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Retirement planning should be taught in schools


At a young age, children like to spend their pocket money in ice. Later on, ice cream is still a seduction for adults, but plays a minor role in the investment.
Image: Markus Kirchgessner / laif

The pension is no longer secure at all. That is why everyone advises long-term private provision. But if children and young people are not introduced to this topic, then it will not work.

M.eret is 14 years old. Horses, cell phones, soccer. The girl, who is in the 9th grade of a high school in Cologne, has good grades and if everything goes as she imagines, then she will finish school in 2024, start studying and start a job in 2030. She doesn’t know which one yet. In any case, it won’t be a pilot or something with medicine, says the 14-year-old. Who could predict that for sure now? Even today, no one will be able to reliably say how long Meret will have to work before she reaches retirement age. If the rules apply today, she will have reached retirement age at 67 in 2073. Maybe she has to work until she is 70 years old. Who knows if there will still be a state pension? Maybe just a base that will inevitably need to be topped up. “The pension is safe”, this was the sentence that Federal Labor Minister Norbert Blüm, who died in April, coined in the 1980s. Forty years later, the opposite is probably true.

What does Meret know about the topics of old-age provision or wealth accumulation? There is always an advertisement on YouTube that she notices. Otherwise little. And at school? In any case, it does not have an extra school subject economics – although this has actually been mandatory in North Rhine-Westphalia since the 2020/21 school year. Maybe a voluntary work group in the afternoon with stock market games? “No, there is only one theater company and something normal.” Shares? A friend has already said something about it. But not much either. Would she like to know more about it. “Sure, it’s interesting.”

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