Are Americans Financially Educated on Retirement Savings?

Financial education helps people learn about savings, credit, and loans. It also helps prepare people for life changes and to face the unexpected. This knowledge is essential when planning for retirement. So, how prepared are U.S. adults for their future retirement? According to a recent poll conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education:

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents confirmed some part of their personal finances was causing them stress. For 31% of respondents, that concern was “having enough saved for retirement.”
  • In that same poll, 70% said they made financial adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that group, 27% increased contributions to their emergency savings, retirement savings, or other savings or investments. In comparison, 21% tapped into emergency savings—or borrowed against retirement savings.
  • About financial education mandates, 80% of U.S. adults said they wish they were required to complete a semester- or yearlong course focused on personal finance education during high school and 88% think their state should require a semester- or year-long course for high school graduation.
  • In that same poll, 84% of those approaching retirement age (60+ years old) said “spending and budgeting” should be taught in schools.

People who champion financial education typically live by the mantra “the earlier, the better.” It’s also important, though, that people keep learning throughout their lives to ensure they have the knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions.

Lifetime financial education can be a helpful tool in preparing for retirement. This includes understanding Social Security retirement benefits and making the most of retirement income.

For More Information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions:

  • Have students discuss the statement, “Financial education in high schools should be mandatory for graduation.”
  • Ask students how a financial literacy course is helping them to better manage their finances?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is financial literacy knowledge essential when preparing for retirement?
  2. Do students feel more prepared for financial challenges of adult life after taking a personal finance course? Explain.

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