MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Corps Air Station Iwakiuni is hosting a Military Saves week exposition Feb. 24 through Feb. 28, 2014, as a way to educate service members and family members on financial planning.
The Department of Defense sets emphasis on educating military members and families about saving every year during the last week of February.
“This is the first year, in Iwakuni, that we are having the financial institutions get together and do something jointly,” said Kieu Garcia, personal financial manager for Marine Corps Community Services. “All the financial classes are also being offered throughout the week.”
Some of the financial classes offered aboard station are Money Matters, Salute to Smart Investing and a Thrift Savings Plan course.
Garcia said that all of the financial classes will be available throughout the week.
According to MARADMIN 007/14, financial readiness is a top priority in the Department of Defense and is recognized as an integral part of a Marine’s fitness. Marines can take the MCI course, such as personnel financial management, or become a command financial specialist.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be out in the community,” said Garcia. “I don’t feel as though the community understands how important it is to learn about their finances. I hear all the time how people sign up for the TSP (thrift savings plan) and then I ask them very simple questions like, ‘do you know what fund you’re in? Do you know how much money you’re putting in?’ The last question I always ask is, ‘do you know what kind of returns you got last year?’ Most people have no idea.”
Garcia also said service members could be using this money for other things, but they chose to put it in a retirement plan, so it is important to know what type of interest a person’s money is actually gaining.
“Most people are just putting money into these programs blindly,” said Garcia. “Talking to me or the command financial specialist is free though, we are here to help.”
Garcia ended by saying patrons interested in attending any of the many financial education classes can stop by Building 411 and see the next available class date.
Those interested can also visit, http://www.militarysaves.org, and take the Saver Pledge. Savers who take the pledge can opt to receive a monthly e-newsletter from Military Saves, as well as a quarterly e-newsletter from American Saves.