Tag Archive for Brent Hunsberger

Press Release- Local nonprofit hosts free public forum on healthcare

PORTLAND and HILLSBORO, Ore., November 5, 2013Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides  financial education programs, is offering a free  forum to answer the public’s questions regarding healthcare to take place Thursday, November 7th from 6:30-8:00pm at the Hillsboro Public Library located at 2850 NE Brookwood Parkway in Hillsboro.

Financial Beginnings, The Hillsboro School District and The Oregonian are partnering to present Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money: Navigating the Changing World of Healthcare at the Hillsboro Public Library.  The series sponsor is OnPoint Community Credit Union and the event sponsor is the Northwest Health Foundation.

Panelists will include:
Cynthia Hulton, Field & Training Officer- SHIBA, State of Oregon
Ariane Holm, Spokesperson for Cover Oregon
Laura Cali, Insurance commissioner & Chief Actuary, State of Oregon
Chris Senz, Operating Officer, Tuality Health Alliance

Spanish translation and childcare will be available.  Registration is required for this free event online at https://navigatinghealthcare.eventbrite.com/ or by phone 800-406-1876.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money is a series of free forums open to the general public. These forums offer expert panelists who field questions and discuss finance topics that are relevant and important in today’s economy. They are organized and hosted by Financial Beginnings in partnership with The Oregonian newspaper and Brent Hunsberger, writer of the It’s Only Money column on personal finance; Hunsberger also serves as forum moderator.  OnPoint Community Credit Union is the title sponsor of the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money 2013/14 series.

For more information about the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money panel series, visit: http://www.FinancialBeginnings.com/Unraveling-the-Mysteries-of-Your-Money/

About Financial Beginnings

Formed in 2005 and based in Portland, OR, Financial Beginnings is a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Financial Beginnings’ largest program educates youth and young adults in the basics of personal finance through visits to schools or community groups.  Financial Beginnings’ courses incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. More information is available at www.financialbeginnings.org.

 

 

Navigating the Changing World of Healthcare

I recently had my second child more than a decade after having my first child.  I remember going out to lunch with Brent Hunsberger, It’s Only Money columnist for the Oregonian newspaper, and him asking what the biggest difference was the 2nd time around.  I think he was surprised by my answer…..the health insurance.

When I had my first child in 2001 my health insurance was purchased through my husband’s employer and we were paying $25 per month for a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO with a $2500 deductible.  At the time I remember thinking this was a “catastrophic plan” and that $2500 was a lot from our budget.

When I got pregnant with my second child in 2011, one of the first things I did was check our health insurance policy to see how much I would need to budget for the medical bills.  We were paying over $800 per month for insurance for just my husband and so I assumed that we must have the platinum coverage and would not be paying a lot our of pocket.  Still, I found that the deductible was $1500 and the out of pocket maximum $3000.   We planned our budget accordingly so when the bills started coming in a few months later I was surprised when we were quickly over $3000.

I called the insurance company to find out why we were still being billed even though we had paid the $3000 maximum already.  Well, those few months from when I got pregnant to when the bills started coming in brought us into a new coverage year and with it new limits.  Our out of pocket maximum had doubled from $3000 to $6000!

This was a big chunk out of our savings and especially hard with all of the other costs that go into having a new baby (remember it had been 10 years so I didn’t have anything left from the first).

Like many others, I am watching to see what happens with Obamacare.  I have many questions that are unanswered.

To answer these questions we have organized a free forum be be held at the Hillsboro Library on Nov 7th at 6:30pm where the public can come and get their questions about the changes happening with health insurance.

Find out more!

Financial Beginnings announces upcoming financial forums

PORTLAND, Ore., May 31, 2013—Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides free financial education programs, announces the 2013/14 Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money series.
Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money is a series of free forums open to the general public. These forums offer expert panelists who field questions and discuss finance topics that are relevant and important in today’s economy. They are organized and hosted by Financial Beginnings in partnership with The Oregonian newspaper and Brent Hunsberger, writer of the It’s Only Money column on personal finance, and who serves as the moderator of the forums. OnPoint Community Credit Union is the title sponsor of the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money 2013/14 series.

