The deep downturn in the American economy may have an unexpected upside for future generations. Parents appear to be more aware of the importance of educating their children about money.  According to a new Country Financial survey, more than half (58%) of parents have increased their focus on teaching their children about personal finances due to current economic conditions. Two-thirds (66%) rate their communication about money matters with their children as excellent or good.

Recession aside, this increased focus may also be attributed to the fact that many parents believe their children are not getting the financial education they need in school.  Forty-one say their child’s school is not doing enough to teach basic money management. Another 34% are unsure if schools are giving their children the proper education in personal finance.

Key findings include:

  • Although parents differ on the exact age to start educating their children on money matters, two-thirds believe education should start before age seven.
  • Seventy percent of “Gen Y” parents (age 18 to 29) rate their communication with their children about finances as excellent or good.  In comparison, 68% of 50 to 64 year olds, and 50% of those 65 or older say the same.
  • Forty-five percent of parents age 18 to 29, and 40% of parents age 30 to 39 believe children should learn about personal finance before age five. In contrast, just 23% of parents age 50 to 64, and 15% of those 65 and older believe parents should begin teaching at this age.