Having the proper tools to secure a financial future can be vital, but many Americans may not have the right knowledge to properly prepare themselves.
Approximately 60 percent of Americans think that there is a need to be financially literate in order to be ready for retirement, according to a report from Genworth. Despite this, just 46 percent of those polled have actually gone out of their way to learn more about finances.
Nearly the same level said that this was due to financial items being too difficult to understand, the report noted. Another 37 percent explained that their time constraints did not allow them to learn more about their finances. Close to one-fifth were unsure about where to start when learning about finances.
“It is not lack of access to information that is holding many Americans back from improving their understanding of financial matters,” said Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, a New York-based psychologist and money coach. “Rather, it is a feeling of being overwhelmed – by the complexity of financial products, by the amount of time perceived as necessary to improve one’s financial knowledge and a disconnect between financial needs and personal needs. An hour invested today in gaining the financial know-how that will make your life, family and money more secure will pay tremendous dividends over the long run.”
Just 34 percent of women noted that they try to learn more about finances from others, the report explained. However, more than 60 percent of men said the same. A total of 48 percent of women polled felt that financial topics were too complex, while just 39 percent of men said this as well.
Spending problems persist for some Americans
While many Americans may have some issues regarding having the right financial knowledge, they also may struggle with having enough money to have a strategy. According to a report from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., just half of Americans have a savings plan with goals set out, while only 40 percent have a strategy that helps them save enough money.
“Building savings doesn’t have to be hard, especially if we slow our spending down and make it more difficult to do,” said Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate at CFP Board. “The next step is determining how much to save for an emergency fund and for short- and long-term goals.”