2013/14 Schedule:
Starting Out Strong: Building a solid financial foundation for your family
Wednesday September 25, 2013 from 6-8pm at Alpenrose

Navigating the Changing World of Healthcare
Tuesday November 5, 2013 from 6-8pm

Never Too Late: Mitigating financial troubles and moving forward
Thursday February 6, 2014 from 6-8pm

Stay Safe, Be Informed: A forum about identity theft, scams and predatory lending
Tuesday April 22, 2014 from 6-8pm

For more information about the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money panel series, visit: http://www.FinancialBeginnings.com/Unraveling-the-Mysteries-of-Your-Money/

About Financial Beginnings
Formed in 2005 and based in Portland, OR, Financial Beginnings is a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Financial Beginnings’ largest program educates youth and young adults in the basics of personal finance through visits to schools or community groups. Financial Beginnings’ courses incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. More information is available at www.financialbeginnings.org.

Financial Beginnings hosts events during Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week

PORTLAND, Ore., April 19, 2013—Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides free financial education to youth and adults, hosts events during Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week.

Proclamations signed by President Obama and Governor Kitzhaber designate April as Financial Literacy Month. Also in April, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago organizes Money Smart Week (April 20-27th), a public awareness campaign to help consumers better manage their finances.

During the month of April Financial Beginnings’ trained volunteers will educate 1,858 youth and young adults in basic money management. During Money Smart Week, Financial Beginnings will host one of its free public forums, Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money, and its annual fundraiser, The Game of Life. Details are as follows:
Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money
A New Beginnings: Retirement and Personal Financial Management
Wednesday April 24, 2013 6:30-8pm at the Tigard Library
Register: http://a-new-beginning.eventbrite.com/
Panelists:
Joyce DeMonnin, Public Outreach Director at AARP
Terry A. Donahe, Certified Financial Planner at Cascade Wealth
Nelson Rutherford, CPA and CFP at Alten, Sakai & Co.
David C. Streicher, Attorney and CPA at Black Helterline LLP

Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money is a series of free forums open to the general public. They are organized and hosted by Financial Beginnings in partnership with The Oregonian newspaper and Brent Hunsberger, writer of the It’s Only Money column on personal finance, and who serves as the moderator of the forums. OnPoint Community Credit Union is the title sponsor of the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money 2012/13 series. More about the series http://financialbeginnings.org/Unraveling-the-Mysteries-of-Your-Money/

The Game of Life
Thursday April 25, 2013 4-7pm at Urban Space in downtown Portland
Tickets just $35: http://gameoflife2013.eventbrite.com/

At this fun and non-traditional fundraising event, guests gather to play games, win great prizes, enjoy delicious food, and learn about Financial Beginnings’ impact. At this year’s event we are also welcoming Brent Hunsberger, Finance Columnist for The Oregonian, who will be presenting about the expanded Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money forum series. We are pleased to announce that KGW News Channel 8’s Nick Allard will once again serve as event emcee.

About Financial Beginnings
Founded in 2005, Financial Beginnings is a Portland-based nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Last year Financial Beginnings’ youth programs reached over 12,000 youth and young adults. Financial Beginnings’ programs incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals with the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. Financial Beginnings also hosts free financial forums to the general public. More information is available at www.financialbeginnings.org.

Over 500 high school students and young adults were introduced to the basics of personal finances

PORTLAND, Ore., February 22, 2013Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides free financial education programs, introduced over 500 high school students and young adults to the basics of money through two events on February 20th.

On the morning of February 20th several of Financial Beginnings’ dedicated volunteers and a group of JP Morgan Chase employees went to Southridge High School in Beaverton. The volunteers taught 90-minute sessions in 16 different classrooms covering finance topics such as banking, credit, budgeting, risk management and investing; over 400 high school seniors participated.  The classes about money were delivered by request from the students themselves and taught during their advisory period, which covers topics that help prepare them for life after high school.

