After years of service, United States military men and women have a nice retirement to enjoy. On top of various pension plans, retired service members can benefit from home loans, career counseling, and education benefits, too.
That’s just the start! Keep reading and learn what military members can look forward to for serving their country.
State Specific Benefits
Depending on which state a former active duty member lives in, they might be eligible for various state-specific benefits.
In the state of California, for example, military retirees are eligible for property tax exemption. At the same time, those in New York have access to a program called Homes for Heroes as well as spousal unemployment.
The VA home loan benefit is widely considered one of the most useful for military retirees. If a person qualifies, they can refinance an existing mortgage and even purchase or build a home. The best part is there is no down payment, unlike conventional loans.
Some of the VA loans include purchase loans, an interest rate reduction refinance loan, a cash-out loan, an energy-efficient mortgage, and a rehab and renovation loan.
An amazing benefit offered to military retirees is free career counseling. These specific benefit helps retirees reintegrate into civilian life by discussing the options available to them, including which career path they would like to follow(or if they’d like to go to school).
Some of the services available are career choices based on personal interest, personalized support, and benefits coaching to help achieve goals.
There are numerous educational benefits for military retirees, including tuition assistance, licensing and certification reimbursement, and vocational and technical training for non-college degree programs.
When it comes to the educational benefits for retirees, there is a little something for everyone, no matter what type of program a person wishes to pursue.
Medal Of Honor Pension
For servicemen and women who are awarded a Medal of Honor, the most prestigious military decoration, are eligible for a monthly pension after they retire, a sum that is not based on income or need.
As of 2022, the Medal of Honor pension passed by congress was set at a monthly sum of $1,489.73. There are other pensions, too, including a retiree’s pension and a survivor’s pension.
VA outreach and readjustment counseling is offered in all 50 states in 300 community-based Veteran Centers. These services act as a middle ground to help service members smoothly transition from active duty to normal civilian life.
These centers offer group, individual, and even family counseling and other services such as psycho-social.
Being a military retiree offers a whole lot of discounts at numerous locations. A few of these locations even offer retirees freebies along with their discounts and deals.
Some featured discount locations include Advance Auto Parts, Dell, Southern New Hampshire University, Exchange, JcPenny, Wellness Junction, and a whole lot more.
Free Legal Counsel
As active duty members, military personnel probably get used to the free legal counsel as part of their benefits package. Well, retirees don’t have to worry about losing out on the benefit, as it is part of their retirement package.
From family legal assistance to getting documents notarized, military retirees get to enjoy the service free of charge.
Just because of person leaves active duty doesn’t mean their medical benefits go away. In fact, military retirees are eligible for multiple medical treatments, including blindness rehabilitation, post-traumatic stress counseling, traumatic brain injury, and more.
These programs are offered to retirees on a “needed” basis to help preserve, promote, and restore health.
A veterans pension is a specific pension for retirees with a few stipulations. To receive this monthly stipend, the military retiree must have served at least one day during a war period. They also must be earning a pretty low income.
According to Military.com, the retiree also must be “65 years or older, or permanently and totally disabled, or in a nursing home, or receiving social security disability, or receiving supplemental security income,” according to Military.com.
Military retirees don’t have to worry about health care programs. They’re all eligible for Tricare, including their families. Tricare offers numerous packages for members, including an HMO plan, a PPO plan, or TriCare for Life.
The latter is a plan that covers retirees and their spouses over the age of 65.
Service-Related Disability Compensation
United States military personnel retiring from service might be eligible for service-related disability compensation. This means the man or woman sustained an injury while serving in the armed forces.
With an honorable discharge, retirees can be eligible for tax-free VA disability compensation ranging from $133 to over $3,400 a month.
Veterans Preference Program At The Federal Level
Retirees don’t have to worry about their resumes being lost amongst other applicants when applying to federal jobs.
The Veterans Preference Program ensures retirees are put to the top of any federally-designated job listing, giving former military personnel a bit of an edge over the rest of the civilian competition!
Military retirees are eligible for commissary benefits. The Defense Commissary Agency operates these commissaries around the world and, as long as a retiree has their military ID card, they are eligible to utilize the facilities.
These facilities include grocery stores holding food and household products at a cost plus a five percent surcharge.
Military ID Card
In order to participate in the many benefits of a military retiree, first, they get a military ID card. This card allows people to enroll in various programs, such as Tricare, education benefits, legal assistance, MWR activities, and more.
The Department of Defense issues out these ID cards to all eligible personnel.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement and investment plan sponsored by the federal government to help retirees after they leave active duty.
The TSP is a combined contribution plan, meaning the income a retiree will receive is based on how much they contributed to their TSP throughout the years.
Military retirees are eligible to use any exchange facility around the world as long as they show a proper military ID card. These facilities include department stores, liquor stores, gas stations, food courts, and convenience stores.
The best part about all of the exchange facilities is that they are tax-free!
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) benefits are an amazing opportunity for military retirees to utilize various sports facilities. These facilities include pools, golf courses, bowling centers, and recreation clubs.
They even supply non-sporting facilities such as libraries and youth centers. Both retirees, their dependents, and their spouses are able to utilize MWR benefits.
The Presidential Memorial Certificate
For military retirees families, they are eligible for The Presidential Memorial Certificate. This is an engraved piece of parchment, thanking the retiree for their year of service to the country. It also includes the signature of the President of the United States.
There is an application process for the certificate, and only those who were honorably discharged are eligible.
Get Support For Your Veteran-Owned Small Business
Retirees who own a small business might be eligible for resources and support through the Vets First Verification Program.
According to va.gov, there are many advantages to this program, including “priority when you bid on contracts for other federal or state government agencies, tax relief, better access to capital, and extra support if your startup or small business is poised for high growth and innovation.”