Because people who spend at least 20 years in the military receive a retirement pension these individuals have some truly interesting options when they are planning for retirement.
There are a couple of different routes that service members can take. If you were to stay in the service for at least 40 years your military pension would be equal to the entirety of your base pay. When you combine this rather generous pension with your Social Security benefit you would be enjoying a nice stream of income during your retirement years.
Another option would be to have two separate careers. If you originally joined the military when you were a young adult you would still be relatively young after having served for 20 years. Those who retire after 20 years of service receive a pension that will be equal to a percentage of the base pay that they were receiving at the time of their retirement.
A veteran could then embark on a career as a civilian and earn a salary while simultaneously receiving a military retirement pension. This would provide the ability to save and/or invest the pension while living on the salary.
You do have to consider the well-being of your spouse as a retired military veteran. Your husband or wife would not receive your military pension after you pass away.
However, the military offers a benefit called the Survivor Benefit Plan. As a retired veteran you can pay a monthly premium, and if you were to predecease your spouse he or she would receive a benefit equal to a percentage of the pension that you had been receiving.