Today, hundreds of participants will come together on Capitol Hill for Financial Literacy Day to raise awareness about the need for better personal finance education. A new survey known as the 2012 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey found that, despite the recession, Americans still lack basic money skills. More than half of the 1,007 adults polled for the survey admit to not even having a household budget. Here are a few more startling statistics revealed in the survey:
- 33 percent, or more than 77 million Americans, do not pay all of their bills on time.
- 39 percent of Americans carry credit card debt from month to month.
- Only 59 percent of adults say they have savings — a 5 percent decrease from last year.
- More than one in four adults say they are now spending more than last year.
- 42 percent of respondents give themselves ratings of C, D or F on their personal finance knowledge.
Whether for your clients or your kids, consider making personal finance a part of the conversation. Current expenses and future financial needs are obviously a part of the equation when we, as lawyers, work with clients. Most likely, those clients need guidance on how best to handle the circumstances they’re in. Make the effort to help set them on the right path.
Hank Didier is co-founder of Vantage Capital Consultants, a purchaser of structured settlements.