For members of the US military, retirement works a little bit differently than it does for private-sector workers. For one, the average service member is able to retire around the age of 40, while the average private-sector worker retires at around 63.

Also, retired military personnel have the benefit of a generous pension program that pays them 50% of their highest salary in perpetuity. By comparison, private pension programs have all but disappeared for everyone else.

The problem that most military families encounter in retirement, though, is that even with their pension benefits, they still have financial needs that outstrip their means (and they deal with them for longer periods of time).

When you consider that the median American household’s retirement savings are a paltry $37,000 in total between the ages of 35 and 44, it becomes clear that military retirees have to find ways to generate enough additional income to carry them through their golden years in comfort.

One of the ways that they can do that is through astute investments that will allow their money to earn an income for them. If you’re able to begin planning before you’re approaching retirement age, you’ll find that there are a variety of options, from stock portfolios to property investing, that will allow you to grow your retirement savings with enough time to retire comfortably. If you haven’t planned ahead, however, you’ll need an investment vehicle that allows for higher-than-average yields with less principal to work with. The answer: Forex trading.

Earning Money by Trading Money

Military members are used to living and working overseas, and most have had at least a little experience with foreign currency exchanges (when moving from post to post). What they may not know, however, is that there’s a thriving international currency market known as Forex (foreign exchange) where investors swap currencies to earn profits on fluctuating monetary values. As financial markets go, Forex is unique because trading operates on a 24/7 basis and most Forex brokers allow investors to trade at high leverage ratios (sometimes 50:1 or greater). That gives currency traders the ability to turn a small principal investment into a huge return if they’re careful.

The Pros of Forex Trading

Unlike most other types of investment vehicles, Forex trading is a pretty straightforward affair. Currencies are traded in pairs, and in different increments known as lot sizes. That allows investors to limit their exposure to losses and risk by controlling their leverage and trade sizes. In general, trading is done via a computer, using software provided by the broker that the investor has chosen. There are also free practice accounts that allow beginners to conduct real-time simulated trades to learn how the market works without risking any real money. Altogether, it’s an investment platform with very low barriers to entry, and new traders can get started with as little as a $1 deposit on with certain brokerages.

The Cons of Forex Trading

As with any other type of investment vehicle, the Forex market isn’t without risk. In fact, currency trading can carry more risk than other investment types, if only because brokers allow such high-leverage trades. That makes the Forex market a high-risk high-reward environment, especially when not managed appropriately.

It’s important to learn as much as possible about the various stop-loss tools available to investors to prevent getting in over your head. Succeeding in Forex markets also requires the investor to become well-versed in geopolitical affairs (which should be no problem for retired service members), and to pay careful, constant attention to their investments.

Retire in Comfort

Forex trading isn’t for everyone, to be sure, but it does present a unique opportunity for retired military members to earn significant amounts of money in retirement. For those willing to commit the kind of time and effort that it takes to learn the market and how it works, the potential for earnings is close to limitless.

The best bet, of course, is to begin planning for retirement long before you actually hope to retire, but it’s good to know that there’s an option for those who face financial hardships after leaving the service that can help them to live comfortably for the rest of their lives – after all, they’ve earned it.

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