8 votes

Unbelievable "Advice" from USAA to Customers on How to Prepare for a Government Shutdown

My brother just called me to tell me he just received an email from USAA, formerly known as the United States Army Automobile Association, offering advice on how to prepare for a government shutdown. What was their advice you ask?!

1. get on a budget and use their online tracking software
2. cut every expense except insurance
3. put cash in a bank
4. hold off on big purchases, see #3
5. be sure you're approved to borrow money

You think I'm kidding or exaggerating? See for yourself!



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

"These 5 weird tricks made Sen. Feinstein collapse in a gutter!"

Ohh! Some "helpful tips" those were! If USAA wanted to get attention, they should've called their email:

"These 5 weird tricks made Sen. Feinstein collapse in a gutter!" or

"Five wacky tricks the rich DON'T WANT peasants like you TO KNOW!" or

"Clinically insane tricks to win while everyone else loses!"

Of course, it only works if there's a thumbnail pic of some woman with her hand over her mouth, like she's holding back vomit.

What's with tip #1, using their tracker software to manage a budget? Are they really THAT interested in a soldier's daily expenses? Mostly booze and pole-dancers, isn't it? And what large purchases do soldiers make, apart from a gang of strippers? And why is insurance an expense one should NEVER cut back on? Heaven forbid an American soldier doesn't have his iPhone 5S with the "peace of mind" plan fully paid for!

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

I wonder if you can deposit

I wonder if you can deposit monopoly money with them? Does that count toward something in a Gov Shutdown?

Southern Agrarian

Having a big pile of cash in the bank

is ummmmm a GREAT idea during a Government shutdown! Hadn't thought of that one. Thanks USAA!

I think this advice came out months ago for their Cyprus members.

They are giving military

They are giving military members advice on preparing for a "government shutdown", not an "economic collapse". During a "gov't shutdown" the military will be used as a bargaining chip and they will probably not be getting paid.


A government shutdown is when they stop paying federal employees because they haven't approved the appropriations bill.

If your job all of a sudden quit paying you for an indefinite period of time, you would definitely want to have followed this advice.

DISCLOSURE: I am a software developer at USAA.

These spending trackers are just set up to help members keep a goal in mind. Of course their business value (I imagine) is that deposits go up, but that doesn't mean the members increasing their savings are not being benefited by mitigating risk in case of what would amount to a furlough.

Summary: It sounds like either you are guano-crazy or are completely confusing government shutdown with an economic collapse. This is good advice. And as far as savings, it doesn't even specify a savings account. You could save up in gold if you wanted to.

If you don't care now how the problems get solved, you can shake your head later that you never got involved. 'Cause a call came ringing from the throne of gold but you never got the message 'cause your mind's on hold.

TwelveOhOne's picture

Hi! I am a USAA member with a software issue

Can you please get management to agree to fix the ridiculous bug where I cannot pay more than the total balance? I am constantly spending money on my credit card, and sometimes want to account for an imminent purchase when I pay the bill, i.e. I want to overpay.

Because the developers (or management) have decided to be "helpful" and deny any request to spend more than I owe, I generally have to make two payments.

Then I noticed the additional restriction, that I cannot make two payments of the same amount in a row to the same place!

At a minimum, please change these types of "errors" to instead be "warnings" and allow the user to continue if they confirm this is really what they wanted to do?

As it is, now when I want to make a $2,000 payment, I have to schedule two payments, for $1000.01 and $999.99, which is just frustrating and inefficient.

I've reported this bug at least twice, over the past several years, and my issue has not even received a response, let alone a fix.

Thanks for listening.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)


There have been back crisis'.

Tell us though, is this article speaking to a person with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank who may have it taken.

Or, is it talking to a person living paycheck to paycheck, who may be impacted by a shutdown and loss of paycheck...

What does the article title tell you?

Don't promote conspiracies where they don't exist.

Why do you insist and labeling this post a conspiracy?

You seem so adamant to get that point across. Out of all the commentors, you're the only one saying the word conspiracy. Why is that?

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Good customer service and great pricing don't negate bad advice.

That seems the default response I've been getting from people disagreeing with the OP: That USAA has good customer service and good pricing and helps the military, but while that may be true (I don't disagree) that doesn't negate the idea that putting your emergency cash-on-hand in a bank or preparing to borrow money is good advice to prepare for a government shut down.

Please explain to me how it's a better idea to store your cash-on-hand (not talking 100% of your assets) in a bank during a government shut down, presumably for financial reasons! Also, please explain how going into debt is helpful during a government shut down.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


stretching for credibility

You have an article from a bank. You said it was so "amazing" what it said.

