USAA CEO on banking for veterans: 'It's about understanding their experience'

·2 min read

The 19 million Americans who have served in the U.S. military and the 1.3 million active-duty personnel often can experience financial challenges, especially when it comes to finding housing and employment.

"At the end of the day, it's about understanding their experience and tailoring your experience to be relevant to them," USAA CEO Wayne Peacock told Yahoo Finance Live ( video above) on Veterans Day.

USAA has offered financial products to serve veterans for 100 years, starting in 1922 when 25 Army officers in San Antonio decided to insure each other's vehicles. The bank continues to help address the challenges that its 13 million military customers face.

For example, military members face specific challenges finding housing because they have such transitory lifestyles. While mortgage rates soar, military families face even more troubles finding affordable housing.

"Getting the right and appropriate housing that's affordable are all challenges that probably many Americans face, but maybe even a little bit more pronounced for military families," Peacock said. "We're asking folks to move on a regular basis, and if you're moving, picking up, and going to a new city every couple of years, that puts a lot of pressure."

( Photo Credit: Getty Creative)
( Photo Credit: Getty Creative)

Peacock said USAA guides their customers through these life changes like moving into a new home.

"It just comes back to simple things like moving across country every couple of years. So it might look like buying a new home or retitling your car in a new state, but behind that is actually picking up your family and moving them across the country," Peacock said.

"I think we understand that experience. We understand the difference, whether you're in the Navy or the Army, and we kind of help them walk through all of those important steps," Peacock added.

In addition to housing and insurance needs, Peacock also spoke about the need for organizations to employ veterans and help them transition to civilian life once their service ends.

( Photo Credit: Getty Creative)
( Photo Credit: Getty Creative)

"I think that is one of our opportunities as employers, to continue to build job capabilities and transition plans, as our folks move out of the military and back into the private sector," Peacock said.

Peacock said that's it's crucial for civilians to remember the sacrifices veterans have made and recognize their service on Veterans Day.

"I think it is really important on a day like today for us to connect the dots between military service, and our democracy, and our freedom," Peacock said, "and go out of your way to say thank you and recognize them."

Ella Vincent is the personal finance reporter for Yahoo Money. Follow her on Twitter @bookgirlchicago.

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