HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Copies of the second edition of the "Financial Field Manual: The Personal Finance Guide for Military Families" will be distributed on military bases and directly to military families in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Securities Commission (PSC), under a partnership of the Investor Protection Trust (IPT), the Investor Protection Institute (IPI), the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.
Written in Kiplinger's accessible style by contributing editor Kimberly Lankford (a military spouse), the January 2012 guide from IPT, IPI, CBBB and Kiplinger's focuses on the key issues that can help military families make informed investing decisions, protect their money and their families, and take charge of their financial lives.
Pennsylvania Securities Chairman Bob Lam said: "We are aware of the fact that military families in Pennsylvania face a lot of financial pressures during these difficult economic times. That's why we are eager to help get out the word to active and retired military personnel and family members about what they can do to strengthen their finance and also to avoid the unscrupulous con artists and quick-buck schemers who prey on those who serve our nation."
IPT President and CEO Don Blandin said: "For military families at home, readiness in terms of their personal finances can be nearly as important as the readiness of their loved ones who are in harm's way serving our nation. Unfortunately, military families can have a difficult time finding the resources needed to help them make smart investing decisions. To fill this gap in financial education, the Investor Protection Trust and the Investor Protection Institute have partnered with Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine and the Council of Better Business Bureaus to publish 'Financial Field Manual: The Personal Finance Guide for Military Families.'"
An online version of the guide is available from the Pennsylvania Securities Commission at www.psc.state.pa.us.
The 20-page booklet features success stories from service members and their families, and provides comprehensive guidance on a wide range of timely personal finance topics, including:
- Investing for the Future. Members of the military have access to special investing plans that can help them save for the future, but they're also frequent targets of scam artists and identity thieves. The guide shows them how to make the most of their special savings plans, make smart investing decisions, and avoid the new generation of scams
- Protecting Investments and Family. Military families have some unique risks—especially when they're deployed—but they also have access to special programs to help them protect their savings and their families. The booklet guides them on how to make the most of these resources in areas such as insurance, estate planning, and new tax rules.
- Special Home-Buying Resources. Military families, who tend to move frequently and sometimes with little notice, have been hit particularly hard by the housing downturn. But they also have access to special mortgage programs and tax breaks. The guide addresses these valuable resources and some key investing decisions to protect them from housing troubles that can jeopardize their financial situation.
- Protecting Investments When Leaving the Military. Service men and women need to make some key investing decisions after leaving the military. The booklet provides guidance to help ensure that the savings they have built throughout their service lasts through retirement – which is particularly timely as they enter a challenging civilian job market.
- Special Benefits for Military Families. Members of the military have special legal rights and access to other valuable benefits, such as a GI bill that can help service members, their spouses and their children pay for college. The guide shows them how to make the most of those benefits to help protect their savings.
The Pennsylvania Securities Commission is the state agency regulating the investment industry. All stock brokers, retirement planners, investment adviser representatives and other investment professionals in Pennsylvania are required by law to be registered with the PSC. Most investment related products are also required by law to be registered or on file with the PSC.
The PSC investigates investment related crimes targeting any consumers, including active and retired military personnel. Troops returning from active duty as well as military family members of active duty personnel are often targets of scam artists. Scam artists take advantage of a hectic and emotionally charged time period, hoping returning military personnel and family members will not "investigate before they invest."
Anyone working with or planning to work with any investment professional should always contact the PSC first to confirm the professional is appropriately registered. You can also request a free, confidential background report on any investment professional at any time. Call the PSC toll free in Pennsylvania at 1-800-600-0007 or 717-787-8062 outside of PA.
Through the PSC's Investor Education Section, numerous educational, non-commercial presentations and handouts are available for all age groups in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania. The Investor Education section informs consumers of the basics of investing and creates awareness of the many investment scams that exist. Multiple online resources are available at www.psc.state.pa.us/investor through the PSC Investor Education website.
The Investor Protection Trust (IPT) is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education. More than half of all Americans are now invested in the securities markets, making investor education and protection vitally important. Since 1993 the Investor Protection Trust has worked with the states and at the national level to provide the independent, objective investor education needed by all Americans to make informed investment decisions. The Investor Protection Trust strives to keep all Americans on the right money track. www.investorprotection.org
The Investor Protection Institute (IPI) is an independent nonprofit organization that advances investor protection by conducting and supporting unbiased research and groundbreaking education programs. IPI carries out its mission through investor education, protection and research programs delivered at both the national and grassroots level in collaboration with state securities regulators and other strategic partners. IPI is dedicated to providing innovative investor-protection programs that will make a meaningful difference in the financial lives of Americans in all walks of life and at all levels of sophistication about financial matters. www.protectinvestors.org
Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has been providing millions of Americans with down-to-earth advice on managing their money and achieving financial security since 1947. Along with Kiplinger.com, it is a highly trustworthy source of information on saving and investing, taxes, credit, homeownership, paying for college, retirement planning, car buying and many other personal finance topics.
ABOUT BBB MILITARY LINE
BBB Military Line® is a Better Business Bureau 501(c)(3) program established in 2004. It operates in partnership with the DOD Financial Readiness Campaign and is a partner in the National Joining Forces Initiative. BBB Military Line brings financial workshops tailored to the military for adults and teens; participates in community fairs, conferences and military-installation events; and provides consumer protection information and services—all through the efforts of local BBBs throughout the U.S. Our program empowers our military communities and builds bridges between civilian and military cultures through face-to-face interaction and cooperation. Our online presence provides financial-literacy and military consumer information, along with consumer threat alerts that specifically target the military population. Please visit www.bbb.org/military for more information.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Securities Commission