Many people think of financial literacy primarily in terms of saving and investing – which is understandable, since watching your wealth grow is the most rewarding aspect.
While fiscal discipline and the magic of compound interest are foundational, it’s important not to overlook wealth protection. Insurance plays a critical – and widely misunderstood – role in ensuring that your wealth-building efforts won’t be overtaken by a costly event or accident.
April is Financial Literacy Month, during which organizations across the United States conduct events and carry out initiatives to improve financial literacy – especially among the nation’s youth. While such awareness-building initiatives are important, financial literacy is a year-round, long-term concern — and the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have added urgency.
Two dozen states are now considering legislation on financial literacy. Proponents say student debt and heightened interest in economic inequality are behind the efforts. As of early 2020, high school students in 21 states were required to take a personal finance course to graduate, according to the Council for Economic Education. That was a net gain of four states since the council’s previous count two years earlier.
“I do think the pandemic is bringing more attention to the topic,” said Billy J. Hensley, president and chief executive of the National Endowment for Financial Education. He noted that after the financial crisis more than a decade ago there was also a flurry of financial literacy proposals in state legislatures.
Nearly half of respondents to a survey from financial planning firm D.A. Davidson said having more financial literacy education would have helped them manage their money better through the pandemic. The study, which surveyed 1,047 U.S. adults, found that 21 percent felt insurance was the subject they understood least – second only to investments.
Triple-I provides information and insights individuals and businesses need to make educated decisions, manage risk, and appreciate the essential value of insurance. Our website, blog, and social media channels offer a wealth of data-driven studies, videos, articles, infographics and other resources dedicated to explaining insurance.