Financial Literacy

 Every April is National Financial Literacy Month which shines a needed spotlight on the importance of economic and financial education. However, for LICONY members, financial education is a year-round endeavor. LICONY members either support or provide a wide variety of initiatives designed to help people better understand and improve their financial knowledge -- and allow families to improve their financial well-being. 

Below please find just a small sample the work LICONY members support. 

MetLife Foundation

Since its creation in 1976, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $744 million in grants to make a positive difference to the people, families and communities they serve. A few initiatives supported by the Foundation in New York include:

  • Supporting a program that helps New Yorkers save some money derived from claiming their Earned Income Tax Credit EITC). The EITC tax credit provides low income working families with an average refund of around $3,000. People who “commit” to save a portion of that refund can use it build a $400 emergency savings account - something that 46% of Americans currently do not have. Robinhood Foundation’s EITC campaign is helping New Yorkers get the refunds they’re due, and to save part of it. 
  • The Financial Clinic, based in New York, builds the financial security of working poor families and individuals. The Financial Clinic created Change Machine, an online financial coaching platform, that extends their reach to not-for-profits, and their customers, across the country. They’ve helped more than 40,000 working Americans save more than $60 million. 
  • Supporting Per Scholas and LaGuardia Community College in their efforts to work with New Yorkers who are trying to change careers and increase their incomes. They’re also helping working people improve their financial health: working with one-on-one financial coaches, they are getting debt (including student loans) under control, improving their budgeting and sharing innovative strategies to reduce expenses – and saving for the future. 
  • In Ithaca, Alternative Federal Credit Union, partnering with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, is helping its members build their credit scores, grow their emergency savings funds and plan for homeownership. Their financial counselors help members “Take Action Today”, and send text message “nudges” to remind them to do so. The success in their first year is encouraging with 60% of credit union members in Ithaca and across the country improving their credit scores and reducing their debts by 10%.


Guardian -- The Money Management For Life Program

In 2013, Guardian committed to equip American community college students with practical, real-world financial education that will enable them to make sound money management decisions throughout their lives.

Guardian’s Money Management for Life (MMFL) program creates alliances with community colleges across the country to offer a fully-funded, credit-bearing personal finance course to help educate students with the essential skills and knowledge to manage their own finances and plan for their educational and financial futures. Through MMFL, Guardian is building opportunities for students to use the skills they gain from the class as they plan their next steps in education and career choice. Guardian also provides select MMFL students with paid summer internships to gain valuable experience in the work world.

MMFL courses are designed by educational professionals, and Guardian’s employees regularly contribute to the classes. Sample topics may include: taxes in financial planning, property and casualty insurance, home and automobile insurance, life insurance, health and disability insurance, investing basics, and retirement and estate planning. Students within the courses are also provided with additional opportunities for personal and career growth through, among other things, internships and experiential learning opportunities through Guardian.

In New York, Guardian is working with Borough of Manhattan Community College and has plans to extend the program to other schools in New York State.


The MassMutual Foundation -- The FutureSmartSM Program

The MassMutual Foundation’s national FutureSmart program provides critical financial education to middle and high school students with the goal of empowering and challenging young leaders to take positive steps toward a successful career and financial security for themselves, their families and their communities. The program provides live interactive seminars that inspire and empower students with critical money management skills, cutting edge digital curricula delivered in schools across the US, and offers a FutureSmart app – now available for download on iOS and Android devices at no cost in English and Spanish. The FutureSmart program aims to impact the financial literacy of two million students by 2020.

Learn more: 

 Financial Education Takes Center Stage at TIAA

As a financial services leader, TIAA feels a particularly strong responsibility to help promote financial literacy, especially among young people.

Multiple studies—including some conducted by the TIAA Institute—have shown that Americans have low levels of financial literacy and that this can have a profound impact on an individual’s ability to achieve financial well-being. With that in mind, TIAA works with Junior Achievement and other organizations to ensure that the company makes the strongest impact possible, with an emphasis on underserved students.

During TIAA’s “Financial Literacy Employee Volunteer Days” from March through May, employees teach financial concepts to thousands middle and high school Students in the cities in which we work and live. TIAA also provides year-round financial literacy programs to students at the schools that have been have “adopted” in the company's home communities of Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, and New York City.

TIAA works very hard to enhance student financial education. Learn more at the following locations: