5 Big Financial Issues Facing Military Families
As your company just observed Memorial Day, now’s a good time to think about the financial issues facing veterans or military spouses within your organization.
Veterans make up about 13% of U.S. adults according to Gallup. So it’s likely you employ some active or former servicemembers or their spouses. Here are a few areas where you can offer financial wellness guidance uniquely geared to those employees.
Higher Pay in the Private Sector
Servicemembers are not generally well paid when compared to corporate employees. Remind workers who are transitioning from the military into your company that having a higher income is no excuse to max out their spending. Instead, now’s a great time for them to work on eliminating debt and building up emergency savings.
Be sure your military workers and spouses are aware of federal retirement programs for veterans. Talk with them about how government offerings might fit with your own benefits menu.
Unique Housing Needs
Deciding where to live and how much you can afford is never easy. But with frequent and sometimes abrupt moves, military families might have it even harder. When you hire a military spouse searching for the best use of a housing allowance, remind them of the basics. If they expect to be in the area for at least five years, buying can be a good idea. But those who are likely to move again soon should know that renting is a perfectly sound financial decision that avoids some of the stresses that come with homeownership.
Overseas and Overstressed
When you work with employees who have a spouse deployed out of state, it’s an opportunity to help families facing tough circumstances. These workers could have extra difficulty agreeing on a budget with their absent spouse, and they may experience more stress at home and work. Take the time to help them lay a strong foundation with their money and remind them how much they matter to your company.
Beware of Payday Loans
Debt is crippling American finances nationwide, but servicemembers have been even more vulnerable to a certain kind of borrowing: payday loans. Businesses offering cash advances with high annual percentage rates often set up shop right outside military bases. These risky loans have hit some inexperienced military members hard, and could be hurting some of your employees too. Tell them to avoid payday loans and leave all debt behind as soon as possible.
Servicemembers and their spouses play a big role in keeping our nation strong and safe. It’s a privilege to partner with them in business. By helping veterans take good care of their finances, your company has the chance to show gratitude in a big way.