In the evening, Financial Beginnings and The Oregonian hosted Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money at Portland State University.  This panel’s topic was entitled, Positioning Yourself for Success: Financial Planning for Gen Y.  Over 100 individuals were in attendance to ask questions that were answered by a panel of financial professionals including: William J. Bernstein of Efficient Frontier Advisors, Christopher Porter of Merrill Lynch, Josh Reich of Simple.com, and Mark Strauss of Leonard Adams Insurance.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money is a series of free forums open to the general public. These forums offer expert panelists who field questions and discuss finance topics that are relevant and important in today’s economy. They are organized and hosted by Financial Beginnings in partnership with The Oregonian newspaper and Brent Hunsberger, writer of the It’s Only Money column on personal finance, and who serves as the moderator of the forums. OnPoint Community Credit Union is the  title sponsor of the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money 2012/13 series.

Next forum:

Positioning Your Family for Success: Financial Planning for Young Families
Wednesday April 24, 2013 6:30-8pm at the Tigard Library

Panelists:
Joyce DeMonnin, Public Outreach Director at AARP
Terry A. Donahe, Certified Financial Planner at Cascade Wealth
Nelson Rutherford, CPA and CFP at Alten, Sakai & Co.
David C. Streicher, Attorney and CPA at Black Helterline LLP

For more information about the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money panel series, visit: http://www.FinancialBeginnings.com/Unraveling-the-Mysteries-of-Your-Money/

About Financial Beginnings

Formed in 2005 and based in Portland, OR, Financial Beginnings is a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Financial Beginnings’ largest program educates youth and young adults in the basics of personal finance through visits to schools or community groups.  Financial Beginnings’ courses incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. More information is available at www.financialbeginnings.org.

“I’m giving my two week notice”

Every employer dreads the phrase “I’m giving you two weeks notice”. It means that change is afloat the the hunt for a new employee must begin.

Last week I heard the dreaded words above and had to immediately go into overdrive seeking a replacement. There is so much that must be done before posting for a job. I had to review our current organizational needs and determine if the position and job description of the person I was replacing was going to meet our current organizational need. From there I had to then make the changes to the position and job description and figure out how I would be be able to identify good candidates.

Financial Beginnings is seeking a full-time Program Manager to join our team. I have been posting the position on all applicable job boards (within budget) in hopes of notifying qualified candidates.

Still, I think where I am going to find the best candidates is within my networks. We have over 500 volunteers in our system and many more that are on on our mailing list. These people are already passionate about financial education and Financial Beginnings. Who better to promote the new position?

Reading Brent Hunsberger’s article How to brush up on your networking and job search during the holidays this morning, I was thinking this came at the perfect time! I posted a comment on his blog too about our open position.

Brent’s article talks about how it’s worth job seekers’ time to network because this is likely how they are going to find their next job. I’m taking the same strategy as an employer. At every meeting I attended this week I mentioned the open position and immediately was getting words of excitement from people about possible candidates they were going to tell.

And this is just one more attempt to delve into my network for qualified candidates. Please spread the word about our open position!

Job Description

Creating financially literate youth is a community responsibility

After Brent Hunsberger article, Oregon’s strong K-12 financial literacy standards still aren’t ideal,  last week I thought I’d expand upon the need for the entire community to embrace the need to raise money smart children.

When I was young, money was tight in our household, and my parents taught me the importance of budgeting. However, there were many areas regarding financial education in which my parents were not knowledgeable or comfortable, which led to little discussion on topics such as investing or insurance. Research confirms that the interactions I had with my family regarding personal finances were similar to many others. In a 2011 survey by T. Rowe Price entitled, “Parents, Kids & Money,” only 28 percent of parents said they felt “very prepared” to teach their children about basic finances.

My parents were not my only source for finance education. When I attended high school, personal finance was a mandatory half-credit course, but this requirement was removed in 1997. Since then, it has been difficult to track if and how personal finance is included in school curriculum and instruction. Not surprisingly, a 2010 survey by Pollinate entitled, “Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs About Teaching Financial Literacy,” found that 42 percent of teachers indicated they were “not at all confident” or only “somewhat confident” in their understanding of personal finance concepts.

