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Economist Questions Why We have $ex-Ed But Not Financial Education

By: Krystle Crossman

There are many important subjects that children will learn while they are in school. English and math are two of the most important. They will learn how to read, write, and do basic math which are skills that everyone will need as an adult. Most schools even offer s*x education starting in elementary school and going all the way through high school. Many schools are severely lacking in one of the most important subjects though. That subject is finance. So many Americans are growing up not knowing how to do the simplest financial tasks such as balancing a checkbook and saving money. This is one of the reasons that so many people in this country are in debt.
Finance expert Annamaria Lusardi states that financial lessons should be starting in kindergarten and should be offered to students every year until they are out of high school. Students go to college and do not realize the financial burden that they are about to put on themselves with student loans. The average American has over $29,000 in student loan debt and $15,000 in credit card debt. Most people do not even have enough money saved in the bank for emergencies. This is how we are digging ourselves further and further into debt.
There are many resources that are available when it comes to financial advice but most people will not go looking for the information until it is too late and they are already in debt. It is recommended by financial experts that at least 10% of your salary should be put into a savings account from every paycheck. The younger generation is saving more than previous generations but still not at least 10%. It is also recommended that people have $1 million saved for their retirement yet most families only have $100,000 by the time that they are 60 years old. This is causing people to have to retire later in life because they cannot afford to stop working.
If kids could learn how to take control of their finances and their lives ahead of time they would be much better off when they are adults. Writer Heather Long states that teen pregnancies have gone down with the introduction of s*x education classes in the 1980s, so what could happen if we start requiring that all students take financial courses as well? The results could be dramatic. There are currently only 17 out of 50 states that require finance courses to be taken.


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