Kiplinger and BBB Arm Our Troops with Personal Finance Guide to Protect Their Fiscal Futures

  
     
February 25, 2009

Due to Economic Crisis, Almost 8 in 10 U.S. Servicemembers Will Extend Military Service


Washington, D.C. -February 23, 2009- Two-thirds of American military personnel have more debt than they are comfortable with or have gone deeper into debt within the past year, according to a new poll by Kiplinger and the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ BBB Military Line®.

Conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), the national survey found that 78 percent of the servicemen and women questioned plan to stay in the service longer than they originally intended because of financial concerns stemming from today’s economic turmoil. It also revealed that 39 percent have no retirement savings other than their military pension and, in fact, 35 percent of respondents do not have savings or investments of any kind.

To help servicemembers and their families understand and take advantage of the special financial programs and resources available to them, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and BBB Military Line launch the Kiplinger-BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families today in conjunction with Military Saves Week (www.militarysaves.org).

Written by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance contributing editor (and military spouse) Kimberly Lankford, the 16-page booklet offering targeted financial advice and guidance for military personnel and their families will be distributed free to more than 700,000 military personnel worldwide.

The booklet provides comprehensive guidance on a dozen diverse personal finance topics, including:

• Deployment Preparation/Financial Readiness
• Buying A Home
• Taxes
• Insurance
• Avoiding Scams that Target Military Families
• Retirement Planning

“While our troops carry out their difficult and dangerous missions, we know that they and their families are not immune to the financial turmoil that impacts every American household,” said Knight Kiplinger, president and editor in chief of Kiplinger.  “We are pleased to join with BBB Military Line in this important mission benefiting our men and women in uniform and their families.”

In addition to distribution to military personnel, the booklet will be circulated to BBB offices throughout the United States and to members of Congress.  A series of short videos—ranging from 90 seconds to 2 ½ minutes—accompanies the guide and is available on Kiplinger’s Website at http://www.kiplinger.com/links/military and will appear on the Websites of BBB Military Line, the Investor Protection Trust, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions and the Defense Credit Union Council.

“Our nation has asked a great deal of our military in the last six years, and I think it’s important that BBB look out for our military families by equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to engage and overcome their debt, savings and investment concerns,” said Steven J. Cole, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Since the inception of our BBB Military Line program, thousands of military members and their families have benefited from our consumer education outreach efforts and we look forward to extending and expanding those services through our collaboration with Kiplinger.”

“The fact that one-third of our military men and women do not have savings or investments shows a need to arm them with a resource describing special opportunities available to them to achieve financial security,” said Don Blandin, president and CEO of Investor Protection Trust. “They protect our nation and we can help protect them with tools for wise and safe investing.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact 

Laura Stevens , The Rosen Group , 202-862-4372 or
Alison Southwick, Council of Better Business Bureaus,  703-247-9376

About Kiplinger

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. www.kiplinger.com

About BBB Military Line
BBB Military Line® is a program of the BBB Center, a 501C (3) organization affiliated with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. The BBB Center seeks to foster consumer trust and business ethics in North America and the evolving international marketplace. The BBB Center produces independent research and analyzes issues that impact consumer trust, as well as developing educational material for consumers. www.bbb.org/military

About the Sponsors
The Investor Protection Trust (IPT) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to investor education and protection.  This project marks the second time Kiplinger and the IPT have teamed on a nationwide financial education initiative.  In 2006 the editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine published seven investor education booklets to support the IPT's national campaign entitled Investor Education in Your Community™.  To date, more than one million print copies of the booklets have been distributed to consumers via the offices of State Securities Regulators and public libraries.  www.investorprotection.org

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions is a national 501c3 nonprofit offering budgeting, housing and credit counseling services in all 50 states. ClearPoint is a National Intermediary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and a system-wide accredited business of the Better Business Bureau. www.clearpointccs.org

The Defense Credit Union Council is a non-profit association, supporting the interests of defense credits that operate on military installations worldwide. By maintaining a close and constant liaison with the Pentagon, DCUC assists the Department of Defense and its member credit unions in coordinating policy, procedures and legislation, as it relates to financial readiness, morale and welfare, and the delivery of quality financial products and services to the troops and their families.  www.dcuc.org