September 28, 2011

One in Three Couldn’t Make Housing Payment if Laid Off: Survey

Despite saying they plan finances, Americans unprepared for job loss

Americans say they are worried about their finances, but a third of them say that although they take time for financial planning they would not be able to make their rent or mortgage payments for more than a month if they lost their jobs, a new survey says.

The survey, released by a consortium made up of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial Planning Association, and the Foundation for Financial Planning and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, highlighted the fact that even if people are willing to devote time and attention to their financial situation, they lack the knowledge to plan effectively.

Also, a recent survey by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards found that 58% of Americans say they would feel more confident about their finances if they had a financial plan, yet more than half have no formal plan on paper.

To that end, the latest effort to promote financial literacy and offer much-needed advice is the offering for the second year of Financial Planning Days, which provides free financial planning advice in cities across the country. This year Financial Planning Days will take place in 31 cities, up from 20 last year, with participants able to take part in free group workshops and one-on-one planning sessions Saturdays through October.

Volunteer financial professionals will offer “no-strings-attached” advice; planners will not distribute business cards or sell financial products or services.

One-on-one consultations will allow individuals to ask planners questions on such diverse subjects as budgeting, managing credit, getting out of debt, income taxes, homeownership, dealing with mortgage foreclosures, planning and paying for college, estate planning and insurance, among others. Workshops will cover key financial topics as well.

Recognizing the need for better financial literacy, the FPA has also partnered with the NAACP and other financial institutions to provide community outreach; it also addressed the importance of community outreach for financial literacy at FPA San Diego.

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