Financial education has long been held as a pillar of financial empowerment. However, despite it’s importance this topic hasn’t made its way into the school system. A large percentage of the nation still struggles with basic financial information, proving that there’s still a huge need to teach financial literacy to the public. The serious gap in financial teachings has left a nation of individuals drifting, confused, and crying out for a change.
In the shadow of nationwide financial pressures (…government shut-down, debt-ceilings and health care reforms) it’s more obvious than ever that each individual needs financial literacy to empower themselves in times of crisis – whether on the more personal scale or at a national level. The demand for financial literacy during these trying times has been answered by financial experts and the topic of financial literacy is gaining traction.
The proof in shifting public opinion of financial literacy comes in the fact that more financial planning courses are being offered to the public. Two in particular – Financial Planning Days and The Finance of Retirement And Pensions online course lead the pack for widespread, free, and accessible financial literacy. With this recent advent of free courses offered that change can begin as soon as now.
Here are more details about some upcoming opportunities to empower your finances via financial literacy:
Financial Planning Days
Created and executed by four national non-profit financial planning organizations, Financial Planning Days plays host to groups of volunteer CPAs across the nation. The goal? To address any attendees’ financial questions or concerns and to help the public take hold of their finances. Scheduled throughout the month of October, these events are being offered in several metropolitan cities throughout the country. And even better – they are completely free of charge.
This is not a gimmick. The volunteers offering one-on-one financial advice and educational support are there purely based on the interest of spreading financial literacy. As highlighted on the Financial Planning Day’s website, volunteers “will not sell products or services, give out business cards or follow up with you after the event,” so anyone visiting can rest assured they can access financial information without the added stress of a hard-sell for a product.
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To check if a Financial Planning Day will pop up in a city near you, you can visit their schedule page for dates, locations and time. If you are able to attend, make sure to list out the questions you want to pose and bring any relevant numbers or paperwork that might help the planners see your circumstances more clearly.
Online Course Offered by Joshua Rauh
Even if you can’t make it to financial planning days there are still other options available. A professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business is working to spread financial information to those seeking extra support via an online course. By opening up his graduate course on retirement and pensions to public via online lectures, the opportunity for free financial education becomes accessible and workable within anybody’s schedule.
As an excellent alternative to in-person courses, Rauh’s online course, which is titled “The Finance Of Retirement & Pensions,” is presented via incremental webcasts beginning October 14th and continuing through December 2013. Signing up is as easy as creating a simple account with NovoEd and clicking through the uploaded videos. Though the subject is geared toward retirement, the classes hold value for all ages. Younger generations can still benefit from these classes by learning about the options available for retirement savings and how to make the most of those savings. Understanding the potential behind your money allows you to create a solid financial plan. Courses like this can help you make it happen.
Though the above options are available now, there are alternatives available throughout the year. One such resource is the 360 Financial Literacy site offered by the American Institute of CPAs. Along with the basics, the site provides you with information based on your specific needs.
SmartAboutMoney.org is another option that provides unbiased information. It’s one of many nonprofits created to give public access to financial information and tools. Though such institutions vary state by state or region to region you can check out what opportunities are available to you as easily as typing in a quick Google search for “financial literacy non-profits” in your area. You can also always check out our resource centers as another way to gain insight into financial options and knowledge.
Not only can financial literacy help you to take back control over your finances, it can also help to successfully guide financially stable decisions in the future. For prospective students, this can mean understanding the impact of overborrowing for higher education; for those considering the purchase of their first home, it can mean knowing how to obtain your best rates along with the right repayment plan for your financial circumstances. Education is protection. By taking advantage of free resources you can create change in your financial life.
Image Credit Robert S. Donovan