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Financial Planning

To U.S. Military Personnel and Their Families

The financial strategies, rules and resources for military families are often very different from those for civilians.

Knight A. Kiplinger, Editor in Chief, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and
Steven J. Cole, President and CEO, Council of Better Business Bureaus

We are pleased to present you with a personal-finance guide created especially for military families. 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 is impacting every household in America. Times are tough and it is harder than ever to make ends meet, let alone save money for future expenses such as college and retirement.

That's where the Kiplinger-BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families comes in. On these pages you will find practical, easy-to-understand information about being financially prepared for deployment, buying a home, minimizing taxes, holding down insurance costs and avoiding financial schemes that too often target military families.

This guide is a collaboration between two organizations that have been helping consumers -- including members of the military -- for a long time. When the Kiplinger Magazine (now called Kiplinger's Personal Finance) was launched in 1947, a driving motivation was to provide sound, unbiased personal-finance advice to military personnel returning to the workforce after World War II.

Better Business Bureau, established in 1912, is the nation’s oldest nonprofit organization in the field of advancing marketplace trust, and specializes in providing consumers with information that helps them make wise choices. It has long worked on behalf of military families, and BBB Military Line® specializes in consumer education and advocacy for them.


As you read the guide, you'll realize that two people spearheading this project have deep personal interest in the topic. Kimberly Lankford has been providing solid advice to readers of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and for more than a decade.

Since 2004, Holly Petraeus has headed up the Council of Better Business Bureaus' BBB Military Line® program, where she provides financial education to military families.

In addition to their expertise in personal finance, they have a very special credential: They’re both military spouses. They know firsthand that the financial strategies, rules and resources for military families are often very different from those for civilians.


You can download these PDF files or go to our online Military Guide to read on the Web.


Savings Strategies
Investing for Yourself and Your Future

Financial Fraud
Avoiding Scams That Target the Military

Be Prepared
Strategies Before and After Deployment

Home Sweet Home
Smart Home-Buying Tactics


Time to Become a Civilian

At Your Service
Financial Resources for Military Families

Organize Yourself
Personal-Finance Worksheet

Download Here: The Complete Personal Finance Guide for Military Families

We hope you find this guide useful. Thank you for all you do in the service of our nation!

VISIT OUR VIRTUAL GUIDE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES for videos, tools and more information.