We offer comprehensive assistance to clients that are looking ahead toward their retirement years, and we are proud to work with military veterans that are planning for the future. Without question, these brave men and women put it all on the line to keep our country safe, and they make a lot of sacrifices. There is no way that they can be fully repaid for their service, but they do receive certain veterans benefits that can help to pave the way for a comfortable retirement.
Pensions are becoming more and more rare in the American workplace, but you can take advantage of a great opportunity in this regard if you are in the armed forces. Service members who have served for at least 20 years are eligible for a military retirement pension. The longer that you serve before you announce your retirement, the larger your retirement benefit will be. If you retire after 40 years of service, you would receive 100 percent of your base pay for the rest of your life. This is a retirement benefit that is pretty hard to match.
There is another retirement strategy that can be utilized in light of the military pension that veterans can receive after 20 years of service. To provide an example, let’s say that you join the Army right after high school when you are 18 years of age. You sign up to become an Information Technology Specialist. After basic training, you attend a school to learn what you need to know, and you move on to a duty station.
You work in this capacity for 20 years, and you advance along the way due to your fine performance. At this point, you are an authentic expert in your field, and you have a fantastic resume for someone that is just 38 years of age. While it would be possible to remain in the military, you could decide to retire and accept a higher paying job in the private sector.
As you utilize your salary to maintain your standard of living, your monthly pension benefits can accumulate in the bank, or in an investment account. You also paid into a 401(k) that was offered by your employer throughout your civilian career. Between the two, your savings are considerable.
When you reach the age of 67, you will qualify your full Social Security benefit. You would receive a monthly Social Security direct deposit along with your military pension for the rest of your life. Financially speaking, you would be perfectly positioned to enjoy a fantastic retirement.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension
There is another pension that flies under the radar, and many people are not aware of its existence. As elder law attorneys, we have in-depth knowledge about this program, because it can be invaluable for senior citizens that have served in the military.
The benefit that we are referring to is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension. Unlike the aforementioned retirement benefit, you do not have to serve for at least 20 years to qualify for this pension. If you have served for at least 90 days on active duty, and if the country was at war for one of these days or more, you would meet the length of service eligibility requirement.
This benefit is intended for veterans that need help with their activities of daily living. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, seven out of every 10 people that are reaching 65 on any given day will require living assistance eventually. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are exorbitantly expensive, and in-home care is costly as well.
Medicare does not pay for custodial care, so the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension can provide some much-needed relief. To qualify, you have to be able to prove that you do in fact need help with your day-to-day needs. Since the program is designed for people with limited financial resources, there is an $80,000 limit on countable assets (though decisions are made on a case-by-case basis). This is a relatively modest limit, but some things don’t count, including your home and your vehicle.
These figures are subject to change, but at the time of this writing, a single veteran may be eligible for up to $1794 per month. A married veteran could qualify for a maximum of $2127 per month, and a surviving spouse could receive a benefit that could be as much as $1410 each month.
Schedule a Consultation
We would be glad to help if you would like to discuss your veterans benefits with a Tucson, Arizona elder law attorney. You can reach us by phone at 520-529-4000, and you can click this link if you would like to get in touch electronically.