A troubling number of American war heroes find themselves destitute when on home shores. Military.com have predicted a huge surge of veteran homelessness due to economic mismanagement, with over 37,000 veterans facing life on the streets or in emergency shelters. It’s not a huge surprise that veterans find themselves in these situations – the fully managed life of the military can make civilian life a shock for many when they exit their active service. Finding ways to manage money and stay on a level is, therefore, crucial when it comes to veterans. That starts with using VA credit wisely.
Proper use of entitlements
Veterans are given a wide range of entitlements as a ‘thank you’ for their service. This leads to the stereotype of fresh recruits spending their entire check on expensive cars. While this can be unfair, there’s still an amount of financial education needed as VA loans now reach a 6.47% delinquency rate. There are many benefits offered to veterans; a handful of VA loan factoids include no fees and no private insurance costs. In addition to benefits, veterans that have been honorably discharged with disabilities stemming from their service are eligible for compensation. VA benefits attorneys such as those at Stoneroselaw.com can let you know what your benefit entitlements are and can help to get you any compensation that you may be eligible for.
Making good use of entitlements comes down to financial literacy. A report by MarketWatch found that the average veteran carries debt over month-by-month at a rate of 58%, higher than the 34% seen in civilians. That’s money mismanagement, and a big reason for the ultimate destitution that many veterans find themselves involved in. Even a simple induction in how interest rates operate, and the benefits of properly managing a credit balance, will be of huge benefit to veterans and help them to avoid destitution in the future.
Wages and spending habits
Underpinning the financial smarts of any home is the gross income that it brought in. The Military Times has good news on that front; veterans earn, on average, more than non-veterans do. However, it’s important that this is regularly chased up. Between the phenomenon of inflation and retail price rises, wages stagnate over years and veterans must not rest on their laurels. It requires constant re-budgeting and tinkering to ensure that finances remain in check and that the lifestyle being lived is one that can be afforded. This, again, ties into financial literacy, and the fundamentals of good budgeting and money savings tips will help to weather any storm. The one currently facing US financial and labor markets is particularly pronounced, however, and there is good reason for veterans to be vigilant over how they are managing their money and keep an extra close eye on market movements.
Vigilance and diligence are the key factors, in reality. Veterans must ensure that they keep up with their payments and that their lifestyle and way of living will contribute to proper budgetary management. Equipping them first with the skills to achieve this is the best way forward. This, in turn, will provide greater assurance to all of the stakeholders in the veteran financial journey, from family; to the government; to lenders.