The Oct. 31 Ideas article “If money is tight that’s nothing to be ashamed of” is part of an important conversation about the stigma many people experience about their financial difficulties. Shame and stigma leave many people paralyzed with fear that keeps them from taking action to improve their situation. While the article’s suggestions are good, I recommend that financial institutions take the idea even further by making free financial coaching available to everyone, no matter the size of their bank account or the stage of life they are in.
Financial planning shouldn’t just be for people with robust stock portfolios and retirement plans. People use coaches to improve their tennis game or to help them lose weight. Why not a coach to boost their financial health? The right financial coach won’t judge, drop a guilt trip, or sell a product. A good coach will ask questions, listen, and proceed through a step-by-step process that empowers people to make good decisions.
The more openly we talk about financial stress the closer we’ll be to working together to solve it.
Chief banking officer
Workers Credit Union