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Visa revises its financial literacy site

4 November 2009 — National Post

par Jonathan Chevreau
Wealthy Boomer

It's appropriate that here in the middle of Credit Education Week, Visa Canada says it has relaunched its financial literacy web site: practicalmoneyskills.ca The revamp makes the site more accessible to young adults, teachers and consumers contemplating such varied life events as saving for university or the financial implications of divorce. There are also some interactive games like Financial Football which try to put some fun into attaining financial literacy.

There's even a link to a February entry of this blog that talked about Visa's earlier efforts to boost financial literacy in this country. Visa notes that the revamp is timely in light of Monday's announcement by the Ontario government that it plans to include financial literacy in the secondary school curriculum starting in the fall of 2012. Included in the new iteration of the site are curriculum aids, ideas and lesson plans for teachers.

I might add that the second Wealthy Boomer video with Credit Canada's Laurie Campbell can be accessed here: Campbell directly addresses the issue of financial literacy in the schools.

But back to Visa's improved site. There are also some useful interactive calculators that tell you how to save for retirement or higher education, how to pay off mortgages and "how to save a million." "Life Events" resources focus on such life milestones as renting your first apartment, landing your first job, buying a home, starting a family, caring for elderly parents and how to handle the end of a marriage.

Finally, there are also some Canadian-specific polls and discussion forums.

For educators, Visa Canada's Choices & Decisions: Taking Charge of Your Financial Life is a curriculum-based financial literacy resource program available free for download. Hard copies can be ordered through the site's Educators section. Since March, this program has been distributed to 2422 teachers and resource centres across the country.

According to Visa Canada Head Tim Wilson [pictured], the firm is committed to reaching 20 million people with financial literacy information globally by 2013. The Practical Money Skills brochure is also available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Punjabi as well as both of Canada's official languages.

P.S. Tim, if you're reading this, be assured I also think financial literacy is important, especially for the young. My columns, videos and blog are familiar to knowledgeable investors but may not reach younger people. That's why I wrote the financial novel, Findependence Day, to present personal finance in the form of an action-packed story. Might make a nice complement to Choices & Decisions in the schools, especially Ontario, don't you think?