Transitioning out of the Military, “SMEAC” Style

a military family in their home with smiling faces.

It can be tough for military members to transition to civilian life. Letty Stevens suggests a military approach to this problem through Military Saves.

Our focus is on financial literacy education, so we want to help everyone who needs this kind of help to transition without excessive debt. Servicemembers are used to a steady paycheck, and that isn’t always a given in the civilian world.

The SMEAC Approach

Stevens suggests a “SMEAC” approach, based on the 5-paragraph order used by several branches of the military:

  • Situation— Soldiers may be facing an uncertain future as civilians. They may change jobs frequently, face unemployment, or have built up credit card or other debt while performing their military service.
  • Mission— Savings should be a top priority for servicemembers. Building an emergency fund, saving instead of borrowing… these are crucial to achieving financial freedom.
  • Execution— Start by taking the pledge to save. Commit to a plan starting right now. Start small if necessary, but think big and have a goal in mind (and on paper). Through Military Saves one can sign up for text message reminders to stay on track.
  • Administration— Each servicemember administers his/her own finances, but families should work together and cooperate toward these goals. Also, take full advantage of the resources available to you.
  • Command and Signal— Work together with everyone in your household to create a plan to save money and pay off debt. Put your goals in writing and stay invested by pledging to save and signing up for text message reminders.

We’re a campaign sponsor for Inland Empire Saves, so we know America Saves can help inspire anyone to turn their situation around. And Military Saves focuses in on a particularly worthy population of potential savers.

One-on-one financial counseling and advice is available on-demand and at no cost. Call us today or get started online for confidential counseling on-demand.

Article written by
Melinda Opperman
Melinda Opperman is an exceptional educator who lives and breathes the creation and implementation of innovative ways to motivate and educate community members and students about financial literacy. Melinda joined in 2003 and has over two decades of experience in the industry.

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