David Winfrey was one of the excellent panelists at our recent military financial workshop in San Antonio.David is a financial counselor at Fort Sam Houston. He has a passion to help wounded warriors with the challenges they face. David says his clients were “sailing along and then there was a shipwreck… often they are on a rudderless raft, floating with the current… My immediate goal is to get them into a boat where they are rowing toward a goal.”
Many servicemembers find it disorienting to leave the military. For one thing, civilians have no chain of command to make decisions. Wounded warriors must overcome that, plus the fact that their transition is unexpected and they’re recovering from serious injuries. Some don’t immediately prioritize getting their financial house in order, but David counsels them about the importance of having the skills to navigate their financial future. He stresses that “goal-setting is part of the healing process.” Having a goal can change a client’s outlook from feeling overwhelmed to being energized with a plan for the future.
When a servicemember asks him to “do a budget for them,” David explains that the budget is a map that requires their active involvement to make it a success. “I can’t possibly plan a trip when everyone has a different destination,” he says. David finds that transitioning personnel may not have realistic expectations of how much money they’ll make as civilians and how much they’ll need to live. He makes it a priority to show the servicemembers he counsels how to set a path during military service for a successful post-service financial future.