The Cure for the American Debt Catastrophe–K12
San Marcos, Texas
Do you ever wonder about your financial future and job security? If you’re like most Americans, then the answer is “yes!” With all of the uncertainty surrounding the debt crisis in America and the personal savings rate in the negative, encouragement and support to build savings and net-worth are needed now more than ever. Everyone across the board is well aware that the American economy is in bad shape. But what most people may not know is just how severe the dilemma truly is.
Devastating effects of Economy
The destructive effects of the deficit have hit the nation with full force. Americans have accumulated enormous amounts of personal consumer debt! From just 2007-2011, 67% of Americans have experienced a huge plunge in their total wealth, a median 45% decline! It is extremely difficult for workers to bounce back from such a huge plummet in their income in only a matter a few years.
An astounding 77% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Many people in the nation carry over credit card debt from month to month and are unable to pay their bills on time. More than one in three Americans have said at one point in their life, they felt their financial situation was out of control.
Nearly 2/3 of Americans are experiencing financial problems such as paying for gas, food, rent or mortgage, healthcare and insurance. Many workers are worried about making ends meet, concerned about bankruptcy and losing their homes, not having enough money to cover expenses, and mounting credit card debt. Not to mention they are concerned with getting a good job or raise, keeping their job, coping with loss of money in the stock market, shrinking pensions and managing personal and consumer debt. Clearly, financial stress is on the rise.
Effects in Individuals
If the deficit can bring down an entire economy in a country as powerful as the United States, imagine what it can do to an individual at the personal level. Family lives suffer from economic frustrations. People are now bringing more stress home from their jobs along with the work. 8 out of 10 Americans claim that money, or rather lack of it, is a significant source of stress in their lives.
As a result, there are negative impacts in individuals, families, and employers. In a perfect world, people would be able to keep their financial pressure and home life issues separate from their work-life. However, many workers experience so much financially related stress, that it negatively impacts their work productivity. Their downfall of productivity may lead to losing their jobs. Thus, a vicious cycle is created that is tremendously difficult to escape.
It is impossible to separate your life so completely. When you are not feeling good about your future, it will have a negative impact on your home life as well. Statistics suggest finances play a leading role in 80% of all divorces in America. More than 52% of Americans experience anger, irritability, fatigue, and sleeplessness due to fiscal struggles.
Financial Stress-Related Illness
Additionally, monetary distress can take a heavy toll on one’s health and mental well being. An astonishing 75%-90% of all doctor’s visits are stress-related. Financial struggles may lead to stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, weight gain or loss, stomach problems, ulcers or digestive problems, aches and pains, and other general sickness.
There is a direct correlation of financial issues and health status. Needless to be said, this certainly adds to the frustration of being muddled waist-deep in debt. It is now estimated that it costs $15,000 per year per worker for financial stress related illness.
Who is to blame?
You may be wondering why so many people have found themselves burdened with financial suffering. People have blamed everything from A-Z for the damaged economy. Many are riddled with the seemingly complexity of how the situation became so dire. Who is the culprit in this case? The answer is really quite simple. The economy is at an all time low due to the lack of financial education within American citizens.
Many citizens do not know how to save, invest, borrow responsibly, and plan for their financial future. 65% of Americans consider themselves highly knowledgeable of their finances. However, 43% of Americans do not budget or track their expenses at all! And 63% have not viewed their credit score in the past year. 23% have never seen their credit report at all. About a third of Americans do not spend any portion of their income for retirement. Nearly two-thirds of Americans acknowledge that they aren’t saving enough.
Many of the most important life decisions Americans make revolve around their finances: a mortgage to purchase a home, a loan to purchase an automobile, credit to make purchases, investments for retirement and insurance for security. All of these financial services have become increasingly complex over time and there is a much wider range of product options offered, making decision-making more complicated.
Consumers need to be financially literate in order to make well-informed judgments about such complex products. Most people don’t know the terms of their mortgage or the interest-rate they are paying on their loan. At a time when Americans are borrowing more than ever, financial knowledge is essential.
The Secret Revealed at Last
How can the government or agencies fix the health care issue before fixing the U.S. financial problem? A financial education K-12 program is the solution. No, the employer doesn’t have to pay for 12 years of training, nor does the American W-2 or 1099 worker have to go back to school and get a diploma in ‘money education.’ (Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.) But a single money management education program that does cover K12 will work.
Money management training in America is crucial. Studies have shown that people who took a required course in finances were more likely to budget, save, and pay their credit cards in full. They were also less likely to max out credit cards. Research shows that as little as ten hours of financial education leads to positive changes in spending and savings habits.
America needs to become the leader again in having ‘savings’ rates of 10% or more. While the average, or even the higher income American, needs the education; the members of congress, their staff, their lobbyists and aids, should attend financial education programs as well.
Although this skill is usually neglected, financially literacy is becoming an increasingly important life skill needed to survive in modern day America. Knowing how to manage your finances is a powerful tool. The knowledge needed to manage your finances can prevent a vast amount of issues.
Help is on the Way
Ruben Ruiz, MSFS, ChFC, RFC , CEO, Author, and Award Winning Financial Advisor, offers financial education, training, development, consulting, coaching & advisory services through the selection of financial programs, where they can select one or all programs to provide financial empowerment. Ruben also writes books, in English and Spanish, providing a wealth of information on the ever-so important life skill of money-management. His workshops, boot camps, seminars, and books are the key to creating financial independence.
My Own Money Blueprint provides readers with the tools to gain financial security, peace of
mind and an independent lifestyle by learning the 12 models that make up your “Own Money
Blueprint.” The highly-anticipated book is soon to be released, and will be available December
15th, 2011, or earlier, in e-book format or traditional paperback.
The Richest Latino in America is the 21st century version of “The Richest Man in Babylon.” It is the 1st self-help, financial story or ‘novella’, written by a Latino financial advisor. It contains many memorable characters, humor, wealth principals, and easy, financial tips and techniques for all of America to manage their monthly paycheck and turn it into ‘net worth’ between the story pages of a novella that is guaranteed to hold their interest. It is much easier to read than the ‘Babylon’ book, that’s for sure.
Don’t let the title “The One-Hour Hispanic Millionaire” fool you into thinking this book must be fictional. In actuality, it contains 30 educational chapters, that help the average American learn in ‘one-hour’ a week to create wealth, achieve true financial independence, and yes, build a goal-based ‘million dollar’ net worth.
About Ruben Ruiz
Ruben Ruiz is an award-winning author, financial coach, president and CEO of The Ruiz Financial Group, LLC., and W&M Publishing. Ruiz is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of San Antonio and South Texas and has served in various positions for the organization, including chairman of the Board. Ruiz teaches, educates and provides consulting services to clients and associates in wealth management and financial planning. He has published three books on financial planning & money management, in English and Spanish.
Ruben Ruiz, Jr., MSFS, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is a regional director of Money Concepts Financial Planning Centers in San Marcos and San Antonio, Texas. Ruben’s firms have a long tradition of helping clients build, manage, and protect their wealth through financial planning and investment advisory services.
Mr. Ruiz has a bachelor of business administration (BBA) degree from Southwest Texas State University (Texas State University) and a master of science in financial services (MSFS) degree from the Richard D. Irwin Graduate School of The American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He holds the professional designations of the chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and the registered financial consultant (RFC).