Last week, president-elect Donald Trump revealed that he will replace sitting Veterans Affairs, VA,  secretary Bob McDonald when he takes office. McDonald has held the position since 2014 and is the former CEO of Proctor & Gamble. He is a republican who was appointed by President Obama and enjoys the support of a number of veterans’ groups who have lobbied Trump to keep him in office. McDonald reportedly has said he will resign sometime before the inauguration.

Although McDonald is popular with leaders of official representative groups for veterans, Trump said he will appoint Dr. David Shulkin, presently the undersecretary of health at the VA, to the secretary position. Given that VA healthcare has been under the gun for failing veterans for years now, it is not surprising Trump has elected to “clean house” rather than sticking with McDonald. Although Shulkin has not made public statements about the matter, a number of candidates reportedly interviewed for the job advocated “sweeping changes” would make it easier to fire federal workers at the VA and privatize healthcare for veterans.

Although the VA is most widely known for its hospitals and clinics, it also provides assistance with home loans, education benefits, pensions, and disability payments. VA loans do not always require the borrower to make a down payment, may not require mortgage insurance and, most interestingly to many investors, are assumable, meaning another party can assume the home’s existing mortgage rates. It seems unlikely Shulkin will tackle any issues other than medical ones in the short term, but veterans and investors alike should watch to see how VA financing changes, for worse or better, once the new secretary comes on board.

You can read more of Carole VanSickle Ellis’ coverage of this and other topics at Self-Directed Investor News.

About the Author

Carole VanSickle Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a daily nine-minute investing podcast, and the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. Contact her at or visit

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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