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Money Matters is an all-day financial conference located in the Festival Conference and Student Center which allows you to participate in your choice of informational workshop sessions regarding retirement, identity theft, financial planning, health insurance, and budget management.

In addition to workshops, vendors will be set up to provide information and help you answer questions.
A continously updated list of vendors may be found here.  

The following course offerings are designed to give you a well rounded financial view:
Please register for courses using this link

Making a Usable Budget & Getting Out of Debt
Brad Barnett, Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Have you ever felt like there was too much month left at the end of your money? Do you have debt that you wish you could dump? If so, you are not alone. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. This two-hour interactive class will guide participants in developing a budget, discuss the issues that go into creating and maintaining a usable budget, review societal shifts that have gotten us to the point, and give you some techniques to help eliminate your debt. Oh yea...and you will have fun doing it!


Estate Planning and Advanced Directives
Employee Assistance Program

It is often hard to talk about the future with aging parents and other older relatives. This seminar will guide you through the important discussions about your relatives’ health concerns, emotional issues, and financial and legal issues. Learn about housing options and support services at home and in their communities as well as an explanation for the documentation of estate planning. You will learn the terms for will planning, guardianships and trusts, and go over the pros and cons of different options.


Mind Over Money
Employee Assistance Program

This class examines your personal history with money. Discuss money and emotions, as well as healthy vs. unhealthy attitudes and best practices in dealing with money decisions.


Wealth Building: Is Your Goal Financial Comfort, Finacial Security, or Financial Freedom
Stephan Hess, Hess Financial

The presentation will discuss the differences between the three levels and the personal decisions and choices that would need to made to achieve them.


Identity Theft
Ken Roebuck, LegalShield

Learn valuable tips on how to protect your Social Security number from fraud, become skilled at spotting phony phishing attacks in your inbox, learn how to shop safely online, and know what to do if you're a victim of fraud.


Financial Conversations for Couples
Rex Hodgson, VA Credit Union

There is no “right” way to handle your finances but the combination of your money management styles may be the perfect solution to a healthy financial life together. In this workshop you’ll develop a joint money strategy that incorporates your individual goals and values into one comprehensive plan. Couples are encouraged to attend together!


What to Expect When You Retire: A Panel Discussion
Tiffany French, Retirement Specialist, JMU Benefits Team

Are you beginning to plan for retirement? Do you have a retirement date in mind? Are you nervous about the transition to retirement and not sure what to expect? The idea of retiring can be overwhelming and a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Join us for a discussion with current JMU retirees and learn about their experience as they transitioned into retirement. Walk away with their “tips and tricks” for a smooth and rewarding retirement. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask the retiree panel members questions during the session as well!  Enjoy lunch as you recieve sound advice!


Start to Finish
Lisa Fulco, TIAA

When women are first starting their careers, there’s a lot to consider – career goals, job satisfaction, achieving a work/life balance. It’s important to also think about long-term financial well-being. The sooner you do, the greater the potential for a better outcome. This interactive workshop can help you:
■ Understand your income, outflow and how to balance them to your advantage
■ Identify key expenses and learn how to manage them more effectively – and maybe even reduce them
■ Make a plan for your financial future


Be in the Financial Front Seat
Paul Vutiprichar, Fidelity

Why it’s particularly important for women to make financial wellness a priority:
• What it means to be in the financial front seat, including:
• Knowing what you own, and what you owe
• Having a clear idea of your financial goals
• The importance of an annual financial review


Holiday Budgeting
Employee Assistance Program

You may have your budget under control during the year, but at the holidays it can get blown out of control. This class will help you avoid waking up on January 2 thinking, “How could I have spent that much and eaten that much?” This motivational class teaches a skill set to keep the holidays in balance.


Are you Prepared for College?
Phil Harris, FIRM

Learn the options that are available to plan for the future expense of higher education. Discuss the differences in the plans and which plan may be best for your situation.


Take the Wheel: Get the Best Car Deal
CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union

Determine how much you can afford, deal with dealers, negotiate the best car price, and get the car you really want. 


Social Security

Understand how Social Security works, know considerations for how to claim Social Security benefit, and decide when to take Social Security benefit.


Your Life in Retirement
Sean Lankard, Valic

A look at retirement income needs, sources of income, risks, strategies to withdraw from accounts and maximize income, and legacy planning. This is geared for the 50+ age group. 


Understanding & Navigating Medicare
Carolyn Smith & team, The Marketplace Insurance Agency

The transition to retirement is a confusing process. You’ve likely researched and asked dozens of friends and family questions, only to be left with more uncertainty!

  • What is Medicare, and why so many parts?
  • Do I need Medicare if I keep working?
  • Does the Medicare Modernization Act affect me?
  • Do I need a Drug Plan?
  • And - most importantly - what is my next step?

Come to this workshop for the answers to these questions while exploring the ins and outs of Medicare. 


Are You Ready to Retire?
John Kegel, Virginia Retirement System

Learn the basic aspects regarding your Virginia Retirement System (VRS) benefits and what you should consider as you approach retirement.


Understanding Your Investment Options
Steve McGregor, ICMA-RC

Do you find investing confusing? Come learn about asset classes, diversification, and the three investment paths available to you. (This topic is appropriate for participants in the DCP - Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE), Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, Virginia Cash Match Plan and/or the Hybrid Retirement Plan.


Retiree Health Insurance Options
Tiffany French, Retirement Specialist, JMU Benefits Team

Health insurance is an important and sometimes overwhelming topic when it comes to planning for retirement.

  • Does the state offer health insurance to retirees?
  • Can I afford the premiums?  
  • What happens if I’m eligible for Medicare?
  • I still cover dependent children, what happens to their coverage?
  • I am turning 65, but am not planning to retire just yet, what do I need to do?

Attend this session to learn all about Health Insurance Options in retirement and get the answers to all these questions and more in this 1.5 hour session.

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