Financial Education is Fundamental

Mar 2, 2023

In today’s dynamic economy, Americans who lack financial proficiency risk falling behind. Life insurers are committed to helping people achieve economic empowerment through financial education.

Among the ways we demonstrate that commitment is through life insurers’ active partnership with Junior Achievement USA (JA). JA provides valuable financial lessons to more than 3.5 million students at more than 100 local chapters from coast-to-coast. Life insurers directly support JA’s financial education programs through the ACLI Capital Challenge, an annual road race in Washington D.C. for all three branches of the federal government and the media that benefits JA.

We also provide direct support in states across the nation, including Florida. In Florida alone, JA has nine chapters in all corners of the state, from Pensacola to Orlando to Miami. And life insurers are helping these Florida chapters thrive.

Life insurers provide financial support to the local chapters, life insurance company employees serve on chapter boards and volunteers provide countless hours for JA programs. JA provides young people with the financial acumen and skills that will help them achieve long-term financial certainty.

The focus on financial education is especially important now, because financial literacy rates in the United States have been steadily declining since 2009. People with lower financial literacy are much less likely to have planned for their retirement savings needs (29% vs. 52%) or to have opened a retirement account (43% vs. 70%).

Moreover, a Wharton study found that more than one-third of financial inequality in the United States could be accounted for by the differences in financial literacy.

Life insurers’ support for Florida education is also demonstrated through its investments. Life insurers have invested more than $600 million in bonds issued by the state’s school districts and universities.

These investments supporting education are just a small part of our industry’s broad investment footprint throughout the Sunshine State. All told, life insurers invest more than $407 billion into Florida’s economy, including loans for infrastructure projects, residential and retail mortgages and more.

Life insurers believe that everyone, no matter their age, job, income, gender, or race, deserves the chance to build financial certainty. Through our investments and our support of JA programs, we are helping Floridians – young and old – advance toward a future with financial security.

Curt Leonard

Curt Leonard is Regional Vice President, State Relations at the American Council of Life Insurers. He is responsible for state legislative and regulatory affairs in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina. He also leads ACLI’s state advocacy team on issues of genetic science and long term care insurance. He joined ACLI in 2003.