Does Financial Education in High School Affect Retirement Savings in Adulthood?

25 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2022

See all articles by Melody Harvey

Melody Harvey

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Institute for Research on Poverty

Carly Urban

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Date Written: February 2022

Abstract

Since individuals are increasingly required to manage their own retirement portfolios, policy levers that increase retirement planning and saving have become increasingly important. We use variation in timing and presence of state-required personal finance coursework in high schools to estimate the effect of the financial education coursework on the likelihood of holding and amount in retirement accounts in adulthood (ages 25–40). Our results show no definitive increases in account ownership, non-retirement investment accounts, or homeownership. Since prior work finds required high school financial education improves credit and debt outcomes, we recommend that states and educators prioritize content that is more immediately relevant for 18-year-olds, such as budgeting, long-term debt, and credit.

Keywords: financial education, financial literacy, retirement savings, high school financial education

Suggested Citation

Harvey, Melody and Urban, Carly, Does Financial Education in High School Affect Retirement Savings in Adulthood? (February 2022). Wharton Pension Research Council Working Paper No. 2022-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4037547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4037547

Melody Harvey (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Institute for Research on Poverty ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Carly Urban

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States
4069942005 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.montana.edu/urban

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