10 Passive Income Streams While in the Military-Is Inflation Affecting Military Families More Than Civilians?

October 13, 2023

Passive income streams while in the military include local lead generation, Amazon FBA, freelancing, P2P lending, and crypto. With rising living costs, the average military family will have to be more creative between paychecks.

9 of 10 active service members are worried about their finances and a recent survey shows that 22% could not pay their bills outside of rent, mortgage, and loans. Overall, 84% of military spouses are financially distressed.

Local lead generation is the best business model for military members in 2023. With this business model, you can create websites and rank them while you’re home on leave, and collect income when you are in the field passively.

10 Ways to Make Extra Money While in the Military

1. Local lead generation

Local lead generation is the smartest way to make passive income in 2023. It lets you earn a lucrative profit through a proven system, better than starting a business that may or may not work. No need to invest in rent, equipment, and inventory.

The local lead generation business has so much potential for scalability. Think of it as a virtual property where tenants pay you to rent your digital space. The best part of this business model is that there's no physical structure and everything is virtual. So, it requires less initial capital investment. 

2. Real Estate Investing

Leasing a real estate property is a lucrative passive income stream for military members. Buying a new property when you move after a PCS and renting your real estate with a property manager helps you accumulate assets for retirement.

This anonymous commenter on Reddit claims he bought his first real estate through a VA loan as a 2LT in the military. At 26, he claims to own 4 properties through strategically-planned real estate investing.

Some questions to ask yourself before you decide to rent out your property: 

Am I getting a property manager or I'll manage the property from a distance?

Will I be able to visit the property regularly if I decide not to get a PM?

Do I have backup money on the property for maintenance or unexpected damage?

Will the property pass safety inspections?

3. Amazon FBA

Setting up your own Amazon FBA business is a low-maintenance passive income option. You don't have to do much with FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). Everything from picking the items to packing and delivery is handled for you.

The initial investment can start at $500 and you'll expect to start earning in your 3rd or 4th month. Learn the Amazon FBA business model if you want a slow but steady passive income stream. This Amazon step-by-step guide will help you grow from a newbie to an all-star seller.

4. Crypto Business Investments

The crypto business is a great passive income stream for active duty members. There are many inspiring crypto stories of self-made millionaires. Dash 2 Trade (D2T) and RobotEra are recommended for beginners. Get them at presale or initial coin offering (ICO) to make the most profit.

Although Bitcoin is the most popular, it is also the least volatile. Quite risky if you're still learning the ropes of crypto. Start with low-risk cryptocurrencies such as Apecoin (APE), Polygon (MATIC), and Ethereum (ETH).

5. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending

Peer-to-peer means lending money directly to the creditor who needs the fund. It's an 82 billion market in the United States as of 2021. A high-yielding passive income stream for active duty members looking for low-maintenance, high-return ventures. The opportunity for interest profit is at 6% and more.

Instead of a traditional loan, lenders and borrowers connect online through a P2P lending platform and enjoy mutual benefits. Debt-to-income ratio and credit scores might be considered in some P2P platforms to assess creditworthiness.

P2P lending is an ideal passive income source for the military because you can lend money and earn interest from it wherever you are deployed. Lenders connect with potential borrowers online through P2P lending platforms. 

6. Flipping houses

Flipping houses can be a complex project that requires excellent project management and control. And, military personnel have the right attitude learned in training to complete each project just as planned.

However, finding a distressed property, renovating it, and selling it for a profit is not simple. So, before you venture into house flipping, know your numbers first. A profitable flip should have at least a 25% margin. Get a reliable project manager, property manager, and contractor so you can keep the business going even while you're away.

Your property manager will look after the property, the contractor will be in charge of all the renovation work, and the project manager will ensure everything goes as planned from start to finish. Communication is vital.

One advantage of this business venture for military members is that you can use your VA loan for house-flipping. The Veterans Affairs (VA) does not restrict active-duty members from using the loan to profit from a house-flipping venture. A VA loan has lower interest rates and no downpayment.

As a general guideline, flipped houses can only be re-sold 90 days after the title is transferred to the owner's name. And, it should be the owner's primary residence at the renovation time. 

7. Flipping furniture

Stock up on your furniture inventory when you're on leave. Hire a virtual assistant who will manage the marketing and inventory-keeping while you're deployed. List your flipped furniture on eBay or Craigslist and pre-arrange shipping requirements with a logistics provider. A system like this ensures a smooth flow of business while you're on active duty.

Furniture flipping is another excellent source of extra income for active duty members. Refurbishing the furniture is also a great way to relieve stress. You'll learn a new skill while creating a new hobby that you'll love.

If you're new to the furniture-flipping business, it's best to start small. Do not invest in luxury furniture pieces that you have no experience with. Start slowly with a simple single-seater sofa, small accent table, or children's furniture. They are perfect for trial runs!

