A new study from Junior Achievement USA and The Allstate Foundation revealed that only 56 percent of teens 14-18 years old think they will be as financially well-off or better than their parents. That represents a 37 percent drop from 2011 (89 percent).

The 2012 Junior Achievement Teens and Personal Finance survey also uncovered a dramatic shift in the age teens think they will be financially independent from their parents or guardians. Less than half of teens who responded indicated they’d be independent by age 20 versus a year ago (18 percent in 2012 versus 44 percent in 2011). The number of teens who said they would be independent by ages 25–27 doubled from last year (23 percent in 2012 versus 12 percent in 2011).

Anne Frazier, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, said, “Despite recent reports that this will be the first generation in a century that is unlikely to end up better off financially than its parents, our young people have the opportunity to shape their own futures, as long as they have the skills, knowledge and confidence to do so. Every parent’s dream is for their children to be more successful than they are. So, Junior Achievement, with the collaboration of key partners like The Allstate Foundation, will continue to expand young people’s access to the tools they need to succeed in the global economy, including critical money-management skills.”

Since 2005, Junior Achievement and The Allstate Foundation have partnered to help students take the valuable information learned about personal finance in the classroom and apply it in their lives after graduation. The Junior Achievement JA Economics for Success®program, created in partnership with The Allstate Foundation, has helped more than 1.2 million students set personal goals about money and make wise financial choices. The program also helps empower students to develop, plan, and set goals to help protect them from unexpected financial pitfalls.

Locally, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida currently has more than 400 community volunteers delivering over 3,000 instructional content hours to approximately 12,000 students in grades K – 12 for the 2011-2012 school year.

“While it is disheartening to see a 37-percent decline in the number of teens who feel they will able to see the same financial success as their parents, it is encouraging to know that programs like Junior Achievement exist to provide teens with tools to propel their financial futures to great heights,” said Donald Civgin, president and chief executive officer, Allstate Financial. “The Allstate Foundation has a long standing partnership with Junior Achievement to provide exactly these types of tools and empower teens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their financial futures.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Teens agree money management is important, but they are not doing it. From 2011 to 2012, there was a three-fold increase in the number of teens who report not budgeting or managing their money (10 percent in 2011 versus 34 percent in 2012).
  • Teens are not getting as much of their money management information in school as they used to. In 2011, 58 percent of teens reported learning how to manage money in school or from teachers. In 2012, that number dropped to 24 percent. The majority of teens agree that money management is best learned between kindergarten and 12th grade, which underscores the opportunity for programs such as those offered by Junior Achievement.
  • Parents are an important role model. Teens reported a significant drop in their parents or guardians saving more money as a result of the recession (59 percent in 2011 versus 21 percent in 2012). Teens are modeling the same behavior and saving less too—56 percent plan to save some of their income, down from 89 percent a year ago.

An executive summary of the 2012 Junior Achievement USA/Allstate Foundation Teens and Personal Finance Survey is available at www.ja.org.



This report presents the findings of an online survey conducted from March 8-19, 2012, among a national sample of 1,059 teens ages 14-18. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches four million students per year in more than 120 markets across the United States, with an additional 6.5 million students served by operations in 117 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.

About Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (JASWFL)

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s roots began in Collier County in 1975 teaching the Junior Achievement program to one class of 24 students. JASWFL was incorporated in 1994 to include the tri-county region of Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Inc. provides in-school and after-school programs for students that focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. JASWFL currently has more than 400 community volunteers delivering over 3,000 instructional content hours to approximately 12,000 students for the 2011-2012 school year. For more information, visit http://www.jaswfl.org/ or call 239-225-2590.

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.allstatefoundation.org.