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article imageSurvey: Canadians need financial literacy education at all ages

By KJ Mullins     Jan 5, 2011 in Business
A new survey released by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) found that many in Canada are making financial decisions that threaten their long-term chances of prosperity.
The survey by Harris Decima found that Canadians believe that education about financial literacy must begin early. More than eight in ten surveyed believe that young Canadians are not prepared to manage their finances when they start their working years and think these skills should be part of school curriculum. Parents also believe that the financial services industry itself must take responsibility with educating children and teens about basic financial decision making skills.
Most Canadians are teaching their children about managing money but two-thirds feel that they aren't successful with showing the kids those skills. Knowing how to teach their kids financial skills is the second most sought after financial literacy skills.
Knowing how to minimize taxes was the most important skill Canadians want to have according to the survey.
Parents need the education too. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed carry over a monthly balance on their credit cards. Of that group over 50 percent intend to carry forward a balance of the next month. Over 12 percent of Canadians have gotten a loan in order to cover their day-to-day expenses and half still owe on those loans.
Forty percent of respondents over the age of 55 said that they have not saved enough for their retirement. Thirty-two percent of those who plan on retiring within 5 years have yet to save enough to do so.
"Clearly, Canadians want financial literacy education for our youth but rising debt and insufficient retirement savings highlight a need for help at all ages," says Kevin Dancey, FCA, president and CEO, CICA. "The good news is that Canadians see financial literacy as an essential life skill. Helping Canadians develop financial knowledge is critical to Canada's ongoing prosperity and growth."
A survey summary report is available online at www.cica.ca/flsurvey2010.
More about Survey, Canadians, Financial literacy, Education
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