NEFE Year in Review for 2017

Happy 25th Birthday, NEFE!

In June 1992, the College for Financial Planning officially changed its name to the National Endowment for Financial Education.

NEFE at FinCon

Some NEFE employees attending FinCon

NEFE employees at 2017 FinCon

NEFE’s game-themed booth was a hit at the 2017 FinCon Financial Bloggers Conference in Dallas, where NEFE once again sponsored a session track and the annual community service project. This year’s project benefitted those affected by Hurricane Harvey. FinCon attendees wrote encouraging notes and helped assemble care packages of cleaning supplies that were distributed through Trusted World (www.trustedworld.org), an organization that connects donations to people in need.

2017 Research Releases

Several NEFE-funded research projects wrapped up or hit important milestones in 2017. Read the full executive summaries at www.nefe.org/research.

Cover of Building Future Security: Linking Financial Education to Retirement Outcomes
  • George Washington University – Data from an international survey of 15-year-olds find that American teens face a unique challenge when it comes to funding their future retirement. The United States is the only country to have both low financial literacy and a social pension program (e.g., Social Security) that covers less expenses in retirement.
  • University of Notre Dame — Latinas have a huge appetite for financial education and a strong desire to save. Their savings could provide a critical safety net to America’s largest minority group.
  • The New School — Almost no one is safe from periods of lost income due to a health crisis, job loss or other life transitions in their working years; and lower-income Americans are especially vulnerable. Ninety-three percent of low-income men don’t even have a 401(k). And those who do often need that money long before retirement.


Annual NEFE-SABEW Reporting Workshop

NEFE, through its partnership with the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), held its fifth annual personal finance reporting workshop on October 12 in New York. This event brings together journalists who work in consumer finance to share story ideas, talk about trending topics, identify emerging tools to help with their reporting, and more. The workshop is an extension of the now decade-long partnership that NEFE shares with SABEW. For more on the workshop, visit www.sabew.org and search “events.”

Neiser Tapped as Next Avenue Influencer and CFPB Advisor

Next Avenue (www.nextavenue.org), public media’s first and only digital publication dedicated to covering issues for people 50 and older, named Brent Neiser, CFP®, NEFE’s senior director of strategic programs and alliances, one of its 50 influencers in aging for 2017. Neiser was selected for his work helping older Americans make sound financial decisions for their retirement.

In July, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (www.consumerfinance.gov) also appointed Neiser to its Consumer Advisory Board as one of six new consumer experts from outside the federal government.

Beck Wins Jump$tart Award

NEFE President and CEO Ted Beck received the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award April 5 for his dedication to building a financially literate future for young Americans. Laura Levine, president and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, presented the award. Beck was a member of the Jump$tart board of directors from 2005 to 2016, serving as chairman from 2011 through 2016.

New SAM Courses

Smart About Money added two new courses to its collection of self-guided, free resources in 2017. Check out all the courses, including Money Basics, at www.smartaboutmoney.org.

  • My Financial Well-Being Plan – Define your own financial well-being according to your personal values and circumstances.
  • My Retirement Plan – Live the life envisioned in retirement.
  • My Life Events and Transitions Plan – Manage a crisis now or prepare to face future challenges.
  • More courses coming soon!

Reaching Out to Libraries

Mind Over Matter - SAM material for libraries

NEFE partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Communities Financial Education Libraries Project to reach librarians through several events nationwide throughout 2017. Smart About Money created a suite of marketing materials, including posters, handouts and bookmarks to help promote financial literacy in libraries. Check them out at www.smartaboutmoney.org/librarians.

SAM at NightOut Baltimore

Smart About Money offered information about its free personal finance resources at Night Out Baltimore, held on the first Tuesday in August. The event is part of National Night Out, which started in 1984 and focuses on preventing crime through community activities.

Financial Workshop Kits and COABE

In April, NEFE and Financial Workshop Kits (www.financialworkshopkits.org) sponsored the first financial literacy strand at the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference. COABE is a network of nearly 15,000 educators, administrators, mentors and guides working to improve educational outcomes for underserved adults. NEFE believes that, in addition to language, mathematics and problem-solving skills, adult learners need personal finance education. NEFE plans to continue this sponsorship in 2018.

CashCourse 2017 Highlights

CashCourse website screenshot

  • New website: The new CashCourse website launched on July 5 with a modern look, more mobile responsiveness, and new levels of accessibility for individuals who use assistive technologies such as screen readers. More than 8,000 new users registered for CashCourse in September alone, averaging more than eight minutes on the site.
  • Iowa project: In spring 2017, Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa selected CashCourse to help provide required financial literacy training for all incoming first-year students. The program rolled out this fall, leading the way for other state university systems implementing financial literacy.
  • Student survey: A student feedback survey by CashCourse this spring found that 85 percent of student respondents found CashCourse to be either somewhat helpful or very helpful and informative. Also, 79 percent of students said they felt somewhat confident or very confident in their ability to manage their money after using CashCourse.

Teacher Stories on the HSFPP Blog

Check out the High School Financial Planning Program blog (www.hsfpp.org/blog) for timely information and stories of impact from real teachers who use HSFPP in their classrooms, such as this one from Barbara Harmon, an Army Instructor in Uniontown, Pa.:

Many times students do not “get” the material that you teach until much later when it personally affects them. Just yes­terday I ran into a former student who graduated in 2016. As a mother to a new baby, she now understands why it is important to “pay yourself first” and set aside money for emer­gencies. She also understands that you need to take care of your needs before your wants and not take on too much debt. She wanted me to talk to her significant other and help her explain this to him. She said everyone needs to take the NEFE course, then more young people would not get into financial trouble!

New Design and Spanish Translation for Beginner’s Guide

One of NEFE’s most popular resources has been updated and redesigned. Your Spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginner’s Guide aims to help you get on track with your financial goals and make a better life for yourself and your family. Download the free PDF to get practical tips, hands-on worksheets and real-life stories from people who have been there themselves. Visit www.smartaboutmoney.org, select the Spending and Borrowing topic, then Control Spending. Also available in Spanish. (También disponible en español.)

See the full November/December 2017 Digest or download the PDF [PDF Download, 3.3 MB].