Today's Teens Are Thinking About Retirement

While teens may be interested in pop stars, sports and the latest technology, they're pretty practical when it comes to finances. And they have a lot of influence when it comes to household buying decisions.

In addition, more than a third receive an allowance (35 percent), and the majority of those indicate that the allowance is tied to household chores or other family-oriented responsibilities.

These are some of the key findings of the latest installment of a poll conducted by the world's largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise.

The poll also indicates that today's wage-earning teens remain skeptical about the future of Social Security. Over 48 percent doubt the program will be around in its current form when they reach age 65. That's up from 44 percent in the 2002 poll.

In addition, changing market conditions have had an impact on teen stock ownership. Only one in seven teens (just over 15 percent) say they own stock. That's down significantly from the 2001 poll when one in four teens (25 percent) said they owned stock.

The 2004 Junior Achievement Interprise Poll on Personal Finance was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as a result of a $1.5 million grant to create educational programs to improve the financial literacy of today's youth. The program is expected to reach nearly one million students over its lifetime.

According to Jack Kosakowski, executive vice president and chief operating officer of JA Worldwide, the poll demonstrates how important it is to continue teaching our young people about the economics of life.

Said Kosakowski, "We are thrilled to partner with The Allstate Foundation to help teens learn about economic empowerment." The JA Interprise Poll is conducted annually to gauge teens' financial literacy.

Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, The 2004 JA Interprise Poll on Personal Finance was administered nationwide to 992 students ages 13 to 18 from October to November 2003.

JA reaches 4 million students in the U.S., and another 2 million students in nearly 100 countries. For more information, visit or write JA Worldwide Headquarters, One Education Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. You can also contact the nearest JA office.

Nearly half the teens surveyed doubt that Social Security will be around in its current form when they reach age 65.

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