Older Adults Summit Feedback

MFEC Summit on Financial Education
Friday, October 21, 2011


At the 2011 Summit, over 130 trainers, service providers, and content distributors in financial education were divided into 3 life span groups for two hours of sharing, discussion and brainstorming. The MFEC Central Office (CO) released the highlights in the December newsletter. The full synthesis of the notes from the Life Span groups revealed an emphasis on the needs for partnership, networking support and increased collaboration between members.

The CO has carefully reviewed member feedback from the last three summits. Member-driven leadership is in the process of outlining a strategic plan for working with members to bring a range of services on line by the end of 2012. These include a clearinghouse of resources, peer trainings, a public awareness campaign and a usable performance & standards assessment system tailored to the unique needs of the various market sectors.

Meanwhile, members are hard at work. While the MFEC has been collecting information informally for years, the new CO still has a lot to learn about the good work already being done by members and potential members across the state. The MassSaves.org site hosts the strong beginnings of a clearinghouse of information about member resources, services and news. The hyperlinks in the text below show areas where the web site captures work that members are already doing, as well as available resources, to make progress in the areas addressed by session attendees.

In the spring of 2011, MFEC will begin launching vehicles to help members update MassSaves.org postings about existing services and resources, even as the CO helps members plan and coordinate new activities and initiatives to address the gaps in programming and support. As you read the Summit feedback for the Life Span groups you are interested in, and click on the associated hyperlinks, please consider contacting the CO about programs or resources that should be featured on MassSaves.org. 



Question 1- OUTREACH: How do people find your financial education programs-or how do you find participants? Could MFEC help with this aspect of your work?


Question 2-COURSE FORMAT:  Is your financial education program delivered as part of a bigger program? Or do you offer stand-alone sessions? Who delivers these programs?

  • No responses


Question 3- AUDIENCE; What is unique about the population you provide financial education services to and why? What do you find most exciting/inspiring about this population? What is the biggest challenge in working with this population?


  • Many older adults do not have computer access.


Question 4- SYNERGY: How can MFEC help to support/improve your financial education efforts? How can we as a “field” work more collaboratively?


  • Identify resources.
  • Curriculums
  • Handouts (like Staying Afloat, but for elders) (Curriculum booklet)
  • Distribute information via Mass. Councils on Aging
  • Regional meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Include older adult issues in K-16 & Adult curriculum (ex: role of adult children in seniors’ money management)
  • “Credit for Life” fairs for 55-60 year olds—Collaborate with HarborOne? Council on Aging?
  • Public awareness campaign segments
  • Make sure seniors are on board with what’s going on
  • Senior luncheon
  • Management & conservation


Question 5- BEST PRACTICES: What financial education programs (yours or someone else’s) do you most admire and why/ how do you define a successful program?

  • Those that build trust with older adults
  • Knowing their audience


Question 6- ALPHA/DELTA: What “works” with the way that your agency currently delivers financial education? What aspects of delivering financial education do you still struggle with?

  • Barriers:
  • Shame of financial mismanagement
  • Older adults dealing with financial abuse and exploited by their children
  • Need increased communication between banks & community organizations on issues like fraud.
  • Need multi-lingual resources



Question 1: Will a Code of Ethics/Code of Conduct give financial education programs more credibility?

 Probably. Need to make sure that all financial services are following the “non-profit” rule, and if they’re not, need to tell its applicants what exactly they are paying for.


Question 4:  What changes would you like to see in the Code of Ethics/ Code of Conduct?

  • #1- is “Should” too limiting?
  • All agencies/ institutions (first sentence missing an “s”)


Question 5: Program: How does your program measure success? How would you like to measure success? What are the problems/ barriers to doing so?

Funders/MFEC: Are funders asking for more performance and/or success measures? How can MFEC help your program measure success? How can we measure success? Should we?


Current measurements:

  • Client satisfaction forms
  • Track referrals from outside sources



  • How to measure behavioral changes? (Possible role for MFEC)
  • Who are using metrics now? Figure out trends.

NOTE: This topic generated a lot of interest. Potential Older Adult Work group agenda item

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