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Money Smart News - Winter/Spring 2017

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News and Information about Working Together with Money Smart

In This Issue

Message from the FDIC

Fresh Resources to Help People Learn More about Money

Elizabeth Ortiz April is Financial Capability Month, devoted to connecting people with widely available financial education resources they can use to make more confident financial decisions. As we head into April, please consider how the FDIC’s offerings can meet a wide spectrum of needs in your communities.  We think they can continue to play a key supporting role in your organizations’ efforts to promote financial capability.  In this edition you can read about resources to benefit everyone, from small children to older adults.

For example, we know how starting to save early in life is important for financial success, and that learning by doing is one of the most promising ways to help young people retain what they are taught about money management.  That’s why we are providing a report on our Youth Savings Pilot, which includes tools to help link your youth financial education efforts to opportunities for young people to open and use savings accounts.  Keep reading to learn more.  Also look at the Success Stories feature of this edition of Money Smart News for how these youth savings initiatives can work, as reported by some of the banks involved in a recent FDIC pilot program. 

Starting early is important, and learning about money can also be a life-long process. We have tools for each step of the way, and we are pleased to announce that our Money Smart for Older Adults curriculum was recently updated to act as a resource in efforts to help prevent elder financial exploitation.

Finally, we always want to hear from financial educators about promising approaches or successful strategies involving the Money Smart curriculum that we could share in our newsletter. We also welcome feedback on our Money Smart products, because your input helps us help you. Please send your suggestions to

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

Check Out the Updates to Money Smart’s Computer-Based Instruction Course

Updates have led to an improved user experience for the online Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) version of Money Smart at  The revised course covers the same content as before, but it is now tablet-compatible and more user-friendly.  The site also enables users to register with an email address for easier access to their FDIC Money Smart account and technical support.

Enhancements Strengthen the Money Smart Curriculum for Older Adults and their Caregivers

The newly revised Money Smart for Older Adults, which was developed jointly in June 2013 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), provides information to help older adults and their caregivers prevent common types of elder financial exploitation. The curriculum also offers advice to help older adults make informed financial decisions, including planning for disasters or unexpected life events.  The recent updates ensure that the materials incorporate new federal resources, help individuals avoid the latest types of scams that target older adults, and are more user-friendly.  The three-part curriculum, which is primarily used by individuals who teach older adults and their caregivers, consists of an instructor guide, a resource guide and a PowerPoint presentation that supplements classroom instruction. Materials are available in English and Spanish. Consumers can benefit on their own by reading the free resource guide that summarizes the key points in the curriculum. The curriculum can be downloaded free of charge from the FDIC online catalog or ordered ( in bulk. 

Money Smart Success Stories: Highlights from the FDIC’s Youth Savings Pilot

In this edition of our Success Stories, we feature how banks that participated in the FDIC’s Youth Savings Pilot program combine Money Smart financial education with successful initiatives to open savings accounts for students at their partnering schools. (Read the stories.

Webinar to Showcase Money Smart Tools and Resources for Teaching Youth

In support of Financial Capability Month in April, FDIC will present a webinar on April 20, 2017, to highlight FDIC’s new youth financial education resources. The webinar will cover the recently enhanced Teacher Online Resource Center website, lessons learned from the FDIC Youth Savings Pilot, key details of a Money Smart for Young People module, and highlights from a recent Money Smart News Success Story for teaching youth. To register, click here.

The FDIC Offers Resources for Parents and Guardians for Financial Capability Month

The FDIC knows the importance of providing resources for parents and guardians to help children have strong financial futures. During April, or any time of the year, we want to remind financial educators about the diverse materials in our Money Smart resources:

All of the FDIC’s free financial education resources are available by starting at

What to Know about Joining or Renewing Membership in the Money Smart Alliance Program

On February 28, 2017, the FDIC hosted a webinar that gave an overview of the Money Smart Alliance program, a network of financial institutions, nonprofits and governmental organizations that use the agency’s financial education curriculum to provide training to consumers of all ages and small businesses. Participants learned about the benefits of membership, how to find current members online, and tips for using the Money Smart curriculum. As a reminder, existing alliance members must use a new, streamlined online process to continue their membership and remain listed on the FDIC website. To hear a recording of the session, view the presentation, learn more about the program or submit your request for membership, go to our page about the Money Smart Alliance.

FDIC Consumer News Offers Answers to Common Financial Questions from the Public

The Winter 2017 edition of FDIC Consumer News provides examples of consumers’ inquiries on topics such as mortgages, checking accounts and credit cards, plus tips for solving and avoiding financial problems. This issue of the newsletter can be read or printed here.

FLEC Meetings Discuss National Strategy on Financial Literacy and Other New Resources

Recent meetings of the Financial Literacy and Education Committee (FLEC), which Congress created in 2003 to improve financial capability and education in the United States, discussed new resources from the FDIC and other agencies. The November 2016 public meeting included an update on the National Strategy for Financial Literacy, which establishes goals for those in the financial education field. The meeting also highlighted new findings and resources related to helping children develop financial skills.  To learn more about the meeting, view meeting handouts (including the updated National Strategy) or watch a video of the meeting, start here. The February 2017 meeting which is not yet available online, highlighted financial readiness efforts for military service members as well as financial empowerment efforts for diverse communities.

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