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Written by · 15 April 2019

Financial Capability Month

Written by · 29 March 2019

April is National Financial Capability Month when the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) and the Ready Campaign encourage people to improve their financial futures and to be prepared when disaster strikes. This resource packet focusses on actions you can take now to make sure you are ready for any financial disaster, big or small.

To be a part of the Financial Capability Month conversation, share these blogs, social media content, graphics, and resources with your clients, partners, and the general public. Encourage others to receive Partner Resource Packets from Military Saves in the future by signing up to receive news and updates from Military Saves.

In This Packet:

Blog Content

Social Media Content

Events

Relevant Resources

Join Our List


Blog Content

For use in communications that directly reach your constituents. We encourage you to use this content as guest posts or rewrite Military Saves content as your own.

 

Three Ways to Improve Your Financial Capability Now

By Military Saves

April is National Financial Capability Month, a time to encourage everyone to improve their financial futures and to be prepared when disaster strikes. Here are three actions you can take now to make sure you are ready for any financial disaster, big or small.

 

Five Money Concepts to Practice in the Military

By Lacey Langford

Military Money Expert Lacey Langford shares five money concepts that service members and their families should practice.

 

Challenge Your Money Assumptions Now

By Ryan Guina

Military vet and personal finance writer Ryan Guina, founder and editor of theMilitaryWallet and CashMoneyLife, encourages us to challenge our money assumptions to make headway with our savings.

 

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Social Media Content

Share the following messages with your followers.

Monday

Saving is the best financial defense against disasters. A little bit at a time can go a long way. Learn more on how to save smart: https://www.usa.gov/flec @MilitarySaves #FinancialFuture2019 #FinancialCapabilityMonth

Image versions: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Tuesday

Automating your savings can take the guesswork out of reaching your savings goals. Make sure to set up automated regular transfers with your bank or credit union.https://bit.ly/2jADRus @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday #FinancialCapabilityMonth

Image versions: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Wednesday

Never miss a credit payment! According to @USAAEF, 35 percent of your FICO credit score is based on your payment history. >> https://bit.ly/2zVezAl @MilitarySaves #WednesdayWisdom #FinancialCapabilityMonth

Image versions: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Thursday

Take advantage of #compoundinterest by saving early & #saving often! http://ow.ly/Bfk8x @MilitarySaves #FinancialCapabilityMonth

Image versions: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Friday

Saving your money shouldn't be an uphill battle. Take the @MilitarySaves pledge today and build your savings plan:https://bit.ly/2mmkFSz #SavingsFactFri #FinancialCapabilityMonth

Image versions: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Events

Twitter Chat

Plan for the Unexpected
Date: Wednesday, April 10
Time: 1:00 pm Eastern
Hosts: The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Division (@Ready.gov) and (@FEMA)
Hashtag: #FinancialChat
This TwitterChat #FinancialChat explores what it means to be financially capable. Participants will learn from experts about how to set financial goals, build a budget, and plan for unexpected events.

Webinar

Money Matters: Resources for Youth in Financial Preparedness
Date: Wednesday, April 17
Time: 4:00 pm Eastern
Hosts: The Federal Emergency Management Agencyís (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Division (@Ready.gov) and (@FEMA)
Guest Presenter: Amelia OíRourke-Owens, Director of Youth Financial Capability, America Saves
This webinar will explore the importance of saving and provide tips on how to encourage saving for youth.

#FinHealthMatters Day

Date: Thursday, April 25
Hosts: Center for Financial Services Innovation (@CFSInnovations)
Mark your calendars and help us once again bring attention to Americansí financial health through this social media campaign.

 

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Helpful Resources

Use and share the following resources with your audience and with partnering organizations.

From Military Saves

Financial Spring Cleaning: 5 Things You Should Do Now

Tips on Where to Keep Your Emergency Savings

Save for Emergencies

Make a Plan: How to Save

Assess Your Savings Plan

 

From Others

This month we're highlighting MyArmyBenefits, the US Army official benefits website. This site allows you to:

There is live phone help from benefits experts from 9 am-5 pm Monday through Friday.

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit courtesy FEMA

Military Family Preparedness courtesy Ready.gov

Find Out Your Financial Well-Being courtesy CFPB

Start an Emergency Fund courtesy of FINRA Foundation

Preparing Financially for Kids courtesy USAA Community

Financial Field Manual: A Personal Finance Guide for Military Families courtesy of the Investor Protection Trust, Investor Protection Institute and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine

 

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Join Our List

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Military Saves Week 2019 Digital Toolkit

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon · 15 January 2019

Are you ready to kick your Military Saves Week plans into high gear? This is the kit for you! This Military Saves Week 2019 Digital Toolkit outlines daily themes, a sample blog, sample tweets and important resources to help you get started. 

