Military Finances 101: Best Financial Tips for MothersManaging Your Finances
There are plenty of mothers in the military whether they wear a uniform or are married to someone who does. A good portion of military members have moms who are still alive. So, whether you are a mother or you have a mother who is aging here are some tips for Mom.
Are you prepared for a 20-year retirement? How about a 30-year or even 40-year retirement? Don’t laugh; it could happen. Social Security Administration projects that about 33% of today’s 65-year-olds will live past 90, with approximately 14% living to be older than 95.1
Start with good questions. How can you draw retirement income from what you’ve saved? How might you create other income streams to complement Social Security and a military pension or survivor benefit? And what are some ways you can protect your retirement savings and other financial assets?
Enlist a financial professional. The right person can give you some good ideas, especially one who understands the challenges women face in saving for retirement. These may include income inequality or time out of the workforce due to childcare or elder care. It could also mean helping you maintain financial equilibrium in the wake of divorce or the death of a spouse.
Consider long-term care insurance. Women have longer average life expectancies than men and can require significant periods of elder care. Medicare doesn't pay for long-term care; it covers only a few weeks of nursing home care and may only apply under special circumstances. long-term care insurance can provide huge financial relief if a need arises.1
Claim Social Security benefits carefully. If your career and health permit, delaying Social Security disbursements is a wise move. If you wait until full retirement age to claim your benefits, you could receive larger Social Security payments as a result. For every year you wait to claim Social Security, your monthly payments get about 8% larger.2
For married mothers, it’s wise to retire with a strategy and prepare for a time when you might survive your spouse or partner. As you face retirement, a financial professional who understands your unique goals can help you design a wealth management approach that can serve you well for years to come.
A successive investment policy can be determined. A female head of household may want (or need) to take a different investment approach than the one stated in a couple’s investment policy statement (IPS). This approach needs to be one she is comfortable with, but it must not be so risk-averse that it jeopardizes her potential to sustain her standard of living in the face of inflation.
Sufficient insurance and a thoughtful estate plan need to be in place. If a spouse dies, the death benefit from a life insurance policy may ease some of the financial pressures that follow. Up-to-date beneficiary designations, trusts, and other estate planning mechanisms may help assets transfer from spouse to spouse and within the family without contention or undue delay. A good estate plan clearly defines the steps of the asset transfer process for a surviving spouse and other heirs.
An asset map should be prepared for a surviving spouse. Some surviving spouses must search for vital financial documents because a deceased spouse left them in an obscure location. At other times, she is left with only a hazy understanding of how many accounts there are, how they are titled, and how to address the requirements of asset distribution or transfer. Each spouse should have a copy of a document (or access to an online or brick-and-mortar vault) where this information is kept. This is the information from which much of a surviving spouse’s financial future may be planned.
With a clear understanding of where she stands financially, a mother may evaluate her investment and wealth management options and take steps toward the next phase of life with some confidence.
Military Finances are Different
Military Mothers have some unique benefits available to them such as the survivor benefit program and Tricare for Life. Most financial advisors won't be familiar with these benefits. That's why we think you should work with an advisor that routinely deals with the unique benefits and financial opportunities available to Active and Retired Senior Military Officers and NCOs and their families. If you'd like to find out how we work with military families, use the button below to schedule a free initial consultation.
If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:
Retired Military Finances 301: Is Mom (or Dad) Your Dependent?
Military Finances 301: Mom (or Dad) Missed Her RMD. Now What?
Retired Military Finances 401: The Widow(er)'s Penalty
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.