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UMGC’s 2022 Financial Wellness Day Kickstarts Plan for 2023 Event

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By Liz Connolly-Bauman

A big turnout at Financial Wellness Day has prompted University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) officials to begin plans for another event to provide financial information and workshops to the public. The strong interest in financial help and information comes as inflation, a volatile housing market, and other economic insecurity have people worried about their savings, safety nets, and retirement planning.

Kathleen Sindell, director of the UMGC Department of Finance and Economics, said a participant survey after the 2022 Financial Wellness Day found that more than 71 percent of attendees would recommend the event to a colleague or friend. Participants ranked the webinars, one-on-one personal financial advising, and Resource Center as the top three activities. 

In addition, more than three-quarters of the survey respondents said they would be highly likely or somewhat likely to attend a 2023 Financial Wellness Day. They listed personal financial planning, life insurance, and retirement planning webinars as their biggest areas of interest.

For the 2022 Financial Wellness Day—a free virtual event held in July—UMGC teamed up with the Financial Planning Association National Capital Area (www.fpanca.org). Nearly 150 people took advantage of the workshops, and many received one-on-one financial planning advice and guidance from experienced professional Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). The CFPs staffed 10 virtual booths where they answered questions about how to get out of debt, retirement planning, investment strategies, tax issues, insurance, mortgages and foreclosures, estate planning, and other financial topics. 

“Anytime a non-financial person can carve out an hour or two to learn more about our incredibly complicated financial world, they get a little smarter,” said Marcia Mantell, an author and industry expert on retirement who led a workshop at the 2022 Financial Wellness Day. “Hosting this event is a very important step UMGC is doing to support their community.” 

In 2021, UMGC introduced the Virtual Financial Wellness Day to increase student awareness of financial planning and CFP certification as a preferred career path. Each UMGC Virtual Financial Wellness Day activity is designed to expand understanding of the work of a CFP professional, change audiences’ misperceptions about the field, develop a pipeline of UMGC students pursuing careers in personal finance and spark engagement with prospective students. 

As part of UMGC’s commitment to offer career-relevant educational experiences and networking opportunities, CFP professionals at the 2022 event were joined by UMGC finance students who shadowed them to see how real-world CFP professionals provide advice. The students earned four hours of valuable work experience credit toward their CFP certifications.

“I was delighted to be invited to share some important information about social security. It is a complex program where many people think they know the rules only to find out when it’s too late that they made a mistake,” said Mantell, who led a workshop on understanding social security benefits.

CFPs were available to discuss how to get out of debt, retirement planning, investment strategies, tax issues, insurance, mortgages and foreclosures, estate planning, and other financial topics. The event also featured a series of classroom-style educational workshops in the virtual auditorium including: Uncovering Social Security Secrets, Home Buying and Refinancing Options, and Does Financial Planning Fit into Your Future?