Empowerment Center

Welcome to our Financial Empowerment Center.

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. When you are financially literate, you have the foundation of a relationship with money, and it is a lifelong journey of learning. 

The purpose of the Financial Empowerment Center is to put the basic financial terms and knowledge at your fingertips to help you build your knowledge. Education is the key to success when it comes to money.

Northwestern Mutual Finance Fundamentals

Investing is a great first step toward building wealth for yourself and your family. But because there are so many options for how to invest and your choices are so tailored to your personal preferences — putting your money to work can be a little overwhelming. Here’s a quick investing 101 to help get you started.

Whether you’re new to investing or an old pro, investing includes a lot of uncertainty. You can make money and lose money. The most successful investors rely on fundamental principles.

Ever come across the word “security” while Googling how to invest and felt a bit confused?

You’ve probably heard the terms stocks and bonds before, but what are they exactly? 

We take our cars to a mechanic for a tune-up, and we see the doctor for regular checkups to make sure we stay in good health. Yet when it comes to our finances, we often don’t seek the same kind of professional help.

If the cost of college makes you gulp, you may breathe easier when you realize there is a way to save for college that could help you save on your tax bill too. The answer is a 529 plan.

When you help to support a family, you’re likely to think about how your family would be taken care of if you were to die. That’s what life insurance is for. But life insurance comes in many varieties.

When someone else depends on you, it can be natural to wonder what would happen if you weren’t there to support them. Term life insurance can be an inexpensive way to help them financially if the unthinkable happens to you.

If you’re thinking about getting life insurance, it’s probably because you have a person or people you want to protect financially when you’re no longer around to provide for them. These are the people you would likely designate as a beneficiary or as beneficiaries on your policy. 

If you’re considering purchasing life insurance, that means you’re thinking of the steps you should take in order to protect the people you love in the event something happens to you.  

When choosing a life insurance policy, one of the first choices you’re likely to make is whether to choose term life insurance or whole life insurance. 

So you’re ready to start investing. That’s great. Putting your money to work with a successful investing strategy is a core component to generating long-term wealth. You’re going to be building a financial portfolio. But what exactly does it mean to build a portfolio?

Whenever you hear someone speak personal finance, do you feel like you’re learning a foreign language? This handy glossary should help.

Financial planning can help you meet your financial goals and celebrate life’s milestones with a sense of security. 

You may already be familiar with a health savings account as a tax-advantaged account to save money for medical costs. But there’s more…

But the reality is anyone over the age of 18 could benefit from a little estate planning 101. That’s because estate plans are about more than how much money you have — they help ensure that your wishes for yourself, your family and your assets are carried out in the event of your illness or death.

Do you know what would happen to your money and your other assets if you passed away? A trust might help.

IRA stands for “individual retirement account,” and there are two types: a traditional and a Roth. They’re similar in that they’re both retirement accounts anyone can open, but different in their tax implications.

One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make: how to take care of your children if something were to happen to you. 

Exactly how do you tell whether your credit is in good shape? The keys to knowing that lie in both credit reports and scores. Do you know the difference?

Saving for retirement can be daunting. After all, it’s so far away in the future; why worry about it now? And one of the easiest ways to kick it off is to begin contributing to a 401(k).

When you die with debt, what happens? Someone is going to have to sort out your finances, including any debt you may have. 

Bank of America Better Money Habits

Learn to make the most of your money!  Improve your financial health and move closer toward your goals through hundreds of educational articles, videos, and tips. 

Steps for creating a budget, sticking to it, and building savings.

How to manage credit and build a strong credit history.

Everything you should know abut renting, buying, and owning a home.

Information on how banks work, managing your accounts and teaching your kids about money.

Ways to make paying for college more manageable.

How to invest, build wealth and save for retirement.

Strategies for managing debt and paying off credit cards.

Pointers for every step of the car-buying process.

Guidance on tax planning and making the most of your pay and benefits.

