Guest Article by Jim McKinley

Financial Planning As A Veteran: Tips For Seniors Who Have Served

by Jim McKinley

Photo via Unsplash

Financial planning is an important aspect of getting older, and for veterans, it can be complicated. There are so many things to consider, such as living arrangements and healthcare, and being a veteran can affect everything you do. As a senior, you want to think about planning ahead so your family won’t have any financial burdens after you’re gone, and while this can be a difficult step, it’s a necessary one for most older adults. Things like a will, health or life insurance policies, and burial insurance are all extremely beneficial for veterans who are making plans for end-of-life arrangements.

Talking to your family about these plans can be hard; no one likes to think about leaving the people they love. However, it’s crucial to have a conversation about your wishes and about how they can maintain good financial health after you’re gone, especially if you have veteran’s benefits or want to be laid to rest in a particular spot as a result of your military service.

Burial insurance

Burial insurance is one of the best ways to ensure that your loved ones won’t have to make any sacrifices after you’re gone. Not only does it help cover the cost of your final arrangements, it can also help pay for medical bills and other outstanding debts. Just make sure when you’re purchasing a policy that you know how much you’ll need and have an estimate of your final wishes on hand. Keep in mind that you’ll need someone you trust to handle the arrangements, and that they’ll need access to any important paperwork.

Have a talk

It can be extremely difficult to think about our own mortality and to share it with the people we love; it can bring about feelings of grief or sadness for both of you. However, it’s important to have a conversation with the ones you care about when it comes to your last wishes and how you want them to be carried out. Not only will this give you both peace of mind, it will help to ensure there are no issues within the family in regards to how your estate is divided up or where you are laid to rest.

Understand your military benefits

Retirement and disability benefits are extremely helpful for seniors, but they can be a bit complicated to understand when it comes to the military. Talk to someone who can help you figure out how to make the most of your government benefits, especially if you are about to retire and will be changing over to a different healthcare plan with out-of-pocket expenses. Knowing what to plan for and how much to save will help to avoid any nasty surprises down the road.

Think about long-term care

Long-term care or nursing homes can be expensive, and many healthcare plans don’t cover hospital stays over a certain amount of days. When you’re planning for the future, it’s important to think about all the possibilities, not just the positive ones. Many seniors need care toward the end of their life that a family member just can’t provide, so it’s important to start a savings account that will help you pay for those needs.

Financial planning as a veteran can be challenging, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Talk to an adviser who can assist you in making the right decisions for your needs so you’ll be well prepared for the coming years. With a good plan, you can ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of.


Jim is a retired banker who started Money with Jim to help folks “make the most of their hard-earned money.” 

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