He said it is becoming increasingly apparent that financial attitudes are being formed at a younger age than previously thought, referring to research from the Personal Finance Education Group, which showed that childrens’ approach to money is set by the age of seven.
Speaking at the launch of the IFP’s annual financial planning week, Mr Gazzard said: “It is clear that there is a huge job to do in education to ensure children have the right attitudes growing up, and that process should clearly be starting, not at the age of 11 or 12, but from four or five onwards.
“The UK has a major financial capability gap and the IFP will do everything it can to support financial education from a young age.”
The government’s new national curriculum will see lessons on financial education embedded in the citizenship syllabus for high-school pupils from next year. But charities such as MyBnk have expressed concerns over the limited amount of time set aside for the subject.
Mr Gazzard also said that financial planning should not be the sole preserve of professional advisers, calling on the industry to “raise the level of noise” about what individuals can do to improve their financial standing.
He said: “Financial planning week is aimed at encouraging individuals to take action, and we should not be prescriptive about what this entails. Every year, we must call out to the industry to ask what we can collectively do to raise the level of noise about personal financial planning.”
Financial Planning Week will kick off on 24 November this year.
990 - the number of certified financial planners in the UK
Steve Martin, managing director of Greater Manchester-based Smart Financial, said “There are still far too many people who do not recognise the importance of preparing their future finances properly and are, therefore, not taking the appropriate steps to enable themselves to satisfy their lifestyle goals and aspirations, both now and in the future.”