It is the time of year when proud but anxious parents watch excitedly as their teens graduate high school and begin the transition to independent adulthood. It is a time of mixed emotions, but parents aren’t the only ones who are anxious, says Graham McCaulley, assistant extension professor in personal financial planning at the University of Missouri.
A recent survey found that about a third of teens don’t believe they can be financially independent of their parents by age 30. The survey, from Wakefield Research on behalf of Junior Achievement, asked 1,000 13- to 18-year-olds about their financial concerns. Most respondents in the study (64%) said they depend on their parents or caregivers for advice about money. Unfortunately, the National Financial Educators Council suggests that some adults may be ill-prepared to help their teens learn to manage their money. The average score for 17,000 participants from all age groups who took the council’s National Financial Capability Test was only 63.17%.
How can you help your teen get a head start on adult financial life? The MU Center for Economic and Financial Education has partnered with Texas Tech University and the Charles Schwab Foundation to host a Financial Planning Academy for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors July 21-26 on the MU campus.
“We’re excited to offer a program that provides exposure and training in personal financial planning,” says McCaulley. “In spite of its importance, we know financial planning can be a challenge for teenagers, and that’s why we are building in fun events and hands-on activities to keep their attention and reinforce the learning.” The academy includes several supervised social events like a pool party, off-campus dinner, and games.
McCaulley says students will get to try out life in a residence hall while they work in teams with financial experts from across the country to deepen their understanding of personal finance and learn about the financial planning profession.
The week will include working on a financial planning case study, developing a financial plan and participating in competitions for scholarships and prizes. Students also can develop their skills in leadership, communication, team building, entrepreneurship, marketing and more. Interested students can learn more about the program and apply online at www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/pfp/fpa/missouri.php. Call 573-882-2005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.