Knowing how to secure your financial well being is one of the most important things in life. Financial capability means acting on this knowledge, known as financial literacy, by identifying your goals, making a plan, paying off high-interest debt, living within your means and building wealth.
Some advice from a recent Twitter Q & A session hosted by the Veterans Benefits Administration include:
- It pays to start early. Use our compound interest calculator to see how the money you invest may grow over time: https://t.co/yaPp3rCgrh
- There are many ways to reduce expenses and save money. We suggest first starting with a spending plan: https://t.co/zFeFcFhMgU
- If your employer offers a 401(k), take advantage of it, especially if there is a “match” for contributions. You get a tax break when you contribute to a 401(k).
- Review your retirement options very closely such as matching, to ensure they maximize their retirement from the beginning. Our blended retirement booklet has some great information on retirement for service members: https://t.co/oTDDc99zxY
- Be suspicious of any investment that sounds too good to be true. Claims that an investment is a “can’t miss” opportunity or promises “guaranteed” returns are classic warning signs of fraud!
More reputable resources for Veterans and service members to build and maintain healthy money habits and avoid scams:
- Military OneSource-All veterans discharged under honorable or general under honorable conditions are eligible for services provided by @Military1Source, including financial counseling services, up to 365 days after their retirement, end of tour or discharge date: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-Navigating the military financial life cycle-whether you’re a service member entering basic training or you just hung up the uniform, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help you handle financial challenges at every step of your military career: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/practitioner-resources/servicemembers/
- Military Officers Association of America-MOAA’s Financial Planning services (for current members) are through financial counselors who have been in the financial business that now function as educators and counselors: http://www.moaa.org/Content/Benefits-and-Discounts/Finance/Finance
- The Better Business Bureau offers financial literacy training and tips, fraud alerts and scam prevention programming through partners and a network of BBB facilitators across North America: https://www.bbbmarketplacetrust.org/military-and-veteran-consumer-information
- The MyMoney.gov site has tip sheets, guidance and helpful tools to boost your finance knowledge, they even have games and information for kids: https://www.mymoney.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- Operation Protect Veterans-The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP have joined forces to create Operation Protect Veterans. This site can help you identify and report scams: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/radDocs/OPV.html Read the full blog here.