• Financial Literacy is at the Heart of Who We Are

    by Matt Roberts MFM CFP® CAP® Chief Planning Officer | April 11, 2023

    April is National Financial Literacy Month. While that sounds like a broad focus, for us at Syverson Strege it highlights the importance of educating all people – young and old – about smart money habits.

    Our team has donated time and money to promote financial literacy in the community from volunteering at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park to creating and facilitating a life-size “Game of Life” for youth at Wildwood Hills Ranch. In addition, our co-founder, David Strege, has served on numerous boards to promote financial literacy, including the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and Iowa Jump$tart.

    In 2020, we started brainstorming the most effective way for Syverson Strege to promote financial literacy, and an internal team met with several national resources to determine the best way to impact our community. With a giveback mindset, passion for financial literacy and a desire to teach, we created our very own financial literacy program called “Financial Foundations.” This program was created by David Strege, Jerin Young, Jennifer Scheck and me. Our goal was to target young adults ages 20-40 because that is generally the most critical period in a person’s financial life.

    According to the US Census Bureau, only 50% of millennials ages 24 to 39 have at least one retirement account. This same group also has Apply CSS Classan average of $5,000 in credit card debt, according to Experian. One out of three Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings according to study done by Bankrate.com. Without a solid foundation early in life, it will be nearly impossible to do things like purchase a home, retire early, or help a child save for their college education.

    Our goal is to help fight these trends through education. The first course was offered in 2021 and our plan is to offer it on an annual basis. Initially, the program was offered to children of Syverson Strege clients, however, our desire is to expand our impact in the community and offer the course to the public. We keep the course attendance small to ensure everyone who attends receives personal attention and has all their questions answered.

    In the course we cover six key areas:

    1. Purpose of money
    2. Cash flow
    3. Income tax
    4. Insurance
    5. Estate
    6. Investments

    These topics are broken up into two sessions, which are spaced one week apart. Each session runs for two hours in the evening (and there is a little homework). You don’t have to be local to participate in the program. We offer the class at our office or online. The students receive access to financial planning tools, which they can use to develop their own personal financial plan. In addition, and perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the program, is that each student is offered an opportunity to meet one-on-one with one of our financial planners to discuss their personal situation.

    We are so excited to welcome our third class in June. The class is almost full, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a child, grandchild or friend who could benefit from the gift of financial education.

    For more information about the course and to register, visit https://www.onlyworkforyou.com/resources/events.

    Matt Roberts MFM CFP® CAP® Chief Planning Officer
    Matt Roberts is the Chief Planning Officer at Syverson Strege and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. He is committed to serving others to enrich and empower their lives. His primary focus is to ensure clients maximize what they desire from their money and reach their personal and financial goals. Matt also leads the firm’s Planning Committee which is responsible for the oversight of the financial process. He earned his B.S. in finance from Iowa State University and a Master of Financial Management (MFM) degree from Drake University.

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