Think back to your childhood and recall your early experiences with money. Was money scarce in your household, with your family always struggling to make ends meet? Was there always enough, despite not having a lot of excess? Were your parents savers or spenders?
Whatever your experience, one thing likely rings true, especially here in the south: “In public, we don’t talk about politics, religion, or MONEY!”
Our team is committed to changing that. We think people should talk about (and learn about) money more openly, and from an earlier age. For this reason, the educational curriculum we’ve built is a foundational part of our service offering, and we’ve made Wisdom one of our core values.
Why aren’t our kids learning about money in school?
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation advocates greatly for early childhood financial education, and their research has uncovered some staggering statistics:
- Only 9 states in the U.S. require a stand-alone personal finance course in high school.
- Only 14 states require personal finance to be integrated into other required courses.
- Less than 20% of students nationwide are required to take a personal finance course to graduate high school.
Limited access to financial education at a young age puts children at a disadvantage from the start. Making matters worse, underprivileged children have even less access to these courses. Excluding the required states, only 5% of schools with greater than 75% of their kids on free and reduced lunch programs offer guaranteed access to financial education. The same statistic rings true in urban schools, and those where greater than 75% of students were classified as a minority. This is the reality despite 90% of educators and 75% of adults saying financial education should be a requirement to graduate high school.
So, what can we do?
We believe that “personal finance” itself falls short of a well-rounded financial education. Budgeting basics, establishing emergency funds, obtaining sufficient insurance, and learning how to take out a loan—while these do set the foundation for success, we think investing must also be part of the equation. The trend in America of saving for retirement exclusively in workplace retirement plans (like a 401k) puts the risk of “not having enough” solely on the employees. If you are reading this, more than likely you have your own investment accounts and have assumed the responsibility for making them last throughout your retirement years. Inflation, market volatility, recessions, rising interest rates, increasing life expectancies, and other factors outside your control make this a tall task. Financial education is not complete without a fundamental understanding of these economic factors and how they interact with everything else. This holistic foundation is crucial so that when (not if) the financial storms come you have the resolve to stay the course and understand why it’s the right thing to do.
Education shouldn’t end with childhood.
Educating our clients, their families, and our community is a top priority for our team. This spring, the Perry Richey Group will be hosting the inaugural Southern Kentucky Financial Literacy Symposium on Friday, April 28th. This community-wide event will feature multiple breakout lessons with topics like Investing 101, Women and Investing, Caring for Aging Parents, and “The Basics.” The event culminates with a lunch and keynote presentation, economic outlook, and open discussion with Q & A.
Our team is honored to sponsor this event so that it’s available to attendees at no cost; though, please note that we are limited to 300 registrants. You can find sign-up information in our newsletter or on our website's home page. Join us and bring a friend, family member, or neighbor, and help spread the word about the importance of advocating for your own financial education. Your long-term financial success depends on it!