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Financial Literacy Top of Mind for Parents Post-Recession

COUNTRY Survey: Financial literacy top of mind

November 16, 2010

The deep downturn in the American economy may have an unexpected upside for future generations. Parents appear to be more aware of the importance of educating their children about money. According to a new COUNTRY Financial survey, more than half (58 percent) of parents have increased their focus on teaching their children about personal finances due to current economic conditions. Two-thirds (66 percent) rate their communication about money matters with their children as excellent or good.

Recession aside, this increased focus may also be attributed to the fact that many parents believe their children are not getting the financial education they need in school. Forty-one percent say their child’s school is not doing enough to teach basic money management. Another 34 percent are unsure if schools are giving their children the proper education in personal finance.

“While the recession has been hard on many Americans, there is a silver lining in that many parents are now focused on educating their children about basic money matters,” says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning for COUNTRY Financial. “Parents should take responsibility and teach children that financial security is not just about saving for right now, but also about planning for long-term goals.”


Parents say financial education should start early

November 16, 2010

Although parents differ on the exact age to start educating their children on money matters, a majority believe it should come in a child’s early years.

“Gen Y” parents focused on financial literacy

November 16, 2010

Younger parents appear to be more confident and focused on their children’s financial education.

Seventy percent of “Gen Y” parents (age 18 to 29) rate their communication with their children about finances as excellent or good. In comparison, 68 percent of 50 to 64 year olds, and 50 percent of those 65 or older say the same.

Further, 45 percent of parents age 18 to 29, and 40 percent of parents age 30 to 39 believe children should learn about personal finance before age five. In contrast, just 23 percent of parents age 50 to 64, and 15 percent of those 65 and older believe parents should begin teaching at this age.

“Whether teaching a young child why saving some of their allowance is a good idea or discussing the pros and cons of credit with a college-bound teen, parents can provide valuable lessons at every stage of a child’s life,” adds Brannan. “It’s also important for parents to set a good example by creating and managing their own financial plan.”

The COUNTRY survey on financial literacy is based on a national telephone survey of more than 1,000 Americans with children at home and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (, an independent research firm. The margin of sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.