SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being

Beth Coco
National research shows that more than 40 percent of households in the United States have no emergency savings, and that puts them in a precarious position in the event that their income is stopped for one reason or another. One theory as to why emergency savings balances are so low is that people are simply not aware of how much emergency savings they need, and this inhibits them from accumulating the necessary funds.
SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being is hoping to change that by educating community members on five financial concepts – planning, saving, budgeting, debt, and investing.
This unique – and free – educational initiative features an interactive approach to financial education. The Institute’s purpose is to guide and encourage participants to focus on achieving personal economic stability and financial independence, the outcome of which will be increasing people’s capabilities to make sound financial decisions and to build positive financial habits. Workshops are offered for all ages (from age five to adult) in the Capital Region, Binghamton, Buffalo and Syracuse.
“Designed from the learner’s generational perspective, the Institute delivers programs that create meaningful impact, aimed at changing behaviors,” said Beth Coco, SEFCU’s Chief Financial Well-Being Officer. “Learners relate to subject matter that touches on their life experiences. Youth, especially, benefit from learning in the context of their life events.”
Using proprietary, colorful and easy-to-understand workbooks; interactive workshops; and age-appropriate sessions, the Institute provides hands-on instruction to help participants of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels develop the skills they need to build assets and plan for life events that lead them toward financial independence. Each session is designed to provide answers to common financial questions, information about financial concepts, and details about applying those concepts to daily life.
Some of the most popular public sessions, which are open to everyone, include Paying for Higher Education (offered in Albany on Sept. 26 and in Schenectady on Sept. 27); Budgeting Basics: How to Grow Your Dough with a Personal Spending Plan (offered in Albany on Sept. 13 and in Schenectady on Sept. 28); Tackle Your Debt (offered in Albany on Sept. 6 and Sept. 12); and Fraud Prevention (offered in Albany on Sept. 7). Visit SEFCU’s website to register for these or any other publicly offered seminars.
In addition to presenting these workshops, the Institute aims to be a resource for financial education and will host group sessions for community organizations that may want to offer the classes to their consumers or employees. Request financial education for your organization and learn more about these valuable sessions.
Individuals or community groups interested in learning more about the Institute for Financial Well-Being can call 800-727-3328, ext. 4066 or email

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