Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Military Saves Week: Journey to financial freedom

(U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley) PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Captain Joshua Flynn, 21st Space Wing chaplain, gathers Base Exchange information from Kristie Thomas and Kathy Dugan, Base Exchange employees, during the Financial Fair at The Club, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Feb. 28, 2017. The Exchange offers savings on commercial and grocery items.

By Robb Lingley

21st Space Wing Public Affairs 

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  —  The Airman & Family Readiness Center is scheduled to host Military Saves Week Financial Fair, Feb. 27 — Mar. 4, 2017, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

Military Saves, a component of America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, is a nonprofit campaign that seeks to motivate, support and encourage military families to save money, reduce debt and build wealth.

The goal of Military Saves Week is to encourage service members and their families to take the Military Saves Pledge, a commitment to begin the journey toward financial freedom.

The Air Force promotes positive changes in personal financial behavior through the notion that everyone can start small, but think big. Since 2007, the DoD has designated this event for the last week in February, and since then, more than 250,000 individuals have taken the Pledge.

Junior military personnel and their family members remain the target audience for the campaign. Financial struggles can result from a lack of knowledge where 50% of them say they have too much debt. In three years since taking the pledge in 2011 savers said they saved, on average, $42,000, according to the FINRA Investor Foundation Financial Capability Military Survey.

“Military Saves Week helps our service members save money, reduce debt and build wealth,” said Patricia Maxwell, Airman & Family Readiness Center personal financial counselor. “Financial readiness means mission readiness.”

Utilizing a top-down approach, Military Saves seeks the support of wing leadership to help get the word out to everyone on base, and encourage them to participate through multiple forms of media, base organizations and facilities, workshops, classes and other activities during the week.

“To better communicate with our Airmen we plan on taking our information to them by extensively using social media,” said Maxwell. “We also plan to utilize technology to include our geographically separated units.”

The campaign benefits Airmen by providing an opportunity to join the DoD’s effort to effectively develop a savings-ready force that encourages service members to save, according to Military America Saves.

The Financial Fair will provide classes including Military Youth Saves Day, FUNancial Fair, Preparing for Aging Parents, Commissary Savings/Healthy Food Tour, Do’s and Don’ts of Car Buying, Investing 101, Blended Retirement Systems, Military Youth Saves Poster Contest, Wall of Savers, Social Media Contest and a unit competition.

Financial stability contributes to unit readiness. If service members and their families are feeling financially stressed, it can affect every aspect of their lives, said Maxwell.

At the Financial Fair Airmen are encouraged to sign the Savers Pledge. Upon doing so they will become enrolled as a Military Saver and have a placard with their name and savings goal placed on a “Wall of Savers” at the Airman & Family Readiness Center.

Decisions made today can impact an Airman’s future financial well-being. The Airman & Family Readiness Center can provide resources and educational tools designed to enhance financial readiness and money-management skills.

At Peterson AFB the goal is to take full advantage of the opportunity to prepare Air Force families, civilians, and contractors for their financial futures.

This year the goal for the 21st Space Wing is to have 2,100 Airmen sign up and take the Pledge, said Maxwell.

For more information contact the Peterson AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center at 719-556-6141

Schedule of events:

• Mon. 2/27 — Military Youth Saves (CDC 9-11 a.m., Youth Center 4-5 p.m.)

• Tues. 2/28 — FUNancial Fair (The Club Ballroom 11-2 p.m.)

• Wed. 3/1 — Commissary Savings/Healthy Food Tour (Entry 10-11 a.m. RSVP Required)

• Preparing for Aging Parents (A&FRC room 1203, 10:30 a.m. RSVP Required)

• Do’s and Don’ts of Car Buying (Cyber Café 5:30-
6 p.m.)

• Thu. 3/2 — Investing 101 (A&FRC room 1203, 9-10 a.m. RSVP Required)

• Fri. 3/3 — Blended Retirement System (A&FRC room 1203, 9-10 a.m. RSVP Required)

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