FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – The military has a new strategy – and many new classes – to help Soldiers and their families make informed and effective decisions when it comes to their finances.
This strategy is called financial literacy touchpoints, because as a soldier’s career progresses there will be milestones – marriage, children, deployments and promotions, for example – that require more knowledge to maintain financial readiness and mission.
Soldiers now attend their first financial readiness class during Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, where they learn to read a leave and income statement, get a basic overview of their retirement plan, and savings plan, as well as advice on budgeting, credit and debt, making major purchases, purchasing insurance and other financial management strategies.
When they arrive on their first posting, soldiers now attend what is known as “First Termer’s” training, which prepares them for the road ahead. In this course, they learn the basics of personal finance, how to plan and execute a budget and spending plan, how to overcome emergencies and their consumer protections, such as civil relief laws and military service members loans. .
With each promotion comes an increase in pay, increased responsibility and often the creation of additional expenses, and with each posting there will also be additional training to help soldiers stay the course.
Learning about how pension and contribution plans work is also essential to ensuring financial stability. Soldiers approaching two years of service and enrolled in the blended retirement system will need to educate themselves about vesting and how it plays a role in their retirement benefits. However, this training is not limited to participants in the blended retreat. For soldiers in the legacy pension system, this training aims to deepen their understanding of the PST and their pension benefits.
It is inevitable that most soldiers will be deployed during their career in the military. New training has been developed to help before and after a deployment. These courses help soldiers better understand fluctuations in salary, benefits, rights, and better manage their money when away from home.
All Army leadership courses now also contain financial management training. Whether enlisted or officers, the military wants all soldiers to be mission ready, which means they are financially ready.
There is also training available as a exiting soldier, with advice on finding civilian employment in the private sector or government, or simply on how best to make the best transition to life at home. retirement. The training helps soldiers organize themselves and prepare for either situation.
The military has experts available to provide training that puts soldiers on top of their finances no matter where they are on their journey. Below are some in-person trainings available through Army Community Service here, although they can also be taken online at https://www.financialfrontline.org. Please note that all in-person courses have a limited number of places available and dates and times may be subject to change. Call 573.596.4320 for more information.
Quarterly courses must meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the building. 486. They include:
- Budget and bank accounts management lessons on Wednesday. This course provides basic skills for creating and modifying a personal budget and maintaining a bank account.
- Credit, debt and consumer awareness class January 19. This class offers information on the proper use of credit, debt management, debt elimination, and identity theft protection and recovery. It also helps demonstrate how poor credit and debt management can negatively impact the lives of consumers.
- Savings, investment and insurance class on January 26. This course offers information on how to create a savings plan, the types of savings included in a plan, and short and long term investments. This class also provides insurance information, to include SGLI and TSGLI benefits for active duty members.
- Marriage Finances class on February 9. This class teaches soldiers how to optimize marital finances.
- Promotion funding class on February 16. This class helps prepare soldiers for the financial aspects of a promotion, and teaches them how to take advantage of opportunities to improve their financial situation.
- Prepare for divorce class on February 23. This class provides information to help prepare soldiers to take smart, informed financial action, so they can come out of divorce with greater financial confidence.
Monthly courses must meet from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the building. 486. They include:
- Permanent change in resort finances class on Monday February 14 and March 21. This class is specially designed for soldiers with little or no experience performing a PCS move, or for those in need of refresher training. It includes information on the rights and benefits to ensure that a soldier’s next move is flawless.
- TSP-Acquisition and maintenance indemnity classes on February 2 and March 2. This course helps soldiers become familiar with their savings plan. They will learn about employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement accounts, such as the TSP, as well as the need to plan for retirement, the benefits of the Department of Defense blended retirement system, and how to maximize opportunities for retirement. investment.
Weekly lessons must meet from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the building. 486. They include:
- Creation of the budget for the first term class on Monday January 24 and 31, February 7, 14 and 28, and March 7, 14, 21 and 28. This class provides information on goal setting, consumption, and allows soldiers to create a personal budget with the help of a financial advisor.