Are you financially literate? Did you know that the United States has the highest household debt in the world, and 38 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 saved for emergencies?
To address these issues and more, TIPS—through the Law in Public Service Committee (LIPS)—and Thomson Reuters joined efforts to undertake an audacious project aimed at increasing financial education. The Financial Literacy Project (FLP) initiative aims to engage diversified legal and financial experts to produce a robust collection of financial education tools and, leveraging the vast expert knowledge and resources of Thomson Reuters, to make those tools widely available to help equip and empower individuals in their journey to achieve sustained financial well-being. Although available to everyone, the FLP is particularly focused on reaching underserved communities and youth populations (i.e., those often most negatively impacted by financial education and prosperity gaps).
The FLP consists of a series of short educational videos—narrated in an entertaining and informative way—that cover a wide swath of financial topics. The videos will be accessible to the public through easy-to-access online platforms (e.g., the AmericanBarTIPS YouTube channel and FindLaw.com). To date, we released a pilot video on Tax Preparation, with the first block of video modules set to launch in September 2021. Financial topics covered include:
- Overview and importance of financial education;
- Why and how to budget;
- Understanding, managing, and reducing debt;
- Opening and maintaining a bank account (including different types of accounts);
- Investing for retirement and types of retirement plans;
- Things to consider when buying a car;
- Whether to buy a home or rent;
- Purchasing a home;
- Planning and saving for college;
- Saving and growing money through investing;
- Tax planning;
- Estate planning; and
- Small business ownership.
The FLP is more than just a big idea with broad applications. As recognized by TIPS Chair John McMeekin, “It is a chance for all TIPS members to participate (or connect us to those who can participate) in a project that can change lives in a meaningful way.”
We need your help! Planning and implementation are well underway. And because we envision the FLP to be an ongoing project with myriad opportunities for expansion, growth, and reach, we need our TIPS membership to join in and provide hands-on assistance, connections, thought partnership, and leadership, as we engage, collaborate, and create. Please consider whether: (1) you have direct experience in one of the areas referenced above, or any other topic related to financial education, that you can contribute; (2) someone in your organization, practice group, place of employment, client, or family has experience in these areas; (3) you know or are affiliated with an organization that could benefit from the FLP initiative; and (4) you know a celebrity or influencer who might be willing promote the FLP or record an introduction for a specific module. If you answered “Yes!” to any of these distinct areas of need, we urge you to donate your creative knowledge and time. Pro Bono Makes the Difference that Matters! Empowering ourselves changes our lives. Empowering others changes our communities. Join the TIPS/Thomson Reuters FLP initiative.