Donald C. Reutemann CFP®, RPA, AIF®

(518) 612-1054

Lifestyle Read Time: 3 min

The Financial Literacy Crisis

Imagine driving a car without a basic understanding of the rules of the road or even how to operate it. Scary thought.

Here’s another scary circumstance – one that is all too real. Many Americans are making financial decisions with minimal financial knowledge of investing, budgeting, and credit. The TIAA Institute conducted a survey on U.S. financial literacy, asking 28 basic questions about retirement savings, debt management, budgeting, and other financial matters. The average respondent answered only about half of the questions correctly.1

Another recent survey conducted by the Census Bureau found that almost 40% of Americans say that it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses in the last seven days.2

It has been said that knowledge is power, and if that’s true, then too many Americans lack the power to control their financial futures. Financial success rarely happens by accident; it is typically the outcome of a journey that starts with education.

One of the obstacles to greater financial literacy is the so-called “Lake Wobegon effect.” In other words, we all consider ourselves above average, and based on that belief, it only follows that our financial understanding is above average. Unfortunately, this assumption has a flaw: it may discourage us from learning as much as we need in order to continue adapting to an ever-changing financial landscape.

The more informed we are, the more informed our financial decisions may become. Fortunately, we can consult a wide range of resources in pursuit of greater financial knowledge.

If you are committed to increasing your financial literacy, think about turning to financial professionals with your questions or visit a U.S. Treasury-sponsored website created for that very purpose.3

1.TIAAInstitute.org, 2022
2. Census.gov, 2023
3. MyMoney.gov, 2023

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

 

Related Content

Can I Refinance My Mortgage?

Can I Refinance My Mortgage?

This calculator can help determine whether it makes sense to refinance your mortgage.

What If You Get Audited?

What If You Get Audited?

The chances of an IRS audit aren't that high. And being audited does not necessarily imply that the IRS suspects wrongdoing.

To Catch a Thief

To Catch a Thief

Having your identity stolen may result in financial loss plus the cost of trying to restore your good name.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

How Retirement Spending Changes With Time

It can be difficult for clients to imagine how much they’ll spend in retirement. This short, insightful article is useful.

Why Regular Rebalancing Makes Sense

Without your knowing, your investment portfolio could be off-kilter.

SECURE Act 2.0: An Overview

The second iteration of the SECURE Act brings forward several changes to the world of retirement.

View all articles

Comparing Investments

This calculator compares the net gain of a taxable investment versus a tax-favored one.

Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional 401(k)

This calculator compares employee contributions to a Roth 401(k) and a traditional 401(k).

Impact of Taxes and Inflation

Estimate the potential impact taxes and inflation can have on the purchasing power of an investment.

View all calculators

Consider These 3 Things Before Driving Off the Lot

There are a few things to consider when buying or leasing your next vehicle.

Safeguard Your Digital Estate

If you died, what would happen to your email archives, social profiles and online accounts?

The Cycle of Investing

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls.

View all videos