Financial Literacy, Retirement Issues Top Priority For Senate Committee

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Getting ready for retirement is one of our biggest goals we prepare for but many Americans don’t understand how to properly save their money or understand some financial programs that can provide assistance. A Congressional committee is looking to fix that.  

“When nearing retirement, so many Americans face complex financial decisions and these decisions can be daunting for anyone,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA).

According to a study from FINRA, an investment education foundation, about a third of Americans can answer four or five basic financial literacy questions. The Senate Aging Committee zeroed in on this for people with disabilities or older adults. They said when it comes to things like money management, retirement and claiming social security, many people don’t know where to turn to.

“Last year my constituent service team received over one-thousand calls and emails from Pennsylvanians on these issues,” added Casey.

Financial advisers told members the government should provide resources and guidance to people who need help with their finances or enrollment in programs like Medicare.  Adding that many face obstacles on getting information.

“Lacking computer skills or internet access creates further barriers,” said Patti Szarowicz, an aging and disability resource counselor for the Atlanta Regional Commission. “Oftentimes I can hear the pain and despair in their voices. The calls have become increasingly complex because of the difficulty navigating healthcare and financial benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid and social security.”

They also encourage that young students learning about finances can help them prepare for their future.

“Money management is a skill set, a soft skill set with a principle that once implemented it will work for you no matter if you’re young or old,” said Dorothea Bernique with Increasing H.O.P.E. a financial training center.

The committee also released an informational report for people wanting to learn about financial literacy and some tools that are available to them.

“Financial literacy is a core component of the American dream,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R- SC). “It empowers consumers to responsibly participate in the mainstream economic system.”


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