More than half of millennial military veterans say they are very worried about their financial futures.
More than half of millennial military veterans say they are very worried about their financial futures. When it comes to those veterans—many who served in Iraq and Afghanistan post-9/11—only a fifth say they have all they need or are on track to keep up with current expenses, according to Prudential’s Financial Wellness Census™.
To help military families and veterans build a strong foundation for financial wellness, Prudential has forged several new partnerships with veterans and military service organizations to make two of its signature financial wellness programs available to thousands of veterans and their families. The company has also extended its resources to caregivers.
The new partnerships offer access to capabilities Prudential offers workplace customers through its Financial Wellness program, including Prudential’s Pathways program and digital Financial Wellness platform. Pathways offers an in-person, advisor-led financial wellness education series, while the Financial Wellness digital platform provides an online portal with personalized financial education, interactive tools, content and monthly webinars.
“We’re excited to bring Prudential’s expertise in helping families meet their financial goals to the military community so that we can help those who have sacrificed so much for our country live well today and plan for tomorrow,” says Chuck Sevola, an Army veteran and head of Veterans Initiatives at Prudential. “We’re also proud to now provide resources to help military caregivers manage their unique, often complex financial needs.”
The new partners include:
- The National Military Family Association, which has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through advocacy and programs since 1969. NMFA provides spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill or injured. NMFA launched its financial wellness program Jan. 23.
- The Elizabeth Dole Foundation which supports the nation’s more than 5.5 million military caregivers. The new partnership is offering a Hidden Heroes financial wellness portal exclusively for military and veteran caregivers.
- Student Veterans of America helps more than 20,000 student veterans at more than 1,500 universities across the U.S. with support to succeed in college and beyond. SVA launched its program the first week in January.
- PsychArmor Institute, which provides free online courses to educate and support all Americans to engage effectively with the military community. These online courses provide critical resources to all Americans who work with, live with and care about veterans. Prudential produced 10 videos for PsychArmor’s new financial wellness curriculum, which will be made available to the public in February.
Supporting caregivers and helping in transition
When veterans transition into civilian life, spouses, extended family, neighbors and friends bear the journey with them. Furthermore, the loved ones caring for a wounded, ill or injured veteran take on the difficult task of juggling day-to-day responsibilities associated with providing care, while also managing household finances, bills, health care, coordination of military benefits and so much more.
“Military caregivers play an essential role in caring for injured or wounded service members and veterans, providing $14 billion in uncompensated care annually,” says Elizabeth Dole, former U.S. senator from North Carolina and two-time cabinet secretary, who established the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in 2012. “Caring for a loved one takes a toll on their financial well-being. That is why we are proud to be partnering with Prudential to provide financial wellness resources and interactive tools to help these hidden heroes chart a course for financial peace of mind—for themselves and the veterans they care for.”
The demographics of military caregivers continues to evolve as the United States continue the longest period of conflict in its nation’s history. Many older veterans—who are primarily cared for by adult children or spouses—are dealing with physical issues related to age or illness, according to a study the Elizabeth Dole Foundation commissioned from RAND Corporation. Caregivers helping post-9/11 veterans are much different. Spouses and parents make up about 58 percent of those caregivers, while unrelated friends and neighbors help, too. RAND says nearly half—many who have not yet turned 31—say they have no support network, highlighting the need to provide help in understanding military pensions, health care options, retirement savings and other financial solutions.
And for veterans looking for civilian jobs, there’s good news. Unemployment has been dropping for veterans. But that brings new challenges and means they now need to understand how to move from a military mindset—where housing, health care, food and pay were managed for them. Instead, they need education to manage new income sources, choose the right workplace benefits, understand financial planning needs and know how to use military benefits like the GI Bill or health care plans.
Expanding access to financial wellness
Prudential’s Pathways program and Financial Wellness digital platform were exclusively available to employees of Prudential’s workplace clients and Prudential employees until 2017. That’s when Prudential expanded access to military families through a collaboration with the USO Pathfinder program as the military shifted from a traditional pension plan to the new Blended Retirement system—a combined defined benefit and defined contribution plan. Families have benefited from the partnership by using both Prudential financial wellness programs.
“We’re proud to extend our financial wellness programs to military service members, veterans and their families or caregivers, giving them access to financial education as they work through the challenge of knowing how to secure financial stability in their changing world,” says Judy Dougherty, Prudential’s financial wellness officer.
For media inquiries about Prudential’s Veterans Initiatives, please contact Alicia Rodgers Alston.
The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