Haven’t yet joined the movement that is motivating the military to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth? Please click here to sign up your organization today.



Military Saves Week's Daily Savings Focus

We encourage you to promote these savings strategies each day during the Week:

Monday, February 25: Save with a plan

  • Twitter Chat: America Saves Week and Military Saves Week 2019 Kickoff
    Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Eastern
    Host(s): America Saves (@AmericaSaves) and Military Saves (@MilitarySaves)
    Hashtag(s): #ASW19 and #MSW19
    America Saves and Military Saves join forces to kick off Saves Week 2019! We’ll be discussing the savings themes taking place during the week, cheering on savers and partnering organizations for their activities, and highlighting our favorite savings tips.

Tuesday, February 26: Save the easy way...automatically

  • Twitter Storm: America Saves Week and Military Saves Week 2019
    Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
    Host(s): America Saves (@AmericaSaves) and Military Saves (@MilitarySaves)
    Hashtag(s): #ASW19 and #MSW19
    Help us take over Twitter! Join us in blasting Twitter with #ASW19 and #MSW19 content for an hour to raise the visibility of the Week and engage more individuals in the topic of saving. Use content from this kit or craft your own, just make sure to include the hashtag

Wednesday, February 27: Save for the unexpected

  • Twitter Chat: Military Saves Week #CreditChat with Experian
    Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
    Host: Experian (@Experian_US)
    Guest(s): Military Saves (@MilitarySaves)
    Hashtag(s): #CreditChat
    Topic: Managing Money When You’re on the Move
    Experian is happy to support Military Saves Week with a special tweet chat.

  • Twitter Chat: America Saves Week #CreditChat with Experian
    Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
    Host: Experian (@Experian_US)
    Guest(s): America Saves (@AmericaSaves)
    Hashtag(s): #CreditChat
    Topic: Maintaining Your Financial Health As a Couple
    Experian is happy to support America Saves Week with a special tweet chat.

Thursday, February 28: Save to retire

  • Twitter Chat: America Saves Week 2019 #WBChat with WiseBread
    Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
    Host: WiseBread (@WiseBread)
    Guest: America Saves (@AmericaSaves)
    Hashtag: #WBchat and #ASW19
    Learn about creating a savings plan, holding yourself accountable to savings goals, assessing your savings plan, and more! Let us know about your savings goals and tell us one thing you could do today to move toward your savings goals!

Friday, March 1: Save the extra

  • Twitter Storm: America Saves Week and Military Saves Week 2019
    Host(s): America Saves (@AmericaSaves) and Military Saves (@MilitarySaves)
    Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
    Hashtag: #ASW19 and #MSW19
    Help us take over Twitter – again! Join us in blasting Twitter with #ASW19 and #MSW19 content for an hour to raise the visibility of the Week and engage more individuals in the topic of saving. Use content from this kit or craft your own, just make sure to include one or both of the hashtags!

Saturday, March 2: Save as a family

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Military Saves Week Promotional Video

>> View the Military Saves Week // Save the Extra video, produced by our friends at the Defense Credit Union Council.

 

>> View the Military Saves Week video, produced by USAA Educational Foundation.

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Sample #MSW19 Tweets and Posts

Follow @MilitarySaves on Twitter. Like and promote the Military Saves Facebook page. Promote the hashtag #MSW19 in any savings or Military Saves Week content at the end of each tweet and post.

Posts encouraging sharing Military Saves Week with partners:

Join the movement that is motivating the military to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth during #MSW19 (Feb 25 - Mar 2) with @MilitarySaves. http://bit.ly/2F8LylJ
 

Military Saves Week is Feb. 25-March 2, 2019. Sign up to join us in motivating military service members to save, reduce debt, and build wealth: http://bit.ly/2F8LylJ #MSW19
 

We're proud to participate in #MSW2019. See who else is participating and learn more: http://bit.ly/2VrlmIo
 

This #MSW19, take the @MilitarySaves Pledge, a new and improved savings tool, to help you set savings goals and create a savings plan. http://bit.ly/2an9Bwa
 

Both individuals & organizations can participate in @MilitarySaves Week! Visit http://bit.ly/2Ah12Bn for activities, free materials, & more! #MSW19

Since 2007, @MilitarySaves has motivated more than 300,000 service members and families to save. Learn what all the fuss is about in the 2018 annual report. http://bit.ly/2Da0gYH
 

Posts encouraging saving during Military Saves Week:

Those who save with a plan are 2x more likely to save for #retirement, have a rainy day fund, and stick to a budget. Take the @MilitarySaves Pledge and make a plan for your money today: http://bit.ly/2kSl9LK #MSW19

(Click on image to download and use.)
 

