Monday, March 31, 2008
Lyn Peters, Director of Communications, Department of Financial Institutions
PH (360) 902-8731 email@example.com
Jeremy Lushene, Communications Consultant, Department of Financial Institutions
PH 360.902.0506, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Lum, BCC Instructor/Curriculum developer
PH 425.564.4063, email@example.com
Amy O’Donnell, WSCPA, Financial Literacy Program Manager
PH 425.586.1140, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Kinney, Jump$tart Coalition, President
PH 206.500.6047, email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DFI And Partners Reach Out To Consumers With Education & Outreach Events For Financial Literacy Month
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and its financial literacy partners are reaching out to consumers with numerous education and outreach events throughout April, proclaimed Financial Literacy Month by Governor Chris Gregoire.
The need for financial education is immense:
- 33% of high school seniors already use credit cards;
- 40% of Americans are living beyond their means; more people are filing for bankruptcy than graduating from college;
- The U.S. savings rate is less than 1%; and
- Recent studies indicate an increasing number of Americans will need to postpone retirement because they did not prepare sufficiently with saving and/or investing.
To combat these sobering statistics and help consumers become financially fit, DFI, Bellevue Community College, the Washington Society of CPAs and the Jump $tart Washington Coalition are working together to offer series of free financial education courses on college campuses throughout the state. The partnership offers these courses in hope of helping Washington students make sound financial decisions.
“By working with college students we are giving them the skills to be part of the solution, make better decisions in their personal lives and build better communities,” WSCPA Financial Literacy Program Manager Amy O’Donnell said.
Students will receive financial education using the National Endowment for Financial Education booklet “Right on the Money” and basic saving and investing principles from a curriculum being developed by Leslie Lum and BCC with funding from the Investor Protection Trust and DFI.
“Dealing with finances has always been one of the top five stressors for college students. There is evidence that it is now vying for the number one position with student loans at $20,000 and credit card debt of $3000 when they leave college.” says Leslie Lum. “This debt weighs them down all their lives. They need financial education now.”
Lum is a personal investment author and teaches in BCC’s Business Transfer program. Her curriculum topics include the importance of saving, investing for the future you want to live and how to establish and use credit wisely.
Later this month, Washington’s Jump$tart Coalition will release a national survey measuring personal money management knowledge of high school students. Although Washington State scored higher than the national average in 2006, our students still received a failing grade.
“Everyday, we read about the downturn of our country’s financial markets,” Scott Kinney, president of the Washington Jump$tart Coalition said. “Now more than ever before, we need money management lessons in the classroom and to teach young people to make better financial choices.
“Educated consumers make educated financial decisions,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “Helping provide financial education to consumers of all ages is a step in the right direction if we want to strengthen the economy.”
Students or educators interested in having financial education sessions offered on their campuses may contact
- Leslie Lum, BCC Instructor/Curriculum developer 425.564.4063, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amy O’Donnell, WSCPA Financial Literacy Program Manager at 425.586.1140, email@example.com
- Lyn Peters, DFI Director of Communications, 360.902.8731, firstname.lastname@example.org
For details on other financial education events and the partners conducting them, visit DFI’s Financial Literacy Blog “Money Talks” at http://finlit.blogspot.com or go to www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/calendar.htm to view the DFI Financial Literacy Outreach calendar.
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334 ▪ In Espaņol 888.976.4422
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders, and securities brokers and dealers. The department has won numerous awards for its financial literacy and outreach programs developed to protect consumers from financial fraud. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, the DFI’s Web site features consumer tips on a variety of financial fraud-related topics. For more financial education news, visit DFI’s Financial Literacy Blog “Money Talks” at http://finlit.blogspot.com.
Investor education for the workplace is a 90-minute training sessions for public and private sector employees that was tested successfully at Bellevue Community College. It was modeled after the Investor Protection Trust's Investor Education at the Library. This 90-minute session assists the learner in setting financial goals, making the trade-off between short-term expenditures and long-term financial goals, risk and return of investments, asset allocation, maximizing after-tax returns and monitoring investments.
With more than 8,600 members, the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants is the only organization in the State of Washington dedicated to serving the professional needs of CPAs, educating consumers about CPAs and the services they provide, and encouraging students to study accounting and enter the profession.
About the Washington Jump$tart Coalition
Jump$tart is a nonprofit coalition created to promote the need for financial education in Washington State. The group provides teacher training seminars, special events for students to raise awareness of the need for personal financial literacy. Members include individuals, public and private organizations, educators, and non-profit associations.