Happy Financial Literacy Month

April 7, 2017 | Dawn Virgilio

In 2004, the US Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month in the United States. Financial literacy is important for everyone at all stages of life. Some of the most important life lessons we can learn are how to manage our finances, budget and save.

As a parent and Financial Analyst, I take great pride in the products, services, community sponsorships and financial education Mission Fed provides to San Diegans and our membership. Here are some of the ways we can help you reach your financial goals and achieve a better level of financial literacy now and in the future:

Financial literacy for youth

Since our beginning, we’ve had strong ties to the educational community, and we continue to be extremely dedicated to our local schools. We support San Diego County school districts by offering assistance in the form of scholarships, financial education grants and sponsorships for school district programs. In 2015 Mission Fed donated $1 million in support of Junior Achievement of San Diego County’s Mission Fed JA Finance Park program, focused on increasing the financial literacy of San Diego high school students. The high school program entails the redevelopment of Junior Achievement curriculum with the use of tablets and mobile apps to prepare tech-savvy teens for financial success.

Mission Fed is also a sponsor of the McGrath Family JA BizTown. After four weeks of curriculum and classroom preparation, elementary school students visit the mini-city and make personal financial decisions as well as for their business, hold business meetings, pay taxes and donate to charity.

Financial literacy for homebuyers

Owning a home can make a huge difference for your financial future, especially for a first-time homebuyer. While buying a home can be a transformative experience for you personally, homeownership can help you financially as well. Homeownership can lead to building your personal wealth due to home equity, or fair market value, which will likely increase over time based on both the market and any renovations you make to your home.

Buying a house requires planning, including finding out how much house you can afford, what type of loans are available and what fees may be incurred. Mission Fed’s first-time homebuyer infographic can shed some light on what you need to do to purchase a home. Plus, throughout the year Mission Fed hosts First-Time Homebuyer Seminars at branches all over San Diego County. Find out where the next seminar will be held and register on our website. Or, if you’re interested in speaking with one of our Realtor partners, visit one of our branches during Realtor Day, where an agent will be onsite to help answer your home buying and selling questions.

Financial literacy for retirement

While 401(k)s are a great option for saving for retirement, they’re not the only way. You could also consider an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Even if you have a 401(k), you still may be able to open an IRA, depending on IRS guidelines. An IRA has potential tax advantages, and there are several types to choose from. If you already have a 401(k), you may want to consider transferring the funds you’ve accrued to a Mission Fed IRA when you retire or change jobs. Please check with a financial advisor or tax professional to determine what’s best for you.

Our knowledgeable staff will be able to assist you with IRA information and our website offers retirement calculators to help you plan your future and set your retirement goals. Also online, you’ll find several blog posts within our Live Smart Bank Smart blog with other great ideas to put away even more money.

Financial literacy in the community

Mission Fed has a long history of community involvement, giving time, treasure and talent to education and nonprofit organizations and our membership in the communities where our members live and work.

The Mission Fed Business Development Team works with the San Diego County of Education to bring financial literacy into classrooms throughout the county. Plus, we host high school, adult and community focused seminars on money management, best practices and more.

Your success is our bottom line, and that means supporting financial literacy all year long and for San Diegans. During Financial Literacy Month, set some new financial goals and visit one of our branches or our website to see how we can help you have a Mission Fed Moment and achieve a better level of financial literacy now and in the future.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

Dawn Virgilio

Dawn Virgilio

Dawn Virgilio is VP Financial Planning & Analysis at Mission Federal Credit Union. She has enjoyed a long career working for financial institutions, the majority of that time (25 years) dedicated to credit unions. She really likes numbers, especially when they add up and multiply.

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