Apparently, it's the same place where we make it.

American job seekers don’t just want a place where they can earn money, they want to find an employer who can show them how to manage it. Those lessons are now such a hot commodity that they’re among the top three draws in a war for talent described in a report this month from Fidelity Investments.

Programs that teach how to build financial security rank up there with those that offer help to manage things like diabetes or depression — physical and emotional well-being. And, according to a Fidelity survey this spring,  their popularity is gaining ground. Now 84 percent of companies offering such programs. That’s up from 76 percent a year ago.

And why not? The evidence that they aren’t getting those lessons elsewhere has been piling up for a while.

Financial homeschooling isn’t working

Most people — about nine in every 10 — rely on their parents to pass on knowledge of financial literacy, according to an Equifax 2017 survey of consumers.  The problem is, parents aren’t always the best teachers.

Some 77 percent of parents say they’re comfortable teaching their kids saving and budget basics, but most pull up short of more complicated concepts such as investing and retirement, according to U.S. Bank.

More than half do share their wisdom on credit. Sometimes, however, they aren’t so wise. Just over half of parents think the balance in your savings account affects your credit score. (It does not.) And 52 percent believe debit cards and checks can boost your credit score. (They can’t.)

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The schoolhouse doesn’t rock

If people aren’t turning to their parents, they’re relying on their schooling. These are courses given in high school or college, Equifax’s survey said.

But that’s not working out so well, either.

When it came to one international test of math, science, and financial literacy, one in five American 15-year-olds failed. Students in China, Belgium, parts of Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, and Australia did better.

Adults are eager to learn what they don’t know. About 45 percent surveyed said they turn to news articles on financial websites for information, and 28 percent sought advice from family and friends.

This knowledge gap has given employers a powerful new bargaining chip in the battle to lure employees.

The money management lessons and tools we’re talking about here go far beyond a seminar on retirement. Companies are offering help to employees who need strategies to pay off student loans, whittle credit card debt, save for a mortgage and more.

“Employees in today’s workforce include multiple generations and seek help with paying off college debt, budgeting, saving for a home and for retirement,” says Kevin Barry, president of Fidelity’s Workplace Investing business. “We empathize with employees who find it hard to consider retirement when the financial pressures of today, such as overwhelming college loan debt, challenge their short and long-term savings abilities.”

This year, some 82 percent of employers are squeezing these opportunities into learning lunch hours or offering seminars. Others put employees in the driver’s seat, letting them tap online tools that can help  make decisions about savings and debt, mortgages and wills. About a quarter offer more personalized help such as student loan counseling or repayment assistance.

No doubt, when it comes to financial literacy, Americans have plenty of room to step up their game. Parents might want to check out this advice from Debt.com’s Howard Dvorkin.

To track current financial literacy trends or why financial literacy is an insanely necessary skill that you may not even know you need Debt.com’s round up here.

Meet the Author

Michelle Bryan

Michelle Bryan

Social Media Director

Bryan is the social media director for Debt.com.

Budgeting & Saving, News

financial literacy, office life, save money

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Article last modified on November 3, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Where Is The Best Place To Learn About Money? - AMP.