Finance sesssions available for Kaneohe, Camp Smith Marines[MIGRATE]

By Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez | December 15, 2011

Are you looking to buy a new car? Maybe you just got married or expect a baby. Whether you foresee a major financial change or you just need to budget your spending, Marine Corps Community Services’ Marine & Family Programs can help.

Bruce Sneddon, program manager for the Personal Financial Management Program at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, held individual finance sessions here Dec. 15 for the first time.

Sneddon offers one-on-one financial planning for Marines and families reaching the end of their active service, retiring, having a baby, getting married and even for those starting a business.

By creating a budget, many young Marines can learn about how to avoid the common mistake of overextending their credit and living beyond their pay.

“For a young Marine, [the most common mistake is] probably not budgeting, living paycheck to paycheck and buying material items that are beyond their paycheck,” Sneddon said.

By scheduling a one-on-one meeting, service members can take a look at the different types of savings plans, and even different investment options as they begin planning for retirement.

“People really need to (plan for retirement) now, when they are young,” Sneddon said. “That’s the hard part for young people to realize, they think that retirement is so far off. If you just start putting [aside] just a little bit of money each month, it starts to build. You would be surprised how your estate grows.”

Sneddon recommends that Marines take advantage of the free financial guidance and meet with him or another financial advisor.

“There are a lot of free resources that the Marine Corps provides that people are playing big dollars for,” Sneddon said.

In efforts to bring more accessible financial advice to Marines, a command financial specialist course will be held at MCBH Feb. 27 – March 2. Staff non-commissioned officers and above who are eligible to attend the course can be appointed as the unit’s personal financial advisor by their commander.

Sneddon encourages anyone who thinks they are capable of offering financial guidance to contact their chain of command for more information on becoming a command financial specialist.

Personal financial planning can be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. by calling Bruce Sneddon at 257-7787/7790.