Nations globally, from Korea to Australia to Germany, are faced with populations who do not understand financial basics. The level of financial literacy varies according to education and income levels, but evidence shows that highly educated consumers with high incomes can be just as ignorant about financial issues as less-educated, lower-income consumers (though in general, the later do tend to be less financially literate). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) cited a survey conducted in Canada that found that choosing the right investment for a retirement savings plan was more stressful than a visit to the dentist.
Compounding the problems associated with financial illiteracy, it appears financial decision-making is also getting more onerous for consumers.
Right before the holidays, toy stores are often inundated with eager parents scrambling to get the latest action figures and video games.
Attempt to read the entire dictionary in one sitting and you'll inundate your mind with vocabulary.
This group also does not invest, has trouble with debt and a poor understanding of the terms of their mortgages or loans.
Even more worrisome, many consumers believe that they are far more financially literate than they really are.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inundate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. (The inundations ceased with the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1970.) Whenever a critical issue is being debated, the White House and Congressional offices are inundated with phone calls and e-mails, just as a town may be inundated with complaints when it starts charging a fee for garbage pickup.
Five trends are converging that demonstrate the importance of making thoughtful and informed decisions about finances: Financial literacy is crucial to help consumers save enough to provide adequate income in retirement, while avoiding high levels of debt that might result in bankruptcy, defaults and foreclosures.
A few years ago, a study from financial services company TIAA-CREF showed that those with high financial literacy plan for retirement and, in essence, have double the wealth of people who do not plan for retirement.
Recent trends are making it all the more imperative that consumers understand basic finances, because they are being asked to shoulder more of the burden of investment decisions in their retirement accounts – all while having to decipher more complex financial products and options.
Learning how to read financially is not easy, but once mastered, it can ease life's burdens tremendously.
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