Why financial literacy (and advice) is important to education members
(Reading time: 3:30)
Pay grids. Pension contributions. Deferred leaves. These are all factors unique to education members.
And each of these factors plays an important role when it comes to your overall financial journey.
From your first day of work, to reaching your 85 or 90 Factor and beyond—that journey is dramatically improved and enhanced by two key things: financial literacy and professional financial advice.
Take financial literacy for starters. It’s the power to practice what you teach.
Mortgage stress tests, ever-changing interest rates, and new technologies have completely transformed the way we spend, send, and receive money. Managing your finances is more frantic and complex than ever. Financial literacy, however, provides you with the ability to calmly and confidently make informed decisions where your finances are concerned.
From better managing debt to setting goals and saving for the future, here’s why financial literacy should matter to education members:
- 25% of education members keep a monthly balance on their credit cards.
- 47% don’t think their pension will be enough to fund their retirement.
- 48% say the summer months are more difficult to manage financially.
- 54% have debt (other than a mortgage) they would like to get under control.
The above statistics are just a few examples of the obstacles (e.g. debt, uncertainty about the future, lack of cash flow) financially impeding education members. As time goes by, it’s easy to feel trapped by those obstacles—especially when you don’t know the kind of financial tools available to you.
That’s where financial literacy opens you up to a host of options for overcoming challenges and achieving goals.
“The more familiar you become with the various financial products and strategies that are out there, the more adept you’ll be at choosing the kinds of solutions that will enable you to conquer your own financial obstacles, once and for all”, says Educators Certified Financial Planner professional Franc Oliveri.
Most importantly, you will have a better understanding of any financial mistakes made in the past.
While you can’t go back in time and fix those mistakes (because as the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20”), financial literacy does provide you with the ability to ‘future-proof’ your financial decisions. Only by learning from your missteps will you be able to move your financial situation forward.
Next, take your financial literacy to the next level by enlisting professional financial advice.
To reach Olympic-level goals, an athlete requires help from a highly skilled trainer—someone not only proficient in the sport, but who also has the capacity to fully understand both the expectations and limitations of the aspiring individual. Taking your financial goals beyond the scope of your own financial literacy requires the same kind of dedicated expertise.
An Educators Certified Financial Planner professional is this kind of expert. From simple to more complex financial goals, a Certified Financial Planner professional can:
- Assist you with budgeting
- Show you how to better manage your debt
- Develop an estate plan to protect your assets
- Help you choose the investments suited to specific financial goals
- Provide advice (and a plan) on how to cope with sudden financial challenges
And that’s just for starters.
Professional financial advice is also proven to reward investors with significantly higher returns.
Research conducted by the Investment Planning Council (IPC) shows that individuals who invest with the assistance of a financial advisor amass almost double the assets after only 4 years and four times the returns after 15 years (compared to those who don’t enlist an advisor for their investments over the same timeframe).
A few things to consider when selecting professional financial advice:
- Do they have the qualifications to actually give advice/sell investment products?
- What are their certifications and/or designations (i.e. PFP, CFP)?
- Are they registered and in good standing with a securities regulator (e.g. the Ontario Securities Commission)?
- What products and services do they offer? Are they socially responsible?
- How are they paid (e.g. salary, commission, fee, etc.)?
- Who else do they advise (i.e. do they have other clients)?
- Do they specialize in a certain type of client (e.g. education members)?
When it comes to financial literacy and professional financial advice, don’t settle for the generic kind.
Instead, choose information and advice that is unique to education members. From how to take your money beyond pay grids and pension income to what retired education members need to know about the pension income tax credit, Educators Financial Group offers you specialized resources and advice you won’t find anywhere else.
Do you have specific financial goals you want to achieve or obstacles you want to overcome? We can help. Have an Educators financial specialist reach out to you directly.
Also be sure to check out The Learning Centre—a great way to boost your financial literacy at your own pace.