The recent adoption of new Social Science Content Standards in Oregon is a step in the right direction for Oregon youth getting more instruction in personal finance. The new standards, coming this school year, include financial literacy as a standalone requirement in high school and earlier introduction to financial literacy concepts in K-8.

Still, even with improvements to the financial literacy standards, there is a gap that desperately needs to be filled. In short, young people still need personal finance education to become successful adults and knowledgeable consumers. It should not be the sole responsibility of parents or the education system to ensure we bring up financially literate consumers. It is truly a community responsibility, and as the recent economic downturn has demonstrated, personal financial mismanagement can quickly become a community burden.

Personal finance is a constantly evolving subject. Think back to how the financial industry has changed from more than 20 years ago – when cash, and not credit, was the norm, and interest-only mortgages were unheard of. The rapidly evolving industry, coupled with the lack of a required in-school finance courses, is precisely why Portland-based Financial Beginnings was created. This organization helps parents and teachers keep up with the bevy of regulation changes and trends in the financial market.

Financial Beginnings provides free financial education to children and young adults, with local professionals from the financial services industry teaching everything from basic budgeting to investing. This partnership not only benefits the students but also the participating banks, credit unions and local businesses. Supporting such financial literacy nonprofits allows these organizations to create more informed future customers and members, and fosters a positive image for companies serving our community.

As our schools continue to face more budget cuts, and the economic climate keeps the need for financial literacy at the forefront, the demand for business involvement and support grows. Financial Beginnings is fortunate to have strong support from local businesses, banks, credit unions, CPA firms and financial advisors to meet this demand. These groups provide not just financial support but volunteers who teach our curriculum as well. These local volunteers and supporters champion the financial literacy effort and help fill this education gap.

One of our most successful models – and a model we hope to replicate – is our partnership with Bank of America. For the second year in a row, Bank of America is Financial Beginnings’ Partner of the Year because of the incredible employee volunteer model they have built with our organization – training more than 100 Bank employees to teach in community schools. In the past year, Bank of America employees served 1,546 young people at 23 schools and community groups in Portland by visiting classrooms and teaching students about the importance of financial literacy. Financial Beginnings would like to replicate this model with other companies.

Financial Beginnings is always looking for classroom volunteers and corporate partners. Volunteer training is free and an ideal way for businesses to connect with our schools and young people to ensure a thriving future local economy.

For more details on Financial Beginnings volunteer training programs or to support its programming efforts, visit www.financialbeginnings.org.

If you build it…will they come?

This is a question we all ask when planning educational events. Though its common knowledge there is a huge need for financial education usually the people who need the information are not going to seek it out. One of the struggles many of our partners who serve adults face is getting people to attend their events. Financial Beginnings is fortunate we don’t need to recruit our audience because our classes are in the in schools or community groups where are audience is already gathered. They are stuck hearing form us if they want to or not.

Last week was Money Smart Week in Oregon. Financial Beginnings and Operation HOPE decided that we wanted to expend our efforts beyond our youth in school programs during Money Smart Week. I have always wanted to have an open forum for adults to be able to ask their questions regarding personal finance. With laws and industry norms changing so frequently in addition to money always being viewed as a taboo subject I thought people have a forum to where they can ask questions would be wonderful. Money Smart Week gave me the push I needed to finally organize one of these forums and we named it Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money. You’d be surprised how long it took us to come up with the name.

At Portland State University we brought together experts within the financial industry including; Jim Hunt from OnPoint Community Credit Union, Michael Parker from the Oregon College Saving Plan, Nelson Rutherford from Alten, Sakai & Co, and Diane Childs and Fernando Velez from the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. The moderator of the panel was Brent Hunsberger, It’s Only Money columnist for the Oregonian Newspaper. Brent’s diverse knowledge in personal finance combined with his reputation in the community really helped to bring exposure and credibility to this event. You would think that with this great group this would have been the hard part of my task, but this was easy.

