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January 8, 2016
 

Military spouse offers free financial guidance

Rebecca Amber
Staff writer

Courtesy photograph

Following a season of holiday shopping and giving, military spouse Ayesha Haider is helping people at Edwards create and keep financial goals for the New Year.
Haider, who holds a master’s degree in corporate finance, was the recipient of a scholarship sponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to pursue the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation. The non-profit FINRA Investor Education Foundation has been awarding the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship annually since 2006.
In the three-year finance program, participants are required to complete personal financial counseling and self-study hours. The number of hours required directly correlates to the level of financial education the student has already completed.
Haider chose to spend a large number of her 700 hours offering free financial counseling through the Airman and Family Readiness Center to anyone with base access. 
While self-study counts towards her hours, “they place a greater emphasis on financial counseling because they want you to give back to the military community. During her one-on-one sessions, Haider addresses a wide array of topics.
“I’ve spoken to people that want to start a family; so how to budget for that. I’ve spoken to people that have student loans to pay off,” said Haider.
Financial counseling, Haider said, is not just about fixing problems. It’s about setting financial goals and then working on them. For example, a retiree may want to learn how to invest money while a young Airman may need to learn how to create a budget. 
The scholarship program is open to current spouses or surviving spouses of any uniformed service regardless of financial background. Haider encourages any military spouse interested to apply.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity for military spouses. Especially for someone like me, I had a really hard time finding work here,” she said.  “And, it’s free. They pay for everything – all the study materials, all the texts, even the exam fee.”
Applications can be submitted annual at http://www.afcpe.org/certification/certification-programs/military-spouse-fellowship.
Haider is available Mondays and Fridays at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. To make an appointment, call 661-277-0723.




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