Financial Wellness and Recovery Continue reading Financial Wellness and Recovery
I have pulled together some reading on Financial Wellness on a separate site for ease of access.
The causes and consequences of household financial strain
October 10, 2018
The 2007–08 financial crisis caused a deep global recession with lasting effects on economies worldwide. Millions of households in developed countries currently report having difficulty making ends meet. In this paper, we systematically review finance and economics research on household financial strain to identify research gaps. We find that economists could make a valuable contribution to this literature. More analysis involving developed economic theory would provide clarity to partial and sometimes contradictory results. Research could explore aspects of the dynamics of financial strain; heterogeneity in coping strategies and the association with health outcomes. A few themes suggested in other literatures could also be examined such as the relative importance of chronic and acute stress as well as the roles of habituation and sensitization for welfare outcomes.
Start a Financial Wellness Program
September 24, 2018
From THE VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT REPORT
From individual counseling to seminars, starting a financial wellness program takes experts from various fields. If you’re considering starting this type of program, there are several things to keep in mind.
The Actors Fund (New York, NY) is a nonprofit organization that helps professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry. The organization offers members a financial wellness program that provides financial education, referrals, counseling and support. It helps people identify strategies for balancing income, expenses and debt while also establishing financial boundaries and exploring financial competence and self-worth. “We develop logical partnerships with qualified professionals who can provide those services and focus on giving clients appropriate preparation and referrals,” says Amanda Clayman, the Actor’s Fund Entertainment Assistance Program coordinator. Clayman says having a solid mission statement is the key to success. “Be sure your goal for your financial wellness program is consistent with your mission and scope of practice. We were very careful during our initial inception to be clear about what it is we do (provide information, empowerment and coaching for clients seeking to improve their financial situation) and what we don’t do (provide investment advice, tax advice, legal advice, etc.),” she says.
Accountants, financial planners, lawyers and mortgage brokers offer services for the program, and every volunteer must be appropriately credentialed. “We don’t have a formalized training protocol, but we do supervise our volunteers, either by reviewing the cases or by being present during seminars. In seeking volunteers, I would recommend approaching professional organizations and inquiring if any of their members would be interested in a volunteer opportunity,” she says.
The individual services the Financial Wellness Program offers include:
One-on-one counseling: To discuss personal obstacles to financial self-care as well as information about debt management programs, credit counseling and bankruptcy.
Couples counseling: Cohabiting or financially joined partners meet with a social worker to discuss issues that pose a challenge to financial stability. Creating a joint spending plan, managing one partner’s debt, unemployment or planning for children can be addressed.
Financial coaching with community service society volunteers: This involves short-term financial coaching for individuals referred by a staff social worker. Coaching includes personal budget analysis, understanding a credit report and improving a credit score. The program also offers seminars, groups and workshops, such as:
“Money Matters” Seminars: Over the course of a year, presentations are given by financial services experts on topics such as income taxes, financial planning and investing, student loans and planning for retirement.
Money and the Performing Artist Group: This is a six-week group that explore how cultural, family and entertainment industry attitudes contribute to how we think about and use money.
“Managing Cash Flow for Artists”: This is a five-week workshop in which members learn strategies for organizing expenses, balancing multiple sources of income, and planning for dry spells. In addition, members discuss tips for aligning professional and financial goals.
The Actors Fund also partners with another organization (the Community Service Society), which trains part-time financial coaches. “Coaches must practice within their coaching scope and not give individual financial advice. As you can imagine, the training is quite rigorous and would be outside our ability to do in-house with current resources. We are lucky to have such an important partner,” Clayman adds.