Militarily Speaking Episode 41 Navigating Military Financial Benefits with Lila Quintiliani from MOAA

“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.

We — with guests like you — will help the military community not only navigate their finances but also military life. We chat about both good and bad financial practices and provide some insight along the way. We’ll share strategies to help people get ahead, discuss military benefits that members should take advantage of, and more – all working towards the goal of helping people become more financially independent.

On the show, we’ll also preview and talk about how to take advantage of military specific services, such as loans and mortgages, and help members prepare for important milestones such as PCS moves and the transition to civilian life. Finally, at the end of every episode, we have a bit of fun with our Military Minute. That guessing-game segment features military history, hobbies, a bit of pop culture. Correct guesses by listeners could result in a donation to charity of individual’s choice.

Episode Show Notes:

Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Lila Quintiliani, Program Director for Financial Benefits Education at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), discuss the need for financial education and saving for retirement, understanding healthcare benefits and social security, and how MOAA is playing a pivotal role in easing the transition period for military families.

“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.


Ep. 41 – Navigating Military Financial Benefits with Lila Quintiliani from MOAA


Jodi introduces Lila Quintiliani, the Program Director for Financial Benefits Education at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and asks Lila to discuss the crucial role of MOAA. MOAA is a non-profit, non-partisan legislative advocacy organization that serves as a significant player in advocating for the pay and benefits of the entire military community, including active duty, retirees, and veterans.

 As the program director, Lila develops and manages MOAA's financial and benefits counseling, education, and consumer advice. She provides members with personalized and comprehensive financial advice and military and veterans benefits information assistance. In addition, she also conducts offsite classes and presentations to educate audiences on various financial topics such as investments, retirement planning, risk management, insurance, savings program, credit issues, taxes, estate planning, consumer awareness, survivor issues, and military veterans corporate benefit programs.


Understanding the Needs of Military Families


The importance of education is highlighted, with a particular emphasis on how the needs for this education can vary by age group and demographic within the military community. Lila discusses the significance of saving for retirement, noting how crucial it is for military families to understand this necessity.

 She also discusses the importance of understanding healthcare benefits and social security. These are two key areas that can often be sources of confusion or uncertainty for military families. Lila highlights how the MOAA is stepping up to address these issues, offering webinars and other services to help educate and guide these families.

 Lila discusses MOAA's innovative approach to the survivor benefit plan, mentioning that they are gearing up for a virtual open season this year. This initiative shows MOAA's adaptability in responding to the current circumstances and its dedication to providing the necessary resources and support to military families.


Military Coalition, Legislation, and Financial Preparedness


Lila then provides her insights on military coalitions, legislation, and financial preparedness. She delves into the importance of being part of the military coalition and how being part of a larger voice helps in pushing for legislation changes.

 She mentions that MOAA is part of a coalition of 35 organizations, including well-known names like Wounded Warrior, Blue Star Families, and MFA. Even though these organizations might not always agree, they come together to amplify their voices on Capitol Hill, making them more effective in their advocacy efforts.

 Lila also brings to light how certain legislative issues can take years, even decades, to resolve. She gives examples of ongoing issues such as the widows tax, the repeal of the SBP-DIC offset that they are still fighting for. She also discusses the importance of military pay and how they've been closing the gap in comparison to civilian counterparts.

 Discussing financial preparedness, Lila stresses the importance of having an emergency fund in place. She mentions that financial uncertainty, such as a government shutdown, can quickly turn into a crisis situation. She emphasizes the need to triage expenses, cutting back on non-essentials, and even temporarily halting contributions to retirement funds or aggressive debt repayments during these times. She also encourages listeners to be open to tapping into their emergency fund during such crises.

 Lila also talks about the Military Officers Association of America's two foundations - the Crisis Relief Fund and the Scholarship Fund. The Crisis Relief Fund offers financial assistance to the military community in times of financial distress or unforeseen circumstances. On the other hand, the Scholarship Fund provides educational scholarships to military families, supporting their aspirations for higher education.


Military Minute

Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.

  • Last episode’s Military Minute: How many partner schools currently support the Heart of America Patriot Foundation?
  • Answer: 31
  • This week’s Military Minute question: What Netflix shows has been the most of all time by both hours watched and views?
  • Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
  • Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.
  • After a winning selection, Military Minute participants are eligible for another selection after 12 months.


Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go to and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

 Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.