For Immediate Release - March 20, 2014

Registration At Nearly 300 For Free Money Conference Geared Toward Veterans, Active Military And Their Families

While Spaces Still Available, First-Ever Conference Receives Robust Response

             The state’s Office of Financial Literacy today announced that registration is up to nearly 300 individuals for this weekend’s “Money Conference” geared specifically toward veterans, active military members, and their families.  The Conference, which is still open to registrants, will commence at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 22nd in McKenzie Auditorium at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley.

            “People who have worn our country’s uniform often have a unique set of financial challenges, and they might not always be aware of the benefits that are available to them,” said Treasurer Steve Grossman, who oversees the Office of Financial Literacy.  “It’s important that these brave men and women get the financial counseling they need to better plan for their present needs and their future goals.”

             “Massachusetts leads the nation in providing benefits and resources to our service members, veterans and their families,” said Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee.  “This outstanding partnership with the Treasury and the National Guard allows the Commonwealth to continue our forward-leaning efforts to increase outreach, knowledge and accessibility to the finest programs in the country."

            The free first-ever Conference, dubbed Operation Money Wise, will provide instruction on matters such as how to sharpen spending and saving skills, how to protect assets from predatory lending practices, and what financial tools and benefits are available to service members and veterans.  State officials said that, particularly given the complexity of the military benefit system, some veterans and service members might not take advantage of the financial benefits available to them or might expect to receive a benefit for which they don’t qualify.

            Both Treasurer Grossman and Secretary Nee will attend the conference and offer remarks about the significance of ensuring that active military, veterans and their families receive financial training tailored to their specific needs.  Also in attendance will be Sergeant Major Carlos O. Ramos Rivera and Colonel Francis B. Magurn of the Massachusetts National Guard and Massachusetts Bay Community College President John O’Donnell, PhD.  The keynote speaker will be Dick Power, CFP.

            "Individual financial readiness can directly impact military operations.  Our outstanding Massachusetts National Guard members can focus 100 percent of their attention on the mission when they know financial matters at home are secure.  Operation Money Wise is an opportunity for our members to discover the state provided resources that help safeguard their finances,” said Major General L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard.  “Service Members who participate in this program are better prepared for the challenges in and out of the National Guard, no matter if the mission it is home or abroad.”

            The event is jointly sponsored by Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, the Massachusetts National Guard, and the Financial Literacy Trust Fund, an independent body chaired by Treasurer Grossman.  The Trust Fund is charged with finding solutions to meet the financial needs and challenges of K-12 students, low and moderate income families, seniors and veterans and is governed by a board comprised of elected officials, business leaders, and financial literacy advocates.  The Financial Literacy Trust Fund was created by the Legislature in 2011. 

            A free continental breakfast and box lunch will be made available to people attending the Conference.  For more information and to register, interested parties can visit www.mass.gov/treasury/operationmoneywise or call (617) 367-9333 Ext. 615.

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