WASHINGTON -- Financial readiness is essential to the military readiness of the nation's troops.
In that vein, the Department of Defense has begun "Military Saves" under the Consumer Federation of America's "America Saves" program.
"One of the most important aspects of our responsibility at DoD is to help military families with their quality of life and with the programs and activities that will help them have a full and successful life that we think the military offers," Leslye Arsht, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said in announcing the launch last month. "We've worked hard to put together a comprehensive program of financial assistance and guidance to help military families move toward a culture of saving and planning for the future."
The premise of Military Saves is to encourage military families, particularly young families, to start saving early for retirement and to build a financial safety cushion for emergencies, Arsht said. This cushion, DoD is hoping, will keep military families from going to payday lenders. "The military pay system makes it really easy for you to do these allocations in your paycheck," she said. "These small amounts of money--10, 20 dollars a month--actually add up to quite a bit when you do it on a regular basis."
Another program DoD recently launched is Moneywise in the Military, a traveling conference done in partnership with the PBS television network that addresses topics such as staying out of debt, bankruptcy, home ownership, saving and insurance.