As many of you may know, the Money Smart family of products has expanded. In April of 2013 we launched, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new curriculum called Money Smart for Older Adults (MSOA). It is intended to help seniors and their caregivers prevent elder financial abuse and to prepare financially for life events, such as an unexpected illness.
With a large segment of our population reaching retirement age in an increasingly complicated financial world, we hope this curriculum will help older adults avoid fraud and costly mistakes. The goal is to provide quality and objective educational information on issues of great significance to senior citizens and their loved ones, and we are excited by the interest in our product. Clearly there are opportunities to expand the reach of this curriculum given demographic trends and the financial scammers and predators that continue to target older individuals.
MSOA also serves as an important resource for the banking community to help educate those who are at risk of being scam victims. (Federal regulators recently issued guidance to institutions on reporting financial abuse of older adults.) By participating in MSOA training or teaching, banks can build positive community goodwill and perhaps attract and retain customer relationships. Learn more about MSOA below.
MSOA isn't the only new resource from the federal government that may be of interest to financial educators. For example, read below about the latest efforts from members of the federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission to focus federal financial education efforts on reaching young people. Also, the CFPB recently released a white paper that outlines its policy recommendations on how to help the K-12 age group learn more about finances. Money Smart educators may find these to be useful sources of ideas and approaches for implementing the FDIC's Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum.
In closing, please keep in mind that FDIC Community Affairs Branch staff can be available as a resource to help your organization use financial education as a tool to promote economic inclusion. And, we are eager to hear from you about any promising approaches or successful strategies involving Money Smart that may be useful to share with others in a future edition of Money Smart News. Send us an e-mail at communityaffairs@FDIC.gov.
Mark Pearce Director
FDIC Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection
Our Latest Success Story: Teamwork Helps Educate At-Risk Students on Financial Services
This edition of our success stories from Money Smart users highlights a team effort in Florida by bankers, school administrators and the FDIC to use Money Smart to teach students with academic and/or behavioral issues the financial skills they need to be productive members of society. (Read the story.)
The New Money Smart Idea Exchange: Teaching Tips You Can Use
Welcome to the first installment of “The Money Smart Idea Exchange,” which highlights practical suggestions from Money Smart educators. As noted in our Spring 2013 issue, this new feature will supplement -- not replace -- the success stories in Money Smart News. To be considered for inclusion in an upcoming edition, please e-mail us at MoneySmartNews@fdic.gov with your thoughts on how you used Money Smart classes in ways that you believe worked especially well. And thanks to those who have already answered our call for tips. (Read the tips.)
FDIC Unveils Enhanced Money Smart Podcast Network
The FDIC has launched an enhanced version of its Money Smart Podcast Network. The podcast network is a portable audio version of the Money Smart instructor-led curriculum, designed to meet the needs of consumers' active lifestyles. Listeners will meet Darryl and Terry, the program's hosts, who have interactive conversations on financial topics with others they meet in their travels. The conversations are in four financial education categories: Basics of Banking, Checking Accounts, Savings/Spending Plan, and Borrowing Money. The material has been updated to reflect changes in consumer laws and industry practices since the podcast network was created in 2009. For more information and to access the Money Smart Podcast Network, visit http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/audio.
The FDIC and CFPB Collaborate on Financial Education Resource for Older Adults
In June 2013, the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a new financial resource tool, “Money Smart for Older Adults,” to help prevent elder financial exploitation. This newest addition to the FDIC's Money Smart financial curriculum family is an instructor-led, stand-alone training module that provides information to raise awareness among older adults (age 62 and older) and their caregivers on how to prevent, identify and respond to elder financial exploitation. Sections of the module also focus on planning for a secure financial future and making informed financial decisions. The curriculum is available free by download through the FDIC's Online Product Catalog ( https://catalog.fdic.gov/). The consumer-oriented Participant/Resource Guide is available in PDF format from the CFPB at
FDIC Newsletter Features Financial Tips and Information for Seniors The Summer 2013 issue of FDIC Consumer News offers tips for seniors on how to protect their finances, including steering clear of scam artists, things to consider before borrowing from the equity in your home, ways to help your relatives financially and risks to avoid, and key facts about the FDIC insurance coverage. In addition to these senior-focused topics, this issue contains articles on avoiding wire transfer scams, new protections for sending money abroad, things to keep in mind when considering adjustable-rate mortgages, basic points about Health Savings Accounts, and help for student loan borrowers having payment problems. Financial educators are encouraged to use FDIC Consumer News as a supplemental handout for students. See this issue of the newsletter and subscription information (the newsletter is available free) at
Tips from the FDIC on Banking in a High-Tech World The Spring 2013 issue of FDIC Consumer News offers practical tips on how to get the most from technology for everyday banking needs. Other timely topics include dealing with debt collectors, finding affordable small loans, thinking about your options after a branch closing or a bank merger, and taking precautions before buying a bank certificate of deposit (CD) from a deposit broker instead of directly from a financial institution. Find this issue at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnspr13.
It's Not Too Late to Benefit from the FDIC's September 10 Webinar on Offering Financial Education On September 10, 2013, the FDIC hosted a webinar entitled “How to Effectively Utilize and Implement Financial Education Programs.” The webinar focused on exploring opportunities and strategies for banks to offer financial education programs to strengthen the ability of consumers to effectively use banking products and services. Presenters from the FDIC, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Department of Health and Human Services highlighted strategies and resources applicable in urban, suburban and rural areas, and provided information about additional resources. The presentations are available at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/community/Webinar/EffFinEd.html.
FDIC Advisory Committee Discusses Initiatives to Expand Access to Banking Services The FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE–IN) met October 9, 2013, to discuss initiatives that can increase access to banking services by underserved populations. The agenda focused on strategies involving financial education; the use of mobile financial services; steps to support household savings; and the status of FDIC research on economic inclusion. To access PowerPoint presentations, watch a video of the meeting and otherwise learn more, start at http://www.fdic.gov/about/comein/2013/2013-10-09_meeting.html.
Enhanced Web Site for Federal Financial Education Resources A new and improved version of Mymoney.gov was unveiled in May by the U.S. Treasury on behalf of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, of which FDIC is a member. The site introduces the "MyMoney Five," which are five key areas for people to learn more about how to make sound financial decisions: (1) earning, (2) spending, (3) saving/investing, (4) borrowing, and (5) protecting your finances. These focus areas were developed by the Commission with significant input from the public and experts in financial education. Additionally, the site incorporates updated financial education resources from more than 20 federal agencies that can supplement Money Smart workshops, including more in-depth information on topics like college finance or retirement planning. Learn more at www.mymoney.gov.
Wanted: Your Success Stories for the Money Smart Elementary School Resource It's been one year since the FDIC created the Money Smart for Elementary School Students downloadable coloring/activity book in response to your requests for a Money Smart resource for this age group. We would like to highlight organizations that have successfully used the curriculum in an upcoming edition of Money Smart News. Please send your success stories, including ways in which the book has made a difference in the lives of young students, to MoneySmartNews@fdic.gov by January 24, 2014.