Now your only response is one of the many suggestions is that a bank says to have cash in the bank.

Well, here is one reason why those without hundreds of thousands of dollars, and those with guns, shouldn't worry about keeping a few to a few dozen thousand dollars in the bank.

*** Because no one has any reason to think they shouldn't.

Great save.

According to you, the USA should be so paranoid that every dollar is going to be taken from a bank.

Your rulers, and most of us, are smarter than that. Just stop with the nonsense trying to save face.

Give me a break dude. You know you didn't understand the post. You've lost all credibility. Bye now.

I know what you're doing.

It's very obvious. I'll let my body of contributions here at the DP and also to the Liberty Movement as whole speak to my credibility and my understanding. My credibility can easily be verified.

Yours on the other hand....

I'm just wondering how long you'll keep this trolling up. It allows the rest of the community to see how it's actually done.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Where did you quote me as saying "amazing"?

Just curious if you made that up too?

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Naval Officer and USAA customer here

you hit it on the nose brother (platoonleader).

Tu ne cede malis.

Candidates for Liberty Webpage:

2016 Liberty Candidate Thread:

Infantry Officer Here, USAA Too

First, that's GOOD advice. Hang with me here and stop being close minded. Don't fall into the same traps that the "sheeple" do, get me?

When the military has a government shutdown, and it happens, that is perfect advice. Yea, perfect world, invest in guns, ammo, gold and food, but this isn't what this article is about. It's not about government collapse, but shutdown. There IS a difference. I went through one of these on active duty in 2011. We are paid bi-weekly and they withheld our paychecks because of the government shutdown.

A lot of people and soldiers live paycheck to paycheck, when they miss a check it's huge. All the steps USAA lists would have helped thousands of soldiers in 2011.

Second, USAA is the BEST bank you could go with. Killer deals and discounts, by FAR the BEST customer service I've experienced with any company in the world. I don't think they are even FDIC, hence they get the game. Great bank who helps the troops. They even pay back dividends of the insurance you pay, usually $100 or so.

Missed the mark on this one bro.
I'm standing up for em here.

If I'm remembering correctly,

If I'm remembering correctly, the withheld paychecks two years ago was during the debt ceiling crisis/debates. More than likely it was done in order to gain public support for an increase in the debt ceiling. Just imagine all the flak members of congress received over the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of soldiers whose paychecks were withheld.

USAA's advice to minimize expenses, live on a budget, delay large purchases and to save cash is probably good advice to follow on a regular basis. If our government only followed that same exact advice we would very likely not be facing yet another government shutdown.


everyone that up voted OP

Use your brain.

I completeley agree. The BANK is FDIC insured.

The service is unmatched.

The online service to help budget... wow... great job OP trashing a free service to help those that need help with cash management.

Let's all accept there are different elements here. And many don't have military experience, even though they claim their "family" does.

Horrible attempt at a conspiracy OP and downvoters. Do your military a favor and stay out of it.

There have been financial

There have been financial crises around the world where money in banks was either unavailable to depositors or significantly limited. Many people suggest having cash on hand rather than just cash in the bank. I don't know for certain but maybe the OP's objection is with saving cash in the bank. Overall, the advice from USAA does seem quite wise, though.

About FDIC insurance, true that it's there, but if a gov shutdown turns into something worse the FDIC might not be of much help. It would only take a small fraction of our banking system to have problems to wipe out the resources of the FDIC.

In 2009 the FDIC went bankrupt: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/08/as-of-fri...

US Deposits In Perspective: $25 Billion In Insurance, $9,283 Billion In Deposits; $297,514 Billion In Derivatives - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-19/us-deposits-perspec...



Third generation USAA member here (grandad was in the Navy) and USAA has better rates, better reputation, and better customer service than anyone in the business. Dealing with them is NO hassle. I gotta stick up for 'em too...

Now that's a great way to disagree with the OP!

Thanks for the comment! Someone below could learn a thing or two from you! I'd have to agree on the good customer service and pricing from what I've heard about USAA, but that does NOT mean that budgeting ONLINE, storing all your liquid cash IN A BANK, and preparing to BORROW MONEY is good advice to prepare for a government shut down.

I don't see how this is so controversial.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Conspiracy theorist

Get a grip.

1) Budgeting is on the computer, which is online. And a bank offering an awesome service is common place. And it's been shown ALL of your bank transactions are online. What's your problem?

Yeah, the world is SO concerned the 1 weekend a month guard member is spending $50 / month on MOnster drinks.

Get a grip of yourself.

2) Storing your LIQUID CASH in a bank. Wow. So controversial.

Like those Greece citizens that stored their cash in the bank. Those part-time military members, that had more than hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a bank. That got targeted.

