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Plan Well, Retire Well

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Hi everyone!

My name is Emily Harmon, and I am Extension's new Finances Educator for Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion counties. While I am new to this position, I am not new to Extension. I was one of the program coordinators for the finances and family life programs since 2019. I absolutely love what I do, the people I get to work with, and the mission Extension has.

So, what about finances intrigues me? I find it fascinating the attitudes and habits people have with money. Some people are very open about money while others would rather not talk about it. While I am teaching, I catch myself saying ‘when you know better, you do better.’ It’s okay for our attitudes and habits to change and it’s expected. It is assumed that our own attitudes we had as children are the not the same in adult life. When we get new information, our habits can change based on the information we are absorbing. The best part of my job is that I get to share research-based information with Illinois residents and beyond so they feel empowered to make sound financial decisions that will improve their quality of life. I love getting to see that lightbulb moment from program participants when something connects for them. It gives me all the feels that I get to do that for them! Just by simply sharing trusted information that is translatable for their lives.

My own personal relationship with money has changed over the years. When I was a child, I looked at money as a source of fun. When I got money, I could go on adventures. When I was a teenager, money started to become more of a necessity to me. I needed money to for gas and to go do fun stuff with my friends. As a college student, I was the definition of a broke college student. Working very part time so I could focus on school. Now as a young adult in her early career with a family to support, I look at money holistically. How can the money I earn sustain my family.

I am interested in researching and creating programs that will improve a person’s financial well-being. Specifically, I enjoy working with people across the lifespan, from childhood to older adult. Some current areas of interest for me are scams, budgeting literacy, and basic estate planning concepts.

In my free time you can find me spending time with my family or sitting outside with my dog who is a chocolate lab! I look forward to sharing timely information about finances and how we can use that information in our everyday lives.

Picture Emily Harmon
Meet the Author

Emily Harmon is responsible for finances programming in the counties of Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, Vermilion and other parts of Illinois as needed. Emily’s areas of interest are working with Money Mentor volunteers and providing financial literacy through research-based information. She is passionate about providing resources to empower individuals to make the decisions for themselves to improve their overall financial well-being.