I’m sure that most people cannot miss seeing the current events of the financial markets here in America, and Servicemembers whether serving stateside or abroad are no different. Many have a lot of questions and concerns and some are even ambivalent despite the current turmoil. I recently had a Soldier tell me that he doesn’t really care about what is going on lately with Wall Street. He doesn’t feel like the IAG, Fannie, and Freddie bailouts affect him much. All he wants to do is keep making his own mortgage payments and keep living his life. But, the mayhem in the financial markets does affect him. It affects us all. Many Soldiers are having their homes foreclosed on them, getting evicted because their landlord is being foreclosed on, watching their savings nosedive, etc.
I recently received e-mail notices from several of the mutual fund companies and banks that I have accounts with, gently suggesting that I leave my money in their capable hands and not withdraw it. And, they are right. If everyone took out their money from banks or investments during a rough patch and stuffed it under their mattresses, a far greater panic would ensue than what we are currently seeing. Panic selling is never a good idea. I’m in this market for the long haul since I am decades away from full retirement. The downturn in the market is a great buying opportunity.
Members of the military recently received an e-mail from the Defense Department trying to help calm people’s jitters especially about the mortgage meltdown. Many members of the military are renters, and a newly passed law gives Servicemembers some relief if your landlord defaults on his mortgage and you are forced out of the home because of his foreclosure. If this happens to you, the military will now pay for you do a “door to door” local move free of charge as long as it is within the same city.
Another concern for military leadership is Servicemembers who are having trouble making ends meet themselves.
There are places you can go for help if you are in financial trouble.
• Your installation’s Family Readiness Support Center has financial counselors who are available.
• Your local Judge Advocates General (JAG) office has lawyers who can help you with foreclosures and other legal proceedings.
• The Military One Source can also help with financial counselors. I have found that the professionals at Military One Source are a wealth of information and can point you in the right direction for any crisis you might be facing. You can call them 24/7 at 1-800-342-9647 or visit them on the web at militaryonesource.com
A rocky financial market is no time to panic. If you have a sound financial plan and are years away from retirement, continue executing your plan. Continue investing for the future. Continue saving for important retirement goals.