by Samantha White
Financial and Estate Planning Workshops
6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 23 and 30
Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
According to the United States Department of Labor, Michigan has a 13.1 percent unemployment rate, with metropolitan Detroit averaging at 15-percent unemployment. Additionally, the Detroit Free Press reported Michigan has the eighth-largest foreclosure rate in the country at 2.6 percent.
The combination of these statistics, along with the challenges in the automotive industry here in the state, have proven to be stressful factors to the livelihood of many residents, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. However, these issues have also inspired organizations like Affirmations community center to provide information to citizens who want and need resources to help them sustain and improve their financial situations.
“With the economy being the way it is,” says Affirmations social activities coordinator Rosalea Brown, “people are really interested in their finances.”
Affirmations will be hosting two Financial and Estate Planning Workshops this month where residents can come and receive information from lawyers, estate planners and other financial experts at no cost. And according to Brown, the advisors for the workshops are LGBT friendly. “People can come and feel comfortable talking to these experts about financial planning with their partners,” she adds.
After surveying the community regarding workshops they’d be interested in and six months of brainstorming, the format of the informational seminars has been set. The first seminar on Sept. 23 will focus on estate planning and the second, slated for Sept. 30, will focus on finances, as well as provide additional information to the first. The workshops will last approximately two hours with the Affirmations Financial and Legal Workshop Committee serving as facilitators for the events. The format for the workshops is catered to everyone, Brown says, “from the 20-something who knows nothing about finances to financial experts.”
State intestacy laws, along with tax, inheritance and employment benefits, are still hot topics in Michigan and in the LGBT community. Additionally, the employment and financial state of the country are major concerns for Americans, even two years after the Wall Street bailout. According to Bloomberg.com, the trade deficit grew and consumer spending cooled, causing the economy to grow at a slower pace than what was originally projected during the second quarter of this year.
The financial and estate workshops at Affirmations are built to address issues like these for concerned locals. “Hopefully,” Brown says, “people will walk away from the workshops with their questions answered and they will have techniques that they never thought of before to use.”
There is no pressure to purchase services from any of the professionals attending the event, however, they are available for those who may be interested. According to Brown, “If they feel they connect with one of the experts there they can definitely reach out to them.” The financial professionals at the event have volunteered their time and expertise in assisting with the attendees concerns in a comfortable environment.
Registration is required for both workshops, and can be completed online at http://www.goaffirmations.org. For more information, contact Rosalea Brown at 248-677-7230 or via email at [email protected]. Refreshments will be provided at the event.