Financial Literacy as an Economic Development Tool

3 May 2019

CERC’s Municipal Services and Research teams are currently working with the Town of Windham to put together a plan for starting a financial literacy center. While we are not yet sure what it will look like, I have been doing research on best practices from around the country, and all the evidence shows that financial literacy incredibly important for strong economic and community development.

When individuals are not financially literate, they often do not sufficiently plan for retirement, have fewer assets and higher debt, use more expensive financial services, and participate in the stock market less frequently. Most notably, higher debt leads to decreased ability to spend, which, in turn, leads to a slower rate of asset accumulation. Plus, a lack of funds during retirement due to insufficient planning and limited stock market participation leads to diminished purchasing power in old age. All of this negatively impacts the economy at the local, state, national, and even global levels.

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