Wednesday, December 4, 2019

My Take-Aways from the 2019 AFCPE Symposium

I recently attended the 2019 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Symposium. Below are some key take-aways about personal finance topics and financial education:

¨     FINRA has a useful online calculator to determine retirement savings goals. It asks 12 questions including amount already saved for retirement, expected annual income, current age, planned retirement age, inflation rate, and current tax rate. The calculator is available at

¨     Critical issues related to retirement planning that surfaced in a group discussion at the Cooperative Extension Pre-Symposium workshop included: lack of savings, health care concerns, outstanding debt, downsizing living spaces and possessions, and emotional issues related to finding fulfillment after leaving a long-time career.

¨     Financial education is most successful when it is accompanied by resources and assets. Examples are a “living wage” and individual development accounts (IDAs) for people with limited resources. People will talk about money if financial educators and coaches create a safe, “no shame” place to do so.

¨     The financial security of Americans is foundational for a better economy. Conversely, financial insecurity generates costs and consequences. One third of Americans have a second job and 53% reported feeling anxious about their finances according to the 2018 National Financial Capability Study.

¨     Four “drivers” of the financial insecurity experienced by many Americans are declining wages, the increasing cost of housing, decreased savings, and increased household debt. With more stable finances, people can be producers in the economy as well as consumers.

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