April is National Financial Capability Month and the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), the District’s financial services regulator, will offer free personal financial resources throughout the month to improve the financial literacy of the city’s residents.
Nearly 12 percent of D.C. households are unbanked and 24.8 percent are underbanked which means they either have no traditional banking relationship or have poor access to mainstream financial services, according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development. Further, nearly 30 percent of District households have no savings accounts.
“Helping District residents and their families make informed financial and insurance choices is one of the most important things we do as an agency,” said Chester A. McPherson, acting commissioner of the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. “These District statistics demonstrate that more can be done to help District residents save money and build wealth. We encourage residents to take advantage of the free financial education resources provided this month and throughout the year.”
As part of the month’s activities, the department and its Bank on DC program are offering a free personal financial health assessment through an online platform called LifeCents. It is a comprehensive personal financial wellness program designed to help evaluate, understand and improve financial health. It also connects participants with specific resources tailored to their needs. The assessment can be accessed here.
April is also the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ DollarWise Month, a national effort across U.S. cities to support financial education. The department will engage in various activities that promote the campaign’s theme “Be DollarWise With Your Tax Refund” to encourage residents to seek free tax services at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites and to use the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to lower their tax bracket and receive more money on their tax returns. To learn more about the District’s EITC and how you can get your taxes done for free, visit this link.
In addition, the department joined 25 other states to participate in the National Retirement Planning Week, April 13-17. During that week, the department will share resources to help District residents and employees plan and save for retirement.
To view all of the department’s Financial Capability Month resources, visit this link. You can also follow us on Twitter @DCDISB and @BankonDC or on Facebook for free resources and events throughout the month.