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Treasury Panel Recommends Ways to Advance Financial Education for all Oregonians

Treasury Panel Recommends Ways to Advance Financial Education for all Oregonians

 Content Editor

September 29, 2021

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As the state’s top financial official, Treasurer Read leads efforts to help Oregon communities and families to be more financially secure and plan for a better future.

To help achieve that goal, the Treasurer created a new Financial Education Initiative at Treasury, aimed at advancing financial literary and wellness across the state, with a particular focus on underrepresented communities that have faced historical barriers to wealth-building. A diverse panel of experts in the financial literacy space were convened in early 2021 to chart the priorities of the new initiative.

The summary of recommendations from the 15-member Financial Education Advisory Team was released on September 2.

Priorities identified include:

  • Augment and amplify financial education efforts inside and outside government;
  • Raise the visibility of financial education;
  • Recognize inequities and lower barriers to financial education;
  • Ensure information is accessible to all; and
  • Identify measurable benchmarks.

Members said general equity and racial equity, specifically, should be considered across all the overlapping priorities.

There was also consensus that while financial education won’t solve inequity or systemic problems, nor will it lift a person or their family out of poverty, it can provide a foundation for making confident financial decisions and avoiding predatory practices.

“I’m grateful to the members of the Financial Education Advisory Team,” Treasurer Read said. “Time and compound interest often work against people, instead of in their favor. We need to find more ways to share accurate and helpful information to Oregonians when they need it.”

The panel also considered the current landscape in Oregon, discussed previous state-level recommendations, and connected with other state treasurers and national leaders. The conversation focused on solutions that Treasury can realize within our current mission and responsibilities.

Among the first tier of action items recommended by the Financial Education Advisory Team:

  • A hotline and web-based clearinghouse to connect Oregonians to multilingual, nonjudgmental, and relevant information and resources;
  • An Oregon-centric annual report on financial wellness;
  • A financial literacy award to help highlight best practices and champions; and
  • A standing advisory committee at Treasury representing financial education interests from diverse communities, nonprofits and business sectors.

The Treasurer created the Financial Education Initiative as part of the Oregon Treasury Savings Network, which helps Oregonians to be more financially secure via the Oregon College Savings Plan, Oregon ABLE Savings Plan, and OregonSaves, the nation’s first state-administered auto-IRA retirement program.

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