COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo- Credit unions shouldn't be too sure thatteens are more concerned with iPods or cell phones than financialliteracy. According to a 2004 Junior Achievement Interprise Poll onPersonal Finance sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, teens arenot only aware of economic realities but they understand theimportance of achieving financial independence. Although teens arenot as heavily impacted by the economy as their parents orguardians, survey results indicate that teens wield stronginfluence on household buying decisions (67.6%) and more than athird receive an allowance (35%). Today's teens are willing to workaround the house for their wages. Nearly three quarters of teensreceiving an allowance indicate that it is tied to household choresor other family-oriented responsibilities. In addition, today'swage-earning teens remain skeptical about the future of SocialSecurity with nearly half (48.7%) responding that the program willnot be around in its current form when they reach age 65, up from44% in 2002. Changing market conditions also continue to impactteen stock ownership. Only 15.5% say they own stock, downsignificantly from the 2001 poll where 25% reported owning stock.The survey is a result of a $1.5 million grant to JuniorAchievement to create educational programs to improve the financialliteracy of today's youth. "The poll demonstrates how important itis to continue teaching our young people about the economics oflife," said Jack Kosakowski, executive vice president and chiefoperating officer of Junior Achievement Inc. "With the righteducation, teens will make better financial decisions about theirfutures." The JA Interprise Poll is conducted annually to gaugeteens' knowledge about the importance of financial literacy. The2004 JA Interprise Poll on Personal Finance was administered to 992students ages 13 to 18 nationwide from October to November 2003.Data collection was conducted in a classroom setting, through anonline tool. The poll is part of an ongoing series of polls onstudent views of economic issues. Students in both JA classes andnon-JA classes participated.

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