Fifty military spouses living in the United States and abroad have the opportunity to earn an Accredited Financial Counselor designation that allows them to offer one-on-one financial and group counseling and education to service members and their families, according to a recent FINRA announcement.
The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship program, which was first launched in 2006, is a collaborative partnership administered by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National Military Family Association.
According to Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation, military personnel and their families face unique financial challenges complicated by frequent moves and deployments. As well as, she added, that un- or underemployment among military spouses is common.
“This fellowship program helps military spouses achieve career goals and aspirations by enhancing job-related marketability,” Walsh said in a statement. “The return on this investment helps increase the financial capability of military families who receive the knowledge and tools they need to make prudent saving and investing decisions.”
Those participating in the fellowship undergo rigorous training, coursework and experiential hours to gain hands-on experience, all at no cost.
Following completion of the program, participants 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.
Many military employers, such as credit unions, financial aid offices and community service centers, need well-trained financial counselors to meet the increasing demand for financial counseling services—from budgeting and credit management to financially preparing families for Permanent Change of Station moves and deployments, according to FINRA.