The spouses of those in the military are battling a whopping 25% unemployment rate.
For anyone, job loss can be the trigger for a downward spiral of financial woes—especially now, with the average stint of joblessness around 40 weeks. But for military families, who typically lose jobs because of frequent relocations, the situation can be extreme, says Katie Savant, a deputy director of the National Military Families Association.
A survey last year by FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) found that over a third of military servicemembers find it hard to cover their bills; more than 20% have used alternative loans (i.e. pawn shops, payday loans); one quarter admit to having more than $10,000 in credit card debt.
Whether you’re in the military or other special circumstances (going through a divorce, dealing with a relative’s chronic illness), it’s vital to realize that you are more financially vulnerable than you may think, to be proactive about getting help (see resource box, below), and make sure you have a solid Plan B in your back pocket. Get ready. What’s your plan, if you lost a job or got hit with another crisis? <a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/5731538/">Are you or one of your immediate family members in the military?</a>
Three great job resources for military families:
- The Military Spouse Employment Partnership lists jobs from dozens of partners across the country—including big names like Citi, UnitedHealth Group, and 3M.
- The Military Spouse Corporate Career Network is a nonprofit organization that helps military spouses and veterans find jobs and get training.
- Military to Medicine trains spouses and veterans for healthcare positions, and it offers a scholarship program to help people complete their training.