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Households with Veterans Segment Summary May 2014

Source: 2012–13 MacroMonitor

Veterans may represent a unique business opportunity for financial-services providers. Households with a veteran represent roughly one-fifth of all US households. Veteran households may be a significant target because many are loyal to providers that acknowledge their service and sacrifice. This description is particularly true of the cohort of older veterans from WWII, the Korean War, and the Viet Nam War who, until about 2015, will outnumber younger veterans from the First Gulf War (Desert Storm), the Second Gulf War (Iraq War), and the Afghanistan War. Households with older veterans have a higher net worth than all US households do. Even though many are retired, the majority are comfortably so—they reap military and nonmilitary government benefits and have had postservice careers during which they amassed significant assets. Their mean net worth ($516K) is almost one and a half times that for all households ($365K). Households with veterans have the same financial needs that all preretired and retired households have. However, unlike many households at this Life Stage, the majority of households with veterans can afford products and services such as long-term-care insurance and advice about establishing a trust.


Households with veterans are less likely to be in single-headed households (24%, in comparison with 41% of all households). Single-headed households with veterans are more likely than average to be male (18%). Three-quarters of all veteran households are male-and-female-headed households.

  • The mean age of households with veterans is 60.
  • The mean income is $78K, in comparison with $69K for all US households.
  • More than one-third have some college; somewhat less than one-third have a four-year-college degree or higher.
  • Over two-thirds are married; only one-quarter have dependent children.
  • The majority (34%) are members of the Silent Generation (Age Scouts); 15% are Older Boomers, and 6% belong to the Greatest Generation; 45% are Younger Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials.
  • Roughly two-thirds are retired; 16% are Revolving Retired households.
  • Four of five own their home.
  • Veterans are half as likely as all households to live in a large city (6%, in comparison with 13%), one-quarter live in the suburbs of a large city, and they are more likely than average to live in a rural area (20%, in comparison with 16%).


Households with veterans are more likely to be satisfied with their household's current financial situation. Half say they are financially stable, 20% are financially secure, and 4% have more than they need—all higher incidences than for all households.

  • They have more money in savings, financial assets, investable assets, liquid assets, and total assets than all households do; their liabilities and home equity are average.
  • They have more money in retirement accounts: $228K, in comparison with $171K for all households.
  • They are more likely than average to have IRAs or SEPs (47%) and to own real estate other than their homes (25%), US Savings Bonds (24%), CDs (22%), money market deposit accounts (19%), publicly traded stock (19%), and individual annuities (18%).
  • They are more likely than all households to have vehicle, homeowners, or renters, group and individual life, health, supplemental, and long-term-care insurances.
  • They are more likely than all households to have already established a trust, a living will, and regular powers of attorney.

Financial Attitudes

Households with veterans do not differ from all households in almost all financial attitudes. They are more likely than all other households to:

  • Be satisfied with their household's current financial situation (64%)
  • Consider themselves sophisticated investors (29%)
  • Be confident that savings and investments are sufficiently diversified (52%)
  • Believe their investments are so good they don't need any new life insurance (44%)
  • Be currently in position to meet their long-term financial goals (55%).

They are less likely than all other households to indicate:

  • They would rather use a direct channel than engage with financial-institution personnel (35%).
  • They would be interested in an education-savings plan (25%).
  • They expect an inheritance (11%).
  • They prefer to buy life insurance at work through a payroll deduction (30%).
  • They feel as though they're living paycheck to paycheck (30%).


Veterans with a spouse or family before service are likely to put adequate protections and end-of-life documents in place before going into harm's way. Single veterans—on return to civilian life and family formation—are also more likely than all households to put protections in place, because many have first-hand experience of life's uncertainties. The lesson is that responsible actions mean planning for the worst. Many households with older veterans focus on financial needs such as how to minimize taxes, live on a fixed income, and gather information and advice concerning retirement. Households with younger veterans have a broader array of needs in order to provide for, and protect, their families. Financial-services providers can profitably attract business by appealing to veterans' sense of responsibility and offering special products or special rates on products that will help veteran households achieve their financial goals. Doing so will demonstrate a commitment to veterans and larger communities, your institution's patriotism, and good corporate citizenship.

Learn more: Contact us to request an on-site presentation of these findings along with a Q&A session. Presentations are available to MacroMonitor subscribers for a small additional fee.