News from the Reference Desk Category: Economic

Money Smart Week goes virtual, April 10-17

Virtual Money Smart Week, April 10 through 17, 2021Virtual Money Smart Week 2021 will be held Saturday, April 10 – Saturday, April 17 . This week-long free virtual campaign aims to help people better manage their personal finances with a focus on those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year’s line-up includes: 

Saturday, April 10 @ 10 a.m. 
Talking Cents (The University of Chicago Financial Education Initiative)

  • Sunday, April 11 @ 10 a.m. 
    Savings: A Little Can Make a Big Difference (FINRA Investor Education Foundation)
  • Monday, April 12 @ noon
    Bank On It: Finding Safe + Affordable Bank Accounts (The Economic Awareness Council)
  • Tuesday, April 13 @ 12:30 p.m.
  • Understanding the Basics of Federal Student Loans (U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid)
  • Wednesday, April 14 @ 1 p.m. 
    Tax-Related Fraud + Identity Theft (Internal Revenue Service)
  • Thursday, April 15 @ 1 p.m.
    Managing Personal Finances During Covid-19  (Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center)
  • Friday, April 16 @ noon
    Housing Protections + Resources (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
  • Saturday, April 17 @ 10:30 a.m.
    Tips for Managing Money Ups and Downs (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension)

View more details at www.moneysmartweek.org. Events are free and open to the public, but registration is advised. Questions for the panelists can be submitted during the registration process.

Insurance Calculators

ValChoice, an independent data analytics company focused on the U.S. insurance industry, is offering our patrons unlimited access to online calculators, insurance company ratings, tutorials and “how-to” videos, worksheets, and other tools designed to help users understand how insurance—such as car and home insurance—is priced, and how to decide on policies based on their age, deductibles, coverage limits, and other factors.

This Illinois car insurance estimator lets you calculate auto insurance costs customized to your age, location, driving record, vehicle, etc. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Use this Illinois home insurance calculator to estimate home insurance costs based on home replacement value and location. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Educational videos that can guide you on how to use these calculators can be located here.

Livability Index

In June 2018 AARP released its Livability Index which is a tool of the AARP Livable Communities program. This index rates every U. S. city, town and neighborhood in seven categories.  The categories include Health, Housing, Engagement, Opportunity, Environment, Neighborhoods and Transportation. The data used to compile the ratings comes from 50 sources. Mount Prospect’s rate is 53. The Livability Index is a great source for people who are moving, planning a retirement location or just for those curious about how neighboring communities compare.

Talk to Your Teens About Money

It’s the time of year when many of us make decisions about our employee benefits for the coming year–“open enrollment” season. The Office of Financial Education, a part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, offers this sound advice:

You can guide your children in finding the financial help they need

The financial world of today isn’t the same world you grew up in. New services and choices are being offered all the time. For your children to navigate the new financial world they’ll face, they need to know when to seek out information and how to evaluate it. Your children need practice making money choices, and they could use your guidance. At this age they may be earning some money of their own. Now, as you make benefits choices for next year, think about including your teenager in your decision-making process. You can help your teenager think about how to use information to make a good decision. If you have benefits fact sheets or Web sites from your employer, sit with your teenager and go through them. Talk through the questions your child has, and ask a few questions of your own:

  • What is the most important thing to think about for the family’s health care? Why?

  • Have there been any changes in the family since last year that could make a difference to health care? To insurance? To flexible spending dollars?

  • What could be the advantages or disadvantages of having benefits deducted from your paycheck, compared to paying the costs on your own?

  • How trustworthy is the information you receive? How would you look for further information?

You don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do normally, when you make your benefits choices. Just by showing your teens how you approach enrollment, you’re helping them practice the decision-making process before their own paychecks are at stake. For more ideas, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/parents.

Salary Surveys

Want to know what others in your field may be earning?  There is always salary.com, but there is also some specific detail available thru the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  BLS Wage Data provides occupation, compensation, industry, geographic, and other demographic figures which can be very helpful in setting and negotiating salaries.