Serving in the United States military is a very honorable life goal. Whether you are brimming with patriotism or simply believe in the mission of the armed forces to protect the country’s interests at home and abroad, military service is not an easy decision. Once you return home and become a veteran, re-integrating into society can be difficult.
Although the mental and emotional challenges that come with returning to civilian life are hard to overcome, there are some benefits to being a veteran. One of those benefits is your financial outlook. Although the military does not pay very much, there are a ton of programs to take advantage of that can help you save money and plan for a comfortable lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some ways that veterans can save money when they return to life as civilians in the United States.
For the most part, veterans pursue careers when they return home. Though the retirement plans for the military are solid, you still need regular income for many years to have a bright future. Fortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs wants to set you up well for your next profession. This branch accomplishes that objective by providing free educational and career counseling for veterans. If you are not sure what professional path to take, this is a fantastic option to help you determine where your skills might apply or what type of education is available to you. This could save you a lot of time and money on a prolonged job search.
VA Home Loans
One of the primary ways to save money as a veteran is when purchasing a home. Most people have to take out conventional mortgages to afford a home, which may come with down payment requirements, higher interest rates, and mortgage insurance premiums. If you are a military veteran, active-duty service member, or surviving spouse, then you can access a more favorable loan program. Home loans that are backed by the VA have no down payment requirement, no mortgage insurance payments, and lower interest rates. This means you can save a lot more money on a home purchase than the average buyer, setting aside more money for the future.
Perhaps you have been living in your house for a while and it is time for some upgrades. There are several circumstances in which it helps to be a veteran. First, if you plan to make changes in the home to accommodate a service-related disability, then you can receive funding that is significantly more affordable. However, if you simply want to do a cash-out refinance, you could do so into a new VA-backed loan with better terms, especially if your original home loan was not a VA loan. This refinancing will provide you with a lump sum of cash to spend on big repairs such as new roof costs or an updated kitchen. This investment will also increase the resale value of the property, which will benefit you if you plan to move in the future.
VA Disability Benefits
Speaking of service-related disabilities, this is a program that you may be eligible for. If you acquired an injury or illness related to your service or an existing condition worsened during your time in the military, then you could receive tax-free monthly payments through the VA disability program. These payments could range from a few hundred dollars a month to over four thousand depending on your disability rating. All you need to do is file a claim and prove that your disability is service-related. You can find plenty of VA claim help online so that you have the best chance of being approved and earning your tax-free payments soon.
Another major benefit of being a veteran is saving on healthcare costs. As a way of showing appreciation for your service, the VA has a vast network of healthcare clinics and providers that will cover many of your needs at a much lower cost than is available to most civilians. This ensures that you receive the care you need for the rest of your lifetime without having to shell out as much money as others. Additionally, if your healthcare needs are service-connected, then you will receive your care for free. This is a great option for veterans who have injuries or illnesses from their time in the military. However, the VA healthcare system in general is trending upward in terms of quality and is already seen as a less expensive alternative for veterans that does not sacrifice quality of care.
Plan for Your Future By Saving
The key to enjoying a long and happy life is filling it with experiences. In many cases, these experiences require money, whether that means traveling, spending time with family, or going on adventures. You can start saving now to have a brighter future. As a veteran, you have access to numerous financial benefits, such as better home loans, cheaper healthcare, and free career counseling that can set you up well for life as a civilian.