The Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC) Financial Coaches Pre-symposium encompassed a holistic overview inclusive of everything from presentations on time management and organization in case management to presentations on working with vulnerable and homeless populations. Experts from many different organizations were invited to increase the level of knowledge with the 60 financial coaches serving veteran and economically vulnerable clients from across the United States.

One of the biggest takeaways was that the program’s financial coaches are extremely successful even though the program is still young. These financial coaches have clients improving their credit scores, purchasing homes, and preparing for retirement. In working toward the Financial Fitness Coach (FFC™) designation or having already attained it, coaches are walking with their clients and guiding the conversation so that the client’s self-knowledge leads to achieving their dreams. Coaches work to deepen the understanding and progress toward the clients’ goals while using the clients’ expertise on their own lives.

The session encouraged attendees to contemplate whether their clients’ voices are truly being heard in sessions. Counselors are urged to consider the client’s values and whether their overall goals align with those values. If not, the coach may need to assist the client to realign their goals so they are consistent with their belief system.

Meghan Gardner, AFC®, FFC™, is a Financial Coach- CFPB Financial Coaching Program, Contractor with Armed Forces Services Corporation. She can be reached at

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