If you have served in the United States military, you and your family have made many sacrifices to keep the rest of us safe. There is no way to adequately repay this type of commitment to the common well-being, but there are some very valuable benefits available to service members that can pave the way toward a comfortable retirement. One of them is the military retirement pension that can be earned after 20 years of active duty.
The longer that you remain in the military, the higher your retirement pay will be, and the parameters are flexible based on exactly when you served. This provides a couple of different career paths that can be quite fruitful financially. You could simply stay in the military throughout the entirety of your career and retire when you are old enough to collect your full Social Security benefit. If you take this route, you should be well positioned to enjoy your golden years in comfort with two different income streams coming in.
There is another option that can be a good choice for some people. Most individuals join the military when they are quite young, so let’s explain through the utilization of an example. Let’s assume that you joined the service when you were 18 years of age. After 20 years, you have a great deal of experience in information technology, and you have a great resume. You retire from the military, and you accept a job in the private sector.
At this point, you are just 38 years old and you are getting a pension payment every month that you can simply save or invest, because you can live well on your salary. You can then contribute into the 401(k) program at your new job. When you are 67, you could retire with your full Social Security benefit. If you never touched your savings, between the accumulated retirement benefits and the 401(k), the nest egg would be considerable. And of course, you would have two different sources of ongoing income to support your retirement lifestyle.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension
People that served in the Armed Forces during wartime may be able to qualify for another type of military pension that many people have never heard about. The benefit that we are referring to is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension. It is in place to help former service members that need assistance with their activities of daily living, so many older people can benefit from it. As elder law attorneys, we have a thorough understanding of this special pension and how it can interface with other government programs for senior citizens.
When it comes to length of service, the requirement is extremely modest. If you have served for at least one day when the country was at war out of a minimum of 90 days in the military, as long as you are discharged under honorable conditions, you could qualify for this benefit. Of course, you have to be able to provide medical proof that you do need help with your day-to-day needs.
Since this special pension is intended for former service members with limited income, there is an asset limit of $80,000 as a general rule of thumb, but each case is decided individually. Plus, some of the things that you own do not count toward this figure, including your home and your vehicle.
A single veteran that is eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension can receive as much as $1794 a month at the time of this writing. For a married couple, the figure is $2127, and a surviving spouse of an eligible veteran that requires living assistance could qualify for $1153 a month. A healthy veteran that has a spouse that needs help can receive a monthly benefit of $1410.
Contact Sterling & Tucker Today!
If you would like to discuss veterans benefits or any other elder law matter with one of our attorneys, you can schedule a consultation if you give us a call at 808-531-5391 or 800-807-3820. You can also get in touch with us through the contact page on this website.