I have been a USAA member for a few years now and I wanted to take a few minutes to thank everyone at USAA for the unrivaled customer service you have provided me. A special thank you to the financial advisors and the financial improvement team. I was, like a lot of other young military members very ignorant when it came to my overall financial health. I have annoyed the financial advisors with silly questions and thrown my harebrained ideas at them many times in the last few years and they have eagerly answered all my questions and set me on a path of success by poking holes in my plans that I thought to be sound at the time. Most of us never received a proper financial education from our parents so that kind of time and care is incredibly beneficial to us. I wanted to make a few suggestions for your company as we move forward together into the future.
The first suggestion is regarding young military members in particular. What I am purposing is a debt management service. One that will meet the criteria set by OPM (Office of Personnel Management). This is the government organization that holds most security clearances. As warfare has evolved over the years the need for "cleared" personnel has increased immeasurably, but the process of clearing people can be a daunting one. A serious issue that has arisen over the last few years is the financial health of young military members. If personnel do not meet the debt/credit requirements to get cleared then they cannot perform their duties and the war effort suffers. This is historically an issue that is handled at the small unit level but I don't believe that is the best way to go about this. People with limited financial knowledge are mentoring people. If there were a program in place that military leadership could send their people into, that would allow the members to meet the OPM requirements, then the top ranking officials would use it religiously. I feel it would be a very powerful PR tool for USAA and would open up many doors with top ranking military leadership because you are directly improving their units "combat effectiveness". As a civilian you cannot force someone into a program, but that doesn't apply to military members. Leadership can require members to enroll in programs so their issues are corrected. In summery, a program based on OPM standards is needed to get young military members into the right financial shape in order to get their clearances approved.
My second suggestion is a saving/investing tool. There is a program called Acorns that is owned by a company with that same name. What this program does is round every purchase made on accounts to the nearest dollar amount. The change is then pushed to an account that has been assigned, whether that be an emergency fund account, a brokerage or an IRA. This would allow people who are historically bad at saving/investing to do so without noticing.
My third suggestion is by far the easiest to implement. I would love to see a net worth tool, even if it is in the form of an asset worth tab. There is an account balance and amount owed section on the main UI, but there is no asset value section. I would like to see that applied also so I can quickly judge my net worth at a glance. It will help with the education of understanding the difference between liquid and net for young military members.
You guys are doing an amazing job, keep up the good work! You out class average civilian banks in a hilarious way. If you ever question that statement just take a few minutes to call over to a civilian bank and try to accomplish virtually anything. You will see in seconds the difference. You are allowing young military members to make a positive change in our lives! You have eternally earned my loyalty.
Fight every battle with a strong spirit and a happy heart! - Gen. James Mattis