THE FINANCIAL EDUCATION MOVEMENT
Financial Education is not another trendy catch phrase. It reflects a serious concern among government, private and public sector organizations deeply concerned with disturbing trends in the fiscal behavior of average citizens. This movement for a financially literate society is based on the overriding belief that Americans can’t do better if they don’t know better. Knowing better does not cure all ills related to poor fiscal behavior, but it is where we must begin.
80% of employees working full-time said they have financial stress today
Of which, 67% indicated the stress is related to long-term financial needs (savings, retirement plans, etc.)
While 60% said the stress is related to short-term financial needs (everyday living expenses as well as unexpected needs such as car repair, appliance replacement, emergency medical expenses)
Source: Purchasing Power, October 2014
These days, we are besieged with ever-increasing responsibilities and demands on our time. We work more hours than ever before and statistics tell us we are not taking adequate time to strategically organize and implement effective personal financial planning. The key to this type of planning begins with financial education – something most of us never received in school but we all desperately need.
In order to assist the development of a national financial literacy movement, both the United States and Canada have taken action. In the United States, Title V of The Fair and Accurate Credit Transitions Act, also known as the Financial Literacy and Education Act, created the Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Comprised of 20 federal agencies, the commission is charged with coordinating federal efforts to develop a national strategy to promote financial literacy in the United States.
In Canada, the Task Force on Financial Literacy has been created to provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Finance on a national strategy to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.
The Heartland Institute of Financial Education (HIFE) has adopted this mission. Focusing on both the workplace and directly to the public, HIFE partners with colleges and universities to offer financial wellness courses on-site and online. The Heartland Institute helps accomplish this mission through a nationally recognized College Planning Program with the primary goal of helping students obtain a college education.