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Personal Financial Readiness Program (PFR)
166 C Circle
Columbus AFB, MS 39710-7901
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
Resources are available to help you understand and manage your finances, including one-on-one financial counseling to assist you and your family with financial readiness. Services are designed to focus on money management issues throughout your active-duty lifecycle and into retirement. Financial readiness educational opportunities range from basic planning to long-term investing. Check out the information below to see what’s available at your installation.
Personal Financial Management Program
The Personal Financial Management Program is designed to help service members assess and analyze individual financial concerns while developing a personal financial plan. Trained personnel at the Military and Family Readiness Center (M&FRC) can work with you to prepare a personalized budget and spending plan designed to make your life easier. Subject areas include savings, investing, insurance, auto buying, home buying, credit card management, consumer rip-offs, payday lending, checkbook management and establishing financial goals. Information and referral to on- and off- base helping agencies are provided.
A permanent change of station move involves significant financial expense. Many initial expenses will be paid out-of-pocket soon after your arrival. Temporary quarters may be one of your first costs. Room charges are normally to be paid in advance, and remember to estimate meal costs. Once you find permanent quarters, expect to pay fees in advance such as telephone connection charges, security deposits, first month's rent (unless you live on base), etc. Additionally, there will likely be initial purchases associated with moving.
Personal Financial Counselor (PFC)
A personal financial counselor works with the PFMP to assist members and their spouses with management of their finances. The PFC can help you and your family resolve financial problems and reach long-term goals such as getting an education, buying a home and planning for retirement. PFC services include:
Confidential financial consultations for individuals and families
Referrals to military and community resources
Support for family members during deployment
Help with credit management and budgeting
Help navigating benefits such as pay and/or entitlements, the Blended Retirement System and the Thrift Savings Plan
Credit and/or debt management for first-time home buying
Transition or retirement planning.
All services provided are free and confidential.
Plan a PCS Budget
Financial preparedness is essential for a smooth move. Your M&FRC has trained personnel who will help you develop a budget for your upcoming move. Current information on relocation entitlements including Dislocation Allowance is provided.
Carefully consider before drawing advance pay. Develop a spending plan when notified of pending orders. Starting early will help save extra money to assist with the moving expenses. Many times advance pay is spent on other "emergencies" and is not around to assist with moving expenses. Advance pay will automatically be withdrawn from the service member's pay monthly, reducing his/her monthly income. The advance is normally repaid in equal installments over twelve months. Trained personnel at the M&FRC will help you assess your financial situation and needs.
Many people take advance pay prior to PCSing. Remember, it must be repaid beginning in the months immediately following arrival. We encourage you not to take advance pay if the repayment will cause subsequent financial hardships.
Air Force Aid Society
When you arrive, you will need enough money to satisfy many initial expenses. The Air Force Aid Society stands ready to help you, usually in the form of an interest-free loan (which must be repaid). To apply for assistance, please visit the AFAS website at https://afas.org If we can be of assistance, please contact the M&FRC, Building 1114, across from the medical clinic. You can also contact us by telephone at DSN 312-742-2790, 662-434-2790. For an after-hours emergency, call the Command Post at 662-434-7020 or 1-800-982-4257.
The AFAS has other programs and services which might be of help to you during your career. For example, should you get financially stranded due to an unexpected emergency (vehicle problems, illness, etc.) while in transit between assignments, you can apply for AFAS assistance through any emergency relief office on any U.S. military installation (Army, Marine Corps, Navy or Air Force) or any American Red Cross chapter.
Area Cost of Living
The average cost of living for the Columbus - Lowndes County, Mississippi area is medium. A typical three-bedroom house rents for $1020 per month (bestplaces.net, May 2023). The median listing home price is $199,900, and the median sold home price is $168,600 (realtor.com, May 2023). Average monthly electricity - $144 (findenergy.com, May 2023).
The minimum liability insurance limits for Mississippi are as follows: