FINRA Releases Study on Financial Capability

Results Show Continued Need for Financial Literacy Education and Counseling

Following a survey of over 31,000 American, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation has released the results from their 2015 study. Evaluating trends since 2009, the study looks at the financial capability of Americans on a national and state-by-state level. Specific data included:

- 56% of South Dakotans reported spending all or more than what they make, putting nothing into savings.
- 19% of South Dakotans reported having over due medical bills, only 2% less than the national average.
- 26% of South Dakotans reported only paying minimums on credit cards, which may stretch a payment plan more than 30 years and more than triple the total payback amount.
- 56% of South Dakotans answered 3 or fewer questions correctly on a basic, 5-point financial literacy quiz.

While South Dakota’s statistics were slightly better than the national average, the LSS Center for Financial Resources (CFR) continues to see the broader impact of the issues outlined in the FINRA study.

“Our clients often come in with anxiety, stress, and even depression because of their financial situations,” states Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator for CFR. “For most people, there are options available to address their financial challenges, but because of the emotions involved, they aren’t sure where to begin. Our counselors give them direction and encouragement towards making financial progress.”

CFR provides both individual financial counseling and group financial literacy education across eastern South Dakota. CFR’s services are available in person, over the phone, and online.

Lutheran Social Services is a private non-profit social service agency. Last year, 50,700 lives were touched through a variety of services offered through LSS statewide. Core services offered by LSS include adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, kinship services, childcare & education, disaster response, mental health counseling, Fatherhood & Families, Center for Financial Resources, residential services for children & youth, detention alternatives, independent living services for young adults, mentoring, Better Together, and Center for New Americans. LSS serves people of all ages, races, faiths and economic levels with professional, confidential and affordable services. LSS services are licensed by the State of South Dakota and accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

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