Only half of teens name financial independence from parents a financial goal, Junior Achievement survey shows


By Desiree Williams

A new survey conducted by Junior Achievement USA and AIG found that only half of teens name financial independence from their parents as a future goal. Most teens focused on paying for college and creating a savings plan. They also cited concerns about lacking the skills to manage money.


JA provides hands-on, project-based learning opportunities in schools for students K-12 with a concentration on four pillars: career exploration, financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The Central Indiana chapter serves students in 30 counties, including Hamilton and Boone.

JA partnered with AIG, a national insurance and finance organization, to produce the 2018 JA Teens & Personal Finance Survey during April, National Financial Literacy Month, to highlight how this generation is planning for its financial future. The survey polled 1,000 U.S. students from ages 13 to 18.

According to the survey, teens’ financial goals are: Graduating from college (75 percent), creating a savings plan (50 percent), affording international travel (37 percent), starting a business (30 percent) and retiring before age 65 (29 percent).

The survey also requested teens’ top financial concerns, which are: Being able to pay for college (54 percent), finding a fulfilling and well-paying job (52 percent), not being able to afford their own home (49 percent), not having skills to manage money (42 percent) and not having savings for an emergency (41 percent).

The survey also found that 95 percent of teens would appreciate a financial literacy program in their schools.

“We know that despite many caregivers’ best intentions, the majority of students really don’t have a lot of opportunities to build their financial literacy and to be prepared to have a budget and an understanding of what goes into managing their financial futures without some extra help,” said Jennifer Burk, president and CEO of JA of Central Indiana.

To address the findings, Burk said JA plans to reach students at a younger age and expand their nine high school programs to a greater degree than ever before. Burk said the goal is for every high school student to complete either the JA Personal Finance or JA Finance Park program.

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