8. Airbnb

Convert your home to Airbnb for vacationers and tourists while deployed. It's a passive income source perfect for properties near tourist spots, airports, and train stations with heavy tourist traffic.

Converting your home to a profitable Airbnb listing only requires minimal effort. Do a little renovation to make it look clean, modern, and inviting for vacationers and travelers. Use bright colors with modern accent pieces and furniture.

You can start an Airbnb with $5K or less and Airbnb apartments can rent out for $100/night. If you're living in a highly profitable area, it could list at $200/night or even more. Airbnb collects fees from property owners.

9. High Dividend Yielding Stocks

Dividend-yielding stocks pay shareholders regularly. The average dividend payment on the S&P 500 at the time of writing (mid-2023) is about 1.6%. Stocks that pay dividends higher than the average are considered high-yielding. If you have savings that you don't want to sleep in the bank, invest them in stocks for higher returns while you're on active duty.

Stocks let you earn in two ways: through stock price appreciation and regular dividend payments. However, buying stocks does not guarantee profits. And, you can even lose money if the stock price falls. Stocks are one of the riskiest investments out there. So, ensure that you're knowledgeable enough in stock investing, or get expert advice from an analyst before you dive in.

10. Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate marketer earns commission from products and services endorsed. Becoming an affiliate for a brand generates passive income while you're on active duty. You can earn from 5% to 25% on commissions as an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate marketing is highly competitive and you have to constantly engage with your audience through content. It has great potential for a lucrative passive income but you also have to put in the work with the content that you publish. Photo and video posts, reels, giveaways, and discount offers attract traffic so you want to create more content like these. If you already have a good number of followers, then you're off to a good start. 

How Much Does an Active Duty Military Member Make?

The annual salary of a full-time enlisted soldier, Private (E) is approximately $23,000 annually. While a Staff Sergeant (E6) receives $48,000 in gross annual compensation. Entry-level enlistees with less than four months of experience start with a monthly salary of $1,773.

Annual pay increases as servicemen rank up and gain experience. Aside from the fixed base pay, many receive tax-free allowances for clothing, food, and housing. Job-specific bonuses are also available to some who are qualified.

The base pay of full-time enlisted soldiers in 2023 is listed below. These rates are exclusive of bonuses, allowances, and other employment-related benefits. 

Is Inflation Affecting Military Families More Than Civilians?

Yes, inflation affects military families more than civilians. Since the rise in inflation in 2022, 18% of military service members reported a missed payment on their loan or credit card payments. Higher than the 11% average of the general population.

American households are struggling to keep afloat amidst the rising prices of essential goods and services. Families affected by the economic distress of inflation are already up by 7% over7 months.

Unique living situations, economic uncertainty, and frequent moves because of reassignments had amplified the effects of inflation on military families. With fewer options for lower living costs, they're left with no choice but to look for additional income streams while on active duty. 

Frequent reassignments forced many military wives to quit their jobs. As a result, many military families rely on a single-income source. Doubling expenses on groceries and prices of gas eventually affected the savings. Thus, a passive income stream is necessary to make ends meet.

What Are 4 Examples of Passive Income?

4 examples of passive income are rent, interest from lending, dividend from stocks, and commissions from affiliate marketing. Passive income is the income you earn aside from active employment or business activities. It comes in many forms and sources but the most common ones are from leases, dividends, and interests earned.

What is your monthly income goal from real estate investing?

Your monthly income goal from real estate investing should be $70,000 to $124,000. To achieve this, the property should be generating regular monthly revenue from rent. Partner with a reliable property manager and look for quality tenants to establish a stable income stream from your real estate investments.

Can You Make Money in the Military?

Yes, you can make money in the military, and they pay higher than the federal minimum wage. Qualified military members also receive bonuses such as housing and clothing allowance on top of the base pay. Military personnel gets 30 days of paid leave annually and a variety of benefits on top of the base pay. Meanwhile, NCOs can check out programs like the NCO Success Academy. This can help them get access to tools, resources, and mentorship that lead to promotion and bigger earnings.

What Happens to Military Retirement Pay When You Die?

When you die, retirement pay stops immediately after the death of the military retiree. The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) pays eligible dependents an annuity based on retirement pay. 55% of the retirement pay is the maximum coverage of the SBP for military spouses. In cases wherein the military spouse dies or is not eligible for the pay, the children of the retiree can be assigned as the beneficiary.

The service member pays for the SBP premium after retirement. Premiums can be subsidized by the government based on certain criteria.

What is the Best Way to Earn While in Active Duty?

Local lead generation is the best passive income stream for active-duty military members. It's low-capital, low-maintenance, and offers unlimited scaling opportunities. The local lead generation business is a proven business model that's profitable and stable. And, you don't have to keep an inventory, maintain a physical asset, or pay rent. Everything is virtual.

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