Financial Education – Education for Adults Also Includes Recovery

Most adults have never received – and will never take – a formal financial education course. The most common ways people make financial decisions is by asking people in their network, searching online resources or books, and taking the advice of people who are trying to sell them financial service products.

As people get older, there are increased challenges to getting a financial education. There are a wider variety of issues that must be addressed among adults than among youth, and financial habits become more deeply rooted as people mature. Adults often need to work through behavioral and psychological money issues before they can truly benefit from financial education.

Research, Statistics & Quotes

Over 30% of adults fail a financial education test for 15- to 18-year-olds.

National Financial Educators Council

Participants who indicated that they had received financial literacy education scored higher on the financial literacy test in the Financial Capability Survey. On average, they scored 3.6 while those without the financial literacy education scored 3.1.


Those who are more financially literate earn 130 basis points more on their portfolio (adjusted for risk).

Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center

Nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy.

National Capability Study from FINRA as reported by Fortune

“Nationwide testing demonstrates that the average person lacks the basic financial knowledge he or she needs to make qualified financial decisions. Testing is just an indicator of content knowledge. But unlike other subject matter taught in school, financial literacy requires more than just understanding content. It requires learners to be able to adjust their daily financial behaviors and have enough knowledge to make confident financial decisions.”

Vince Shorb, CEO, National Financial Educators Council

NFEC Position Statement

It’s never too late to improve your finances or financial knowledge. We recommend that adults who lack financial literacy seek out materials designed to help them gain knowledge, form positive behaviors, and create systems that can help them work toward greater financial security.

To support the efforts of adults who do seek this information, the NFEC provides training and resources to organizations serving adults. Personal training options are also available for those who prefer self-study. Our Certified educators are available as adult financial education tutors for those who need more personalized support. Our colleagues who have decided to become champions of the financial education cause provide stellar examples of how the financial literacy movement is being moved forward.