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Financial education available for Airmen

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Airman and Family Center here recently hired a contracted personal financial counselor to assist service members here with financial readiness through one-on-one counseling and financial briefings.

“Often financial difficulties are the result of a lack of awareness, especially for younger service members new to the military and earning full-time pay for the first time,” said Svetlana Wolfe, a certified financial planner. “I am here to offer financial counseling to service members and their dependents at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.”

Counseling is also available to those who have recently left service within 180 days.

“I offer face-to-face counseling to identify immediate and long-term issues to avoid unnecessary financial burdens,” she said. “All counseling sessions are free and confidential.”

Wolfe will also provide financial briefings during First Term Airman Center courses, or FTAC, for new Airmen coming straight from technical training. In addition, she will attend and present during First Duty Station Officers briefings.

A focus through the end of the year will be to help educate Airmen about the new Blended Retirement System.

“The new retirement system blends aspects of the legacy retirement pension system with automatic and matching government contributions through the Thrift Savings Plan,” Wolfe said. “I am available to educate Airmen about the new system so they can make an informed decision about which retirement system is best for them.”

She added that service members who joined military service before Jan. 1, 2018, and take no action will remain in the legacy retirement system.

Wolfe plans to set up a resource table at the Main Exchange in the coming weeks.

Members of the workforce also have other financial education programs available to them.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center, located in Building 1240, offers a variety of other services and programs for active-duty military personnel, Department of Defense civilians, retired military personnel and family members. Programs are free of charge and held on base.

“The Airman and Family Readiness Center’s Personal Financial Readiness program offers information, education and personal financial counseling to help military and civilian employees and their families meet their financial goals,” said Brandi Ruiz, director of the A&FRC.

Civilian employees also have access to the Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, a federal program managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offering free, confidential services to federal civilian employees and their family members. EAP offers assistance in a variety of areas, including financial assistance. Contact EAP via phone at 1-800-222-0364 or their website at www.FOH4YOU.com.

To meet with Hanscom’s new personal financial counselor, contact Wolfe at 781-382-5149 or by email at PFC.Hanscom.USAF@zeiders.com.  

To learn more about programs offered by the A&FRC, visit https://www.hanscomfss.com/airman-family-readiness.