At the end of each year, most of us spend some time reflecting on who we were when the year began, and who we are as it comes to an end. And if we're honest with ourselves, we take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly. And if we're really honest, we spend some time reflecting on our finances.
As we started writing the AEI curriculum, we understood that this was about more than just our students. Our teachers and parents would need to be all-in as well. We also knew that this would be a difficult task because money is a sensitive, personal subject. So much so that finances are the second least talked about topic within families behind sex. From all the research I've done on the topic, parents fear they don't know enough about finances themselves to share with their kiddos, and the same goes for teachers. Most elementary and secondary teachers did not go to school to teach financial education.
So we started out by offering our teachers some support in the financial world so they could not only feel more confident professionally on the topic, but personally. This school year we offered each of our faculty and staff members an opportunity to meet with financial advisor Wendi Strom. The response was overwhelming! Every slot was filled within a day's time, and we added more time slots so even more faculty and staff could have a chance to meet with her. Her initial visit was free, and she spent, on average, about an hour with each person.
One teacher said, "It went really well and was well worth our time. She gave us some action steps to work on, along with some resources and contacts. She set us up with someone who can help us with paying off student loans; we are meeting with that person this week. I was waiting for her plug on wanting our business, but that never happened, which was great. She emailed us a detailed synopsis of our meeting, which was also great. I don't have anyone to compare her to, but I'd recommend her! My wife also really appreciated that she works specifically with women and gave us referrals to females in her network."
Another noted, "I would highly recommend it. Very helpful. No pressure for further services. Based on our meeting we determined we need to update our living will - that was our first priority. She also gave us some ideas to maximize on our college savings plan. She gave us some great referrals for a few things we had questions on, too."
And another stated, "Wendi was amazing!!! She was super helpful, compassionate, honest, real and genuine. She followed up with resources, a plan, helpful guidance and future suggestions."
So many Aspen staff members have shared how great it was to sit down and put some work in on themselves and their families. They've shared with me that they are setting some financial goals and resolutions for 2018, which is incredibly inspiring and awesome!
So, as we reflect on where we are headed in 2018, I offer you an opportunity to reflect on your personal finances, share what's appropriate with your children and inspire them to start taking an active role in your family. There is no better time than now to start.
Click here for more information on how to set up a meeting with Wendi Strom.