As usual, I'm about three months or so behind the curve. I just discovered that USAA completed a survey back in August regarding teens, parents, and how they all relate with money. I won't say that the findings stun me. I'll just say that in a self-indulgent society such as ours, where blinged-out shows like MTV's Cribs and My Super Sweet 16 get and keep audiences, and where young kids actually consider Paris Hilton to be something other than a waste of breathable air, it's really no wonder that 61 percent of teens think they will become millionaires by age 40 or younger. Nearly half expect to retire by age 60.
No, really. That's what the survey found.
Fellow blogger FMF briefly touched on this same survey in September, in his post "The (Financially) Blind Leading the Blind." He mentioned that the USAA survey suggests that while 86 percent of teens say their parents are their most helpful source of info about money, a hefty 49 percent of parents rate their money-management skills somewhere in the range from "okay" to "terrible."
"I think that too many parents are giving themselves too much credit," FMF wrote. "Based on what I've seen, more than 49% are much worse than what is indicated here."
Holy cow, yes. I agree, and agree, and agree some more. When it comes to kids learning about money from their parents, I'm pretty certain that we're reaping what we've sown. Most parents suck at money. Thus, the outlook for their kids' cash-management skills is downright horrible.
Now, I've looked all over the 'net for text from the USAA survey proper, but the best I've been able to find is a synopsis at USAA's News Center:
USAA: "Teens Aren't Always Prepared for Managing Money"
A few more items that jump out at me:
To which I'd respond, "Whatever. A whole lot of parents just didn't confess."
And this tidbit:
Take those two items together, and you know what it all says to me?
Yeah, we're doomed.