Women's Financial Web Site Launched - BreakFreee.org

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The California Institute of Finance at California Lutheran University has launched a Web site that provides financial information to low-income and minority women. The site, http://www.breakfreee.org supplies free and unbiased assistance to a group that often needs the most help but can least afford it.

The California Institute of Finance at California Lutheran University has launched a Web site that provides financial information to low-income and minority women.

The site, http://www.breakfreee.org/ Economic Empowerment for Women, supplies free and unbiased assistance to a group that often needs the most help but can least afford it. The extra "e" in the name is for empowerment. The institute is also targeting people and organizations that offer support to women.

Topics addressed on the site range from budgeting and debt relief to retirement and estate planning. For women who want to improve their financial situation but are unsure where to start, a series of real-life situations including single mom, divorcee and widow suggest key issues to consider.

An online database of frequently asked questions provides answers written by professional financial planners on specific topics. It has links to additional organizations, financial planning calculators, books and articles that have been verified to offer non-commercial information and tools.

If women can't find the answers to their questions, they can submit them online. Social workers can send questions on behalf of their clients. CLU financial planning students will answer the queries with the assistance of fully qualified and practicing financial planners and faculty. These questions will then be added to the online database.

In the coming months, new features including tutorials on basic financial skills and an online community for discussions will be added to the site.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards provided the institute with a $40,000 grant in 2007 to fund the project's first two years with the expectation that it would become a model for similar programs across the county. Some of the 180 students in CLU's Master of Business Administration and financial planning programs based in Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills and Oxnard helped develop the online center.

For more information, visit the web-site at http://www.breakfreee.org or call (888) 372-4155.

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Somnath Basu

Cindy Grether

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