Financial Literacy Leads to Better Retirement Planning

A large majority of those who answer questions on a financial quiz correctly are more likely to save for retirement.

Those with greater financial literacy are more likely to save and plan for retirement, according to TIAA and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University School of Business.

Eighty-eight percent of those who answered between 76% and 100% of the questions on the Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index) correctly save for retirement on a regular basis. By comparison, only 37% of those who answered less than 26% of the questions correctly regularly save for retirement.

Eighty-six percent of those in the first group have additional savings outside of their retirement plan, compared to 34% of the second group, and 63% of the first group usually track their spending, compared to 54% of the second group.

Furthermore, those with greater financial literacy are less likely to be financially fragile; 85% of the first group could come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose in the next month, compared to 25% of the second group.

Borrowing and debt management are the areas where knowledge is the highest, but comprehending risk is where it is the lowest.

“The P-Fin Index is the preeminent annual barometer of Americans’ personal finance knowledge,” says Stephanie Bell-Rose, head of the TIAA Institute. “Understanding the connection between financial literacy and financial wellness was a particular focus this year, to help us create a better roadmap for improving the financial well-being of Americans.”

On average, U.S. adults answered only 51% of the P-Fin Index questions correctly. The survey asked a total of 28 questions on the following topics: earnings, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing and managing debt, insuring, risk and where to find financial advice.

The full report can be downloaded here.