My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

It’s Florida Saves Week, the Florida-specific spin-off to America Saves Week, a time when banks and businesses, academic institutions and government agencies come together America Saves Weekto promote solid savings strategies.

We’ve partnered with like-minded organizations across Florida and across the United States to promote this important purpose.

For many, saving money comes with a maybe mindset. Maybe I’ll open a new savings account next month. Maybe I should start saving for my kid’s college fund. Maybe I’ll put this year’s tax refund into savings. Unfortunately, maybes multiply and the facts show that Americans just aren’t saving enough.

The idea behind Florida Saves Week is that everyone can start small and think big. You may not be able to save 10 percent of your paycheck right away, but perhaps you can toss your loose change in a jar each week and watch how it multiplies over time.

Here’s a couple of other small ways that you can save now:

  • Shop around for insurance. Check the rates of other companies before renewing your current policy. You may save money by switching companies.
  • Brown bag it! Try packing your lunch for a week and move the money you would’ve spent at restaurants into savings. You might be shocked at how much you spend each month dining out.
  • Cash only. Take matters into your own hands by taking your credit cards out of your wallet. See how your spending changes when you’re forced to use only cash or debit.

I sponsored a resolution signed by the governor and my fellow Cabinet members to mark the event in Florida, and we’ll keep the conversation going online by sharing saving tips and tricks on our social media channels all week long. Go online to and to participate. Use the hashtag #ASW17 and tell us your saving strategies.

While you’re close to a computer, visit our website to learn more about the programs our Department offers to help you reach your savings goals:

Let’s work together toward a more financially-secure future.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Florida's Bottom Line Infographic: 2016 in Review

Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart Workshops

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater invites you to participate in Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart, a free workshop for seniors, their families, and caregivers.

The Florida Department of Financial Services launched Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) as part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for Seniors initiative. Be Scam Smart workshops help inform, empower, and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and fraud. If you want to make sure your savings are protected, register for this workshop and get a better understanding of how scam artists and scams work.

Operation S.A.F.E.Be Scam Smart by learning more about:

  • How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior
  • Common Scams that Target Seniors
  • How to Fight Identity Theft

Feedback from seniors who attended a Be Scam Smart workshop:

“Savored every moment of this workshop. The information was needed and vital for seniors’ and consumers’ financial survival.” - West Palm Beach

“Presentations were great & well timed. Excellent information we all need to know.” - Pensacola

“Every senior in the city and state should attend the Be Scam Smart Workshop.” - Jacksonville

“Thank you for alerting us to the scam we as seniors are exposed to.” - Brandon

Find out more about us in the About Us section or Register for an upcoming event, including the following workshop:

  • Tuesday, March 14th – Tallahassee
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Capital City Christian Church Fellowship Hall
    6115 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308
    Register | Directions | Flyer

Please let us know if you would like to request a workshop in your area.

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida’s housing prices and sales rise in January
In January, the median sales price of homes rose 10.1 percent over the year, to $220,000. Additionally, more than 16,700 homes were sold in Florida, up 5.2 percent from this time last year.
Source: Florida Realtors

Consumer sentiment fell in February
Consumer sentiment among Floridians fell in February. Among the five components that make up the index, two increased and three decreased.
Source: UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research