It’s true! The easiest way to save is automatically. This Military Saves Week, set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings or an allotment thru myPay. Put your savings on autopilot: http://bit.ly/2ANyhcp. #MSW19

(Click on image to download and use.)
 

Having a solid spending plan can help you find money to save for the unexpected. Check out these 6 steps to creating a spending plan: http://bit.ly/2vFGL3Z via @FINRAFoundation h/t @MilitarySaves #MSW19

(Click on image to download and use.)
 

Take the @MilitarySaves Pledge, a new and improved savings tool, to help you set savings goals and create a savings plan, like for #retirement. http://bit.ly/2an9Bwa #MSW19

(Click on image to download and use.)
 

Getting a large check from the IRS? Save the extra! You could win BIG for saving just $50 of your #taxrefund with @SaveYourRefund. http://bit.ly/2jGAHW9 #MSW19

(Click on image to download and use.)
 

This #MSW19, make a commitment to find ways to save as a military family. Make saving a family affair. http://bit.ly/2Mfu1Mn

(Click on image to download and use.)
 

Additional Posts:

Buying a car is a big $ decision. Approach it with a plan and savings. Take the Military Saves Pledge to set your goal and make your plan and check out HandsOnBanking.org for more smart car buying tips: http://bit.ly/2RhRLmt
 

The first step in reducing your debt is to stop adding to it, according to @USAAEF. Learn how to destroy your debt and save money in this five-part video series: http://bit.ly/2Rq8DHW

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Sample Article

We encourage you to use the blog content below for your website, email, or other content marketing strategies.

Why YOU Should Join the Movement That’s Motivating the Military to Save Money

By Alecia Blair, M.S., AFC®, Military Saves

Whether you’re brand new to Military Saves Week or a long-time partner or saver, here are three reasons why YOU should join the #MSW19 movement that’s motivating the military to save money, reduce debt and build wealth.

  1. It’s a designated opportunity to hit the pause button on your crazy busy military life and check in on the fitness of your personal savings. Military Saves Week (MSW) is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for service members and their families to assess their own saving status. MSW is a worldwide financial readiness celebration focused on saving.
  2. It’s tried and true. Since 2007, more than 300,000 (and counting) service members and their family members have taken the Military Saves Pledge, a new and improved savings tool to help you create a simple savings plan. Every year, hundreds of installations and organizations from all over the world participate in MSW by hosting events that promote savings and financial readiness.
  3. Military Saves is your personal savings coach. When you take the Military Saves Pledge, you’ll have access to FREE educational resources on MilitarySaves.org, as well as customized communications, including the option to receive savings-specific text message tips and reminders to help you stay on track with your savings goals.

And, yes, it’s all completely FREE. And, no, we’ll never try to sell you anything, EVER.

So, join the movement that is motivating the military to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

Your future self will thank you.

Military Saves Week is coordinated by Military Saves, an initiative of America Saves. The Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for service members and their families to assess their savings status.

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Want more? Sign up your organization today to receive important updates on #MSW19 and to participate in this financial readiness celebration that’s focused on saving. Also, check out other downloadable materials and our graphics package on MilitarySaves.org that promotes the Week to other organizations. 

Other Resources

Save the Extra

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon · 04 February 2019

BRS: Should I stay or should I go?

Retirement Retirement Savings partner resource packet Blended Retirement System
Written by Tammy G. Bruzon · 23 October 2018

For eligible service members who haven’t already made their decision regarding whether to stay in the Legacy Retirement System or go into the new Blended Retirement System, that is the question. And the countdown to decide is on.

Please share the article, social media content, graphics, and resources provided with your constituents, your partners, and the general public. As always, please encourage individuals to take the Military Saves Pledge—an important step in creating a plan to reach their savings or debt reduction goals. After all, those with a plan are more likely to achieve their goals!

In This Packet:

Blog Content

Social Media Content

Relevant Resources

Join Our List


Blog Content

For use in communications that directly reach your constituents. We encourage you to use this content as guest posts or rewrite them as your own.

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go…Into the Blended Retirement System?

Cue the first line of lyrics from The Clash’s 1982 hit song, Should I Stay or Should I Go! For eligible service members who haven’t already made their decision regarding whether to stay in the Legacy Retirement System or go into the new Blended Retirement System, that is the question. And the countdown to decide is on. 

Eligible service members who are still unsure have until Dec. 31, 2018 to make their selection, which is a big financial one-size-does-not-fit-all decision that has equally big implications on their military retirement.

But rest assured, you, the undecided service member, do not have to make this decision alone! 

Here is a five-step checklist to help you get organized, take control, and know exactly what you need to do to make the best decision for you and your family:

Five-Step BRS Checklist to Success Explained

Step 1: Determine your eligibility.

If you haven’t already, the first step in considering the BRS is to determine whether or not you are eligible for it.

