September 8, 2021
Categories: Education, Financial Goals, Financial Hardship, Financial Security, In the Community, Youth
Laurie Baker, President and CEO, The Summit Federal Credit Union
Part of what we do at The Summit is give our members the financial knowledge to make informed decisions. From managing spending to saving for the future, there are a lot of components and concepts to understand.
Why is financial knowledge so important? Education in general lets us provide for ourselves and family, take better care of our health, enjoy life and give back to the community. Being financially knowledgeable helps us avoid pitfalls like credit problems and living paycheck to paycheck, and gives us the ability to weather medical upheavals, job loss and worse. In short, it helps us achieve financial wellness, the state of being financially healthy.
As a population here in New York, our level of financial knowledge isn’t good and it’s getting worse. A recent National Financial Capability Study asked participants to answer five questions about everyday finance–things like compound interest, risk and inflation. 69% of New Yorkers got 3 or fewer of the 5 questions right. In 2009, that number was 60%, not great by any means, but not as bad as the result nine years later.
And it probably comes as no surprise that financial issues can cause us significant stress. A survey done recently by Northwestern Mutual found that money is the biggest source of stress for 44% of Americans–and that was before the COVID-related financial issues that still affect so many of us. It’s not a stretch to conclude that financial wellness would eliminate, or at least ease, some of that stress.
Good Money Habits Start Early, or Later
Although it’s never too late to learn, at The Summit, we start educating members early. Our Safari Club youth accounts and newsletters teach basic money concepts and help establish the good money habits that kids will use their entire lives. For older kids, our Digital Edge Spend Accounts are simple to use; paired with a debit card, these all-digital accounts give students and young adults the independence to control their own spending, but with the option of parental guidance.
Our website is full of blog content for young adults; “Reaching My Summit” covers all sorts of subjects like budgeting, money management at college, and decoding your first paycheck. For people looking to purchase a home for the first time, “Destination Summit” has tips on preparing for and getting the home you want. Our Summit Blog includes a range of topics for all ages from avoiding fraud to retirement considerations… and even has some fun activities like dollar origami.
Learning in a Session, or One-on-One
Our Business Relations team regularly presents custom financial education sessions for member companies and schools. We’ve recently entered a partnership with MCC Athletics to provide in-person financial seminars and workshops, and supply online resources geared toward the student body and the MCC community at large.
The Summit Retirement & Investment Services (SRIS) runs seminars and webinars on topics that every investor should know, like what to do when markets are volatile. Our SRIS team is also available for one-on-one meetings with members to define investment goals and set a plan on how to get there.
Our Summit Relationship Specialists are another knowledgeable source of advice. To connect with them, just stop into a branch or make an appointment at our Virtual Branch. It’s a convenient, safe way to meet face-to-face with a real, live person, only it’s right from your computer or mobile device! At the virtual branch, you’ll get the same personal attention you’d get in person at a physical branch, but from wherever you are.
Let Us Help
Is there a certain subject you’d like to learn more about? Check our website, contact us or visit a branch. Chances are, we can help you at an individual meeting or through the resources on our website.
The Summit’s mission is to help our members improve their lives. Financial education is an important part of that promise.
Read Laurie’s Other Blogs: