In Appreciation of Valor
Every November 11 is an opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women of the US military. It may also be a good time to consider investing in companies that focus on supporting, hiring, and retaining veterans. Researching rankings from Military Times , VETS Indexes Employers Awards , and the GI Jobs Military Friendly Employers list could be a good starting point.
In addition to their sacrifice through service, some military members may face unique financial challenges, including inconsistent spousal income due to frequent relocation, as well as the complexities of managing income and household expenses while deployed.
What’s more, there are several major areas of financial focus service members share in common with civilians. GOBankingRates surveyed military experts and leading organizations to determine the top financial hardships for service members. Delaying home ownership, falling victim to predatory payday loans, and a lack of early financial education were all featured prominently.
The Value of Education
Some characteristics often associated with the US military include discipline, strength, courage, and world class training. Yet, as with service members and non military people alike, that level of education and exposure can be lacking on the financial side. Most high school curriculums don’t delve into financial education, placing the burden on individuals to figure out finances on their own.
Author and US Marine Corps veteran Robert Kiyosaki says learning the “vocabulary of money” is paramount to success in the civilian world. Experts suggest making a commitment to learning a new financial vocabulary word each week, and then using those terms in daily conversations.
Housing and Income in Focus
There are two specific areas of financial focus military experts identify as paramount, beyond vocabulary and education. The first involves homeownership, which service members typically delay while being deployed, or due to constant relocation.
Right now, the housing market is a bit confusing, in that rising mortgage rates have decreased demand, leading to what some have identified as a “buyer’s market.” But those higher rates also make mortgages more expensive, meaning it may not be the right time to buy right now. Big picture, it’s beneficial to consider what it takes to buy a home in terms of improving your credit and saving up for a down payment.
Finally, it’s important for military members to be cautious of predatory payday loans, as they adjust to cost of living increases while reentering civilian life. This is true for everyone, with inflation at its highest level in 40 years.
Thinking about ways to save and boosting your financial education are two pillars we can get behind — much like the discipline and dedication that define our service members.
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