Eligible service members who wish to opt into the new Blended Retirement System can begin doing so Jan. 1 and have all of 2018 to make up their minds.

But if you’re thinking about making the switch, there’s incentive to do so sooner rather than later: Some of the matching-fund benefits that make up the BRS begin accumulating as soon as you’ve opted in, so waiting until late 2018 may not be in your best financial interest.

That extra money isn’t a good reason to rush into a choice this important: The BRS represents a cultural shift in the way the military addresses retirement benefits, and the service members in the opt-in window (Aren’t sure if that’s you? Click here.) have some thinking to do.

And Military Times wants to help.

In recent years, we’ve linked service members facing financial concerns or challenges with experts who’ve helped them on a path to building their bank accounts (Here’s a recent example). This year, we’re looking for troops in the BRS opt-in window who haven’t made up their mind ... or are having second thoughts.

If you’re chosen to participate, we’ll link you up with advisers who’ve dealt with military-specific finances for decades, and are among some of the private sector’s top experts in what the BRS could mean for your future. We’ll share their advice, and your BRS plans, with our Military Times audience so others in your situation will have much-needed guidance beyond online calculators and mandatory training. And this lady.

Are you willing to share your financial details, and provide a photo, for use in our online and print publications? If interested in being considered, e-mail Senior Reporter Karen Jowers at kjowers@militarytimes.com and include “BRS” in the subject line. Include your name, age, rank, branch of service, marital status (single, married, engaged), number of children (if any), length of military service, and current assignment station. Tell us a bit about why you want to participate ― and don‘t forget the photo.

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