Nearly half of Americans lack basic financial literacy and many young people are not being educated in the topic, according to a new report from Patriot Bank N.A.
The Stamford-based bank’s study, Commitment to Financial Literacy 2017, maintains that 43 percent of U.S. adults lack a basic understanding of financial skills, including proficiency in simple concepts of saving, investing, and debt. The report further notes that American teens fall behind their international counterparts in an 18-country assessment by the Organization for Economic Cooperations, with 18 percent of American teens not reaching basic proficiency in financial literacy, as compared to 15 percent globally.
Locally, Connecticut – whose high schools do not require personal finance courses – earned an “F” in providing financial literacy education. Additionally, half its residents are not saving for retirement. New York, which incorporates the subject in a half-year economics course, received a “B.”
The report also maintains that Americans are beginning to experience the so-called “Great Transfer” of wealth, in which baby boomers will pass along an estimated $30 trillion of life savings to their children.
The bank is offering educational seminars and resources to help local schools, veterans groups, community organizations, and parents teach about financial literacy, including at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, and Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco.
“Patriot Bank is launching this important effort in the communities we serve to help provide the next generation with tools and resources to make smarter financial decisions,” said Patriot Bank President Richard Muskus. “Financial literacy is a critical skill that is valuable at every stage of life and can have significant long-term effects.”