A Different Type of Financial Planning

October is National Financial Planning Month. One on hand it’s another “thing of the month,” and on the other, why not check on how individuals and families are planning for their future, saving for retirement, building generational economic security?

Goodwill® organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada work with people of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds with barriers to work which means that there are also varying levels of experience with personal and family budgeting and long-term planning. Ads and articles about financial planning are often geared toward those with substantial wealth to the exclusion of those without a retirement plan. We’d like to expand the popular definition in order to recognize that #financialplanning is critical for all people working toward successful, independent lives and careers.

Goodwill organizations are engaged in this type of financial education in their communities, often with people and families who edge in and out of eligibility for human services depending on the ebb and flow of available work — $31,980 per year for a family of four, for example, is 130% of the federal poverty line and could mean an end to critical programs that help the adults in that family go to work such as childcare, nutrition assistance, and transportation.

Someone who comes through the door seeking access to post-secondary training, education, or a job opportunity at Goodwill also learns financial skills as well in order to bridge the gap between finding a job and making a sustainable career. Building on a high school diploma by achieving a post-secondary credential and a career-track job is a path to grow wealth. Just like building financial awareness skills in order to end a generational poverty cycle is financial planning