It's important to know that all service members serving as of Dec. 31, 2017, are grandfathered into the current Legacy Retirement System and will not be automatically moved to the BRS. 

If you wish to move to the BRS, you will need to "opt-in" during the one-year opt-in period before Dec. 31, 2018.

Step 2: Take the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course.

To ensure service members fully understand their retirement plan options, all eligible service members are required to take the BRS Opt-In Course. The course is mandatory and must be completed before a service member can opt-in to the BRS. 

Step 3: Educate yourself on the BRS and use the BRS Comparison Calculator to analyze your estimated benefits. 

Learn more about the BRS by visiting the one-stop U.S. Department of Defense shop at Military Compensation. Here, in addition to the BRS Opt-in Course, you will find timelines, informational videos (including the Ask Robyn series), frequently asked questions, BRS for Military Spouses Infographic and the BRS Comparison Calculator to help you run the numbers.

Additional information on the BRS may be found at these sites:

The BRS Comparison Calculator is designed to assist eligible service members in comparing the Legacy Retirement System (commonly referred to as the "High-3 System") to the BRS. It is intended to be used in conjunction with the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment to consult your installation personal financial manager/counselor.

This is one decision you don't need to make on your own. Personal financial managers (or PFMs) and personal financial counselors (or PFCs) are available at military installations around the world to provide free, high-quality financial counseling. You can also talk to a PFC by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. 

These professionals can help educate you on the BRS as you consider your options. Use this benefit today, but be wary of financial consultants or salespeople posing as financial experts who offer BRS education and try to get you to purchase other services for a fee.

Step 5: Make your decision between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018.

You and other eligible service members should take the time to educate yourselves now. Again, you have until Dec. 31, 2018 to make your decision about which system is right for your financial goals.

  • If an eligible service member wants to stay covered under the current legacy system, they are not required to take additional steps. (However, Marines have to affirmatively decline enrollment in the BRS through Marine Online.)
  • If an eligible service member decides the BRS is for them, they must opt-in by Dec. 31, 2018.

To learn how to opt-in based on your branch, check out Resources/How to Opt-In to BRS.

All service members who are now entering the military (after Jan. 1, 2018) are automatically enrolled in the BRS. 

For all the latest information on the BRS, visit DoD Military Compensation/BRS.

When it comes to the BRS, you've got this! And Military Saves is here to help you stay on track. Take the Military Saves Pledge to set your savings goal for retirement and follow the prompts to opt-in to receive text message reminders and tips. Think of Military Saves as your personal savings support system. 

Alecia D. Blair, AFC®, is the Director of Military Saves, a nonprofit program, which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support service members and their families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.

 

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Social Media Content

Share the following messages with your followers.

#SavingsTipTuesday

Weigh your retirement options before it’s too late. Dec. 31, 2018 is the deadline for eligible service members to opt-in to the #BlendedRetirement System. #SavingsTipTuesday

Active Duty service members with fewer than 12 years of total service as of Dec. 31, 2017 are eligible to opt into the #BlendedRetirement System. #SavingsTipTuesday

 

#WednesdayWisdom

If you have questions about the #BlendedRetirement System, Personal Financial Managers and Counselors at your military installation are available to educate you on your retirement options.  #WednesdayWisdom

Using the #BlendedRetirement System Comparison Calculator can help you make a decision about which retirement system is best for you. #WednesdayWisdom

 

#SavingsFactFriday

In order to opt-in to the #BlendedRetirement System, you must first take the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course. #SavingsFactFriday

You can analyze your estimated benefits through the #BlendedRetirement System by using the BRS Calculator. #SavingsFactFriday

Additional Post

Cue @TheClash’s song: Should I Stay or Should I Go! If you’re an eligible service member, decide whether to stay in the Legacy Retirement System or go opt-in to the #BlendedRetirement System. You have until Dec. 31, 2018 to make this important decision.

 

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Relevant Resources

Use and share the following resources with your audience and with partnering organizations. 

From Military Saves

Resources and Research

Department of Defense

Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

FINRA + FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The USAA Educational Foundation

Wells Fargo

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Join Our List

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by | September 30, 2014

    Rounding #debt and #mortgage payments up to the nearest $100 will get you out of debt years earlier.

Saver Stories View all »

A Disciplined Approach to Saving

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

Read more...

Airman Succeeds Through Dedication to Building Wealth Not Debt

Written by Super User | October 13, 2011

I came into the Air Force at 23 years old in 1993 with about 12 outstanding bills (hospital bills, car loan, car insurance, school loans, credit cards, etc.). You name it, I had the bill. Thanks to the Family Support Center, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and many other sources, I now have no outstanding bills.

Read more...

A Plan for Success

Written by Super User | April 26, 2012

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

First off, we write down our goals and separate wants from needs.

Read more...