Financial Education and Consumer Behavior

November 2003 |

This presentation included an overview of TIAA-CREF and a detailed discussion of research conducted that analyzes the effectiveness of financial education on an individual's choice of retirement goals, their level of retirement saving, and their investment allocations in retirement accounts. Additional aspects of the research look at gender differences and the changes in saving behavior between men and women, after attendance at financial education programs.

Ms. d'Ambrosio concludes that this research has shown that financial education can produce significant changes in how individuals think and plan for retirement. The results have direct policy implications for plan sponsors and workers around the world, including both public and private retirement plans. Trends indicate that there are increased responsibilities of individuals to make saving and investing decisions that have lasting implications for their financial well-being. All of these trends underscore the importance of the research and the need for financial education. When it comes to retirement planning, ignorance is not bliss, and employees deserve quality education to help them achieve financial security in retirement.

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