Military Saves Week teaches Airmen secrets to financial success

Participants in the Military Saves Week thrift savings plan and retirement class listen to Sun Park, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, explain the benefits of starting a TSP in the A&FRC classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Military Saves Week is held every year during the last week of February at Air Force installations around the world and focuses on enhancing the financial knowledge of Airmen, their families and civilian employees. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Participants in the Military Saves Week thrift savings plan and retirement class listen to Sun Park, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, explain the benefits of starting a TSP in the A&FRC classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Military Saves Week is held every year during the last week of February at Air Force installations around the world and focuses on enhancing the financial knowledge of Airmen, their families and civilian employees. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Sun Park, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, describes different thrift savings plan options to attendants of the Military Saves Week TSP and retirement class in the A&FRC classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Park began the class by asking what each person wanted to learn about to make sure that everyone left with the necessary information to help them reach their financial goals. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Sun Park, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, describes different thrift savings plan options to attendants of the Military Saves Week TSP and retirement class in the A&FRC classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Park began the class by asking what each person wanted to learn about to make sure that everyone left with the necessary information to help them reach their financial goals. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Staff Sgt. Cassandra Lane, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, takes notes during the Military Saves Week thrift savings plan and retirement class in the Airman and Family Readiness Center classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Lane attended the class to learn about TSP Roth Individual Retirement Account options that might compliment her current retirement investments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Staff Sgt. Cassandra Lane, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, takes notes during the Military Saves Week thrift savings plan and retirement class in the Airman and Family Readiness Center classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Lane attended the class to learn about TSP Roth Individual Retirement Account options that might compliment her current retirement investments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Information booklets about various investment options are laid out during the Military Saves Week thrift savings plan and retirement class in the Airman and Family Readiness Center classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Other events during Military Saves Week included a class about stocks and bonds and a home-buying workshop. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Information booklets about various investment options are laid out during the Military Saves Week thrift savings plan and retirement class in the Airman and Family Readiness Center classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Other events during Military Saves Week included a class about stocks and bonds and a home-buying workshop. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Sun Park, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, explains how surrounding property sales affect a house’s fair selling price during the Military Saves Week home-buying workshop in the A&FRC classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Park is a licensed real estate broker for the state of California and shared his knowledge of the real estate industry with Airmen interested in purchasing a new home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

Sun Park, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, explains how surrounding property sales affect a house’s fair selling price during the Military Saves Week home-buying workshop in the A&FRC classroom at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2014. Park is a licensed real estate broker for the state of California and shared his knowledge of the real estate industry with Airmen interested in purchasing a new home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Military Saves Week ran from Feb. 23 to March 1, and featured several classes and workshops hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center, with help from the financial institutions on base.

Air Force installations around the world set aside the last week in February every year to promote the importance of saving money and to inform Airmen about the different options they have for doing so.

Sun Park, A&FRC community readiness consultant, taught several of the classes this year, including one on starting a thrift savings plan and a home-buying workshop.

"We cater to our customers' needs and wants by monitoring their feedback and decided to pick those classes," Park explained.

Also on the agenda were an information fair at the base Exchange, a class about how to invest using stocks and bonds and a seminar catered to young adults about how to plan for their financial future.

Staff Sgt. Cassandra Lane, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, attended the TSP and retirement class because she was interested in Roth Individual Retirement Account options that might be available through her current TSP.

"I learned that TSP has a good Roth IRA and that the variety of funds that are offered lets me control the amount of risk that I am willing to take when investing my money," Lane said.

Military Saves Week classes - particularly the home-buying workshop - at Osan are unique in that there is no "sales pitch" associated with them. Instead, Airmen receive unbiased advice from trained professionals, such as Park, who is a licensed real estate broker for the state of California and a certified financial counselor. Representatives from the financial institutions on base also participate to lend their financial management expertise to the program.

"It promotes healthy financial habits for our Airmen and their family members by creating awareness of the importance of saving to help them reach their financial and personal goals," Park said.

Lane said she appreciates the effort put into all of the classes to provide relevant information to Airmen in varying circumstances.

"It offers Airmen and their families the opportunity to receive credible, realistic and free advice that can help them plan for the future," Lane said.