Association of Military Banks of America

Financial Counseling – a Benefit that All Military Members (and Their Spouses) Should be Utilizing

A recent study found that 45% of Americans believe that they are too poor for financial advisors; they think that they need at least $50,000 to receive professional advice.  63% of the people that have never received financial advise think that they “don’t have enough money to invest”.

The study found that people believe that they do not have enough saved and that they have not accumulated enough assets to meet with a financial advisor.  Even though this is untrue and financial advisors can help with wealth accumulation and planning I also thought the study left room to discuss the merits of financial counseling as a stepping-stone to working with a financial advisor.

Military servicemembers and their families can access financial counselors for FREE in multiple ways.  A great place to start is at an installation family readiness center.  Most installations have very robust financial education programs with access to one-on-one counseling as well.  One-on-one financial counseling services can also be found online at MilitaryOneSource.mil.  In addition to one-on-one counseling, these financial education programs offer assistance with spending plans, debt management, information on the TSP, pay, and benefits, and much more!  Servicemembers and their families may also find that the installation military bank can be a great resource for financial education and counseling services.

Financial advisors, like financial counselors, can help you get on the right track.   Financial advisors will be able to help you invest your money in the right funds and offer financial “advice” and there are usually fees associated with these services.  Whereas a financial counselor will be able to help you with a spending plan and debt management and can provide information about investing not advise on a particular investment.  Both financial advisors and counselors are there to help you get where you would like to go financially and can be a great resource whatever your needs may be.

In addition to in-person support, there are also many programs tailored specifically to military financial education and provide online tools and resources like BBB Military Line, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Hands on Banking for the Military, USAA Education Foundation and MilCents.

Wherever you are on your financial path these tools, resources, and services can provide the support and information you need to succeed financially.