We owe a considerable part of the peace and order we enjoy every day to unnamed heroes in our military forces. They have willingly devoted their prime years and best energies in service of the nation. In so doing, almost every aspect of their life has been specified or taken care of by the state – their education, housing, food, clothing, and allowances. Almost everything has been provided for, tax-free. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does have its side effects.
According to a study conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and Pioneer Services, 55% of veterans think that they are not yet prepared for financial emergencies that may come their way when they get back to being a civilian.
Aside from that, 58% of veterans sustain more debt on a monthly basis compared to civilians, which are only around 34%. This is the downside of the state dependence of the military. Once they retire or separate from the military service eventually, they seem to go back to the basics of the civilian life feeling vulnerable, especially in their finances.
Here are some ways on how veterans can secure their finances after retirement or separation from military service:
Seek Proper Financial Advice
Most veterans fall into the trap of false security, erroneously thinking that they know everything about managing their finances. While there is uniformed personnel who is likewise skilled in handling financial concerns, there are also others who are not. Be keen enough to assess your financial literacy level and seek advice from financial experts. They are the best people to guide you towards financial stability.
Practice Making A Budget
The very first time you receive a civilian paycheck, you might get surprised because of the enormous effect that taxes have on a civilian’s take-home pay. Because of this, you have to get used to budgeting your money. Set aside portions of your income for specific purposes and stick to it. Know which expenses to prioritize to maximize your money’s use and worth.
Keep Your Debt To A Minimum
Do not rush into large purchases without having enough savings. If you are worrying that you may not be able to control your impulses if you get a credit card, postpone it for the meantime to keep you from taking on debts you can’t sustain. This would only expose you to possible interest charges and other fees associated with credit. Control your fixed costs to a minimum also, including any housing or car installment payment.
Do Not Rely On Pension Alone
Veterans do have the privilege of receiving their pensions at regular intervals but do not take this for granted. Plan for your retirement and take advantage of your current resources to ensure that you will have enough money in the next few years. Remember, especially for disability pensions, they shrink moving forward so make sure that you find extra funding sources or other jobs that could generate income for you.
Avail Of A Life Insurance Policy
Even as active members of the military force, uniformed personnel are enrolled in a group life-insurance plan with death benefits for them and their spouses. Upon retirement, this can be converted into a veteran’s group life insurance policy. This policy would give you and your family enough coverage in case of any fortuitous event. Health insurance is also a good option especially if you need coverage for possible sickness.
Even people who have been civilians all their lives have difficulty managing money matters. More so, for uniformed personnel who have been so used to life in the military force, adjusting to civilian life may be a tedious and challenging job – especially when it comes to finances. But with enough effort and time, you will surely get the hang of it.