Jul 13, 2017
DENVER – The City and County of Denver, led by Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE), is partnering with Kavod Senior Life to teach seniors on fixed incomes about financial safety and stability. The new program, Financially Savvy Seniors, will assist seniors in defining their own financial strategy and identifying ways to live within their means, while focusing on their future and setting themselves and their families up for long-term success. Expanding resources to senior populations is one of the 30 short-term action items unveiled by Mayor Hancock and the Office of HOPE in May at the Denver Housing Summit.
Erik Solivàn, Executive Director of the Office of HOPE said, “Financial literacy is key for our most vulnerable folks, especially seniors, many of whom live on a fixed income. A fully integrated program like this goes beyond planning for retirement, and allows seniors the opportunity to live healthier lives through financial empowerment.”
It is estimated that victims of financial abuse lose at least $2.9 billion each year. Unfortunately, seniors make up a growing number of those targeted by financial scammers and people who wish to take their money or other assets against their will or without their knowledge or consent. Financial education and planning is a key way to prevent the financial exploitation of seniors.
“Our residents are older adults whose incomes may be as low as $750 a month, so it is vital to connect them to resources to maximize their limited incomes and become more financially literate,” said Michael Klein, CEO of Kavod Senior Life, which provides housing and support services to low-income seniors and those with disabilities. “Through the Financially Savvy Seniors program, we have the opportunity to empower our seniors to stay secure and independent longer through financial education.”
“This program will create a focus for seniors to control their financial future while giving them the knowledge and skills to protect themselves against financial predators,” said Perla Gheiler, Director of Denver’s Office on Aging.
In Denver, older adults (+70) make up 11 percent of the population. As more baby boomers reach retirement, the need for increased financial planning and education grows. Older adults are often the most vulnerable to financial exploitation and abuse, as sophisticated financial scams and dishonest tactics have proven to lure seniors into poor financial decisions. Seniors also face increasing expenses for health care, prescriptions, transportation, and food.
Kavod and mPowered will provide twelve, one and a half hour financial education classes to 240 community seniors and residents at Kavod Senior Life over the next 12 months. Classes will provide group setting discussions around the five Foundations of Personal Finance: money-life balance, cash flow, saving, debt and credit. Participants will also receive 30-minute one-on-one coaching sessions throughout the program. Individual coaching sessions will allow residents the opportunity to explore their goals and specific personal financial concerns at greater depth with a financial coach. Residents will also have access to a financial coach at one of mPowered’s Financial Empowerment Centers at no further cost to them.
The program is scheduled to begin in September 2017.
About the Office of HOPE
Under the three priority areas of affordable housing, healthy living and good paying jobs, the Office of HOPE works to strategically align with City partners and agencies, harness resources and make impactful investments across the spectrum of housing. Broadly, the Office works to create jobs through workforce training, grow and promote health services, including mental health and addiction supportive services, and strategically cultivate and grow affordable housing opportunities.
Kavod Senior Life, (Kavod), provides life-enriching experiences to older adults through a broad range of housing and support services. “Kavod” is the Hebrew word for “honor” or “respect,” which guides the organization’s approach in caring for elders, assisting them with aspects of daily living, and doing so with an attitude of joy, sincerity, and respect. The organization was founded upon and continues to operate with these values in mind, serving seniors of all faiths in need of their services.