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Financial literacy series

Financial literacy leads to better financial health

Planning and saving for our financial future can help bring peace of mind and opportunities as we make our way through life, but it can be hard to know where to start sometimes. At WashU, we know that financial literacy leads to better financial health. That’s why we’re providing this series of education, tools and professional support to employees.

Financial literacy refers to the knowledge to make informed decisions about your own financial situation – from budgeting to investing to saving. It can help us meet our financial needs now and in the future, and increase our ability to choose important and meaningful experiences that can contribute to our well-being.

Bookmark this post and refer back to it each month for a new topic and call to action.


More than just a name

A beneficiary is a person or entity that will receive all or a portion of the proceeds of your account(s) when you die. Naming a beneficiary for each of your financial accounts can eliminate confusion, save time, and help ensure the financial wellness of your loved ones.

Call to action: Review your financial accounts (including savings, retirement, life insurance, etc.) to ensure you have an updated beneficiary assigned. Common WashU accounts include:

  • TIAA retirement account | Log into your account at Under actions, select “Add/edit beneficiaries”
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) | Log into Optum, select the “Tools and Resources” tab, then click on “Beneficiary Designation Form”
  • Life insurance | View plan details and instructions

Check out the TIAA resource library for continued learning opportunities.

Explore the financial well-being hub for additional tools and resources.