COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo- Credit unions shouldn’t be too sure that teens are more concerned with iPods or cell phones than financial literacy. According to a 2004 Junior Achievement Interprise Poll on Personal Finance sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, teens are not only aware of economic realities but they understand the importance of achieving financial independence. Although teens are not as heavily impacted by the economy as their parents or guardians, survey results indicate that teens wield strong influence on household buying decisions (67.6%) and more than a third receive an allowance (35%). Today’s teens are willing to work around the house for their wages. Nearly three quarters of teens receiving an allowance indicate that it is tied to household chores or other family-oriented responsibilities. In addition, today’s wage-earning teens remain skeptical about the future of Social Security with nearly half (48.7%) responding that the program will not be around in its current form when they reach age 65, up from 44% in 2002. Changing market conditions also continue to impact teen stock ownership. Only 15.5% say they own stock, down significantly from the 2001 poll where 25% reported owning stock. The survey is a result of a $1.5 million grant to Junior Achievement to create educational programs to improve the financial literacy of today’s youth. “The poll demonstrates how important it is to continue teaching our young people about the economics of life,” said Jack Kosakowski, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Junior Achievement Inc. “With the right education, teens will make better financial decisions about their futures.” The JA Interprise Poll is conducted annually to gauge teens’ knowledge about the importance of financial literacy. The 2004 JA Interprise Poll on Personal Finance was administered to 992 students ages 13 to 18 nationwide from October to November 2003. Data collection was conducted in a classroom setting, through an online tool. The poll is part of an ongoing series of polls on student views of economic issues. Students in both JA classes and non-JA classes participated.

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