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Financial Literacy – For All

Posted by on February 15, 2016

There was a time when financial literacy meant elementary aged children learned about checking and savings accounts. When balancing and saving were the topics of the day. Now, with advancements in technology, fraud, and debt, financial literary is bigger than ever and Bank of Ann Arbor recognizes that it’s about life-long learning.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 82.7% of full-time students, enrolled in both public and private institutions, receive some form of aid including grants and loans. What does that mean? How does this impact the student and their family?

For the second consecutive year, National Association of Realtors study found that the largest groups of recent buyers were millennials, those 34 and younger, who composed 32 percent of all buyers. What does this mean for both mortgages and for those with student loan debt?

Who are the folks in the sandwich generation? Most caregivers are 46-64, employed, married or living with others. Family Caregiver Alliance reports that 44 million Americans provide 37 billion hours of unpaid, “informal” care each year for adult family members and friends with chronic illnesses or conditions that prevent them from handling daily activities such as bathing, managing medications or preparing meals on their own. How does this impact their retirement savings, employment, and livelihood?

The United States Department of Justice offers many resources on their website including statistics and information. Sadly roughly one in ten seniors, over the age of 60, is abused each year. Who is abusing them? What can be done to protect them?

BOAA Helps. It’s far more than our motto. We take the above scenarios very seriously as each impact both day-to-day banking functions and our nation’s future leaders. Bank of Ann Arbor is committed to improving financial literacy by being a reliable source for financial information in a hands-on, non-threatening way. In 2015 BOAA created a staff position titled Financial Literacy Program Coordinator. This position was created to go into our communities – kindergarten through seniors – offering specialized help for each group. This coordinator is another community networker, plugging in with multiple groups, and working on joint ventures with local organizations like United Way, schools, law enforcement, and state officials.

We offer fun things to our younger community members like touring the vault and learning about money. We have candid conversations with community groups – like Girl Scouts – and share stories about women in banking. We help first time homebuyers understand what the process is and how to get ready to apply for a mortgage. On January 28th, we participated in a Town Hall Meeting as part of the Free National Data Privacy Day, which focused on the financial exploitation of seniors. As a result of our participation we are now on a training taskforce, for area law enforcement, on how to recognize signs of financial exploitation.