Great little article by economist David Laibson delves into, “Most Americans know they should save for retirement and pay off their debts. Yet they often don’t do those things. Why?”
And why it’s so difficult to consider and create effective “Financial Eduction” curricula and classes – and that’s frustrating because “finances” is such an integral part of everyone’s real-world experience!
His last couple of paragraphs, I believe, speaks volumes about what an effective education looks like:
What does this tell us about the best way to teach financial education?
What this means is that you should get the financial education you need when you need it. If you enroll in a 401(k) plan today, you should take the 45-minute educational seminar on it during the enrollment process. The time to learn about credit cards, borrowing and compound interest is when students are 18 and starting adult life.
The human memory is so fallible. If I tell you something and expect you to remember it five years from now, that’s a big ask. So I would focus on teaching skills that translate immediately to practical application.
(My underlining – teach around ideas and stuff in a real-world-ish application context. Tie math and English and science into such things as, how do your folks buy and pay for your clothes, where in the world do they come from, what do your parents/guardians do for a living, how long do they have to work to pay for a pair of new shoes, why was a textbook written, by whom, how much does it cost, how much is that for the whole class, where does that money come from, …)
Read the whole article here.