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Are Americans Making The Grade When It Comes To Financial Literacy? According To Genworth Survey, It Depends On Who You Ask

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans have a bit of a superiority complex when it comes to grading their financial prowess. Genworth's latest Psychology of Financial Planning research reveals that more than half (52%) of Americans gave themselves an A or B grade on their saving and investing knowledge, while giving the average American a failing grade of D. What nearly everyone (97%) can agree on, however, is the importance of financial literacy and the fact that they don't have enough (88%). In fact, 58 percent of respondents blamed lack of financial education as a top reason why pre-retirees don't have enough money saved for retirement.

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Genworth's continuing series of Psychology of Financial Planning consumer research aims to gain further insight into the psyche of Americans and what prompts or restricts them from planning for their financial futures. Genworth's latest study focuses on Americans' financial literacy.

"Despite having more financial education resources available than ever before in the form of books, TV shows, websites, blogs, etc. we don't take advantage of them and, if we do, we don't apply what we learn. Why?  Financial decisions, behaviors, and actions are highly motivated by emotional and psychological factors," says Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, a New York-based psychologist and money coach.  "If we can better understand our personal feelings about money, we will be more able to educate ourselves and, most important, better apply this knowledge to secure our own and our families' futures."

Psychological feelings about one's finances and motivation to become financially educated vary by individual, with particularly significant differences between genders. The data reveals that only 40 percent of women would give themselves a grade of A or B on their knowledge of saving, preparing for the future, and investing options compared to 66 percent of men.  Furthermore, women (21%) appear to be more driven by fear than men (14%) when it comes to seeking more financial education.

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