WASHINGTON – Military service members and their families often face unique financial challenges complicated by frequent moves, cost of living adjustments and un- or underemployment of military spouses. In an ongoing effort to increase the financial capability of service members and their spouses, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship awarded 50 fellowships to military spouses seeking to earn their AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) designation.
Spouse Fellows undergo rigorous training, coursework and experiential hours to gain hands-on experience, all at no cost to them. Following completion of the program, Spouse Fellows are certified to support the military community as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, military relief societies and credit unions throughout the U.S. and internationally. They offer one-on-one financial and group counseling and education to service members and their families.
The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship program, first launched in 2006, is a collaborative partnership administered by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®), the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National Military Family Association (NMFA).
“The global pandemic has created financial hardships and uncertainty for many Americans, and military families are not exempt. Military Spouse Fellows understand the added financial stressors service members face, exacerbated by today’s challenging economy and volatile markets,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. “Our Fellows provide critical access to expert financial education and information to help military families protect their finances and meet their financial goals, while advancing in their own portable rewarding careers.”
“We are thrilled to welcome the 2020 class of FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows!” said Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE® Executive Director. “2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the Fellowship, and in a time where financial uncertainty is all too common for many Americans, the AFC® certification is more important than ever. This new class joins an incredible community of professionals who are passionate about helping military service members, families, and veterans navigate financial setbacks and build a strong financial foundation to achieve lasting financial well-being. We look forward to supporting them on their journey to becoming Accredited Financial Counselors!”
There are 1.3 million men and women on active duty and more than 800,000 reserve forces, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
The 50 Spouses Fellows are married to active duty or retired service members in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard. They were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and will immediately begin their training in military communities worldwide. The 2020 class of Spouse Fellows includes nine spouses who are stationed overseas.
Recipients of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship commit to completing the courses of study and working in the financial counseling field serving their communities. Since its inception, the program has awarded 1,638 fellowships to military spouses. While working toward the AFC credential, Spouse Fellows have provided financial counseling and education to more than 228,892 service members and spent more than 494,559 hours helping military families reach their financial goals in the United States and around the world.
The program is open to spouses of active-duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army or Air National Guard or reserve component service members, as well as to spouses of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration professionals.
About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that empower underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. In 2006, the Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military service members and their spouses, including a free, unbiased resource, www.saveandinvest.org/military. A proud supporter of the uniformed services’ financial readiness mission, the Foundation also presents financial education forums at military installations worldwide. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit finrafoundation.org.
AFCPE®, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education®, ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting, and supporting diverse professionals. Our comprehensive certification programs represent the gold standard for financial counseling, coaching and education, including the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) which is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by both the CFPB and DoD. AFCPE supports their professionals by providing career advancement and professional development opportunities, including exceptional financial education trainings, the Journal for Financial Counseling & Planning and Annual AFCPE Research & Training Symposium. Visit www.afcpe.org for more information.
About the National Military Family Association
The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, veteran retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more, visit www.MilitaryFamily.org.
The 2020 Fellows represent the following military installations (or nearest military installation if retired):
Camp Humphreys South Korea
Camp Smith Hawaii
NS Guantanamo Bay
Dover Air Force Base
Fort Lesley J. McNair
Fort Sam Houston
Marine Corps Base Hawaii
MCAGCC Twentynine Palms
MCRD San Diego
Moody Air Force Base
NAS Pax River
Naval Base Coronado
Naval Base Kitsap
Naval Base Yokosuka
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Nellis Air Force Base
Norfolk Naval Station
North Island Naval Air Station
Ramstein Air Base
US Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan