defense rolled out the Blended Retirement System to serve the remaining 80 percent of service members left without military retirement benefits. The goal of the BRS is to offer a retirement system that aligns more closely with a civilian 401(k) plan, as well as to offer military benefits for those who serve their country in uniform, but not for a full 20-year career. While these new military retirement changes  are designed to save the government money, many benefits are available for military members who understand the new system. It’s perfect for veterans who want to build their savings for retirement, those who may be seeking to open a small business, or those who want to become a certified, veteran-owned, small business government contractor.

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Legacy vs. Blended Retirement System (BRS): A Quick Military Pension Calculator
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on December 11, 2018

A short Google search on the subject of retirement readiness quickly results in an overarching feeling that Americans have rapidly been falling behind. In fact,, 42% of Americans currently aren’t saving for retirement at all.So what about you? Will you have enough saved in retirement? Will your retirement be sustainable? Use this post as a quick military pension calculator for guidance on how best to start saving.

Military Retirement Changes

For military members, ‘retirement’ has taken on a whole new set of complications with the updated pension system the government rolled out in 2018. We’ve provided a guide and outlined the general implications of this Blended Retirement System (BRS), such as whom it affects and when the changes will be implemented; however, there are deeper weeds to dig into about how specifically the BRS plan will truly affect military members’ retirement from a “numbers” perspective.

Let’s look at how the military’s pension planswork (old & new) and how to think about building your savings with help from our military retirement calculators.

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Top 10 Most Influential Military Spouse Business Owners
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on November 1, 2018

Life as a military spouse can be full of adventure, fun, new beginnings and discounts galore. It also can be full of uncertainty, sacrifice and self-reliance; moves are endless, friendships are constantly evolving, and children are uprooted. Unfortunately, the transitory nature of the military has an especially deep impact on spouse’s employment opportunities.

Recent statistics have shown more than 90 percent of military spouses are underemployed or overqualified for the jobs they currently hold, and salary for those jobs is 38 percent less than the civilian equivalent. Beyond that, unemployment among military spouses is extremely high at 26 percent, or three times higher than the national average. Hiring managers tend to look for longevity on resumes – one thing that military spouses cannot provide.

We wanted to focus in on some incredibly influential military spouses who, through their successful businesses, have either worked to change the unemployment rate among military spouses or have simply found a way to defy the odds and have become influential through their admirable business models. We are excited to highlight these 10 amazing women as a way to show our appreciation for all they are doing in the military community and illuminate their own unique service to our country.

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9 Tips to Grow Your Veteran-owned Small Business [ebook]
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on February 28, 2018

As all small business owners know, achieving growth is critical to business success over the long term. But you may be asking yourself, what are the best growth strategies and how can I implement them to truly see progress? We’ve outlined several tips that we think are surefire ways to help you make the most out of the business opportunities that await you in 2019. Below are four tips. To get all nine tips, download the complete ebook here.

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5 Small Business Trends for Vet-owned Businesses
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on February 13, 2018

As your veteran-owned small business enters into a new calendar year, you should be aware of some of the trends on the rise for small businesses in 2018. Rethinking your business strategies and examining current trends are great ways to refresh your business outlook, reestablish your goals, and ultimately make your small business even more successful. Here are three of five small business trends to get your started. To get the other two, which include marketing strategies and company culture, download the ebook now

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