According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 20,000 U.S. military veterans make up roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population, and nearly half of them 47.1 percent age 65 or over.
Over the past half-century, the number of men and women on active duty has dropped significantly, from 3.5 million in 1968, during the draft era, to 1.3 million or less than 1 percent of all U.S. adults in 2017, based on Pew Research data. While those who answer the call to service make up an increasingly smaller slice of the overall U.S. population year-over-year, their contributions remain immensely important and deserving not only of our recognition and gratitude, but our protection, as we take time to honor their service this Veterans Day.
One way those in the financial services industry can help achieve this goal is by providing the tools, education and action steps to help veterans at all stages of life separate good information from bad to avoid the growing number of financial scams aimed at both active duty and retired veterans. That begins with a clear understanding of some of the unique financial issues veterans encounter.
Despite the unique benefits and opportunities that accompany military service, military families face numerous financial challenges both while serving and transitioning to civilian life. For example, frequent moves during active duty can make it difficult for military spouses to make inroads in their chosen careers, which can have an adverse impact on total household earnings over time. Managing finances during overseas deployments, especially for single personnel, can lead to late payment fees and credit score damage.