FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR ADULTS 50 PLUS

In a recent newspaper article in the Edmonton Journal, Dave Colburn, Chairman of the Edmonton Public School Board said that schools need to make a bigger investment in teaching students the money management skills they need to navigate today’s complex world.

Let’s take this same idea and get Seniors(50 Plus) involved.  Rather than just limiting Financial Literacy Education to school age children we desperately need to expand a similar training program for older Adults in our Society.  Education should not stop after we leave High School but continue as long as we live.  The concept involved here is Lifelong Learning.  Lifelong Learning in the area of Financial Literacy is very important as we age and when we might not be aware of all the in and outs of the financial universe.  Some knowledge in this area is straight forward eg. depositing money in a savings account.  However; when you get to the topics of compound interest, credit cards, lines of credit, good versus bad debt, or educational loans for Lifelong Learning and much more, it gets more complicated to understand all the financial lingo being used today. Not only are we often confused about the language used but I think that in most cases we are too dependent on Financial Planners/ Advisers who are often more interested in selling you their OWN financial products to earn a sales commission rather than giving you eg. some personal money management skills.

What is a possible solution for getting the right Financial Education to all the age groups?  First of all, we will need to change the traditional providers of relevant Financial Literacy training.  I believe it’s time to start getting beyond the Big Banks and ‘other’ Financial institutions for our specific financial information. These sources are no longer the complete answer for getting our population the right Financial Literacy. What should other sources look like?  We need to be looking for unbiased sources to give us more informed and relevant Financial education. More important sources are Certified Accountants and Certified Finance personnel.  Most traditional Financial Advisers should NOT be involved in your own personal money management but concentrate on Financial planning. I think that Certified Accountants are the best source to teach money management skills including information about setting financial goals, budgeting, spending wisely and making money, as well as investing, entrepreneurship, credit cards and paying for lifelong learning courses/programs.  Also, Finance major personnel could teach us all about buying or leasing business or office equipment and what the possible options are for acquiring adequate funds to finance any specific personal or business interest items.

In conclusion, I think that we need to inform all levels of Government that if we are going to provide the right Financial Literacy training for our Adults 50 we need to go beyond the Big Banks and ‘other’ Financial Institutions, and start incorporating Certified Accountants and Finance Majors expertise to provide a new leadership environment for teaching Financial Literacy to Adults 50 Plus. And, that Financial Planners/Advisers are generally required for Financial Planning but not necessarily for personal money management or entrepreneurial finance areas.