Ohio Investor Education Program offers counseling, planning services

Published: Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) rolled out its free Ohio Investor Education Program on May 19.

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) recently rolled out its free Ohio Investor Education Program. The program links Ohioans to educational resources, financial counselors, planners and more to better equip them to save, invest and plan for retirement. The program was designed by AFCPE with funding from the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and partnership and support from the Ohio Division of Securities, Consumer Action, Detroit Public Television, WOSU Public Media, ThinkTV and IdeaStream.

The initiative includes the airing of When I’m 65, a 60-minute documentary, on public television stations statewide; three community engagement events; and pro bono financial counseling services provided by Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC) and Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP) professionals.

The first of AFCPE’s community events was held on May 19 in Columbus. The last two events will be held on July 20 in Dayton and on September 14 in Cleveland.

The Columbus event included a panel discussion presented by local financial professionals Nichole Dunn of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio; Janice Hitzeman of the Ohio Division of Securities; Kalitha Williams of Policy Matters Ohio; Ernestine Jackson of AARP Ohio; and Laura Orbash, an AFC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau coach. Ann Fisher, host of “All Sides with Ann Fisher” on 89.7 NPR News, served as the moderator. Consumer Action provided financial educational materials for the event.

AFCPE also hosted a media event at the Ohio Statehouse in April, where it released the findings of its Ohio Investor Education Survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling. (Click here for the full results.) Among the key findings:

1) Few Ohio adults would use a windfall to save or invest for retirement. Only 24 percent of Ohio residents who received a “million-dollar windfall” would use most of the money to save or invest for retirement. Nearly a third (32%) would instead pay off debts and another three in 10 would share much of the money with family members.

2) Only about two in five (41%) Ohio adults are following a financial plan. Of the balance, 14 percent have no plan, 12 percent are just starting to plan for retirement and about a quarter (23%) started to plan but “had to stop because money was needed for other reasons.”

3) A lack of money, knowledge and trust are major factors influencing those Ohioans without a financial plan. Of this demographic, one-third (34%) believe they don’t have enough money to save or invest for retirement; 23 percent report that they don’t know enough to “feel comfortable” saving and investing for retirement; and 25 percent plan to live on Social Security income or other resources.

“There is a critical need for investor education in Ohio,” said Consumer Action’s Audrey Perrott. “But with proper education, training and access to free counseling and planning services, I believe that all Ohioans can make saving for retirement a priority and a reality.”

 

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