Air Force

July 11, 2014

The power of the Military Consumer

Glenn Arola
Airman and Family Readiness Center

Due to the recent trends and the financial challenges of military life, the Department of Defense has teamed up with the Federal Trade Commission, who has partnered with other organizations to form the Military Consumer, a campaign to empower you the consumer to be informed and promote financial readiness.

It officially starts July 16 and will be named Consumer Protection Day, but unlike the other campaigns, it is indefinite and permanent.

The reason for this is simple: Everyone needs to be armed with all the financial information and take the right financial actions to maintain a high state of financial readiness, not only during your time in the armed services, but many years after that.

The average life span today due to ever improving medical technology is approximately 86 years old. So if you don’t have a financial plan or have one that lasts until age 77, best you have children because you will end up living with them!
Our financial condition is in direct correlation to our vulnerability to fraudulent actions and scams.

Here are some alarming facts taken from the Military Consumer Protection Day Concept Paper dated June 12, 2014.

  • During the past 12 months, 43 percent of service members experienced a financial shortfall
  • 21 percent of E-1s to E-4s have no emergency savings and 9 percent have less than $100 in emergency savings
  • Thirty-three percent of service members describe their financial situations as difficult and 20 percent describe their situation as worse than 12 months ago.

In 2013 the Federal Trade Commission received more than 72,900 complaints from military consumers. Identity theft was at the top of the list with more than 22,000 complaints.

There are many resources brought on by this initiative. More than 30 federal, state and municipal agencies, consumer advocates and military support organizations are involved and willing to serve you. What you have to do is simple – get involved! Help spread the word by visiting Military Consumer (www.military.ncpw.gov)†and supporting the campaign; find and share information about avoiding scams, investing wisely and fighting identity theft; download or order free educational materials, and subscribe to the blog to stay connected.
As an ongoing effort for this month to promote the new program, we have acquired much needed materials and literature so individuals and organizations can come down and pick them up for the units. We are able to brief many financial topics for commanders calls, training days and other needed events. At the Airman and Family Readiness Center, we have ongoing assistance through the Personal Financial Management Program. Each branch of service offers prevention education, financial counseling, debt liquidation assistance and consumer advocacy programs.

To find a local program, contact the Military One Source at (800) 342-9647 to schedule an appointment with a financial counselor. The same services are offered at the AFRC.

Additionally, AFRC offers financial counseling services to DOD civilians.
To see a financial counselor at the AFRC call (661) 277-0723. Two excellent ways to get on the path to financial success.

Get financially savvy today!




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