GRIFFITH | Griffith High School upperclassmen got a lesson in finances Tuesday from Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
Lawson was in Lake County on Tuesday to talk with local residents about the importance of financial literacy. She had afternoon appointments to make presentations at both the high school and at Hartfield Village in Munster.
The secretary of state’s office provides such presentations though Indiana Investment Watch, a program designed to increase financial literacy among Indiana residents.
Lawson spoke before upperclassmen at the high school about the importance of credit scores, good financial management and how to use credit cards wisely.
Early in her presentation, Lawson played a video in which a recent college graduate discussed how her overuse of credit cards while she was still in school led to financial hardship after graduation.
Twenty-one percent of college students graduate with roughly $7,000 in credit card debt, she told students.
“And not because (they bought) things they needed,” she said.
If the card holder pays only the minimum payment each month, he or she will need eight years to pay off the debt.
Lawson also discussed retirement, which she acknowledged was not a high priority for her young listeners.
“I know that sounds like a long time (away),” she said. “But if you listen today, you’ll learn a few things.”
Lawson discussed in and outs of setting a budget. She also emphasized the importance of investing for retirement early, using an example of an individual who sets aside $18,000 in his 20s.
That individual ends up with more money at retirement thanks to compounding interest than another individual who saves money over a 30-year period, beginning in her 30s.