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Hey, you Two Cents viewers!
Here with a special announcement: Make sure you make it to the end of the video where
we get to share some exciting news!
You're pregnant again?
Ha ha ha ha...
The United States has the world's largest economy and our workers have some of the highest
salaries in the world.
But if you think that most Americans have piles of money, great credit, and low amounts
of debt, you'd be wrong!
Since you're following our channel, it's probably obvious to you that our financial
literacy is at crisis levels, but have you ever stopped to wonder what led us to this point?
And more importantly…what can be done to change it?
In 2015, the S&P Global Financial Literacy Survey asked 4 simple financial questions
to respondents all over the world, and the results landed the U.S. in 14th place for
financial know-how.
And it shows.
Americans are failing the grade by nearly every metric.
Nearly 60% of U.S. households don't keep a budget.
Two thirds would be unable to scrounge up $1,000 for an emergency and 35% have a debt
currently in collections.
The average college student carries $30,000 in student loans, and floats a credit card
balance of around $8,000.
The median retirement savings for Americans age 55-64 is around $100,000 - an amount that
would translate to just $310/mo of income in retirement.
And it's especially scary for our generation — even though 69% of millennials rate their
own financial knowledge highly, only 24% are able to demonstrate “basic financial literacy”.
One of the biggest factors is the lack of any formal financial lessons in schools.
Even though the Council for Economic Education found that kids who receive financial education
are more likely to save, more likely to pay off their credit cards each month, and less
likely to become compulsive buyers, only a third of states currently offer it!
And of those that do, most of them incorporate the subject inside of another course of study,
like economics, math, or social studies.
Only five states require a semester-long course focused on personal finance.
But the problems don't stop there.
The minute high-schoolers graduate, they've got a target on their backs and the financial
industry is lying in wait.
Credit card companies are notorious for luring kids into high-interest credit cards with
offers of T-shirts or a free pizza - despite the fact that most students have little to
no income and hardly any real-world financial experience.
Unfortunately, that trend of financial institutions targeting the non-savvy doesn't let up as
you get older.
Current rules in the US allow brokers (under the guise of “financial advisors”) to
put their own financial interests ahead of consumers when selling a financial product.
For real!
To be fair, the financial industry does engage in some education.
But consider this…In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that
while $670 million dollars was spent by the industry on consumer education, $17 billion
dollars was spent on marketing their products.
That's a ratio of 25 to 1.
Chump change.
Make no mistake, the cumulative results of people not saving enough or getting into financial
trouble doesn't just fall on them and their families, but on society as a whole!
So what can we do to help promote change?
Consistently scoring at the top of such surveys are the Scandinavian countries like Denmark,
Norway and Sweden.
There are a lot of reasons for this.
In Sweden's case, for instance, there is a long cultural tradition of saving.
No major disasters in the financial markets to undermine trust in the system.
And the presence of the Financial Supervisory Authority, a strong government agency designed
to regulate the entire financial services industry.
But probably most important is that kids are taught about the basics of personal finances
starting in the first grade and continuing all the way up to high school.
Changes have to be made to education here in America if we're to stand a chance of
improving things.
And you don't have to be a parent to advocate for a child's right to quality financial education.
You can look at this map to see what standards for financial literacy your state currently
You can also reach out to your state representative to let them know what you'd like to see
offered to future generations.
Unfortunately, the primary reason cited for not including this kind of education in schools
is that it's the parents job.
But we all know that's not really happening.
Nearly half of Americans don't talk with their children about money at all.
And it's not because they don't think they should!
It's because most simply don't know what to say.
If you're a parent, or hope to be one someday, you do not have to be an expert to teach kids
about money.
Simply getting them their own bank account seems to have positive results with 15-year-olds
scoring 40 points higher in financial literacy than those without one.
Kids also learn best by doing, so next time you sit down to pay your bills online, call
your kid over and coach them through how to do it themselves!
For bonus points, check out our previous video about how to talk to kids about money!
This is so important because if finances aren't talked about much growing up, we tend to continue
that approach of avoidance even when we leave home.
We just stumble along assuming everyone knows more than we do, afraid to call attention
to our ignorance.
And it's that unspoken taboo around the topic of money that allows this negative feedback
loop to continue.
Thankfully, it's never been easier to take your financial education into your own hands!
The last decade has seen a tsunami of blogs, podcasts, programs, books and courses aimed
at filling in the adult education gap when it comes to finance.
And there are tons of amazing FREE or low-cost resources out there.
Hundreds of libraries all over the country host “Money Smart Week's where they cover
topics like retirement, budgeting, and credit — without any incentive to make you a paying
There's also the National Endowment of Financial Education's website smartaboutmoney.org
with lots of free courses.
You can even ask your employer to bring in a financial educator!
After all, a better educated workforce is in everyone's interests.
As a dedicated watcher of two cents, we hope you continue to broaden your own financial
And don't keep the lessons you're learning all to yourself!
We expect you to share your newly earned money smarts with those you care about.
Changing the face of financial literacy here in the states and around the world is not
just our job, it's yours too!
And that's our two cents!
The vast majority of financial education out there is funded by big corporations.
We, and our co-creators, chose to partner with PBS specifically because we believe financial
education should be free from "for-profit" hidden agendas.
And over the last year it's been made abundantly clear you guys want that too!
We've gained hundreds of thousands of subscribers, scooped up a bunch of awards and are blessed
with a community of enthusiastic people willing to share their stories and experiences.
But did you know that each episode takes between 40 and 50 hours of work to make?
Yea, these amazing visuals and carefully written scripts are being made by a team of full-time professionals
so I think you can tell where we're going here....
We're starting a Patreon!
Now, before you groan we of all people know how important your hard earned dollars are
and we have given our perks a lot of thought to make it worth your while.
That's right! We're going to be inviting you backstage for an intimate look behind the scenes,
a new space to chat together as a community and even the chance to digitally hang out with us
on a monthly basis.
Also as a special limited time offer, we'll be providing everyone who contributes, in the next two weeks,
a special budget template; personally designed by us to help you create your ideal budget from top to bottom.
We hope that this show has provided you value and you'll consider joining us in our mission to change
the world's relationship to their money through education.
It's a big vision and we can't do it without you.
Where did you learn about money?
From your school?
Your parents?
Let us know in the comments!


Why Americans Are Failing the Grade at Financial Literacy

Capalu Yang 2020 年 5 月 17 日 に公開
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