How a Financial Plan is Supportive of Veterans’ Overall Wellness
Financial health is a critical, but often overlooked component of veterans’ overall wellness, as financial planning can sound like a daunting task. According to a recent study, fewer than 30 percent of Americans actually have a financial plan in place.
As part of a new partnership between Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB) and American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA), Team RWB Eagles can benefit from a joint effort to promote holistic wellness by bridging the gaps between physical, emotional, and financial fitness. AAFMAA is the longest-standing, not-for-profit financial solutions provider exclusively serving military families through every stage of your military life and beyond.
The term “financial planning” may sound overly complicated, and you may not know when or where to start. Our partners at AAFMAA can provide Eagles with the tools, guidance, and confidence they need to chart a path toward financial readiness and independence that best suits their needs.
What Is a Financial Plan?
According to AAFMAA, a financial plan is more than just a budget. It’s a document that outlines your current money situation, short and long-term monetary goals, and your strategies to achieve those goals. It should also include the right amount of insurance coverage to protect you and your family, tax-savings strategy of your investments, and overall strategy for various retirement income (401(k), pension, Social Security, TSP, IRAs, etc.).
Think of your financial plan as a roadmap to your goals based on where your life is today and where you’re hoping to go tomorrow.
When Do You Need a Financial Plan?
If you think financial plans are just for the wealthy, guess again. Every adult needs to have a financial plan in place, no matter how much money you have (or don’t have). A financial plan is not just about money, but your life goals; money is just the tool used to achieve them.
Have you been eyeballing that new car at the dealership? Are you thinking about starting or expanding your family in the next few years? Do you want to retire at an early age and travel the world? Maybe you are just so consumed with credit card debt that you don’t see a way out. These concerns can all be addressed in a financial plan, where you’ll develop a roadmap to achieve them.
Keep in mind that your financial plan is not a one-and-done document. Any kind of life change such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, leaving the military, job change, or disability, might alter your approach. That’s why it’s a good idea to develop your financial plan with a professional that understands your unique situation and goals. Keep them in your back pocket for times when your financial plan needs an update.
At minimum, you’ll want to revisit your financial plan each year, at which time you’ll reassess your current finances, revise short and long-term goals if needed, and congratulate yourself for any sort of progress you’ve made. You may surprise yourself with how many of your short-term goals you can accomplish in a year’s time!
Getting Started On Your Financial Plan
It has been said that “the secret of getting ahead is getting started,” so here are some steps you can take today to get started on your financial plan:
- Get copies of all life insurance coverage documents to determine policy benefits and payouts.
- Meet with a professional who understands military income and talk through your current picture and the milestones along the way that might help you reach your financial goals.
- Evaluate your current private and military savings and benefits to identify gaps.
- Open a savings account beyond your emergency or rainy day fund.
When you join AAFMAA using the button below to protect your family and advance your financial fitness, you are also directly supporting the advancement of Team RWB.