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Financial literacy and retirement planning in the United States*


We examine financial literacy in the US using the new National Financial Capability Study, wherein we demonstrate that financial literacy is particularly low among the young, women, and the less-educated. Moreover, Hispanics and African-Americans score the least well on financial literacy concepts. Interestingly, all groups rate themselves as rather well-informed about financial matters, notwithstanding their actual performance on the key literacy questions. Finally, we show that people who score higher on the financial literacy questions are much more likely to plan for retirement, which is likely to leave them better positioned for old age. Our results will inform those seeking to target financial literacy programmes to those in most need.

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Lusardi and Annamaria (2008) Financial Literacy: An Essential Tool for Informed Consumer Choice? Working Paper, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University.

Annamaria Lusardi and Jason Beeler (2007) Saving between cohorts: The role of planning. In B. Madrian , O.S. Mitchell and B. Soldo (eds), Redefining Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare? Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 271295.

Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell (2011) Financial literacy and planning: implications for retirement wellbeing, forthcoming. In Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia Mitchell (eds), Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

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Journal of Pension Economics & Finance
  • ISSN: 1474-7472
  • EISSN: 1475-3022
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-pension-economics-and-finance
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