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posted on 19 November 2017

The Wealth Of Veterans

from US Census

Military service may influence the lifelong financial well-being of veterans. Frequent job-related moves or deployments while in service, limited retirement plan options for active duty personnel, the ability or inability of spouses of servicemembers to find gainful employment, and living in base-housing or rental units for lengthy periods could have potentially negative implications for future wealth. Conversely, easy access to banking institutions and credit and benefit programs aimed at education, homeownership, and entrepreneurship for veterans may increase wealth accumulation.

While there have been various studies of the impact of military service on income (e.g., Angrist, 1990; Angrist and Chen, 2011; Angrist and Krueger, 1994), scant research exists on its effects on the accumulation of wealth among veterans of the armed forces. Wealth accumulation can help households cope with unforeseen events, such as a job loss or an unexpected illness. Because income alone does not provide a complete picture of financial well-being, measuring wealth is vital to understanding the economic health of veterans in the United States.

To understand how military service may affect wealth accumulation, this report describes differences in the components of wealth between veterans and nonveterans of various ages. Household-level statistics presented in this report and associated tables include median net worth, asset ownership rates, rates of having credit card debt and other types of debt, and median asset values conditional on ownership. The data are from Wave 1 of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which represents calendar year 2013. This report only compares household wealth for male veterans and nonveterans, as the small sample size of female veterans in SIPP prevents any meaningful comparisons of female veterans to female nonveterans.1 To better capture the financial decision-making of the household, the analysis of household wealth is limited to civilian men who are either the householder (the person who owns or rents a home) or the spouse or unmarried partner of the householder.2 Finally, men under age 25 are also excluded, as there are very few veterans between the ages of 18 and 24.3.

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Source 2017/demo/p70-151.pdf

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