Ways to keep your financial information safe and prevent identity theft.

Consumer Federal Protection
Bureau Consumer Education

Whether you’re planning to get a car or having trouble managing your auto loan, we have unbiased resources and tools to help you get the best deal and avoid surprises that can cost you money.

When choosing and using your bank or credit union account, it’s important to know your options.

Whether you’re shopping for a new card or getting a handle on an existing one, here are the resources you need to manage your credit cards.

Your credit reports and scores have an impact on your finances. Our resources can help you better understand them, learn how to correct errors, and improve your credit record over time.

Debt collection issues can be challenging. You don’t have to face them alone. Our resources, including guidance on the CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule, can help you understand how debt collection works and what your rights are.

Losing money or property to scams and fraud can be devastating. Our resources can help you prevent, recognize, and report scams and fraud.

When sending money, you want to be confident that it will get there. Our resources explain your rights and how to take action if an error occurs.

Whether you’re thinking of buying a home, already have a home loan, or are having trouble paying your mortgage, we have resources to help you every step of the way.

When you’re considering a payday loan, or when you’re paying one back, it’s important to understand how they work and know your rights.

If you’re considering getting a prepaid card or account, we have information that can help you choose the right one for you and better understand your rights.   

Considering a reverse mortgage loan? Already have one? Learn more about Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), the most common type of reverse mortgage loan.

Whether you are preparing for college, attending school, or already repaying your student loans, we have tools and resources to help you make the best decisions for you.

FDIC Money Smart

Wings for Widows is a  member of the FDIC Money Smart Alliance.  We strive to promote financial capability among adults and widowed persons specifically.  The 14 modules below comprise a 14-week course: Money Smart for Adults. For more information about scheduling this course for your group, email info@wingsforwidows.org.

Module 1: Your Money Values & Influences

Internal values and goals, external influences, and their relationships to financial decisions.

Module 2: You Can Bank On It

Financial products, services, and providers.

Module 3: Your Income & Expenses

How to track income and expenses.

Module 4: Your Spending & Savings Plan

How to develop a spending and saving plan, and how to prioritize spending when money is short.

Module 5: Your Savings

Saving money for expenses, goals, and emergencies.

Module 6: Credit Reports & Scores

Credit reports and scores, building productive credit histories, and repairing and improving credit.

Module 7: Borrowing Basics

Options for borrowing money and the costs.

Module 8: Managing Debt

Different kinds of debt and ways to manage it.

Module 9: Using Credit Cards

How credit cards work and how to manage them.

Module 10: Building Your Financial Future

Ways to build assets, including buying a car and getting training and education.

Module 11: Protecting Your Identity and Other Assets

Ways to recognize, respond to, and reduce the risks of identity theft, along with strategies for protecting other assets.

Module 12: Making Housing Decisions

Different types of safe and affordable housing, including specific information on renting.

Module 13: Buying a Home

The home buying process, including mortgages.

Module 14: Disasters: Financial Preparation and Recovery

How to financially prepare for, and recover from, disasters.


(Women's Institute For A Secure Retirement)

You will find an assortment of helpful fact sheets including Managing Income; Savings, Debt & Credit; Retirement; Social Security; Investment Basics; Health, Long Term Care, and Insurance; Taxes; Home Ownership; and Financial Caregiving. All are downloadable in PDF format.

The emotional impact of widowhood can be overwhelming, but the financial impact can hit just as hard. Women are three times more likely to experience the death of a spouse than men. For many women, widowhood means taking on and making important decisions about current and future financial, legal, and personal matters at a particularly difficult time. 

Will you have enough retirement income to cover your essential expenses and live the life you want? The Retirement Income Security Evaluation (RISE) Score® is a measure of income security that can help you determine any gaps between your expected retirement income and monthly expenses.

Social Security is an important source of income for widows. It is never too early to start understanding Social Security benefits for both you and your family.