The Mount Clemens veterans benefits attorneys here at the Elder & Disability Law Firm also provide retirement planning assistance, and we proudly counsel service members and veterans. When you serve in the military, you have a unique opportunity to feather your nest for the future while you serve your country in the present.
People who spend time in the Armed Forces become eligible to receive a military retirement pension once they are on active duty for at least two decades. Typically, someone who enlists in the service will do so as a very young adult. So, after this 20 years passes you may be in your late 30s or early 40s. You could potentially spend 25 or 30 years or so working a job in the private sector while you are receiving a military pension.
Someone in this position would presumably be able to save the pension while living on his or her earnings. Once such a veteran reached the age of full Social Security eligibility, he or she would have two sources of income as well as a significant store of savings. Speaking of savings, in addition to the accumulated military retirement pension, most jobs offer 401(k) plans. If you toss this into the mix, the retirement nest egg can be quite considerable.
Another alternative would be to forgo a civilian career and spend your entire working life in the military. The amount of your pension benefit varies depending on how long you were in the service. If you are in for at least 40 years, your benefit is equal to the entirety of the pay that you were receiving when you were on active duty.
There is another veterans benefit that is often overlooked by people who may be eligible. This valuable perk is the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension. This pension is available to veterans who need assistance with their day-to-day needs, so it can be very useful for senior citizens.
The modest length of service requirement is kind of surprising to many people. One must have served for at least 90 days with even just one of these days taking place during a time of war to meet this requirement.
If you meet the length of service requirement and you can prove that you do in fact need help with your day-to-day needs, you have one more hurdle to cross. To be eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension, you have to demonstrate some modicum of financial need.
Your eligibility will be determined based on your overall financial strength. If it is determined that you do not have significant financial need, you will not be eligible for the benefit. As a general rule of thumb the figure of $80,000 is utilized as the upper resource limit, but determinations are made on an individual basis.
We should also point out the fact that some things that you own do not count when the United States Veterans Administration is determining your eligibility status. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset, and this is certainly a huge exemption. One vehicle that is utilized as a primary source of transportation is not counted, and you can maintain ownership of your household items and personal effects.
At the time of this writing in 2018, a single eligible veteran can receive as much as $1794 each month. A veteran that has a spouse can potentially qualify for a monthly benefit of $2127. Surviving spouses are also covered under this special pension. The maximum benefit for surviving spouse is $1153 per month.
Plus, there is another scenario that is covered. Let’s say that you are a wartime veteran, and you would be eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension if you had difficulty getting around. Fortunately, you are fine, but you are married, and your spouse needs assistance with his or her activities of daily living. Under these circumstances, you can receive a benefit that could be as high as $1410 each month.
If you would like to learn more about planning for veterans and other estate planning and elder law matters, there are some fantastic opportunities coming up in the near future. Our Mount Clemens veterans benefits attorneys are very committed to educating the public about these issues, and to that end, we conduct a lot of seminars when time allows.
There are a number of sessions on the schedule at the present time, and you should definitely attend the seminar that fits into your schedule. Though these workshops are actually free to attend, space is limited, so we urge you to register as soon as possible. You can click this link to see the dates and obtain more detailed information.