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Money Smart News – Spring 2019

News and Information About Working Together with Money Smart

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Money Smart News is the FDIC’s quarterly newsletter featuring tips, updates, and success stories for financial educators. We welcome submissions.

In This Issue

Message from the FDIC

Elizabeth Ortiz

This spring features a number of opportunities to advance financial education and preparedness.   

April was National Financial Capability Month (, a time when the federal government’s Financial Literacy and Education Commission (of which the FDIC is a member) encourages people to improve their financial futures. Also in April, the Department of Homeland Security’s “Ready” campaign educated people about preparing for emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.  In addition, many public, private, and nonprofit organizations highlighted consumer education resources and tools during the month.

If your bank or organization would like to plan future programs on financial preparedness, you may want to consider the FDIC’s Money Smart for Adults (MSA) curriculum, which was updated in late 2018. This instructor-led curriculum provides participants with practical knowledge, skill-building opportunities, and resources they can use to manage their finances with confidence. We have also added new tools to help educators select MSA modules, including a new fact sheet that provides an overview of the 14 modules.

Older Americans Month, which is recognized annually in May, is another opportunity to advocate for financial preparedness. Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, Older Americans Month celebrates older Americans and their communities with ceremonies, events, fairs, and other activities. The Money Smart for Older Adults (MSOA) curriculum may be a useful tool for activities to engage seniors – during May and beyond. The FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) jointly developed this curriculum to help prevent financial exploitation and encourage advance planning and informed financial decision-making.

We are also eager to hear from you about promising approaches or successful strategies involving Money Smart that we can share with other financial educators in future editions of our newsletter. Whether you are offering suggestions or looking for assistance from FDIC staff, e-mail us at

Elizabeth Ortiz
Deputy Director, Consumer and Community Affairs
FDIC Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection

Success Stories from Organizations Offering Money Smart for Older Adults

We share stories about two organizations that use the Money Smart for Older Adults curriculum to help prevent elder financial abuse. See Money Smart News Success Stories – Spring 2019.

New Train-the-Trainer Sessions on Money Smart for Adults

The next Train-the-Trainer webinars on our updated Money Smart for Adults curriculum will be on June 19, 2019 and September 18, 2019. Both sessions will highlight topics covered by the curriculum, such as credit and savings, and will review the updated curriculum’s new features, including new content, design, activities, and modules, as well as modernized learning tools, such as the “try it” and “apply it” activities that allow participants the chance to apply what they have learned. The FDIC also added instructional “best practices” and user feedback. You can sign up to join future webinars by visiting Money Smart Training & Events.

Upcoming Webinars for Money Smart Alliance Members

The FDIC’s Money Smart Alliance Program conducted its first 2019 quarterly webinar for members on March 28, 2019. See the list of future webinars on Money Smart Training & Events. If you are interested in joining the Money Smart Alliance, which offers members opportunities to share resources and collaborate with other Alliance members among other benefits, please visit Money Smart Alliance.

Money Smart Alliance Membership is Expanding

During the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019, the FDIC welcomed 213 new members to the Money Smart Alliance. To view, please visit Money Smart Alliance – New Members. For a list of all members, except those who have opted out of being listed online, go to the Money Smart Alliance Members List.

FDIC Consumer News Looks at Rewards Cards

The March 2019 edition of FDIC Consumer News shares information about what rewards cards are, how they work, and tips to help consumers find the rewards card that works best for them. Read the article FDIC Consumer News: Rewards Cards - Minimize the Pitfalls, Maximize the Benefits.  To check out recent articles, or to subscribe to receive at least one new article each month, visit the FDIC Consumer News.

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