Edna Forero, AFC®, FFC® is the spouse of a Marine Corps veteran and the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) financial education manager. Over the past 22 years, Edna has worked in the financial industry to provide relevant and objective financial education and financial services to both the civilian and military communities. In 2011, she was awarded a military spouse fellowship from the Financial Industry National Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and received her accreditation as a financial counselor.
AFCPE: You served as a financial coach for the CFPB Financial Coaching Initiative. Tell us about this experience and what it meant to you to be part of such an important initiative:
Edna: In this role, I had the opportunity to provide financial counseling services to economically vulnerable populations in West Palm Beach, Florida. While serving in this role, I participated in quite a few community sponsored financial summits with organizations such as the Vickers House, the Lord’s Place, Urban League, Dress for Success, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach County, and Florida Prosperity Partnership. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed providing financial guidance to families, parents, and individuals looking for affordable, safe housing and stable employment. To know my clients have purchased homes or that some of the students I’ve worked with have found educational scholarships, that means I’ve served my purpose, and that’s priceless.
AFCPE: You most recently joined the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) as the new Financial Education Manager. What will you be doing in this new role?
Edna: MFAN knows that finances and financial health play a role in many aspects of military life. We’ve seen this through feedback from the MFAN advisory board and from our research efforts. I’m looking forward to increasing financial literacy and using my subject matter expertise in all MFAN programs, especially MilCents(SM). MilCents is a one-of-a-kind financial education program that introduces military and veteran families to trusted resources and gives them an opportunity to discuss what they are learning. We’re thrilled to share that this year more than 10,000 military and veteran families have participated in the program. I hope that others will consider spreading the word about this program. It’s free, and it works.
AFCPE: Nice! I must say, one thing we love about you, is that no matter how busy you are, you always seem to find time to give back.
Edna: I love lending my time and talents to organizations I believe in. I provide free tax preparation for military families and training for new tax professionals through VITA. I also volunteer at Eagle Rock Camp, providing financial resilience workshops for wounded service members and those transitioning between active duty and civilian life. I’m also a member of the AFCPE Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, working to provide resources to increase inclusiveness. Being able to give back just makes me a better person; and if I can in some way, I am happy to participate.
AFCPE: So, what’s next? What’s got you most excited?
Edna: I’m a proud advocate for education and an admitted lifelong learner! I am excited to be a part of increasing financial literacy in any setting I can so I’m constantly reading. So currently, I’m working on a Chartered Financial Consultant designation as a scholarship recipient from the American College of Financial Services, and one day I’ll sit for that EA (Enrolled Agent) exam, because, I must admit, I do love personal tax law.
Edna Answers the Friday 5:
- My Why: To help others keep the lights on! Really though, I feel every child and every family, should not have to choose between paying their bills and saving for college, retirement, or whatever their financial goal might be. If I can be a small part of that change, I’m honored.
- My Favorite Quote: I love the written word, and read constantly, so there are too many to list, but I do have a daily question and prayer: “What can I do to make a positive impact today? Lord, let my words and actions fill a need.”
- My Hero(es): My aunt, who without a college education, and as a single parent, making less than $75,000 a year, was able to give both of her children a sizeable amount to purchase their homes and retire this year with two pensions and enough money to purchase her retirement home in cash.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: It’s the basics for me, I’ll ask for a budget and cash flow sheet to compare with the financial goals my clients have. Then I will research, learn, and find every resource available to offer options and solutions. For military families, using MilCents (SM) is a wonderful resource to increase financial literacy.
- My Best Advice: Just start. Don’t beat yourself up over what went wrong last week or even last year, do try to learn from those mistakes though. Start with a simple plan, and adjust it as you go along. And remember, sometimes it not just about how much you spend, but also how much you make. Oh, and don’t forget, you really do need an emergency fund!
- For someone starting the journey to financial wellness:
Money management doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to be consistent, so if you can focus on the future, and not the mistakes of the past, (believe me, I’ve made them all), you will succeed… and know the real magic happens, when you can align your dreams with your spending.
- For a new professional entering this field: Remember your why. Listen, learn, and love what you do by finding the area of personal finance and counseling that ignites your passion.
You can contact Edna via email at: email@example.com