April 27, 2016
Millions of Americans do not have the financial resources they need to access higher education, buy a home or retire comfortably. If we want to continue to compete globally, it is time for Congress, state governments, the private sector and communities to renew our effort to raise the level of financial literacy and security in our country.
Many Americans are in a perilous financial situation today, with nearly 75 percent reporting that they live paycheck to paycheck. Only 40 percent of US adults keep a budget and track their spending, while 27 percent of families have no savings at all. Alarmingly, only one-third of parents have a plan to pay for college expenses, even as student loan debt has skyrocketed 235 percent in the past decade. And only 26 percent of people are expected to be able to retire in a traditional way.
Like all state treasurers we are on the front line of these issues, overseeing financial tools such as 529 college savings plans and pensions, and we are deeply troubled by these statistics. This month – Financial Literacy Month – we will continue our efforts to raise awareness of the importance of financial literacy and work with the private sector and our government partners to do the same.