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Nearly Half of Texas Households in Persistent State of Financial Insecurity; FOCUS Summit Addresses Issue
Friday, January 31, 2014 6:50 AM

A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) finds that 49.8 percent of Texas households are in a persistent state of financial insecurity and the number of households who have little or no savings to cover emergencies or to start building a better life has barely budged from last year’s 49.5 percent level. The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation (Foundation) will address this issue at its Feb. 6-7 FOCUS Summit in Dallas.

A highlight of the two-day program is a presentation from money guru Jean Chatzky. The acclaimed author and financial editor for NBC’s “Today” Show will focus her discussion on money – how to get it, how to keep it, how to invest it, and how to make peace with it.

The summit also features a Life Simulation, in which participants will assume the role of a family living in poverty. Some families are newly unemployed, some are homeless, and others are senior citizens living on disability payments or raising grandchildren. The “families” will struggle to make ends meet in a simulated environment.

“Poverty is a reality for millions of families in their country, and going through this exercise we hope to gain a deeper understanding of their struggles so that we know how to more appropriately respond to their needs,” explains Foundation Executive Director Courtney Moran.

The two-day focus summit is being held at the Doubletree Galleria Hotel in Dallas, and brings together credit union professionals, financial education advocates, community leaders and school officials to share ideas and best practices on removing the barriers to household savings and asset building and empowering consumers to become better managers of their personal finances.  Highlights include:

  • Best practice panel discussion with a local superintendent, principals, and teachers that will focus on how credit unions can enter schools, sustain the relationship, and remain relevant.
  • Financial education legislative update with Laura Ewing of the Texas Council on Economic Education.
  • An overview of financial education tools available to credit unions and educators, including the National Endowment for Financial Education High School Financial Planning Program, BizKid$, FamilyMint, Sammy the Savings Rabbit, Money Mammals, and more.

Helpful links:

FOCUS Summit webpage

Interview with Jean Chatzky

Interview with Courtney Moran

CFED 2014 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard