“Money Smart Week® (MSW) is a series of free classes and activities designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (“Chicago Fed”), which has been sponsoring these events, along with other organizations, for ten years.
In 2012, the American Library Association, in partnership with the Chicago Fed, will offer Money Smart Week® classes and events for consumers in 30 different States — those indicated in green on the map at left.
To find classes and other events (primarily in libraries) in your area, click HERE or click on the map at left, to go to the Chicago Fed’s site. There you will find a dynamic version of this map, where you can click on your state to find local classes and events.
Topics of Classes Offered
Classes are being offered on a broad range of topics, including many of interest to seniors and their family caregivers — such as “Estate Planning for Seniors,” “Aging Gracefully,” “There’s No Place Like Home: Affordable Help,” “Financial Security and Retirement Planning,” “Planning for Financial Emergencies,” “Smart Money Savings Tips,” “Money Management for Women,” and “Identity Theft for Mid Age Adults to Seniors,” among many others.
Other classes and seminars cover topics of interest to people of all ages and various concerns, such as “Personal Finance 101: Budgeting,” “Taxes,” “Credit and Financing: the Road to Owning Your Own Business,” “Credit and Debt Management,” “Healthy Habits of Saving,” “Housing/ Mortgages/ Foreclosures,” and “Unemployment and Job Transitioning.”
Again, to find classes and other events (primarily in libraries) in your area, click HERE or click on the map above, to go to the Chicago Fed’s site. There you will find a dynamic version of this map, where you can click on your state to find local classes and events.
Other Resources Offered
In connection with Money Smart Week®, the Chicago Fed and other organizations “partnering” with the Fed, offer a variety of print publications, websites and other information resources to help consumers learn to better manage their finances and promote financial literacy.
Here are some of the other resources offered:
- Foreclosure Resource Center — A page of the Chicago Fed’s website providing links to various resources on home foreclosure for consumers, as well as programs and research being undertaken by the Fed to address the mortgage foreclosure crisis in the U.S.
- Consumer Banking Resources — A page of the Chicago Fed’s website containing links to multiple publications to help consumers better understand and choose among the various products offered by commercial banks and credit card companies (primarily focused on the five States within the region covered by the Chicago Fed — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin).
- Consumer Guide to Credit Cards — Information and resources, including interactive tools, found on the national Federal Reserve website.
- Weathering Tough Economic Times—12 Tips for 2012 — Consumer information provided on the website of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the independent, self-regulatory organization for the U.S. securities industry. According to its website, “FINRA’s mission is to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly.”
- FederalReserveEducation.org — A website operated by the national Federal Reserve Bank, providing information and resources on financial topics for consumers. This includes a number of publications on personal finance, for students and the public, as well as classroom resources, and links other related websites providing financial information and resources for consumers.
History of Money Smart Week®
“Money Smart Week began as a coordinated effort of the Money Smart Advisory Council, a diverse group of more than 40 Chicago-area organizations working together to promote personal financial literacy,” the Chicago Fed states on its website.
The first Money Smart Week took place in Chicago in 2002. It included “six days of focused presentations by community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations, and financial experts, all designed to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances.”
Annual Reports for Money Smart Week events held in Illinois and the Chicago area for 2009 through 2011 are found on the Chicago Fed’s website.
“Today, Money Smart Week is much broader in scope and continues to expand,” according to the Chicago Fed. “The Money Smart Week model has grown beyond Chicago with successful campaigns taking place in all five states within the Seventh District (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin) and new cities joining every year,” the Chicago Fed states.
Through a partnership forged in 2011 with the American Library Association, the campaign has grown to include classes and events hosted at local libraries throughout the 30 states shown in green in the map above.
For more information on financial and legal issues for seniors and family caregivers, see the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on Legal and Financial Issues for Seniors & Caregivers, including:
- Financial Issues for Caregivers & Seniors
- Health Insurance & Long-term Care Insurance
- Medicare Coverage
- Medicaid Coverage & Asset Planning for Qualification
- Veterans Administration Benefits
- Other Financial Issues
- See the CareHelpFinder™ section for help finding a Financial Advisor
- Legal Issues for Caregivers & Seniors
- Overview – Some Legal Issues for Seniors & Caregivers
- Advance Directives for Health Care/ Living Wills; Proxies; Surrogates
- Planning for Incapacity/ Durable Powers of Attorney & Guardianship
- Estate Planning — Taxes, Wills, Intestate Succession, Trusts
- Asset Transfers & Medicaid Planning – An Overview
- Other Legal Issues
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