Financial education key to making Bradenton a strong community

Special to the HeraldJune 25, 2013 

For many, achieving financial well-being can prove difficult. The stress associated with a lack of financial control can impact every aspect of an individual's life, including health, sleep and productivity. Even as the economy shows signs of recovery, a recent consumer study from PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that financial anxiety remains high, with 61 percent of respondents stating that dealing with their financial situation is stressful.

In fact, according to the FINRA National Financial Capability Study, ninety percent of consumers want to become better at managing money, but only half feel like they have the knowledge to make sound financial decisions. In Florida, 64 percent of consumers have difficulty applying financial decision-making skills to real life situations.

One of our most important responsibilities as bankers is to encourage and support our community by helping businesses and individuals achieve a sense of financial well-

being. That commitment is evident through philanthropic efforts and volunteerism.

One example of this community leadership is the partnership between SunTrust and Goodwill Manasota offering free financial well-being workshops. Already this year, a team of financial experts from SunTrust have volunteered their time to help more than 1,000 people learn about building and maintaining a budget and starting a savings plan. More workshops are scheduled through November on topics such as maintaining credit, identity theft protection, financial recovery, and investment options.

Giving people the skills to become financially secure is much more than a service to the community; it is also good for the economy. Citizens empowered in this way make informed clients who are able to purchase a new car, rent an apartment based on their own good credit or apply for a loan to start a business.

Through this partnership with Goodwill Manasota, SunTrust is working to help provide a feeling of financial security and peace of mind that allows an individual to be in control of his or her current and future financial situation.

Kevin Osborne, Bradenton City President and Division Sales Manager at SunTrust Bank, is a guest columnist for this week's investor column.

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