As a society, most of us – and not just the young – are suffering from a severe lack of financial literacy. Young adults, middle-aged adults, older adults, men and women across the spectrum of education and wealth are all included. And unfortunately, the stakes have never been higher: No one is going to step in and take care of us. No one else will pay our overdue credit card bills, force us to save for retirement, or keep us from living beyond our means. We’ve got to do those things for ourselves.
But the good news is that every single one of you can be part of the solution, starting with straight-forward steps:
- Start at home. Educate yourself and begin an honest discussion about money within your family. Know where your money is going and think carefully about your tradeoffs. Save for the future and be a good role model for your children. If you’re not sure about which insurance policy is best or when to file for Social Security, take the time to find the right answer. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
- Find out if your children’s schools include financial education in their curricula. If not, speak up. If you’re qualified, offer to conduct a financial workshop. Or find experts who can.
- If you own a business, offer financial education to your employees as part of your benefits plan. You can call in the services of a financial institution that provides educational materials and guidance. After all, financial security makes for more productive employees.
No doubt the drive to financial literacy is bigger than any one of us alone. But if today’s young adults or tomorrow’s retirees are going to have a fighting chance at a secure and fulfilling future, we’ve all got to act and now. We can all make a difference.
– Navmeen Khot
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