I recently had a conversation with an individual about the very last sentence in this Ben Carlson post Stressing Out about Money, “Too many people are on their own when it comes to making financial decisions.”
As American businesses have shifted from pensions to 401ks, it has shifted the responsibility for retirement savings from the employer to the employee. I agree with Carlson in that my experience within the financial services industry has indicated to me that most people have a hard enough time dealing with the basics of their financial lives let alone how to build a retirement portfolio.
Dealing with money can be one of the most stressful aspects of our lives and thus has an unfortunate trickle effect that ripples throughout our lives. Financial stress can have negative consequences on our work/career and more importantly our relationships. Depending on which study you’re looking at, finances are one of the top reasons that couples get divorced.
So if our finances can create so much stress and chaos in our lives, it begs the question, where does our financial education come from? To my knowledge fundamentals of personal finances are not taught in school at least not when I was there either at the high school or college level. Only if you were going into the field of financial services would you come across a class that would touch on this subject.