How often do we have to get whacked upside the head by an issue before we start paying attention to it?
Beats me. Tom Hood and I have been preaching the social media gospel to CPAs for years now, and many still aren’t paying attention.
I know this much, though: When I hear the same message three times from three separate media outlets in less than 24 hours, I sit up and take notice.
That’s what happened recently in the financial literacy arena. In quick succession, my wife heard three separate reports on the latest trend in workplace benefits — employers who provide their workers with access to financial advice.
“A Society for Human Resource Management survey shows a quarter of companies now provide one-on-one financial counseling, and more than half offer one-on-one investment advice — up from about a third four years ago,” David Greene reports for NPR’s Planey Money.
A similar report turned up on NPR’s Marketplace shortly after, followed by a few scathing reviews of McDonald’s effort to provide employees with an online budget guide. Apparently, the guide (a) didn’t factor in basic necessities like food, heat, gas and clothing, and (b) assumes workers will be working two jobs to make ends meet.
The McDonald’s report notwithstanding, this trend needs to spread, and fast.
Need proof? Look at the stats:
Look, I’m all for personal freedom and making our own choices, but my god — at some point, someone has to step in and save us from ourselves. If we’re not going to take care of our future financial needs, maybe someone needs to give us a nudge in the right direction.
If we’re going to thrive going forward, our rate of learning has to be greater than the rate of change.
That learning has to include basic financial literacy.