Earlier today I ran across an interesting article over at Time/Moneyland. In it, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was quoted during a Federal Reserve Town Hall Meeting as saying that:
“My best guess is that our kids will be better off than we are.”
But that optimistic view was accompanied by concerns over financial literacy and the need for our children to take on greater personal responsibility for their futures.
Honestly, though I agree that a solid financial education is incredibly important, I think it’s silly to suggest that there will be a unique need for this in the future. In truth, there is a great need for it right now.
Who knows… Perhaps Bernanke thinks it’s too late for the current crop of “responsible” adults and is therefore hoping that the next generation will do better.
Either way, his view is that:
“Financial education supports not only individual well-being, but also the economic health of our nation. As the recent financial crisis illustrates, consumers who can make informed decisions about financial products and services not only serve their own best interests, but, collectively, they also help promote broader economic stability.”
I couldn’t agree more. And yet… What are we doing about the problem? While I’ve heard all kinds of talk about the importance of financial education, I’ve seen very little in the way of action. The closest that schools in our area have gotten to tackling the problem has been to run a semester-long stock market competition, which (imho) is completely antithetical to good financial practices.
What do you think? Will our kids have it better than we do? And do you think we’re doing enough to promote financial literacy in American society? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts…