VLE Session 1: What is Financial Fitness & How is it Measured

This event will kick off the 2016 Military Families Learning Network Personal Finance Virtual Learning Event (VLE). Financial fitness is a goal for many people, but achieving fitness in terms of money management may require a combination of financial education, coaching, and financial access. After reviewing the components of financial fitness, this session will provide an overview of measures of financial capability and well-being, as well as practical applications of program measures in the field. The session will include discussion, interactive polling and Q&A.


CEU approval for MFLN Personal Finance webinars expires 3 years after the live event. CEUs are no longer available for this webinar. For more information and to earn CEUs from more current webinars click here.

How to Join the Webinar:

You may connect via the Department of Defense Connect system or Ustream. For tech support for either system, email us at

  • APAN Connect (direct interaction with presenters and audience)

    • To get the URL for the webinar, register in the grey box at the top-right of this page.

    • Login as a guest.

    • Ustream (broadcast only, limited interaction)

    Note: High attendance volume is anticipated for this session which may cause us to reach system capacity in APAN Connect. In the event you are unable to access APAN Connect for this reason, please join us on Ustream for a live broadcast of this session.


    J. Michael Collins is faculty director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is an Associate Professor at the the La Follette School of Public Affairs and at the School of Human Ecology. He is also a family economics specialist for UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Center for Demography and Ecology.

    Collins studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings and investment choices. His work includes the study of financial capability with a focus on low-income families. He is involved in studies of household finance and well-being supported by leading foundations and federal agencies. In 2015, Palgrave Macmillan released a book Collins edited called A Fragile Balance: Emergency Savings and Liquid Resources for Low-Income Consumers.

    Collins brings nearly a decade of applied experience to his research. He founded PolicyLab Consulting Group, a research consulting firm working with national foundations and government agencies, and co-foundedMortgageKeeper Referral Services, an online database for mortgage servicers and counselors. He also worked for NeighborWorks America (Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation) and the Millennial Housing Commission.

    He holds a Masters from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, a PhD from Cornell University, and a BS from Miami University (OH).

     The Cover image Work Out Your Money Skills at Financial Bootcamp courtesy of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society for this webinar is licensed Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.  

    Created by Molly Herndon