Highlights from the Spring 2015 Campaign Coordinators Meeting

On Wednesday, April 15, America Saves welcomed Campaign Coordinators from across the country to convene for the 2015 Spring Coordinators Meeting. The group met at the Investment Company Institute in downtown Washington D.C.

After an interactive ice breaker activity, Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America addressed the findings from the 8th Annual Savings Survey launched as part of America Saves Week 2015. Meeting participants dug into the numbers with Brobeck, discussing the improvements from last year’s survey and the implications of the Great Recession on savings habits and financial security in households.

During the late morning, the group welcomed Irene Skricki, Senior Financial Education Program Analyst, Office of Financial Education, Division of Consumer Education and Engagement from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Ms. Skricki discussed the CFPB’s definition of financial well-being and the Bureau’s exploration into what financial well-being means in social and economic contexts, for individual behaviors, and for helping people make the most of their personal finances. This discussion, while ongoing, was inspired by the January 2015 release of their report Financial well-being: The goal of financial education.

In addition to presentations led by Nancy Register, America Saves Director, and James Lander, Military Saves Director, the afternoon welcomed Kia Anderson, Team Leader from the Social Security Administration and Andrea Ambriz, Director of Policy and Strategic Engagement, myRA Program, US Department of the Treasury.

Kia Anderson addressed the recent launch of the Campaign for a Secure Retirement, a joint national educational retirement campaign to encourage retirement planning and saving. She discussed the benefits to the online social security statement made available through my Social Security, as well as the efforts and activities that will be made available by each member of the campaign. America Saves is excited to be a part of this effort and will be launching a partner packet, tweet chat, and other materials in June as part of our participation.

Andrea Ambriz shared the ins and outs of Treasury’s new retirement savings initiative, myRA, including the rules and restrictions for participants, the benefits of a no fee and no start-up cost account, and the ways in which myRA can encourage new investors who are nervous about the risks involved in investing.

2017 update: The U.S. Treasury Department is no longer offering myRA. Learn more about all types of IRA acounts here.

 Financial well-being and financial security continued to be strong themes carried into the afternoon. Clinton Key, Research Manager for The Pew Charitable Trusts discussed the recent findings from two reports released in early 2015: The Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets and Americans’ Financial Security. The reports explored the realities and perceptions surrounding household savings, what financial security means in different households across the country, and what the true measures may actually be for financial education and financial capability experts who are helping Americans reach and attaining financial security.

George Barany, America Saves Director of Financial Education, concluded the meeting with a discussion on the recently released findings from the First-time Worker Focus Groups. Not only does this report highlight the importance of effectively introducing savings to young people as they enter the work force, but paved the way for future efforts in this program; namely, the launch of the America Saves for Young Workers platform taking place this summer.

The America Saves communications team, as well as members from the group, live tweeted throughout the day. Check out the Storify below for photos and highlights from the day:

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    Are you looking for an effective way to establish a budget? Beginning on the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack and review receipts at the end of the month, and you will clearly be able to see where your money is going. http://ow.ly/sj972

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