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New Report Highlights Void In Financial Services Available To Military Families

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SOURCE Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families White Paper Cites 'Gaps In Resources'

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Star Families, the nation's largest chapter-based military families non-profit, released a report today highlighting critical issues associated with the financial readiness of some members of the armed forces. The report noted that the challenges faced by military families were largely due to the lack of financial education and awareness about the services and options available to them. Promoting Financial Literacy among Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families: Gaps in Resources and Recommendations for Services, was prepared by Blue Star Families' Department of Research and Policy and can be found here:

According to the report, "Unlike civilians, military service members and their families face unique challenges such as frequent and unexpected moves, discontinuity in spouse employment, and challenges completing educational goals that can adversely impact their long term financial status or their ability to accrue savings or wealth." These challenges stretch the budgets of military families. Without solid knowledge about their financial options, and ways to effectively manage their finances, military families can be trapped in a cycle of debt and experience unnecessary stress. 

In Blue Star Families' 2013 Military Families Lifestyle Survey, 65% of respondents experienced stress related to their families' current financial conditions. When asked about financial education within the military community, only 12% of respondents received their financial education through service member training, while 90% said they wanted greater emphasis on preventive financial education. Additionally, 82% of the service member respondents agreed that their spouse should be included in financial readiness courses.

"The financial readiness problems for some members of the armed forces are very real," explained Dr. Deborah Bradbard, Blue Star Families Acting Director of Research and Policy and the report's leading author. "Military families face unique challenges such as frequent moves, spouse unemployment, and limited knowledge about the resources available to them. Unfortunately, deceptive and predatory lending operators have targeted the armed forces population. Better financial education for service members, veterans and their families can help them meet their goals, minimize stress related to finances and prevent many issues, including raising debt and falling victim to deceptive lending practices."

Personal anecdotes from members of the military describing financial challenges and how they are dealing with the uncertainty of military life are also included in the report.

The report advocates basic and preventive financial education for all stages of military life, and encouraging men and women in uniform and their families to be "vigilant and proactive" when it comes to financial matters. Further, the report recommends targeted education for specific groups within the military communities, including caregivers and those facing deployment or involuntary separation.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network by and for military families from all ranks and services, including the National Guard and reserves. Blue Star Families is dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale, empowerment, education and employment programs. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and served more than a million military family members, including wounded and transitioning service members and their loved ones. Blue Star Families has also activated over 25 million hours of community service to build leaders within and strength the military community, and to connect Americans with their military. Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents, and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians.

To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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