Financial Literacy Month — a national, monthlong campaign in April designed to build awareness of financial topics and promote financial wellness to children and adults — may have already passed this year. But there's no reason to stop your ongoing financial education.
Becoming more financially literate isn't something that happens just one month every year. It's a skill you build gradually over time. Any time is a good time to reflect on what you've learned and figure out how you can improve your financial knowledge.
That's why we've compiled four resources that you can use year-round to help you build your financial wellness.
What Is Financial Literacy?
Financial literacy means knowing and understanding personal finance, investing and money. More important, though, is that you're able to apply your grasp of this information to navigate tough financial decisions in ways that make the most sense for you.
Making smart money decisions promotes your financial wellness—the everyday and long-term control of your finances. Peak financial wellness means you can weather financial shocks, accomplish your financial goals and have the financial freedom to make choices without worry about how much they'll cost.
By developing your financial literacy, you can learn how to plan and manage your finances in the run-up to and during your retirement. You will have lifelong financial peace of mind and the know-how and resources for a secure retirement.
Becoming more financially literate makes planning your retirement income easier, for sure. And it also has fringe benefits: Feeling more confident about your financial decisions can also boost your health and lifestyle by bringing you peace of mind and security.
Online Financial Literacy Resources
Ready to learn? Here are four resources that can help you grow your financial knowledge and wellness.
1. Annual Credit Report
When you understand your credit history, you gain insight into how the financial decisions you've made affect your future.
An annual credit report gives you a snapshot of your financial situation. You can access a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Review yours for accuracy regularly; you might find fraudulent activity, errors or even missing account information—any of which could create financial problems.
If you find an error on one of your reports, you can dispute it and correct it by contacting the credit reporting bureau. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit bureaus to provide correct and complete information to companies who request your credit history for evaluation.
2. Council for Economic Education
The Council for Economic Education gives Americans the tools and understanding to make better financial decisions. It offers live personal finance webinars on topics such as financial decision-making, cost-benefit analysis, investing, budgeting, technology and more.
3. Center for a Secure Retirement
The Center for a Secure Retirement — you're already here! — is a great financial resource with lots of information on a range of financial topics. Check in regularly to learn how to improve your financial wellness so you can retire comfortably. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter to get our latest news, tools and resources delivered straight to your inbox.
4. Financial Literacy Resource Directory
The Department of the Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency compiles a Financial Literacy Resource Directory. The directory links to information offered by government programs and financial literacy organizations on resources, issues and events.
Boost Your Financial Wellness
The internet has made a seemingly infinite number of resources available on a seemingly infinite number of financial topics. Building your financial literacy is critical as you navigate life and plan for retirement. The more you learn about topics like IRAs, annuities, investing and more, the quicker you can master these financial tools when the time comes.