Why young people need personal finance education

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It's no secret that many young people today are not well-versed in personal finance. 

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A recent study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found that only 24% of millennials could correctly answer four basic financial literacy questions. 

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Given these findings, it's not surprising that many states are now mandating personal finance education in their public high schools.

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So far, the results of these mandates are mixed. 

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A study by the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College found that while test scores improved after states implemented personal finance mandates. 

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There was no significant difference in actual financial behaviors, like saving and investing. There are a number of possible explanations for this discrepancy. 

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First, personal finance is often taught as a stand-alone course, rather than integrated into other subjects like math or social studies. 

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This can make the material seem abstract and unimportant to students.

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Second, personal finance courses tend to focus on basic concepts like budgeting and credit. Rather than more sophisticated topics like investing and retirement planning. 

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This may be due to the fact that many teachers of personal finance are not themselves financial experts.

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Finally, the timing of personal finance education may also be a factor. 

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For many students, the material covered in personal finance courses is not relevant to their lives until they are well into their 20s or 30s. 

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By that time, it may be too late to make meaningful changes to their financial behaviors.

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