According to a new report by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America’s (TIAA) College Retirement Equities Fund Institute reveals that only 16 percent of millennials are “financially literate” with a basic grasp on finances–which can help why they are leaning towards U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president.
Sanders’ team in Florida has been heavily targeting university areas, especially in the Orlando area which includes the University of Central Florida (UCF) and which continues to see an influx of new, younger residents.
Many UCF students and younger Floridians support Sanders due to his calls for free college and healthcare.
“It’s attractive,” said Chris Burns, a financial planner with Dynamic Money.
Burns said when younger Americans hear that they won’t have to pay for any of the “free” things they like, they often believe “all the wealthy folks” are going to pay for it.
“For people who have no clue or even the basic understanding on how money works, yes, I could see why they would be attractive to Bernie,” said Steve Beaman, a financial analyst for Florida Daily.
Beaman said that if states like Florida would require a financial literacy education requirement, younger voters would probably think twice before supporting a candidate like Sanders. Burns said that if younger voters have no understanding of money and economics, they will be more attracted to socialism and other far-left economic positions.
Of course, there are some personal benefits in taking financial literacy classes. The TIAA report showed that 43 percent of millennials and younger Americans used at least one type of expensive alternative financial service, including pawn shops, payday lenders and rent-to-own stores.
Younger voters are also expecting the companies they work for to do more politically. Glassdoor.com released a study showing 75 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-34 want their companies to do more on issues including immigration, equal rights and climate change.
Beaman said this helps explain why the Sanders campaign is focused on younger voters.
“The only wakeup call younger voters may have is if Bernie does become president, then they will see more of their paychecks become smaller to pay for these utopian ideas,” said Beaman.
Reach Ed Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org.