The hard part was the promotion and getting people to come to the event. I hear it time and time again from event organizers that it is so hard to get people to come. Having the event be free may even make it more difficult in some respects because of the perceived value. If people pay for attendance to an event they may tie a higher value to it and may be more likely to attend.

As of the three days before the event we had less than 10 people registered to attend. My anxiety level was high and I was so worried I was going to waste the panel’s time because nobody would show up. So we marketed it hard. All of the panel members helped to promote the event. Brent wrote about it in the paper and Nick Allard from KGW brought us on the bricks to promote it. We ramped up our social media and contacted all of the business professors at Portland State.

The registrations started flooding in, we maxed out the registration. We even added more seats because our experience has shown that usually only 2/3 of those that register end up attending free events. Our predictions were correct and we ended up with about 2/3 of those who registered attending.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the crowd and their eagerness to hear from the panel. We had several planned questions in case the audience did not have questions right away, but Brent was only able to get one of the planned questions out and the audience took over from there. I saw several individuals in the crowd filling out multiple pages of notes. When time ran out several audience members flocked the panel for additional questions. It was like they were rock stars.

Aspects I see attributing to the success of the event:
• Having Brent Hunsberger of the Oregonian as the moderator added a lot of credibility to the event and his writing about it gave the event more exposure.
• Holding the event at Portland State University also added credibility to the and highlighted the educational component of the event.
• The panel was made up of high level and respected individuals.
• The varied marketing proved to be successful based on a pole of those attending reporting how they heard about the event.

We will definitely hold the event again next year during Money Smart Week. We have created a great foundation for the event and will be able to build upon this more next year.

Panel

Tenants in Foreclosure- Are they really out of foreclosure?

Now settling into my new home I am beginning to get back into my normal Sunday routine of drinking my coffee and reading the paper. There are only a few sections that I read; the front page, the business section and the travel section.

Brent Hunsberger has two great articles today. The article on the front page, Hundreds of Foreclosure Sales Halted http://blog.oregonlive.com/cgi-bin/mte/mt-comments.cgi caught by eye because the home that I recently rented and recently moved out of was in foreclosure.

The article talks about how lenders have withdrawn hundreds of foreclosure sales since February after there have been several questions on the legality of the process.

After months of my calling the trustee several times to continually hear that the home I was renting was still in foreclosure and then finding the day that I closed on the purchase of a new home that the case was closed. I was so surprised since by my estimation the home had a negative equity of approximately $200,000. I couldn’t image how the landlords who now lived out of state would be able to maintain this as a viable rental. Still, after hearing that the foreclosure case was withdrawn I assumed they must have worked something out with the bank. Now I’m questioning that. Do you think it was one of the homes that Bank of America withdrew?

Tenants in Foreclosure- Story gets national attention

My blog has now sparked interest from national media!

A couple of weeks ago I was awoken as my phone rang at 6am with an unfamiliar out of town phone number. So I did what any reasonable person would do and let the call go to voicemail. Later when I came into the office and listened to my work voicemail (yes, I transfer all of my work calls to my cell) I found a voicemail from Kelli Grant from Smart Money waiting for me.  Grant was intrigued by my story which Brent Hunsberger wrote about in the November 7th Oregonian article, Surprise! Renters in foreclosure have rights, and let me know that she wanted to include some quotes from me in her upcoming 10 things article.

After returning to my office this morning after a long holiday weekend I find a Google Alter email letting me know my name appeared in her recent article, 10 Things Your Landlord Won’t Tell You. Go figure, the #1 thing was “This building is in foreclosure.”

I have to say I love the national media attention, but do wish that it was for a different reason. Reading Grant’s article I was truly shocked to read that “Renters accounted for 40% of families facing eviction from foreclosure in 2009, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.”

No update from me on my situation. The next scheduled date for the home I live in to be sold at auction is this Friday December 3rd. I’ll be sure to update you once I’ve called the trustee to get an update.


What do you think is happening? Do you think the home is really being modified? Is the bank just postponing the sale date for some reason to benefit them? Have the homeowners have filed bankruptcy causing the delay?