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VLE Session 1: What is Financial Fitness & How is it Measured

Tuesday Jun 14, 2016 at 11:00 am-12:30 pm EDT

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Service member holding one sign that says, "New car" and another that says, "Retirement"

This event will kick off the 2016 Military Families Learning Network Personal Finance Virtual Learning Event (VLE). Financial fitness is a goal for many people, but achieving fitness in terms of money management may require a combination of financial education, coaching, and financial access. After reviewing the components of financial fitness, this session will provide an overview of measures of financial capability and well-being, as well as practical applications of program measures in the field. The session will include discussion, interactive polling, and Q&A.


AFC-credentialed participants can earn 1.5 CEUs. More information about this process is available here. This webinar is approved for 1.5 general CEUs for FinCert Certified Personal Finance Counselors (CPFC).

How to Join the Webinar

You may connect via the Department of Defense Connect system or Ustream. For tech support for either system, email us at milfamln@gmail.com.

  • APAN Connect (direct interaction with presenters and audience)
  • Ustream (broadcast only, limited interaction)
    • Watch live on MFLN’s Ustream
    • Mobile option for Ustream available for Apple and Android devices.

You can visit our How to Join page for full information on viewing options and troubleshooting tips.

Note: High attendance volume is anticipated for this session which may cause us to reach system capacity in APAN Connect. In the event you are unable to access APAN Connect for this reason, please join us on Ustream for a live broadcast of this session.

Speaker Information

J. Michael Collins is faculty director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is an Associate Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and at the School of Human Ecology. He is also a family economics specialist for UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Center for Demography and Ecology.

Collins studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings and investment choices. His work includes the study of financial capability with a focus on low-income families. He is involved in studies of household finance and well-being supported by leading foundations and federal agencies. In 2015, Palgrave Macmillan released a book Collins edited called A Fragile Balance: Emergency Savings and Liquid Resources for Low-Income Consumers.

Collins brings nearly a decade of applied experience to his research. He founded PolicyLab Consulting Group, a research consulting firm working with national foundations and government agencies, and co-founded MortgageKeeper Referral Services, an online database for mortgage servicers and counselors. He also worked for NeighborWorks America (Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation) and the Millennial Housing Commission.

He holds a Masters from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and a B.S. from Miami University (OH).


J. Michael Collins


VLE Session 1: What is Financial Fitness & How is it Measured – Evaluation

Event Materials

Watch the Recording on YouTube

Post-Test Quiz for CEUs

Presentation Slides (Slideshare)

Presentation Slides (PDF)

Homework: Financial Well-Being Scale

Homework: Financial Capability Scale

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