by Selena Garrison.
Financial issues can vary based on a service member’s place along the military lifecycle. Whether a service member is brand-new to the military, preparing for their first deployment, getting ready to separate and transition back to civilian life, or a veteran, there are military benefits that are important for the service members to understand.
As Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) working with military service members, you have the opportunity to play a big role in helping them navigate the changes they experience along the way.
In many cases, new recruits may be experiencing their first bit of financial independence. While they are learning all about their new role in the Service, they may also be responsible for their own money for the first time. It may be prudent to introduce newcomers to a financial management app, such as the Department of Defense Sen$e app.
As service members prepare for deployment, it is important they understand this can put them at an increased risk for fraud. Service members should consider a credit freeze. The deployment also brings special pay and benefits, and they should also know about opportunities for an interest rate reduction on loans and eviction protection through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
As service members prepare for separation and transition back to civilian life, it is especially important for them to understand the benefits, entitlements, and services that they may have earned, as well as the necessary processes to obtain these benefits. The Statement of Benefits Guide for Military Members gives a comprehensive overview.
Veterans are eligible for a number of benefits, and getting connected to the VA is a good place to start. PFMs can help veterans navigate the VA Benefits site.
No matter where someone is in the military life cycle, PFMs have the opportunity to guide them toward financial security while making the most of the benefits available to them.