Thought Leadership Thursday
Financial Literacy Awareness Month
Thought Leadership Thursday Article
April is Financial Literacy Month. It is a time to encourage those we serve to practice sound money management including assessing their financial wellbeing and planning for the future.
The need for financial literacy in our society is great. PwC’s 2021 annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey clearly illustrates the problems a lack of financial literacy presents. For example, challenges with finances account for 63 percent of the everyday stress employees experience, and that’s up by 9 percent from the 2020 survey. The survey also shows employees are twice as likely to put off retirement because of financial difficulties.
Far too many seniors are not prepared for their retirement years and are living modestly on their monthly social security checks alone. Younger generations are heading in the same direction, but we can help change that trajectory.
In Oklahoma, we have partnered with the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education to help arm young people with the tools to live abundantly. We also emphasize the need for savings through the Oklahoma College Savings Plan and the Oklahoma STABLE Program, both of which offer an excellent incentive to save with a generous state income tax deduction.
Plus, we’ve taken it one step further. I have authored a book that will be published online this month entitled, The Power of Financial Education: Turning Your Dreams into Reality. It will be available to anyone and everyone free of charge. You’ll soon be able to download the book from our website, http://www.treasurer.ok.gov.
The Power of Financial Education provides a road map to future prosperity. From understanding the fundamentals of financial literacy to achieving economic security, the information shared in this book will help readers discover the secrets to eliminating burdensome debts, having resources set aside for emergencies and building a substantial retirement account. Ultimately, the goal is to help readers create the financial situation in their lives that give them the freedom to live out their dreams.
NAST has provided an excellent set of tools to help promote Financial Literacy Month. Materials including a draft op-ed, press release, social media posts and graphics can be found at https://nast.org/financial-literacy-month.
I encourage each of us to capitalize on our roles as state treasurers to make constituents aware of both the need for functional financial knowledge and to provide resources to help others learn, grow and prosper.
Oklahoma State Treasurer
Chair, NAST Financial Education and Empowerment Committee