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A Sample Financial Plan for Military Veterans

By Matt Samson, CPWA®

Military veterans are familiar with operational plans. From gathering intelligence to managing the supply chain and deploying forces, a solid plan covers logistics and contingencies in order to pursue a final goal.

It’s not that difficult to transfer that mindset to managing personal finances with a sample financial plan. A well-founded financial plan takes all your assets, resources, and abilities into consideration. Then it provides guidance, setting you on a path that reflects your and your family’s values, ambitions, and plans for the future. 

Transitioning from active service to post-military life requires some adjustments and critical thinking. That’s why veteran financial planning should be a focus of your reentry into the private sector. A sample financial plan can help you structure your finances and make the best decisions for your unique future.

What a Financial Plan Includes

An effective financial plan can take many forms. It may focus on a specific objective you want to achieve, like starting a business or buying a house. Alternatively, it can cover multiple elements and functions to build wealth or plan for retirement. The financial plan should lay out a series of guideposts and directions for setting up a comfortable and attainable lifestyle.

Developing a solid financial plan requires some rigorous introspection and a realistic approach. Your plan should align with your family values and aspirations; it should also anticipate financial obstacles or bottlenecks that may arise.

First, you should obtain a clear picture of your current finances. What is your current monthly income? How is your cash flow? What level of risk are you willing to tolerate with your investments? What’s your tax liability? Can you afford some wiggle room, or should you seek to pare down your expenses as much as you can?

Then the plan should serve as a model for pursuing your desired financial status. It should include any available income opportunities and incorporate potential VA benefits

Additionally, it should include a clear budget for contributing to college tuition, retirement, major purchases, or any other goals you have in mind, along with actionable items to reach those milestones. Finally, the plan should account for emergencies or sudden expenses.

It’s particularly important for military service members moving to civilian life to have a clear financial plan. The transition can be difficult to manage at first. With a well-structured statement of goals, actions, and measurements, veterans can more easily navigate the change and pursue financial stability.

Our Sample Financial Plan

For our ILS Financial sample financial plan, we’ve developed a fictional character that we believe offers a relatable guide for veterans just starting to prepare for their financial futures. An extension of our planning philosophy and methods, it depicts a plan for a hypothetical veteran and describes how to identify your goals, generate a balance sheet, monitor cash flow, budget for taxes, incorporate VA benefits, and more.

While this sample plan is a valuable tool, it’s strictly hypothetical, intended to illustrate what to expect when you work with us. Each veteran’s situation is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every military member’s financial needs. 

After looking over our sample financial plan (you can view the entire plan here), you should talk to an experienced financial professional—one with experience working with other veterans—to develop your own financial plan.

Get Started on Your Financial Plan

Military veterans, whether they’ve seen battlefield action or not, understand that challenges and common obstacles are everyday elements of life. You’ve developed the skills, ability, and acumen to weather adverse circumstances and achieve results. 

While a balance sheet isn’t quite as imposing as a bayonet, it can still be formidable. The clarity of a well-drawn financial plan provides a series of reasonable steps and potential new opportunities for earning and saving.

The ILS Financial team stands ready to discuss our mission and planning process. We help military veterans like you pursue their goals, experience financial independence, and build comfortable and fulfilling futures.

To get started, call (402) 980-5183 or email

About Matt

Matt Samson is a financial advisor at ILS Financial, a financial services firm based in Omaha, Nebraska, empowering military members and veterans toward financial freedom. In his role, Matt is dedicated to serving clients with tailor-made financial strategies that help them work toward work-optional lifestyles. He values the trust his clients place in him and thrives off helping them live out their dreams and enjoy less stress. He is proud to have the opportunity to be a positive influence on the individual’s life, their family members, and possibly for generations to come.

After a distinguished career spanning over 21 years of active and reserve service as a United States Marine, in 2014, Matt made the transition from military service to financial planning, discovering his true calling as a financial advisor. His passion led him to establish ILS Financial—a place where he could leverage a refined and structured process to design and help clients pursue the lifestyle of their dreams.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, an MBA from the University of Nebraska – Omaha, and a Certificate in Wealth Management Theory and Practice from the Yale School of Management. He also obtained the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® certification from the Institute of Investments and Wealth. Matt continues to proudly serve our nation as a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, where he currently serves as a Space Operations Officer. Outside of the financial world, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife, Laura, and their three sons, Brayden, Connor, and William. A big sports fan, he engages with his local sports community as a coach for high school football, youth football, and travel baseball. To learn more about Matt, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Investment advice offered through ICA Group Wealth Management LLC a registered investment advisor.

Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck