By Jon S. Strebler
As a retired high school teacher, I know that the U.S. K-12 educational system is deeply flawed. Numerous studies show that the US lags most other developed countries in this area, often by a wide margin. The US school system turns out a huge number of high school graduates with just mediocre skills, much more than half of whom are unprepared to do legitimate university-level work, despite taking “college-prep” classes.
Setting aside these academic deficiencies, even the best high school graduates – and there are many, just to be fair – are typically very poorly prepared to deal with issues of personal finance that are needed by all citizens. How to budget, how to save/invest, plan for retirement, acquire and wisely utilize credit, rent or buy a house and a car, addressing insurance needs – these crucial topics are taught quite superficially, if at all, in most high schools. Even at the university level where the U.S. is still tops, most young people are successfully taught what they need in order to earn a decent income, but almost nothing at all about what to do with that income.