Thursday, March 31, 2011
Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 902-8731 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Lushene, Webmaster, Financial Education & Outreach
PH (360) 902-0506 email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Financial Literacy Month Begins April 1, Financial Workshops Offered To Help Washington Residents Be More Financially Fit
State agencies, non-profits and private industry are focused on increasing financial literacy this month with community events, classes and financial education workshops throughout the state
OLYMPIA – Recognizing the importance for all of our state’s residents to have an in-depth and well-rounded financial education, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is a proud supporter of Washington’s Financial Literacy Month, as proclaimed by Governor Chris Gregoire.
What today is a full month focusing on financial education began as Financial Literacy Day, part of the National Endowment for Financial Education’s high school financial planning program. The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy (a partnership of national organizations sharing an interest in advancing financial literacy among K-12 students) adopted the day, expanding it into a full month of financial education promotion recognized by the President of the United States, Congress and most state governors. Washington has long been a supporter of Financial Literacy Month, with the amount of outreach, number of workshops and participating partners ever increasing.
Statistics from the Jump$tart Coalition’s 2010 “Making the Case for Financial Literacy” emphasize the need for more financial education – for youth and adults:
"41% of U.S. adults, or more than 92 million people living in America, gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance, suggesting there is considerable room for improvement."
- 2009 Financial Literacy Survey of adults, conducted on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc.
"55% of parents with children aged 16-24 voiced concern over their children's ability to become financially independent without monetary assistance from them."
- 2008 survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
- "Only about one in three parents (34%) have taught their teen how to balance a checkbook, and even fewer (29%) have explained how credit card interest and fees work."
- "While 71% agree that the best way for teens to learn about money is from guided, hands-on experience or their own example, only one in five parents (20%) involves their teen to a great extent in the family’s budgeting and spending decisions."
"More than one in four parents surveyed (28%) are not currently saving for either their own retirement or for their child’s college education."
- Charles Schwab’s 2008 “Parents & Money” survey
"Plain and simple, a lot of people don’t know what they don’t know until they make the commitment to assess their financial lives, talk about their finances openly as a family and start working to improve their financial fitness," DFI Director of Communications, Financial Education and Outreach Lyn Peters notes. "I believe information is power and the power should be in the hands of the people. That’s what Financial Literacy Month is all about – empowering people."
This year, Washington’s financial education events calendar (http://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/calendar.htm) is filling up fast. A few highlights include:
- Until April 8, take the 2011 National Financial Capability Challenge, a free program designed to increase the financial knowledge and capability of high school aged youth. Educators and top-scoring students will receive award certificates, and schools and states with the highest participation rates will earn special distinction.
- Sundays, 5:30 p.m., Enterprise for Equity in Olympia hosts financial education classes. Details at http://www.enterpriseforequity.org.
- April 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative is hosting a full-blown Financial Fitness Day with workshops, resource tables, on-site document shredding, tax preparation free credit report reviews and more.
- April 5, noon, Spokane Money Management International (MMI) will host “Your Credit Report and Credit Score: Getting the most mileage from credit.” MMI also has a great Financial Literacy Month website http://www.financialliteracymonth.com to help consumers take “30 Steps To Financial Wellness.”
- April 14, 6 p.m., Moses Lake WorkSource will host an Entrepreneur Orientation. Details at http://www.theprosperitycenter.org.
- April 16, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., the Department of Retirement Systems is hosting a retirement planning seminar for public employees in Colville – it’s one of the few statewide retirement seminars that isn’t already booked full! Details at http://www.drs.wa.gov/retirement-planning/seminar.htm.
- April 21, 5-8 p.m., the Cowlitz Asset Building Coalition and CAP are hosting a Family Financial Fitness Night with age-appropriate activities, door prizes, and dinner for the first 150 attendees at the end of the night. Call 360.425.3430 x248 for details and reservations.
- The Washington Attorney General’s Office sponsors Shredathon events throughout Washington – a great opportunity to clean out that filing cabinet and protect yourself from identity theft. Details at http://www.atg.wa.gov/Shredathon.aspx#events.
- April 23, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Shoreline Fire Department will be the site for a Homebuyer Workshop by Parkview Services. Call 206-542-6644 for details.
- April 23-30 is Washington’s Second Annual Money Smart Week, coordinated by the Jump$tart Washington Coalition.
If your organization is offering free financial education workshops in your community, let us help you get the word out – submit your events to the Washington Financial Education Clearinghouse Calendar at http://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/submit.htm.
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
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 also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information: http://www.twitter.com/FinEd4All, www.twitter.com/DFIConsumers, www.finlit.blogspot.com, www.youtube.com/user/WADFI, www.homeownership.wa.gov.