Standards for Compound Interest and Your Financial Life Cycle
National Standards in Financial Literacy
Name: Earning Income
- Students will understand that: Most people earn wage and salary income in return for working, and they can also earn income from interest, dividends, rents, entrepreneurship, business profits, or increases in the value of investments. Employee compensation may also include access to employee benefits such as retirement plans and health insurance. Employers generally pay higher wages and salaries to more educated, skilled, and productive workers. The decision to invest in additional education or training can be made by weighing the benefit of increased income-earning and career potential against the opportunity costs in the form of time, effort, and money. Spendable income is lower than gross income due to taxes assessed on income by federal, state, and local governments.
- Students will understand that: People can choose to invest some of their money in financial assets to achieve long-term financial goals, such as buying a house, funding future education, or securing retirement income. Investors receive a return on their investment in the form of income and/or growth in value of their investment over time. People can more easily achieve their financial goals by investing steadily over many years, reinvesting dividends, and capital gains to compound their returns. Investors have many choices of investments that differ in expected rates of return and risk. Riskier investments tend to earn higher long-run rates of return than lower-risk investments. Investors select investments that are consistent with their risk tolerance, and they diversify across a number of different investment choices to reduce investment risk.
Name: Managing Credit
- Students will understand that: Credit allows people to purchase and enjoy goods and services today, while agreeing to pay for them in the future, usually with interest. There are many choices for borrowing money, and lenders charge higher interest and fees for riskier loans or riskier borrowers. Lenders evaluate creditworthiness of a borrower based on the type of credit, past credit history, and expected ability to repay the loan in the future. Credit reports compile information on a person’s credit history, and lenders use credit scores to assess a potential borrower’s creditworthiness. A low credit score can result in a lender denying credit to someone they perceive as having a low level of creditworthiness. Common types of credit include credit cards, auto loans, home mortgage loans, and student loans. The cost of post-secondary education can be financed through a combination of grants, scholarships, work-study, savings, and federal or private student loans.
- Students will understand that: People who have sufficient income can choose to save some of it for future uses such as emergencies or later purchases. Savings decisions depend on individual preferences and circumstances. Funds needed for transactions, bill-paying, or purchases, are commonly held in federally insured checking or savings accounts at financial institutions because these accounts offer easy access to their money and low risk. Interest rates, fees, and other account features vary by type of account and between financial institutions, with higher rates resulting in greater compound interest earned by savers.