Bank of America’s Better Money Habits Retreat empowers young adults to reach their financial goals

Today’s young adults are truly balancing it all. They are managing near-term issues – from buying a home to daily expenses – while approaching “next chapter” goals and striving to save for the future. Complicating the matter, in the age of social media, young adults are often stacking up their personal, financial and professional accomplishments to others – and it’s easy for them to think they’re falling behind.

That’s why we sought to flip this “comparison trap” on its head by partnering with BuzzFeed on a unique financial wellness retreat, hosted at the Freehand Hotel in Miami, Florida in late September. We convened 50 young adults across the U.S. navigating their financial paths and empowered them to identify their financial goals – and the necessary steps to reach them – while they candidly shared their financial stories and connected with like-minded peers.

The Better Money Habits Retreat helped young adults take steps to identify and focus on the financial goals that matter most to them – not to somebody else. Through a series of peer-to-peer conversations, individual and group sessions, and expert advice, we provided attendees with a range of personal finance tools and guidance to help them plan for the future. Topics included buying a home, navigating finances as a couple, starting a business, investing in the future, and being debt-free.  

Highlights included:

  • BuzzFeed influencer Devin Lytle kicked-off the event with a motivating keynote, inspiring attendees with stories from other participants and her own personal financial journey.
  • In two empowering sessions, Tonya Rapley, a financial coach and founder of My Fab Finance, focused attendees on defining their personal “North Star” and helped them to develop a personalized blueprint for reaching their financial goals.
  • A panel featuring representatives from Bank of America connected the North Star concept with how Bank of America helps customers approach their finances by first thinking about their life priorities – like family, work, health and giving.
  • Attendees joined smaller breakout sessions led by Bank of America Miami market partners and outside experts, where they dug deeper into topics such as starting a business, couples and family, investing and home-buying.
  • As the Retreat drew to a close, Wait But Why founder Tim Urban delivered an inspiring TED-style talk encouraging participants to fight procrastination tendencies and put their financial plans into action.
  • Throughout the weekend, attendees opened up to share their personal financial stories and future paths forward. Participants discussed how they plan to apply the learnings from the Retreat to work toward goals like buying a home, reducing debt and managing big milestones as a couple.


The Retreat followed 2018’s Camp Better Money Habits, which brought together 50 young professionals just starting out in the workforce, and making salaries of $50,000 or less, for honest conversations and practical perspectives at the intersection of life and finance.

Just like last year, the 50 attendees at the Better Money Habits Retreat forged strong connections with one another and laid the groundwork for a lasting support group. The group plans to continue to share successes, exchange tips, and hold each other accountable as they progress on their financial journeys.

The Better Money Habits Retreat is just one example of our commitment to setting up young adults for financial success. Through Better Money Habits, we offer relevant financial education resources and tools for young adults on topics like homeownership, budgeting, retirement and more – where and how they like to receive it – so they have the power to learn and take action.

Group photo shoot

We brought together 50 young adults from across the U.S. to come to our Better Money Habits Retreat to talk about their financial goals.

Blonde woman, seated on stage with palm tree backdrop

Opening keynote speaker Devin Lytle, host of the BuzzFeed show LadyLike, shares her personal story, and some stories from the weekend’s attendees.

Woman in red dress standing, holding notecard

Millennial money expert Tonya Rapley brought the conversation around to planning for the future.

Man and two women seated on stage in panel discussion

Host Que Morgan moderates a discussion featuring Bank of America’s own Cynthia Mitchell and Malini Petersen, around finances and life priorities.

Man in black standing on stage with branded backdrop

Tim Urban, author of Wait, But Why, talked about the role procrastination plays in distracting him from long-term goals.

10/23/19


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