Yeah. That's such a problem.

3) OMG. OMG. OMG. People. That may be on the fringes. May. Need. To. Borrow. Money.

And if they lose their part time jobs while service... wow. Who could even imagine they may need money? And you are the dictator to tell them they are horrible people to need to borrow it? You're so great... let me compare you to published financial advisors...

Suze Orman made an entire book on what to do in the face of a meltdown for those who are not wealthy. Getting access to a line of credit for last resort... yeah, that also made her list, as it did USAA's.

Robert Pagliarni, CBS, did the same. Plan Z. Guess what? Part of that advice when you may lose your income? Get access to money.

Huh. Two professionals for the USAA list.

Guy - you are clueless..

Getting access to credit is a high priority.

And she's not the only one.

You are not controversial. The problem is you don't understand.

Put money in a bank???

Riiiiggghht. Anyone remember Cyprus?

The speculative derivatives Casino is still going strong and many Too Big To Fail Banks are heavily exposed. Once the music stops, there will be more than just a few banks who find they don't have a seat to sit in.

There's little political will for another public bail out. A very possible choice of Congress this time will be the Cyrpus haircut route, basically allowing the banks to turn large demand deposit accounts into bank stock.


once again

Yes, the slide eventually says in the bank. They are a bank. The suggestion, however, is build up your savings.

I talk to military people regularly. They get this. The fact someone's here criticizing USAA, I'll tell you they will discount, and ignore those people. They, however, get how the world works.

You don't need to tell someone who has more experience than you with the world how to save money.

I now understand why people think we're crazy

You people know that the government has shut down, right?

Multiple times over the last few decades. They do it now. It's called the sequester.

So, when a company that BTW offers extremely low rates to the military, suggests if those military members were to lose their income they should maybe start budgeting now...


Why are you against that?

It's only because the comments here make believe a govt shutdown is = anarchy in the streets.

And if you can't read advice like this and not think someone may not be saying a govt shutdown is the end of the world... well... I really don't know how to reach you.

Yes, the government kicks and screams...

...that they will be forced to shut down if they can't enact some corrupt scheme, but this is hardly the case. They're just fear-mongering.

It's nice to see you bring up sequestration? That's one of my points too! Except in a slightly different and more realistic light:

And BTW, my brother is NOT military. USAA has a lot of customers that aren't military.

Presenting a strawman argument that my post implies that anyone should be against common sense budgeting, is just that...a strawman.

Budgeting = Good
Doing it online using software that tracks your spending habit = Not Good

A government shut down does not imply chaos will ensue, but it could, and if those people in control of government can benefit from chaos, go ahead and bank on their being chaos parading around on the media.

A government shutdown is NOT the end of the world. It's a victory for humanity if it could actually happen.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


the strawman

Interesting how you swapped an innocent article for a conspiracy, and you blame others for the issue.

Budgeting = good, and using a software program isn't? Really? Your budgeting program isn't tracked online? All of your purchases not tracked? Hear about Edward Snowden much?

Thanks for admitting your post has nothing to do with chaos. It unnecessarily did promote chaos, as the number of responses here prove.

Thanks for admitting that a shutdown is good. Thanks for admitting bugdeting when you may lose you income is good. As is keeping your insurances. As is having access to credit.

As is your story is not a story.

Interesting how you said the word "conspiracy"

Also interesting how you left out the word "online".

"Blame others?" Please elaborate.

I budget with a paper and pencil.

How did this post promote chaos? And where did you learn those shifty skills of bringing mud into the conversation and using omission to flip the point of online comments?

Also interesting how you avoid some of the issues/questions I bring up.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Government using prepers advice.

I am ahead of the game ;)

Gerald Celente's 3G's...

Gerald Celente's 3G's...

Guns, Gold, and a Getaway Plan.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul


He added food to that I believe, or at least knowing how to farm.

USAA is the

biggest insurance crooks in the business, and they prey on military and veterans. My brother used to work their as a claim agent, and he would get sick almost every day on the way to the office, because he had to basically tell veterans and current military they are getting screwed. Needless to say, he didn't work there very long! He actually couldn't tell them they are getting 'screwed', but when he told them what USAA is settling the claim for, they pretty much figured it out themselves. They hardly pay for anything, and when the claim got over about $2500 they would total the car, and most people would be way upside down from what USAA paid and what they owed on their note. Also, once they contact them and tell them they are totaling their vehicle, they must surender their rental car immediately or pay full rental costs to the rental agency. I used to think Progressive and Allstate were bad, from when I used to do collison work, but from what he told me, USAA makes them like Santa Claus.