By Mark IacampoMarch 14, 2012
HOHENFELS, Germany -- As part of the Military Saves Campaign, Army Community Service's Financial Readiness Team spent the week in the PX foyer educating the community on reducing debt and building a financial plan for the future.
"What we're trying to do is promote savings to our military families, not just this month, but all year round," said Donna Gotel, Financial Readiness Program Manager. "We're here to help answer the questions, 'how do I start this,' and 'how do I become disciplined enough to follow through.'"
The Military Saves Campaign is a total force, command level program that provides an opportunity for leaders at all levels to motivate and educate Service members and their families.
Both the Community Bank and the Service Credit Union had booths set up with representatives eager to answer questions and help people set up a savings plan.
"You can always come in to the bank and talk with someone about setting up a savings account," said Ruth Keaton, banking center manager with Community Bank. "But we're out here all this week in conjunction with ACS to promote Military Saves to the whole community."
Also on hand from Florida was certified financial planner Caleb Brown, providing guidance on TSP, and other saving and investment strategies.
Additionally, Brown taught classes throughout the week on TSP, retirement planning, and investing. He also gave free consultations to individuals on how to start building wealth.
"We were stopping by with questions for children college savings and spoke with Caleb and got some advice on different ways to invest some money, and advice on how to be diversified to plan for the future," said customer Brad Gates.
"It's never too early to start with a savings account," said Heather Vanderlaan, Service Credit Union representative. In addition to encouraging customers to sign a savings pledge which includes a subscription to a newsletter full of financial advice, she distributed handouts listing various websites that offer exciting plans on setting a budget, beginning savings, and even expert coupon-clipping tips.
Gotel said many people associate speaking to a financial planner as an indication that they're in financial trouble, but that is not always the case.
"You come to me, and we'll get you on the right track," she said. "And even if you're on the right track, we can help make sure that you stay there and continue going the right way."
She said a major part of their focus is setting a budget and making a plan.
"That's what we try to do," she said. We're ready to make appointments. Just give me a call."
For help with beginning a plan for your financial future contact the Financial Readiness representative at your local ACS.