Midas is where collaboration happens. We bring together nonprofits, financial institutions, policymakers, educators, and families to advance financial security. Financial security is defined as a state of being in control of your finances now and the foreseeable future. That is not the reality for many families in our state. Rising costs, wealth inequality, lack of financial education, and much more are making it harder to feel financially secure. Many of those families entrust Midas and our member organizations with creating a pathway to a better tomorrow. Through our innovative partnerships and collaboration, we are advancing financial security and helping families thrive.
Join us on Thursday, September 20, 2018 to celebrate, reflect upon, and expand our work. Our annual Assets & Opportunity Reception unites those who have made it possible which is YOU. Without your support to create more prosperous communities and commitment to deepen our impact, our work would not be possible. Register here and share this celebratory evening with us.
Networking, Sharing & Learning for Financial Health & Wellness
On April 27, 2018, the 10th annual MassSaves Financial Health and Wellness Summit at Framingham State University highlighted collaborative partnerships and research, generated conversations, and united different stakeholders. The continued interest in the Summit from all sectors reinforces the desire and commitment to network, share and learn to create more prosperous communities.
We had over 120 attendees united to build and safeguard the financial futures of families across New England. Attendees learned about best practices and opportunities to empower women, research highlighting the need for increased investment in higher education, the important role we play as advocates especially with pending legislation that will empower Massachusetts youth, and much more. By investing in the professional development of educators, community providers, and financial institutions, we are progressing towards our vision of making Massachusetts a model for financial confidence and empowerment.
As Midas and our partners in MassSaves incorporate what we've learned and outline next steps, we look forward to strengthening the connections we've made to improve the financial health and wellness of our clients, communities and our region. Check out materials from the Summit here.
Thank You To Our Generous Summit Sponsors:
- Boston Private
- Monson Savings Bank
- Santander Bank
- Avidia Bank
- Metro Credit Union
- RTN Federal Credit Union
- Pawtucket Credit Union
- New York Life Insurance
Financial insecurity and inequality is at an all-time high, especially in Massachusetts. As a recognized leader on the issues of consumer financial protection and asset building, Midas promotes advocacy and research at the state and federal level to address the systemic issues that lead to financial insecurity. Through Midas’ work and from our member collaborative of 25+ community organizations, we’ve seen a rise of instability in debt collections and employment for lower wage and entry level workers. This instability is exacerbated by the lack of quality financial education at the K-12 level, leaving young adults unable to make sound financial decisions that continue as they face more complex decisions. The impact of these three issues are reviewed in briefs produced by Midas in support of legislation that invests and empowers Massachusetts families.
- Calling or Emailing your State Representative for their support in pushing the bill out of House Committee of Ways and Means to the House floor for a vote
- Joining the MassSaves Advocacy Committee
- Building Support in Your Community! Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Amplify our efforts on social media by "sharing" and "retweeting" our posts.
On February 6, 2018, Prosperity Now released the 2018 Scorecard Whose Bad Choices? How Policy Precludes Prosperity and What We Can Do About It. Despite an unemployment rate that has ticked downward and an overall improved economy, large numbers of Massachusetts families continue to struggle to save for a more prosperous future.
30.4% of Massachusetts households still remain liquid asset poor, meaning they have so little savings that they could not live at the poverty level for just three months if they lose a job or suffer another significant income loss. A new measure also shows that while 42.8% of households in the state did not set aside any savings for emergencies in the past year, that number is lower than the national rate of 43.7%. The data highlights the need for continued efforts in building awareness and support to advance the financial security of Massachusetts families especially as inequality widens within our state. Learn more about how Massachusetts fared here.
Register Today! The MassSaves 10th Annual Financial Health and Wellness Summit will be held on Friday, April 27, 2018 at Framingham State University in Framingham, MA. The Summit is an opportunity for providers, teachers, financial educators, and supporters from all backgrounds to network, share, and learn. The 10th annual Summit builds on our efforts to elevate the field by empowering and equipping us with the latest tools, resources, and knowledge.
Recently two states have passed personal finance legislation: Arkansas and Wisconsin.
