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15% of Adults Lost $10,000+ in 2022 Due to Financial Illiteracy - Here's How the Rest Fared

The National Financial Educators Council's report shows that 38% of individuals in a recent survey said their lack of financial literacy cost them at least $500 in 2022. That's up from about 11% in 2021. 15% of respondents said their lack of financial literacy set them back by $10,000 or more.

January 19, 2023
5 minutes
minute read

It's important to be informed about money matters, as ignorance can lead to financial problems.


The National Financial Educators Council's report shows that 38% of individuals in a recent survey said their lack of financial literacy cost them at least $500 in 2022. That's up from about 11% in 2021. 15% of respondents said their lack of financial literacy set them back by $10,000 or more.

The majority of respondents said that poor financial literacy cost them somewhere from zero to $499.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $1,819, according to a survey conducted in October and December of 2020. This figure is nearly $500 higher than the average cost of a wedding in 2021, which was $1,389.

There are a few key money moves you can make to help weather an uncertain economy. First, make sure you have a solid emergency fund in place. This will help you cover unexpected expenses if your income takes a hit. Second, consider investing in bonds. Although they may not offer the highest returns, bonds are generally less volatile than stocks and can provide a steadier stream of income. Finally, make sure you're balancing your retirement savings with your other financial goals. This will help ensure you're on track to meet your long-term goals.

Many people graduate from school without having received any formal education in financial literacy, according to certified financial planner Denis Poljak. This lack of knowledge can lead to financial difficulties later on in life. Poljak, who is a partner with the Poljak Group Wealth Management at Steward Partners in Shreveport, Louisiana, recommends that people take the time to learn about personal finance so that they can make informed decisions about their money.

Poljak said that people usually learn from their mistakes.

Studies show that many U.S. adults lack financial literacy. This generally means understanding money topics like income, budgeting, saving and investing, as well as how interest rates work and why credit scores matter.

The TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance index is a yearly barometer of financial literacy, and the results for 2022 show that adults are struggling in this area. On average, they could only answer 50% of the 28 basic money questions correctly. Worse still, 23% of respondents couldn't answer more than seven questions correctly - a higher proportion than in any other year of the survey.

According to experts, a lack of knowledge can have a ripple effect on everything from how much you save for emergencies or retirement, to how much debt you take on and under what terms.

There are some important financial decisions that you will need to make before you reach adulthood or soon after. Some of these decisions include how to pay for college, managing a credit card or auto loan, boosting your credit score, paying taxes, and starting to save for retirement. These are all important decisions that can have a big impact on your future, so it is important to make them carefully.

Advocates of financial literacy say that teaching needs to start before teens reach their high school graduation. According to the nonprofit Council for Economic Education, as of last year, 24 states require personal finance coursework by grade 12.

According to Nan Morrison, CEE president and CEO, people make better decisions when they have financial literacy. This is supported by good data.

According to Morrison, having some personal finance know-how can lead to a better credit score and a lower likelihood of defaulting on a loan. A 2015 study from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation supports this claim: after personal finance education was implemented in Georgia, Texas and Idaho, all three states saw severe delinquency rates go down and credit scores rise.

According to the FINRA foundation's latest financial-capability study, individuals who scored above the median on a seven-question financial literacy quiz were more likely to make ends meet in 2021. Specifically, they spent less than their income (53% versus 35%) and had three months' worth of emergency funds at higher levels (65% versus 42%).

The study found that people who had received financial education were more likely to have calculated their retirement savings needs (52% versus 29%) and to have opened a retirement account (70% versus 43%).

In my opinion, the most important thing is understanding how to manage money if you want to live the life you want. It's not the only important thing, but it's a key tool in the toolkit.

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Cathy Hills
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