PM Harris encourages young people and families to start saving early

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 6TH, 2017 (PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris hopes that Financial Information Month (October) 2017 will be a catalyst for conversations about the importance of retirement planning and developing strategies to get there.

In a written statement to mark the observance of Financial Information Month in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and throughout the rest of the eight-member Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), the Honourable Prime Minister emphasizes the critical role that financial literacy plays in “building strong and resilient households that provide for all family members.”

Prime Minister Harris adds: “It [financial literacy] is an important life skill that benefits many individuals in making decisions that are difficult, for example, taking a student loan, buying a car or saving for retirement.”

Dr. Harris continues: “It is also becoming increasingly important for our people to learn to develop very early in life basic personal financial skills such as preparing a proper budget and creating a savings plan to support their future endeavours…Our Youth makes up 47% of our population and must be made aware of everyday financial and business issues that are important for their overall development. We must become investment savvy at all levels and from an early age.”

For 15 years now, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the ECCU member governments have been leading the charge in improving financial literacy for a wide cross-section of the population through the Financial Information Month campaign, which they organize each year in collaboration with partner stakeholders such as financial and academic institutions, the media and community-based groups.

This year’s theme for Financial Information Month is Retirement Planning: Making Your Golden Years Golden.

“The ideal time to start preparing for retirement is the day one begins working, and not one year or five years prior to retirement,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis notes in his written statement regarding Financial Information Month 2017.

In a promising sign that the financial literacy message is being heard and heeded, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited reported that fixed deposits rose by $84.7 million or 6.2% and savings deposits by $14.7 million or 3.7% in its financial year ended June 30th, 2016. Overall, its customer deposits grew by $53.2 million or 1.8% to $3.0 billion over the previous financial year.

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