Financial illiteracy can become a serious threat to the life-time welfare of many people. The authors of this paper explain why financial literacy matters and suggest, in light of their findings, some policy recommendations.Financial literacy matters for the EU for three reasons: 1) in the face of rapidly ageing population, the pressure on the pension system could be mitigated through shifting towards more occupational and personal insurance systems. This shifts more and more responsibilities to the individual who can greatly enhance their decision-making with higher levels of financial literacy. 2) mortgage-debt makes up an overwhelming share of total debt of euro-area households. Understanding the implications of indebtedness and how financial literacy can help is especially important for young households, first-time homeowners and those at the lower end of the income distribution. 3) financial literacy is negatively associated with the main elements of inclusive growth in the EU, namely poverty, inequality, social exclusion and social immobility. Financial literacy can therefore help access the benefits of economic growth and contribute to the inclusive growth agenda in the EU.

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