Fewer than four in 10 Americans adults across all age groups feel that they have the knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions, while only a third feel in control of their financial future, according to a new survey by Webster Bank. When asked about their top financial challenges, 65% said they feel they are not saving enough for retirement, while 63% said they can’t seem to save like they should. Fifty-five percent admitted to worrying “a lot” about their financial situation, and about half said they live paycheck to paycheck.
With regard to financial education, 63% said they hadn’t received lessons in middle or high school on how to manage their finances. Of the 27% who did receive a financial education in middle or high school, the majority (85%) said it helped prepare them to manage their finances as adults. A similar percentage agreed that schools should invest more in financial education for students.
In terms of financial priorities, 57% said they were prioritizing saving for emergencies, 55% said saving for retirement, and 41% said reducing or eliminating debt. Only 23% of respondents reported having an existing emergency fund that could cover more than six months of expenses.