Financial Literacy is Vital… for Everyone!

On this episode of A Wiser Retirement Podcast, Casey Smith kicks off the episode by introducing Jared Knox, a local artist from Marietta, Georgia. He painted the new artwork of the bear and the bull that we have hanging in the background of our podcast every week. Jared’s art can be found in DK Gallery down the street from our office in the Marietta Square.

On the rest of the episode, Casey is joined by Michaela Dowdy, Financial Planning Associate at Wiser Wealth Management and Jason Waters, CFP®, Financial Planner and Marietta School Board Member. They explain the importance of financial literacy for everyone.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or watch on YouTube:


The Importance of Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is important because it impacts your whole life. If you don’t know much about finances, it can be difficult to make the transition to adulthood. It is important to understand student loans, taxes and credit scores. These are both aspects of finance that can immensely impact your life. Fortunately, the Georgia state board has developed a law that makes finance classes required in schools. It will be introduced in schools all over Georgia by 2024.

Beware of Student Loans

Most of the time, college is not looked at as an investment, but instead, as the next stepping stone for young adults. This makes it easy for people to fall into student loan debt. Most young adults go to college not knowing what they want to do with their future, making it easy to cover college expenses by taking out loans. Consider thinking about your future, what you’re passionate about and make sure to weigh your options before taking on any student loans.

Understanding the Why

We believe that it is important to teach students the basics of finances and explain why they are important. Most high school students are caught in the moment and too focused on their current lives. This may include getting into the college of their choice or scoring well on the ACT. So, it can be difficult for them to see the importance of financial literacy. However, if it is taught in the correct way by the right teachers, these financial courses could be very influential to their future. Interestingly, Jason explains the school board has partnered with a credit union to help high schoolers understand what bank tellers do.

Teaching Finance to the Next Generation

Ultimately, financial literacy needs to start at home. It is important to teach the next generation how to handle money so they can be successful. This will help their future self and give them the ability to carry on their family’s legacy. In addition to learning financial principles from home, learning about it in school is also helpful. Not everyone comes from a stable family background, so if this is the case, a school program can help to teach good financial practices to create a solid foundation for future financial success.

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0:00 Intro

8:11 Importance of Financial Literacy

12:37 Beware of Student Loans

20:42 Understanding the Why

25:56 Teaching Finance to the Next Generation


Learn more about Casey Smith and connect with him on Twitter.

Learn more about Michaela Dowdy.

Learn more about Jason Waters.

Learn more about Jared Knox.


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Learn more about A Wiser Retirement podcast and access previous episodes.


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