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FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellow Profiles

Joan YarrellJoan Yarrell

Rockledge, Florida

"One of my ultimate goals was to be a certified financial planner."

When Joan first heard about the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program, she knew it was right up her alley.

"One of my ultimate goals was to be a certified financial planner," she said.

Joan is currently Deputy Military Comptroller for the 340th Flying Training Group. She has been an officer in the Air Force reserves for 19 years and her husband, Major Eric Yarrell, is Director of Operations for the 45th OSS in the Air Force. She works as a Financial Management Officer at Randolph AFB, Texas.

"Basically, if it has to do with military pay entitlements for reservist, it's under my purview," she said.

With a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a focus in finance, Joan always has had a particular interest in personal finance and financial counseling. The fellowship served as a means to gain more knowledge and a certification to help move her career forward.

"The fellowship actually refreshed a lot of the things that I was taught in college and that I practiced when I got out of school. Then you get rusty and you forget the options of insurance and tools for investment," said Joan. "What's helped me most is just the exposure, not just related to saving and investing, but the opportunity to take a tax course and learn how to file taxes."

Even with all the knowledge Joan gained in schooling and with her job, there was information she obtained from the fellowship that she could apply to her personal life.

"One thing I've learned is to be more disciplined about finances. This course has taught me that it's not something you do once a month, but you use these tools on a daily basis," said Joan. "For example, making sure you have money saved when you PCS, not just in case something goes wrong, but for actual moving expenses as well."

Joan is originally from Sumter, South Carolina, has been married to her husband for 12 years and has two children. She's on a steady career path with the 340th Flying Training Group, Financial Management Office at Randolph AFB and is excited about her career potential.