Veterans are a highly diverse group of people—from their military background to their civilian career, from their education to their household income, from their age to their marital status. A new study found that veterans who are on-track or ahead in meeting their financial goals cut across these demographics, and they also hold 5 attributes in common.
The Veterans Financial Preparedness Report 2019 is the very first study to examine how well-equipped U.S. military veterans are to meet their financial goals after leaving the military. Prepared by the Legionnaire Insurance Trust for the departments of the American Legion in honor of the Legion’s 100th anniversary, the study includes key findings from a survey of more than 1,500 veterans, representing a wide variety of backgrounds.
Overall, more than one-half of veterans said they are behind on saving for retirement, while just over one-third said they are on-track and just 8% said they are ahead of schedule.
Which veterans are financially prepared
Given that so many veterans are behind in saving, what sets apart those who are on-track and ahead of schedule from their peers? According to the report, 5 attributes were common among these veterans:
Most veterans who are ahead or on-track say they are knowledgeable about personal finances, while those who are behind are much more likely to say they do not consider themselves knowledgeable.
>>More in the report: Certain age groups were more likely to start saving early. Read the report to find out which veterans follow this trend and to discover the mean portfolio values of veterans.
The vast majority of veterans who work with an advisor say they are satisfied with them and that they are confident they are making the best financial decisions for their family.
5. They protect their family with an emergency fund and life insurance
Alongside diligent saving and planning, veterans who are financially prepared also maintain an emergency fund and invest in life insurance to safeguard the nest eggs they have built.
93% of veterans who are ahead have an emergency fund, as do 75% of those who are on-track. In comparison, only 32% of veterans who are behind have an emergency fund.
Similarly, 75% of those who are ahead have life insurance, compared to just 44% of veterans who are behind. Those with life insurance are more likely to be confident they are making the best financial decisions for their family.
>>More in the report: How much do veterans keep in their emergency funds? Read the report at www.theLIT.com to learn more.
5 attributes, 1 mindset
At the heart of these 5 attributes of financially prepared veterans is a single mindset of personal responsibility. Not surprisingly, those who took the principles that made their military service successful and carried them through to their personal finances tend to be in a stronger financial position.
Veterans who take charge of their finances through personal education, saving early and working with a financial advisor are confident about their family’s financial future.
Learn more about what you can do to strengthen your financial position by reading the Veterans Financial Preparedness Report 2019. It offers key findings, practical benchmarks, advice from veterans who have been in your shoes and insights from a financial professional who has served in the military.
By: David Williams - WISH-TV 8
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Leading state lawmakers reached across the aisle Wednesday to launch a new initiative aimed at helping homeless Hoosier veterans.
60-year-old US Navy veteran Jeffery Alan Johnson said he spent months living on the streets three years ago.
“In and out of shelters, family,” Johnson said.
He served aboard the U.S.S. New Jersey in the 1980s and served in Lebanon. But, he fell on hard times.
“Probably the lowest point of my life. One of the lowest points,” Johnson explained. “It was bad.”
His story, and the stories of all homeless veterans are resonating with state lawmakers.
Federal data shows there were 572 homeless veterans in Indiana last year, a 6% increase from 2018.
“We talk a lot about the differences between House Republicans and House Democrats. But I think one thing we can agree on is helping our veterans.” said Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta.
House Democrats and Republicans teamed up with the Indiana American Legion on Wednesday to launch the “Helping our Hoosier Heroes” donation drive.
“To try to bring attention to this worthy cause of supporting those who have supported us overseas and here at home for our security. Such an illustration as to what’s going on in the Middle East right now,” said Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Brian Bosma.
“I think it’s terrific. I think it’s something that’s much needed,” Johnson said.
More than 3,000 items have been collected so far.
They are asking for the public’s help with collecting things like razors, toothbrushes, shampoo and soap.
“It’s outstanding. It really helps to shine a light on the veteran community and problems with the homeless,” said Allen Connelly, who is the American Legion, Department of Indiana state commander.
Johnson is now enrolled in college and he owns a small business. In his eyes, the donation drive provides hope for homeless veterans.
“They need a helping hand. They need some hope. Basically they just need some hope, like I needed,” said Johnson.
If you are interested in donating items, you can do so at the statehouse located at 200 W Washington St through mid-March. If you have questions about the initiative or donations, call Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Brian Bosma’s office at (317) 232-9609.
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