Brody Lockwood - Like a typical fledgling, I started down the track of financial indebtedness. Nineteen years old and nothing to lose. Credit - who need it? Savings - that was for older people with responsibility. Debt - my parents were in debt ergo it must be OK. When I was eligible for reenlistment, I reenlisted for a multiple of 3 worth $15K. I was happy to pay off my debt, but would I be able to stay out of debt?

Finally, a Senior NCO sat me down and taught me about mutual funds, debt reduction, and how to be financially responsible, He taught me how to live within my means and still have fun as a young "responsible" adult. I am now that Senior NCO, reteaching the same financial ethics that my teacher taught me. I am a Command Financial Specialist for my battalion. I praise the Savings Deposit Program and the Thrift Savings Plan. 

Financially, I am sound. I have no worries in the world. I got started young and invested early. Now I am able to save for my daughter's education in 529 plans all while saving form my own retirement. I wish that others, especially younger service members, could see through my eyes. Learn what I have learned. I thought about where I wanted to be in retirement and I worked my way backwards developing a financial plan. I opened my first mutual fund at age 21 and slowly acquired one after another.

I have suffered through two economic down-turns but I remain resilient and stay invested weathering out the storm. By not allowing myself to time the market and implementing dollar-cost-averaging, my portfolio has responded nicely over time. A day in the market measures your fortitude; a lifetime of investing measures your willingness to be great.

Gunnery Sergeant Robert E. Lockwood II


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Tell us about:

  • How you got the campaign going in your unit or other organization
  • What you've done to involve children and other family members
  • How much money your members have saved since getting involved in Military Saves
  • Particular individuals and families whose lives have improved because of saving money, or
  • Whatever you're especially proud of and want the rest of the military community to know about!

Tip of the Day

  • #Save just 1% of your income this year and grow $250-$500 in savings by the end of the year depending on your salary: http://ow.ly/tvMwQ

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I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same

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Saver Stories View all »

60 Teens participate in Massachusetts Youth Saves Program

During the months of June & July, 60 teenagers aged 13-19 from Marine, Coast Guard, Army, and Air Force families attended Youth Saves programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help increase their knowledge of financial literacy. Jonathan Harrington, Personal Financial Counselor for the MA Guard & Reserve, created the Youth Saves program to fit into the Military Youth Saves (www.militarysaves.org) theme which encourages kids and teens to develop good savings habits at a young age.

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A Plan for Success

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

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A Disciplined Approach to Saving

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

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