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I agree with Amin Rajan’s Nov 6, 2017, opinion piece in the Financial Times that “individuals have to spend less, save more, save early and retire late,” that there need to be real-life case scenarios along with fun-inspired simulations in financial literacy curriculum. However, saving more sounds more like a cliché rather than an actual way of living. In a recent study by the Student Loan Hero, 44.2 million American have student loan debt, and family households have on average $5,000 saved up. How can individuals dealing with student debt or working past retirement save more? Or spend less when the costs of living continue to rise, and wages remain stagnant.
Financial literacy curriculum focused on fantasy budget savings tips and saving for family vacations are no longer suffice when college students are graduating with high student loan debts, and elders are working Walmart jobs to make ends meet.
I am not here to denigrate financial literacy curriculum but what I am here to say is that financial literacy curriculum needs to match real-life scenarios with individuals just as Amin Rajan suggested. The scenarios have to deal with individuals who are dealing with school loan debt, elders working until they can no longer walk anymore, and households coping with zero net-worth so we can advocate “spend less, save more, save early and retire late.”
Does “spend less, save more, save early and retire late” resonate with your financial lifestyle?
Mr. J Real Talk
Educator and blogger. Follow Mr.J on social media @MrJRealTalk