Special Benefits for Senior Veterans Planning for the Future

Veterans and their families understand the hard work and sacrifices made in the service of the country. There can be several challenges in retirement, including health issues and financial problems. There are services available that can help.

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Special Benefits for Senior Veterans Planning for the Future
5 Min Read January 28th, 2022

According to CNBC, most Americans need around $1.7 million to retire comfortably. Fortunately, this doesn't all have to be in cash, and, as a veteran and a senior, you may have a few benefits that can help you manage your money. 

Retirement Savings Options

Many veterans pay military pensions available. Unlike most retirement plans, military pensions start on the first day of retirement, no matter the individual's age. 

Military pensions also come with a cost of living adjustment each year. Surviving family members can qualify for some of your pension benefits if they outlive you.

Four military retirement pay programs exist depending on when you entered military service - Computing Retired Military Pay | Military.com.

Many vets have a second career following the military before they finally 'retire' for good. By the time you reach retirement age, you likely already have put aside some money. 

But, if you've yet to pull out of the workforce, it's never too late to start saving. According to Rick Crawford & Associates, there are many retirement planning options, including an IRA and Keogh Plan, which are designed for self-employed individuals. You might also look into a self-employment IRA or use money that you have in cash savings as an annuity to help supplement your income.

Social Interaction and Isolation

Social interaction is vital for seniors, who often suffer greatly from the effects of loneliness and isolation. When making plans for your future, consider rekindling old friendships and restoring connections that may have fallen by the wayside over the years. 

Social interaction is beneficial for seniors who don't have family or whose relatives live miles away. If you want to reconnect with some of your old classmates from, for example, the Wheaton, Illinois area, many websites - like Classfinders, help point you in the right direction. Vet Friends can help you find former military buddies that you can reconnect with that may live near you - VetFriends.com | Military Buddy Finder.

Whatever you choose to do regarding the future, make sure you have good friends by your side who will support you through it all. 

Paying for Home Modifications

As a veteran, you might have some service-related disabilities, such as musculoskeletal injuries that exacerbate age-related mobility issues. These past injuries might make it necessary to retrofit your home to accommodate you as you age. 

While you can use savings or credit to pay for things you need, such as a wheelchair ramp or wider doorways, another option is to refinance and pull some equity out of your home. A cash-out refinance wipes out your existing mortgage and gives you a newer mortgage, often with a lower interest rate, for a higher amount than you actually owe on your home. You are then given the balance in cash at closing. 

Reverse mortgages can also be helpful as a way to eliminate mortgage payments, fund Long-Term Care Insurance - or fund in-home health care services, and even enhance your retirement income - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Health and Geriatric Services

Veterans and other military-related individuals may qualify for TriCare. TRICARE is a health program for:

  • Uniformed Service members and their families,
  • National Guard/Reserve members - including:
    • Army National Guard
    • Army Reserve
    • Navy Reserve
    • Marine Corps Reserve
    • Air National Guard
    • Air Force Reserve
    • U.S. Coast Guard Reserve
  •  and their families,
  • Survivors,
  • Former spouses,
  • Medal of Honor recipients and their families, and
  • Others registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

You may also be eligible for other geriatric services, including adult day health, home-based care, and home hospice. These and other services are provided after an evaluation and only if you qualify for VA benefits, which nearly half of all veterans do. 

However, you will need a service-related need for care services or have limited income and assets. If you qualify, you may enjoy benefits of up to $2295 per month on assisted living and dementia care. This can significantly cut down on the amount of cash that you need to have saved to retire. 

Medicare pays for a limited number of skilled services, and Medicaid pays if you have little or no income and assets.

Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for all types of long-term health care, including in-home care; however, you must have reasonably good health to qualify for coverage usually purchased in your 50s. For vets with savings to protect, private Long-Term Care Insurance will usually be the best option to protect assets and reduce the stress and anxiety that long-term health care places on family members.

Seek help finding appropriate coverage by using a qualified specialist - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Burial Benefits

Vets will get funeral honors. Generally, military funeral honors are performed by two uniformed service members. In some situations, in addition to the playing of "Taps," there will be a uniformed rifle detail and color guard. 

A solider holding a flag.

At least one uniformed detail member will be from the deceased's military branch. The ceremony consists of folding and presenting the U.S. flag and playing "Taps," either by a high-quality recording or a bugler.

Get details on military honors at funerals - Arranging Military Funerals - VA.org

While burial benefits are limited — a maximum of $2,000 for service-related deaths — it's good to know ahead of time what you might qualify for. 

Veterans may also be eligible for $255 through the Social Security Administration and a free plot at a national cemetery. Considering the average cost of a funeral can top $10,000 or more, any amount you can shave off of this will help you plan and take some burden off of your loved ones.

Veterans have available benefits that those without a military record do not. When it's time to plan for your future, it's wise to know what's available ahead of time.

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About the Author

Donna Erickson is a retired public educator. She created Fit Memory with a few friends as a way to promote wellness among senior citizens with the hopes it will help inspire others to make the most of their golden years.

LTC News Contributor Donna Erickson

Donna Erickson

Contributor since December 8th, 2021

Editor's Note

Veterans, by nature, are prepared. Semper Paratus, sometimes shortened to Semper P, is a Latin phrase meaning "Always Ready," a motto used by the United States Coast Guard.

Being prepared for the natural decline in health, body, and mind is what you and your family should want to give everyone peace of mind. Long-term health care costs are rising rapidly nationwide. Since most of these costs will not be paid for by the government (outside of military service-related needs or for those with little or no income and assets), the responsibility for paying for care services is yours alone.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide the guaranteed tax-free resources to pay for your choice of quality care options, including in-home care.

The ideal time to put coverage in place is before retirement. Most people purchase Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s.

Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities

If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.

Take a moment and read - 

Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you, or a loved one complete the claims process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. 

You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS 

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

You can also affordably purchase a dofollow link to your website or blog on LTC NEWS. Just contact the advertising department.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com  

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