Financial Literacy and Long- and Short-Term Financial Behavior in Different Age Groups

Document Type

Journal Article

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general population, financial status and behavior, age


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between financial literacy and financial behaviors among various age groups. Financial literacy was measured in three ways: objective financial knowledge, subjective financial knowledge or confidence, and subjective financial management ability. The age groups were 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65 and older. Long-term financial behavior referred to retirement saving and investing behavior, whereas short-term financial behavior referred to spending and emergency saving behavior. In the full sample, both objective and subjective financial literacy variables were positively associated with long- and short-term financial behaviors. In the age subsamples, subjective financial knowledge or confidence was more strongly related to long- and short-term financial behavior than either objective financial knowledge or subjective financial management ability in the younger age groups. In the older age groups, objective financial knowledge was more strongly related to long-term financial behavior than either of the other two measures of financial literacy.