BOSTON (MarketWatch) — It must be someone’s idea of a joke. If so, it’s a cruel one. Consider: We ask older Americans to make complicated financial decisions about Social Security, Medicare, retirement distributions and more — just when they are losing their fast ball.
Regardless of gender or education level, Americans become considerably less literate about all things money after age 60, according to a new study.
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The scores on a test measuring knowledge of investments, insurance, credit and money basics fell about 2% each year starting after age 60, falling from about 59% correct — hardly a passing grade — for those in their 60s to a dismal 30% for those 80 and older, according to Michael Finke, an associate professor at Texas Tech University and a co-author of the study.
Here’s what’s even worse: Our confidence in our financial decision-making abilities rises with age. We are not older and wiser. Rather, we are older, less smart and overconfident.