Kids need better financial education |

Kids need better financial education

Bob Anderson

Dear Editor,

Do your kids have a basic knowledge of personal finances? Not according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports. In 2002, over 1 million Americans filed for bankruptcy. The average American family has over $9,000 in credit-card debt alone. And yet, according to the survey, 68 percent of graduating high school seniors failed a personal finance test.

In fact, the survey found 28 percent of 12-year-olds did not know that credit cards are a form of borrowing money and 40 percent did not know that you must pay interest on that money. And yet many of these kids have credit cards or access to their parents’ cards.

The survey found that 50 percent of adults and 67 percent of students did not know that ordinary people can buy stocks. Nearly 67 percent of adults and students did not know that inflation causes money to lose value. Twenty-five percent confuse budget deficit with national debt. Two thirds did not know that competition in the marketplace improves quality and lowers prices.

These results are shocking. Many adults are totally ill prepared to handle their finances and/or plan for retirement. Is it any wonder then that their kids aren’t informed either?

It seems that our schools need to do a better job of teaching economics and financial management or there will be another generation approaching retirement with nothing but Social Security to sustain them.

Bob Anderson

Glenwood Springs

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