I’m in the throes of item 1 on my 2009 asset-building to-do list: applications for my artist IDA program are due February 23. We’ve picked up some good press (click here for a pdf of an article in Berkshire Trade & Commerce), and a helpful grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
I’ve also completed item 6, and I’m making progress on items 2, 3, and 5, in case anyone’s keeping track.
Hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging, or sleeping. I’ve completely neglected to note a couple of very interesting news items from Reid Cramer on the New America Foundation’s asset-building blog:
1. The Boston Globe has people debating children’s savings accounts with a feature article in the Sunday paper not long ago.
2. NYC’s Office of Financial Empowerment has announced a tax season pilot program to provide low-income residents with a savings match to incentivize savings deposits from tax refunds. This is a bit like my idea to provide a tax season match tied partly to use of the Saver’s Credit, although my idea (item 5 on my to-do list) is more narrowly focused on retirement savings while the NYC program is trying to boost general savings from tax refunds. I do think I’ll have a little money to try out some version of an IRA/Saver’s Credit incentive for Berkshire County artists: I’m working on getting a local bank or two to buy in and provide additional match funds and outreach.
Mitty Owens of the Office of Financial Empowerment is the friend of a friend, and I’ll have a chance to talk shop with him in a few weeks on a trip down to New York. I look forward to hearing more about the great programs coming out of the OFE, and getting his feedback on SaveTogether, Assets for Artists, and anything else I can think of between now and then.