Business News
Our Schools

The Importance of Financial Literacy

• Bookmarks: 34

January 14, 2022

Financial Literacy-Part one of a three-part series.

By Chip Wagner–

Why is financial literacy important to you? Two-thirds of our country is struggling with money issues. Understanding finances takes on a special urgency when living in Westchester County, one of the most expensive locations in the nation. Recent statistical surveys indicate that in a two-child Westchester household with both parents working, a satisfactory level of pre-tax income is approximately $120,000.

Your financial literacy is the foundation of your relationship with money; it is a lifelong challenge, and it represents a journey of learning. The earlier you start this journey, the better off you will be, because education and the pursuit of financial literacy is the key to financial success. Why should you care about financial literacy?

  • LOOK Cinemas Dobbs Ferry
  • LOOK Cinemas Dobbs Ferry

First a few of facts:

  • The past few years have caught many people unprepared! Surveys by the Federal Reserve Board indicate 36% of Americans would have difficulty paying for a $400 emergency,
  • Eight out of nine Americans carry an average debt of $30,000 or more
  • Average student loan debt is $38,792
  • If you are 50 or younger, Social Security is unlikely to be fully funded for your retirement
  • The simple “rule of 72” will tell you how long it takes to double your money The Rule of 72 estimates the number of years it takes to double your money at a specified rate of return. If, for example, your account earns four percent, divide 72 by four to get the number of years it will take for your money to double. In this case, 18 years
  • Credit scores don’t always improve when you don’t borrow any money and can impact more than your ability to borrow
  • According to a study by Clever, a digital learning platform, in 2020, the average New Yorker did not earn enough just to cover expenses

There are six basic principles of financial literacy…earn, spend, save, invest, borrow and protect. Among these, spending is a topic that demands a lot of time regarding budgeting, wants and needs and smart shopping.

Some people may have learned the basics at home, in school, or in their work, however today in an ever-changing world, there is no doubt we all need to play a bigger role and take ownership of our own financial well-being. The government is doing less. Many corporations have ended their pension plans, and yes, we are all living longer. Are you ready to live in retirement for 30 YEARS WITHOUT A PAYCHECK!

Here are some simple ways anyone can improve their financial literacy:

  • Hit the books, start with “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyoski, and “The Millionaire next door” by Thomas Stanley
  • Read magazines and online publications, for example the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Listen to podcasts & websites, for example Khan Academy, “Better Money Habits,” and Freakonomics
  • Take a financial literacy course either online or at your local community college.

(This is the first of a three-part series by Chip Wagner.  A longtime member of the Rotary Club of the Tarrytown’s, he recently retired after 38 years at Merrill Lynch and his mission in this next chapter of his life is to educate people to manage their finances wisely. This Spring semester, starting in February 2022, he will be teaching two classes at Westchester Community College (Course No. 1: A Checklist for the Future! Discover what you need to consider at every stage of retirement starting at age 50, Course No. 2: Six Concepts to Improve Your Financial Literacy Tool kit for financial planning). A description of the courses and information on how to register can be found here:,)

Share the News!
Andrea Martone - real estate in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and the Rivertowns

Energy Upgrades Help the Tarrytown Historical Society Preserve Its History

-- By Lily Carey Regulating the temperature and climate of your home is no easy task – especially for a...
Read More

Irvington High’s Brooke Dunefsky Advances in Regeneron Competition

Less than three weeks after learning that she was one of 300 high school students nationwide to be named in...
Read More

New Apartment Plan for 29 South Depot Plaza Gets Lukewarm Response

By Rick Pezzullo--- A new four-story, multi-family rental development proposed at 29 South Depot Plaza in Tarrytown was recently met...
Read More

Irvington Cross-Country Team Committed to Building on Recent Success

By Tom Pedulla--- Tradition matters. There is no stronger testament to that than the success Irvington is enjoying following its...
Read More

Dobbs Ferry Awarded State Funding for Pre-K Program

By Rick Pezzullo--- Dobbs Ferry is one of six area school districts that have been awarded funding from the New...
Read More

COVID Update: There’s Good News and There’s…More Good News

By Barrett Seaman— It was painful to watch, even if one wasn’t an actual victim of the Omicron surge that...
Read More

Harckham Secures $200K Grant for Pedestrian Safety in SH

By Rick Pezzullo--- State Senator Pete Harckham has secured $200,000 in state grant funding for the Village of Sleepy Hollow...
Read More

Reginald Lafayette, Former County Dem Chair and Co-Chair of Board of Elections, Dead at 69

By Barrett Seaman— Encomiums and eulogies poured in from Westchester politicians of both parties over the weekend after word spread...
Read More

Hendrickx Sworn In As Greenburgh Town Council Member

By Barrett Seaman-- A former Hastings Democratic Party chair and county aide, Ellen Hendrickx was sworn in as a member...
Read More

Irvington Girls Roll Over Dobbs Ferry on Hardwood, 50-31

By Tom Pedulla Two girls’ basketball teams in search of their better selves met when visiting Irvington rolled past Dobbs...
Read More
34 recommended
0 notes
bookmark icon