The National Council on Aging is a key strategic partner of the Federation in the Better Directions program. NCOA is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC with a mission to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The Federation and NCOA have supported partnerships between CDCUs and NCOA’s Economic Security Centers and other local organizations providing economic assistance to aging populations, offering specialized training to all the sites and helping them as they provide their older members and clients with products and information to help them navigate the challenging financial landscape, make educated financial decisions and ultimately, to remain financially independent.
According to Sandra Nathan, senior vice president for economic security at NCOA “More than ever before older adults need a trusted partner in their community to help guide access to financial services,” said. “NCOA is proud to partner with the Federation to ensure mature credit union members and vulnerable, low-income seniors receive the services and support needed to navigate these tough economic times.
National Disability Institute (NDI), a leading national expert on strategies to promote financial security and stability for persons with disabilities has worked with the Better Directions program to build the knowledge and skills of credit union staff to support and improve the economic status of older adults with disabilities. NDI has developed materials that enhance understanding of disability-specific public benefits eligibility and access and trained credit union and partner staff with examples of ways to build assets as a result of access to disability specific resources.
Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) works nationally and in its home community of Washington, DC to build pathways to economic independence for America’s families
WOW has created two data sets being used in the Better Directions program-the Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST) and the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index). The first is a pre-retirement measure of income adequacy which incorporates into its core basic needs and costs of being in the workforce, including retirement savings needs with and without employer-sponsored retirement savings programs. The second measure reflects basic income adequacy needs post-retirement, assuming a retirement age of 65.
WOW provides each Better Directions site with economic security data-a real world view of what older credit union members need to cover basic financial needs and develop savings. This resource is being used to create specific savings products, aid credit union staff in evaluating the financial circumstances and needs of credit union members and offer sound data which may be used to identify publicly-funded programs or benefits which may aid members in their current economic situation and is the measure we are using of economic security for our targeted low-income seniors