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CFP® Certificants in the News: Helping Veterans Stay Financially FIT

On Memorial Day, we honored those brave men and women who gave their very blood to protect and defend our freedoms.

The sheer number of those who gave it all is humbling. Since our nation’s founding, those servicewomen and servicemen who died while serving is roughly equal to the population of Dallas, Texas – 1.3 million people.

Today, we’ll share stories of how a CFP® Certificant, supported by the Foundation for Financial Planning, is honoring today’s veterans by providing free financial counseling. Quoting directly from FIT’s Story on the Foundation for Financial Planning’s website:

“David Block, a retired U.S. Army officer and CFP® Professional, saw many active service members returning from active duty with money in their pockets post-deployment, buying things like expensive cars rather than thinking about the long term. ‘These impulsive decisions,’ he said, ‘can be detrimental to overall financial money security and, in the most severe cases, put service members’ security clearances and careers at risk.’ To help, Block founded Financial Independence Training (FIT), where members of the military can access expert advice to help them make sound financial choices through one-on-one financial counseling and online education. With support from the Foundation for Financial Planning, FIT has served hundreds of members of the military through its Financial Readiness Clinics. At these events, individuals and families are able to sit down with CFP® Professionals for free, one-on-one planning sessions where they can share their concerns, ask questions, and receive practical action plans. At a recent FRC [Financial Readiness Clinic], a Marine who was recently married, described struggling with payments on two car loans. These payments were causing the couple to go further and further into debt. They thought they had no way out. In another example, a Navy Chief was approaching his temporary separation from service in order to go to medical school to become a doctor and rejoin the Navy as a medical officer. He was worried about not having enough incoming cash flow during this interim period, how various types of VA and Navy benefits would interact with each other, and how to obtain life insurance coverage during that period. After meeting one-on-one with financial planners, these families described greater knowledge about their personal finances and an understanding of the next steps. Following their coaching session, the couple facing debt on their car loans realized that selling one of the vehicles at a slight loss and buying a replacement vehicle that fit within their budget would reduce their debt. And the Navy Chief going to medical school said that he had a solid plan to prepare for his upcoming separation and knew exactly who to contact to answer his remaining questions about VA benefits. Both clients were pleased they could worry less about money and start focusing on more important issues, such as building a meaningful relationship as a married couple or getting strong grades in medical school.”

The bottom line? David Block, CFP® and like-minded CFP® Certificant volunteers across the country have a new and noble mission to help those who have risked life and limb for us all.