For Veterans Day 2017, we wrote about veterans’ scores on our national survey to measure financial well-being. Today the Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) is releasing a more detailed research brief on the financial well-being of veterans. According to this national survey, which measured the financial well-being of Americans across the country, veterans, as a group, experience somewhat higher levels of financial well-being than the average American.
The research brief provides valuable insight into the financial lives of veterans for a number of areas. Similar to the results for all U.S. adults, the data show a direct pathway between financial skill and financial well-being. This is important as it suggests that financial skill is something that should be taught and practiced during military service. Examples of financial skill are learning to create a budget, tracking expenses, or making an investment plan. The OSA is working closely with the Department of Defense and the military services to ensure that financial readiness is implemented in a way that leverages this finding for veterans.
For veterans, attributes such as higher education, homeownership, and good physical health are positively associated with financial well-being. However, veterans, like many other Americans, show lower financial well-being levels when they use short-term credit products, are regularly contacted by debt collectors, or incur student loan debt.
We believe that this study provides researchers and policy makers with an improved understanding of the ways servicemembers can achieve better financial well-being and raises a number of questions and suggestions for future research. The OSA will continue to support future research on the financial well-being of servicemembers and veterans, as it is part of the Bureau’s strategy to understand the financial challenges our servicemembers, veterans, and their families face throughout the military financial lifecycle.
If you’re interested in learning more, we encourage you to read the research brief and you can sign up for updates from the OSA where you’ll automatically be notified by us on all things related to military finances.