Financial acumen, readiness: the earlier it's taught, the better

What does teaching children about money management, fundamental business realities, debt/borrowing, credit, economics and other financial matters have to do, if anything, with estate planning?

A great deal, actually, given that an effective estate administration plan executed later in life necessarily includes financial considerations across a wide spectrum of matters.

Upon reaching a certain age (which varies from case to case), some people consider personal estate planning and quickly conclude that they know very little about it or how to get started, because of a lack of acumen concerning financial matters.

Global financial services firm PwC believes that there is a strong need presently for educators across the United States to teach basic financial literacy to children in lower grade levels.

In fact, the earlier the better, with kindergarten not even being off limits. PwC wrote a report on the matter recently that discusses “the gap in financial education” that the firm believes can be optimally addressed by educators in schools, “starting in the early grades.”

The utility of mass teaching of young minds regarding financial topics such as budgeting, saving, good versus bad debt, preparing for the future and so forth is clear enough, if it translates — as PwC thinks it will — to a better educated demographic some years down the road.

And it would certainly have an impact for many young people on their understanding of estate planning and what it entails. Additionally, through enhanced education that promotes better decisions in money matters over time, more people will be better able to appreciate down the road what a sound estate plan means in their lives personally, from matters ranging from wills, trusts and asset preservation to inheritances, charitable giving and a host of other financial considerations.

Timely and tailored estate planning can be — and often is — of flatly tremendous importance to individuals and families. Bringing some acumen to the process regarding financial matters across multiple dimensions can render planning even more effective.

It’s hard to argue against PwC’s thesis that formal instruction regarding financial education should begin early in the nation’s schools and be taught long-term and in a comprehensive manner.

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