Building a Strong Financial Foundation
by Pattie Christensen, ChFC®, RICP®
Over the years, we’ve written a lot about wellness, both physical and financial. It’s easy to understand what wellness means in terms of your health. How you feel, how physically capable you are, and how nutritiously you eat are all basic factors of what it means to be well.
Financial wellness is a little different, and more complicated. That’s why the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFBP) came up with a way to measure financial wellness using four key components.
- Financial security in the present: whether consumers feel they have control over their day-to-day and month-to-month finances.
- Financial security in the future: whether consumers feel they have the capacity to absorb an unexpected financial shock.
- Present financial freedom of choice: whether consumers feel they have the ability to spend or save in ways that allow them to enjoy life.
- Future financial freedom of choice: whether consumers feel they are on track to meet their longer-term financial goals.
CFPB’s national survey on financial well-being shows that more than 40% of U.S. adults struggle to make ends meet. Use their interactive online tool to help you measure your own financial well-being. Your score will begin to provide a baseline of your financial well-being. From there, you can start to understand the steps you need to take.
The Church Pension Group’s website also has educational tools and resources, such as our eLearning courses and the PlanAhead for Retirement Calculator. You can also have a personal financial discussion with a Church Pension Fund financial education specialist to discuss your pension benefits, seminary loans, saving for your future, preparing for retirement, and whatever else may be important you at this time.
To schedule an appointment, call (866) 802-6333, Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 8:00PM ET (excluding holidays).
For additional information on the Financial Well-Being Survey, please visit the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
Pattie Christensen serves as Vice President for the Education & Wellness Department of the Church Pension Group. She has oversight responsibility for the development and management of financial and health education programs and resources. Pattie has received both the ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant) and the RICP® (Retirement Income Certified Professional) designations through the American College of Financial Services.