20 Nov 2012

Study highlights need for better financial education

8:01 am on 20 November 2012

The first long-term study on the savings habits of young New Zealanders highlights gaps in schooling when it comes to financial education.

The Financial Education and Research Centre partnership between Westpac and Massey University has released the results for its 20-year longitudinal study.

Of the 300 18-to-20 year olds surveyed, more than three-quarters say it is not important to plan any further than four years ahead when it comes to finances.

But the study also shows that two-thirds say everything they have learned about their finances came from their parents.

Westpac's managing director of private, wealth and insurance Simon Power says the study highlights the need for better education.

Mr Power says it is up to the Government to decide whether more financial literacy should be taught in schools.

On the positive side, the number of respondents signed up to KiwiSaver has risen by 6% in the past four months, while 80% believe credit cards can be problematic.

Mr Power says this shows young people are aware of the risks.