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My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

April is National Financial Literacy Month, which means now is a great time to review your finances and educate yourself about how to navigate your financial responsibilities. Increasing your financial knowledge will not only increase your potential for financial prosperity, our entire state’s economy benefits from smarter consumers and more financially savvy business leaders. That’s why as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I have made it a priority to identify and provide financial education resources to Floridians of all ages.

Whether you are making housing decisions, saving for a college education or preparing to care for elderly parents, you will find helpful tools and information at our Your Money Matters website. Your Money MattersWe launched this site to provide Floridians with tips on how to budget, save and plan for the future. It also contains helpful financial calculators to forecast and assess financial choices. Additionally, my office created the website Financial Frontlines to educate Florida’s military members about money Financial Frontlinesmanagement and scams targeting their finances.

Florida’s senior citizens often face additional financial challenges. They are inundated with investment offers and requests for charitable contributions. They are also exposed to targeted fraud opportunities. I’m committed to ensuring that Florida’s seniors have the information they On Guard for Seniorsneed to make sound financial decisions. Therefore, we created On Guard for Seniors, a website dedicated to providing senior citizens with the information they need to make safe financial decisions as their needs change over time. My office also hosts Be Scam Smart workshops that teach seniors what to look for if a scam is suspected, as well as how the scams work and what steps to take if scammed.

In addition to our own financial educations, we have a responsibility to educate our children and grandchildren about how to make smart financial choices. Without a proper financial education, young people are less likely to save for their future and more likely to incur high credit card debt and take thoughtless financial risks. Equipping our youth with a solid financial education will ensure our state’s future leaders, consumers and business owners can lead a bright financial future for us all.

It’s never too early or late to take control of your financial future.

 
Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Tallahassee Democrat: Florida High takes top spots in Florida Financial History Challenge video awards

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Fake car crashes plummet

Tallahassee Democrat: Woman accused of filing fraudulent insurance claims

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: The nation's – and the state's – lenders improve performances

Miami Herald: U.S. Hispanic entrepreneurial growth dramatic

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Women-owned firms increase by 34 percent

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida creates 33,000 jobs in February, biggest monthly jump in over three years
Florida’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.2 percent in February 2014 after January’s figure was revised upward. Florida businesses added 33,400 employees to their payroll over the month, and the labor force participation rate reached a nine-month high, coming in at 60.2 percent.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Authorized building permits for new homes increase in February to nine-month high Florida’s housing market showed signs of continued recovery last month, as home builders increased their plans for housing starts. In February, Florida authorized building permits for 7,796 housing units, which is an increase of 2.7 percent over the month and 13.2 percent over the same time last year.

Source: U.S. Census, Building Permits Survey

Florida's Bottom LineFlorida's Bottom Line

Explore the latest edition of Florida’s Bottom Line. Inside, you’ll find expert insight on Florida’s economy, finances, workforce and housing market in the year ahead.