FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellow Profiles
“Educating civilians and military families about the resources available is key to getting more assistance programs out there for the [military] community.”
Like many military spouses, Erin Loman-Jeck has encountered financial difficulties that civilians often don't know about or understand.
"Deployments, pay problems, supporting multiple households, moving, the difficulty spouses have in finding jobs—all of these things make it hard on military families to always land on their feet," Erin said.
In addition to the inherent challenges of military life, Erin and her husband had differing opinions when it came to managing money. They worked together with a financial counselor and Erin realized that "finances are not just about money, it's the thought patterns behind your basic survival needs."
Together, Erin and her husband developed a plan that set them on the right track as a family. Seeing the benefit of their actions, Erin knew she wanted to share the knowledge she gained with her fellow military families.
After hearing about the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program, Erin jumped at the opportunity to become better educated in the area of finance—both as a way to help her own family and others. She was particularly focused on helping to fill the gaps she sees in the services available to the military community.
"When my husband and I were in financial strife, we didn't know what to do," Erin said. "We were able to get out there and find a few resources on our own, but no one was there to really help connect us with those services."
Currently, Erin works full time for the Seattle Housing Authority as an Economic Opportunity Specialist. She helps individuals in their efforts to become self-sufficient by providing referrals and coordinating services to local resources that provide education, employment, small business, financial education, etc. In addition, she often provides guidance on financial budgeting and planning for the future.
Erin is also working with military families as the Veterans' Affairs (VA) representative for the Economic Opportunity Program. In addition, she is working to develop a committee focused on increasing services available to servicemembers, veterans and their families for Seattle's Financial Education Provider Network.
Erin is excited to be a part of the solution in the Seattle area—she knows what military families are going through and is tuned in to what they need.
"Educating civilians and military families about the resources available is key to getting more assistance programs out there for the [military] community," Erin said.
Erin and her husband have overcome numerous challenges—from multiple moves to raising a newborn while her husband was in Greece, and putting themselves back on a path to financial stability. Now, Erin is on the path to sharing her knowledge with her community.