When you’ve given a portion of your life to service, planning for retirement can look a little different. As an active adult, you already know you want your retirement to be filled with activity and adventure, speeding up rather than slowing down but don’t forget to plan for your financial future.
Veterans have a few additional steps to consider when it comes to developing a financial map to take them through the rest of their lives. So if you are a veteran looking for some answers to your questions about the future, knowing these facts about VA benefits may help.
VA Benefits Offer Minimal Burial Insurance Coverage
Like most people, you may not like thinking about the end of your life. Planning and financially preparing for funeral costs, however, is such an important step to protect your family. Those who have served in the military may be eligible for some burial assistance from the VA, but the benefits paid out are not nearly enough to cover the costs of a funeral. That’s why you should think about adding private burial insurance to cover the funeral costs left behind by minimal VA coverage.
This type of insurance policy can also help with leftover medical bills and personal debts, in addition to memorial expenses. You will need to do a little research and planning to determine which final arrangements are most important to you and how much coverage you want, but you can find planning guides online that can make this process easier.
Health Benefits May Need to Be Used at VA Hospitals
When it comes to healthcare, VA benefits can really be helpful, but there are some limitations. One that can be really frustrating for veterans of all ages is the requirement that eligible individuals use VA facilities for their healthcare needs. Some VA restrictions are loosening, allowing veterans who live 30 minutes from VA hospitals to visit private facilities.
If you live within 30 minutes of a VA hospital, however, you must use your benefits there. In addition to long wait times and varied hospital quality, you may want the ability to choose your own doctors and care. That’s not possible if you rely solely on VA benefits for your healthcare needs, but there are other options to address this gap and other gaps in VA health coverage.
Veterans Can Add Health Insurance for More Coverage
So your local VA hospital is on the list above as one of the worst facilities, or perhaps you live too far away but still have unmet healthcare needs. Thankfully, you don’t have to settle for using VA health benefits alone. Many veterans may benefit from using Medicare and VA benefits together, so that they have more access to care and medical coverage. In certain circumstances, you or your family members may also be eligible for Tricare, if that would better meet your healthcare needs.
Either of these insurance options should be considered by those who have served in the military, especially if their VA disability rating is low or if they are still fighting for disability benefits as a result of a service-related injury or illness.
VA Benefits Can Make It Easier to Own or Modify a Home
Healthcare is not the only expense that can be offset for veterans. If you are thinking about purchasing a new home in retirement, you can use VA loans with special interest rates and requirements to do so. Lower interest rates and less restrictive down payment requirements can really provide a financial boost for veterans looking to downsize their home or purchase a home in a new location.
If you already own a home but need to make modifications for accessibility, you may also be eligible to use VA grants to pay for home upgrades that fit specially adapted housing rules. Modifications covered are fairly extensive and include widening doorways for wheelchair access and swapping carpet for safer flooring options.
Being eligible for VA benefits can make life easier, but it can also make financial planning trickier. The information above can help, but you also need to do your own research. You dedicated a part of your life to ensure the freedom of others, so make sure you have the financial freedom you deserve in retirement.
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