Jimmy Patronis launches initiative to help improve financial health

by | May 20, 2020

With the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting the financial health in households across the state, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced a new initiative to help provide Floridians with answers to their biggest fiscal problems.

Patronis, joined alongside by a diverse coalition of business leaders from around the state, launched “MoneyWise Florida” on Wednesday to help families impacted by the coronavirus get resources and answers to some of the toughest issues they are facing.

The financial education website is designed to provide practical advice to help millions of Floridians get back on their feet. This website includes tips for getting jobs, managing and paying bills, working with creditors, protecting your credit score, saving for a child’s college education, taking advantage of stimulus programs; navigating the world of unemployment claims, deciding whether to make insurance changes, filing your tax return and much more.

“Financial literacy is key to a strong financial future, and I am excited to launch the statewide MoneyWise Florida initiative,” said Patronis. “Financial literacy is vital to ensuring Floridians are financially successful, and it is important that we are providing the tools necessary to ensure for a strong financial future.

“As Floridians continue to face the impacts of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to take advantage of these resources and educate yourself and family on how to manage finances.”

The MoneyWise Florida initiative is set to offer a wide range of free resources through the website, and will also feature a series of informational videos later this year. It’s all part of a comprehensive effort to help Floridians make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families.

The clearinghouse of financial information comes after a survey conducted earlier this month found that more than two-thirds of state residents were worried about the lasting negative impact the virus would have on their long-term financial security.

Of the 2,000 Florida voters polled, more than three-quarters of the participants (77%) said the virus created “more” financial stress on their households, including 43% who said it has caused “significantly more.”

“The pandemic represents a one-two gut punch for Floridians, bringing deep concerns about both physical and fiscal well-being,” said Lee Hinkle, a director for the consumer group FACT. “Financial literacy is an important path to help our fellow residents persevere through the difficulties COVID-19 has brought to family finances.”

The group unveiled the “news you can use” website earlier today during a webinar hosted by Patronis and a coalition of financial, insurance, and consumer groups.

Joining Patronis and the Florida Department of Financial Services in today’s announcement are underwriting support/sponsor Suncoast Credit Union; and organizational support and partnership by the Florida Credit Union Association; Florida Insurance Council; Florida Institute of CPAs; Florida Prosperity Partnership; the Florida Alliance of Consumers & Taxpayers (FACT); and the Florida Bankers Association.

“Many people are understandably worried about their families’ future because they’re struggling so hard just to make ends meet,” said Kevin D. Johnson, President and CEO, of Suncoast Credit Union. “Our goal is to help Floridians with direction and answers or suggestions about their toughest problems so they can relieve some of the stress related to this difficult and prolonged period.”

For additional information, visit www.MoneyWiseFlorida.com

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