Free webinars separate financial fact from fiction

The Internet is full of financial advice—and a lot of misinformation.

“There is a shortage of unbiased information on financial topics such as credit, debt and investment,” said Lisa Leslie, family and consumer sciences agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Hillsborough County.

Over the past six years, Leslie and other UF/IFAS experts have worked to fill this gap through free, live webinars that cover a range of financial themes.

“We’ve made thousands of educational contacts, and nearly 800 contacts last year alone,” Leslie said. “Webinars are held at lunch time so people can tune in during their lunch break at work. They are encouraged to ask our experts questions, and the online format lets us reach a lot of people at once.”

The program targets middle-income people, Leslie said, because these individuals have many financial decisions to make but don’t necessarily have the resources to hire a financial professional, Leslie explained. “By harnessing our faculty power throughout the state, we can help people make more informed decisions about their money and motivate them to set goals for the future,” she said.

Past webinars have covered issues such as marriage and money, retirement planning, estate planning and financial apps.

The program is also a chance to debunk some perennial financial myths, Leslie said. For example, “some people think paying a credit card balance in full will hurt their credit score, but this isn’t true,” she said.

“Others are told that there is a special program that will completely wipe out their student loan debt, but advertisements that promote that are often not true” Leslie said. “People are looking for a magic wand, but in reality, building financial stability takes time and planning.”

Three webinars are planned for early 2017. Registration is required. Those who register will receive a webinar invitation by email.

Jan. 26 – Federal income tax management

Learn about federal income rates, credits, deductions and basic strategies to manage your tax liability. Register

Feb. 15 – Managing student loan debt

Learn about payment options, tools to estimate payments and Public Loan Forgiveness. Register

Feb. 28 – Saving is a Family Affair

Whether you are single, married, married with children, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle – saving for the future is important. Learn how everyone in the family can make and contribute to financial goals such as education, independent living, or other future goal. Register

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.


Posted: January 24, 2017

Category: Money Matters, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: Featured Hot Topic

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