Military Saves Week teaches Airmen secrets to financial success
By Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 02, 2014
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.