Rota Sailors Learn Starting Early Pays Biggest Dividends

Navy News Service – November 17, 2008

Release Date: 11/17/2008 8:58:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph Ebalo, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) — Sailors, family members and civilians at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota received a visit from a financial journalist and best-selling author Oct. 20 as part of the “Moneywise” tour sponsored by the Department of Defense financial education initiative.

Kelvin Boston, the host of the award-winning PBS financial series “Moneywise,” was joined on the tour by Peter Bielagus, young America’s financial coach and author of “Getting Loaded: Get Ready. Get Set. Get Rich.”

Boston and Bielagus gave three presentations in the base theater and offered free advice and counseling to the audience on money-management issues. They also discussed a variety of topics that included saving and investing, understanding individual credit scores and developing a personal financial plan.

Boston said the goal of his visit was to teach Sailors about some money-making tips and understanding how to better manage their money. He said it was his priority to give back to the military community for all their sacrifices for our country.

“I have tremendous respect for all our U.S. military members, especially to the great troops here in Rota. The least I can do to show my appreciation is offer some guidance and advice to them in the area of my expertise, money. If I can open one Sailor or family’s eyes and show them an efficient and better way to manage their money than I feel I have done my job”

Bielagus added, the younger the troop or family member, the earlier start they have on a well planned and prepared financial future.

“There are some serious concerns about our economy back in the States,” said Bielagus. “And anything I can do here to help young people understand the options they have with their money, the better they are off when they get back to the States.”

Boston ended his presentation to the Rota community with one final message.

“Be concerned about the financial problems back home but do not panic,” said Boston. “The market is very low, use this time as an opportunity to improve your credit, pay off debts and save money. The more financially fit you are when return back to the U.S. the better you can serve your country and become financially stable.”

Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW) Alfredo Perez, “Moneywise” attendee and NAVSTA Rota Personnel Support Detachment command financial specialist (CFS) said the presentations were educational and easy to understand.

“The presentations really opened my eyes,” Perez said. “I learned that everyone here has the ability to save money regardless of what is going on in their lives right now. I know now that every lit bit helps, and I can use that frame of mind and perspective to guide the Sailors under me and do my job as the command CFS.”

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