We’ve all heard that financial education is the key to creating long term financial success. That statement has never rang truer when talking about the current state of financial literacy or lack of in this country. Recent polls have shown that the majority of Americans rate themselves as below average regarding financial literacy.
Financial education unfortunately has been a missing component in our educational system. There is now a major push at the state and local community levels to support the addition of financial education into the class rooms and also make this information more readily available for adults as through various government websites.
In 2010 the Treasury Department and Department of Educations teamed up to assess financial literacy in the U.S. high schools and the results were dismal to say the least. The average score of 76,900 students was 70% and last year testing as well as this year’s testing of almost 80,000 students was below 69% (according to USA Today article).
Here are some additional statistics:
- $25,000: Average student loan debt for class of 2010 (The Project on Student Debt)
- $1,800: Average credit card debt for those 20-29 (PNC financial independence survey, March)
- 12.4%: Unemployment rate for those 18-29 (BLS data, March)
- 13: States that require high school students to take a personal finance class (Survey of the States, 2011)
- 60%: 18- to 34 year-olds not keeping a budget (NFCC financial literacy survey, 2012)
The Need for Financial Education
As you can see from the statistics above our latest generation, referred to as millennials, are in desperate need of financial education. We also have a huge population of baby boomers either preparing for or trying to retire but realizing they are not financially prepared.
The baby boomer population is currently turning 65 at a rate of 8000 per day. This generation is the first generation of retirees to overwhelmingly not receive some sort of guaranteed benefits from employers. Because of that, providing financial education, resources and tools is becoming increasingly important for this group.
The Financial Empowerment Network can provide you with the necessary resources and educational tools to help you become financially fit!