Wellness and Financial Education

Following on from our recent blog addressing mental wellbeing and finance, it’s also worth considering how this issue affects the young in our country, especially in terms of how we can help to prevent them suffering from the same pressures as earlier generations and avoid the mental distress caused by a messy, unstructured financial life.

In order to be adequately prepared for their financial future, the young need some serious help in understanding and navigating the practicalities of managing their money through all the critical points in their lives. To achieve this, financial education doesn’t just need to be taught, it needs to be framed within the right context and teachers need to be given the right tools to help instil the knowledge, and therefore the confidence, to enable the young to make informed financial decisions. This would also have a positive impact on future recruitment within our industry.

According to research by the 2018 Young Persons’ Money Index, whilst 62% of young people between 15 – 18 years old said that they receive financial education in school, this education is happening too infrequently to have a serious impact – only 33% said that they had a lesson ‘in the last month’ – leaving our youth badly prepared for this strand of adult life. They go on to illustrate that 71% of young people worry about money, rising to 81% in the 17 -18 age group. Increasing numbers say they are being exposed to scams and that the vast majority – 83% – say that they want to have more financial education whilst at school.

So, what can we as an industry do to help? PIMFA, in association with various industry pertners, are calling for clearer guidance to be given to teachers as to what financial education should cover and, importantly, for financial education to be allocated a mandatory number of hours – at least one per week.

As part of the government-sponsored UK Financial Capability Strategy, The Youth Financial Capability Group has developed Financial Education Planning frameworks to support teachers – particularly those who don’t have the time or resources to deliver specialist qualifications – which is being sent to all schools.

We are very keen to hear from any of our members who are, or who would like to be, involved in initiatives of this nature. We in our industry have the tools to make a genuine difference for the next generation, helping to manage financial stress before it occurs in our children and improving the possibilities for both recruitment and future client base.