In Arkansas, lawmakers approved the Personal Finance and Job Readiness Act this year. It mandates that students receive instruction on a range of standards related to financial literacy. The law doesn't require schools to specially offer a personal finance course. It instead directs the Arkansas Department of Education to develop personal and family finance standards that can be incorporated into existing courses. Legislators noted “too many students leave school unaware of financial issues they're bound to encounter in the real world." The standards will be presented to the Board of Education for approval next month. The law will take effect with the class of 2021.
In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 280 into law which will direct each school board to adopt academic standards for financial literacy and incorporate instruction in financial literacy into the curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12. Legislators said, “we want to pull out all the stops to help raise the financial acumen for everybody in Wisconsin." The Wisconsin Bankers Association said, “Financial education is an important aspect of every person’s life. It’s more than simply knowing how to save for retirement or balance a checkbook. It’s learning about how to make sound choices that will help people become financially empowered in every corner of the state. If a person is lacking the basics of financial literacy, they are open to being taken advantage of and being susceptible to a financially unstable future”
What's next for Massachusetts? The Senate conducted a listening tour of millennials to better understand their issues which resulted in the Millennial Engagement Initiative report. Amongst its recommendations for transportation, housing and student debt there was a recommendation regarding k-12 education.
“Throughout our tour, we consistently heard that millennials did not feel as though they have a grasp on how to obtain and manage their own health insurance, retirement savings, credit cards, debt and taxes. As fewer employers provide benefit packages inclusive of these products the need for young people to not only understand but navigate the financial sector of our economy is increasingly important. We recommend financial literacy education be incorporated into public school curriculum from kindergarten to twelfth grade.”
MassSaves advocates plan to build upon their momentum from their October 11th "Day on the Hill" to ensure passage of legislation in 2018 that equips Massachusetts students with the tools to build financially responsible lives.
Over 1,700 students served through the Invest in College Success (ICS) pilot across three Massachusetts community colleges!
ICS was a pilot intervention, launched by The Midas Collaborative in fall 2014, designed to help students navigate college affordability and build financial capabilities. The structure of ICS allowed students to receive multiple services through a partnership model. Midas provided leadership and support for financial education, financial coaching, and an educational matched savings program, uAspire delivered text message–based and in-person advising on college affordability, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (The Fed) evaluated the pilot. Three Massachusetts community college partners, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), Northern Essex Community College (NECC) and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), were active partners in the marketing of and delivery of financial education and the educational matched savings program. The two-year pilot was supported by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund and additional funders.
The 2017 final evaluation examined uptake and outcomes of the supports provided to community college students during the pilot period. Additionally, there are applicable findings and lessons for future community college programs offering similar services. Learn more about the outcomes and learnings from the final evaluation report by Sarah Savage of the Fed and Midas' summary.
Over 50 MassSaves advocates descended upon the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, October 11th in support of incorporating financial education into existing curriculum. 20 states require students to take a high school economics course to graduate and 17 states require a course in financial literacy yet Massachusetts continues to lag behind. The lack of access to quality financial education at every stage of life has left Massachusetts families feeling unprepared for basic financial decisions. MassSaves highlighted the need and growing bi-partisan support for legislation (S.249, H.261) that acknowledges that every student in Massachusetts should have access to financial tools to build financially responsible lives.
Didn't make it to the event and want to share your support?
- Call your state representative and senator today
- Check out the State House News article (syndicated in multiple outlets), Wicked Local Marblehead, The Republican, and Sentinel & Enterprise coverage of the event
- Join MassSaves' "Day On the Hill" planning committee
- Share within your network - ask a colleague, friend or neighbor to show their support. Materials from the event (presentation and info sheet) can help spread the message.
As a network of teachers, school administrators, community practitioners, financial institutions and supporters we know we need to change this - starting with our youth - for a stronger Massachusetts. By incorporating financial literacy in K-12 education, children will be introduced to financial concepts earlier in life, and the dissemination of financial knowledge will be more widespread, thus having a greater impact.
Thanks for helping us create more prosperous communities across Massachusetts.
"State caps on loan rates make Massachusetts an unattractive market for payday lenders, but the new rule will help protect locals from out-of-state loan products," said Ginger Haggerty, Midas' asset development and policy coordinator.