Get Your Finances in Order

Library offers free programs to help patrons boost their financial literacy during National Financial Capability Month, April 2–30

SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, 2024 - April is National Financial Capability Month, and San Francisco Public Library is offering free programs to support patrons’ financial success and future goals. Throughout the month, the Library hosts a wide menu of topics, ranging from the basics on saving, financial planning and cash flow management, to investing, retirement planning and insurance sub-limits. Most of the programs are virtual and can be accessed from the comfort of one’s own home or via a computer for free at the Library. 

"Financial Capability Month is a highlight of SFPL’s year-round programming to help our patrons identify and achieve their financial goals,” says Personal Finance Librarian Jonathan Steimnitz. “It can be really difficult to navigate today's economy. With presentations that will appeal to a broad range of our community members—from those who are seeking the foundational skills to get their financial lives in order, to those who are already on their way but want to take their skills to the next level—the Library is excited to be a part of an equitable economic recovery for San Franciscans. Our April lineup of events is a great demonstration that the Library is the go-to destination for getting free, unbiased financial education for all."

The month kicks off on April 2 with a program presented by the Office of Financial Empowerment and Smart Money Coaching that focuses on ways to gain control of a financial crisis, including how to prioritize expenses and negotiate effectively with creditors. On April 9, popular speaker Heather C. Liston, CFP®, EA and principal at Clarity Financial, leads a workshop demystifying the manipulative tactics of the online marketplace to give attendees the tools to become more sophisticated shoppers. On April 20, Attorney Marlyn Schulz will give advice on how to build an estate plan. A full list of programs is available on the Library’s website,

In addition, the public can access financial literacy coaching weekdays through the Library’s partners at Smart Money Coaching and Advisers Give Back. Smart Money Coaching offers free, confidential, basic financial guidance for anyone living, working or receiving services in San Francisco regardless of citizenship status. Coaches are fluent in Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin with additional translation services as requested. 

In a testimonial about Smart Money Coaching, one patron wrote: “I am a single person, 27, going to school full time and running a small business. I was living in my car, dog sitting, and going to school, and running my business. [I did not have] enough coming in, not enough time in the day, bills [were] stacking up, and [I was] filing documents for [an] LLC. [My Smart Money Coach helped me] to work on disputing the IRS, and [made] sure that I am earning enough that I don’t become homeless. I have really valued getting some perspective that I can do this.”

Patrons can also meet with a pro bono Certified Financial Planner® to help create a financial plan and achieve their goals—pay off debt sooner, figure out investing, plan for retirement, save for the future, boost emergency savings and more. This service is available to people who are single with no dependents, not earning more than $100,000/year and have less than $250,000 in total savings or who are single with dependents or married (with or without dependents), not earning more than $150,000/year and have less than $250,000 in total savings. Patrons who are interested in meeting with a Smart Money Coach or Certified Financial Planner® can visit to find out more and set up an appointment.

Financial Capability Month Programs:

Financial First Aid – Tuesday, April 2, 4 – 5 p.m., Virtual Program or view in The Bridge Literacy and Learning Center at the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street 
A financial crisis can throw even the best money management plan into chaos. This session focuses on ways to gain control of a crisis. Participants will learn about financial assessments, expense prioritization and effective negotiation with creditors. 

The 7 Pillars to a successful Retirement Plan – Wednesday, April 3, 1 – 2 p.m., Virtual Program
Protect and grow your wealth in retirement by implementing seven essential retirement pillars. Presented by Lee Michael Murphy, Wealth Manager.

Why Invest in Stocks – Friday, April 5, 1 – 2 p.m., Virtual Program 
We will discuss stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, how to decide which investment concept works for you, how to start investing and why equities might make sense for you.

Demystifying the Financial Planning Process – Saturday, April 6, 11 – 12 p.m., Virtual Program
Learn about the financial planning process, the areas covered by a comprehensive financial plan and its value proposition, along with suggestions on how to choose a financial advisor. Presented by Rachna Bijlani, CFP®.

How to be a Sophisticated Consumer, Not a Myopic Consumer – Tuesday, April 9, 12 – 1 p.m., Virtual Program or view in The Bridge Literacy and Learning Center at the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street 
Now that a huge proportion of our purchasing has shifted to the online marketplace, retailers have only continued to refine their strategies and appeal to our complex and sometimes competing desires. We enjoy feelings of convenience, luxury, thrift, efficiency, fashion, savvy insider knowledge and more. What can research teach us about how to enjoy the marketplace while making decisions that are truly in our own best interests? Presented by Heather C. Liston, CFP®, EA and the Principal at Clarity Financial, a woman-owned, fee-only financial planning firm based in San Francisco.

Avoiding Scams, Fraud and Identity Theft – Thursday, April 11, 4 – 5 p.m., Virtual Program
Attorney Oak Dowling will enlighten and educate on how to protect older adults against common financial scams.

Film: Love and Taxes – Monday, April 15, 1–2 p.m., Glen Park Branch, 2825 Diamond Street 
A comic tale of seven years of tax avoidance. Following the possibly real-life exploits of Josh Kornbluth, this comedy blends solo performance and scripted scenes to bring the subjective reality of the storyteller hilariously to life.

Insurance: Know Your Sub-Limits – Tuesday, April 16, 4 – 5 p.m., Virtual Program
How insurance works and how sub-limits affect insurance coverage: carriers often place limits on areas of coverage that you are likely to need if you have a claim.    

Introduction to Smart Investing – Thursday, April 18, 4 – 5 p.m., Virtual Program 
An introduction to investing in the stock and bond markets, how to create an overall investment plan that suits you, options for implementing your plan and good reminders for managing investments over time. Presented by Gretchen Hollstein, CFP® and Chris Remedios, CFP®.

Get More Out of Your Cash Flow – Friday, April 19, 1 – 2 p.m., Virtual Program
Streamline your cash flow to get more money at the end of the month and more time during the month.  

Avoid California Probate: Because at Least One Thing is Certain – Saturday, April 20, 2 – 3 p.m., Virtual Program
Protect what you love, who you love and your legacy by learning how to build an estate plan, what to look for in a lawyer, what to do after you have a plan and what to expect from California’s default plan if you pass or become incapacitated without having your documents in place. 

Workshop: Long Term Care Planning/Планирование Long Term Care - Saturday, April 20, 2–3 p.m. Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue
What is Long Term Care and why it is important to plan it in advance. Long Term Care services and solutions which are available today/ Что такое Long Term Care и почему это важно планировать заранее. Сервисы Long Term Care и решения, которые существуют на сегодняшний день.

The Psychology of Spending – Tuesday, April 23, 2 – 3 p.m., Virtual Program 
Learn strategies and tactics to decode your money personality and make smart money decisions.

Behavioral Finance: How to Bring Your Best Instincts to Your Financial Plan – Thursday, April 25, 12 – 1 p.m., Virtual Program
Learn about some of the fascinating, Nobel-prize winning research on how real humans behave in economic decision-making and explore some strategies for overcoming irrational biases and sub-optimal financial behavior.

Everyone Retires — Things You Should Think About – Tuesday, April 30, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Virtual Program
How to potentially think about retirement planning over time.  We will discuss steps to think about as retirement gets closer, why asset allocation could change, when you should consider asset allocation changes and the time horizon in retirement.

三月 20, 2024