Recognizing April as National Financial Literacy Month, advisers shared with CNBC big areas of budgeting and personal finance that people all too often overlook.

Here are the top five:

1.) Credit Score

Credit scores are what determines whether you can get a loan, credit card, mortgage, or a car or apartment lease — and are critically important because that score also determines how much you are charged and the interest rate you’ll pay.

Most consumers don’t understand the importance of these scores, primarily determined by the top three credit agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, notes Kamila Elliott, CFP and CEO of Collective Wealth Partners of Atlanta.

While the scores range from 300 to 850, lenders will give loans and better interest rates to those with scores in the mid 700s and above, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

For instance, a person with a score between 760 and 850 would get a 6.5% interest rate on a 30-year mortgage, but a person with a score between 620 and 639 would pay 8.1%.

The person with the worse score would shell out $324 more a month, amounting to $116,000 over the life of a $300,000 loan, according to FICO’s loan calculator.

Since scores from the rating agencies differ and may not line up with results at a bank, store or a car dealership, etc., it’s a good move to come armed with your credit score before signing on the dotted line.

It could save you a bundle.

2.) Wills

People don’t want to think about their end of life but it’s important even for young adults, especially those with children, to stipulate who will receive their money and take care of their kids until they turn 18, says Barry Glassman, CFP, president of Glassman Wealth Services in Vienna, Virginia.

“I’m shocked by the number of well-to-do families with kids who have no will in place,” Glassman says.

With no will in place, state courts will determine how your estate is handled.

It is vitally important to leave a will, ideally with the help of an estate attorney, says George Taylor, a partner in Brinkley Morgan’s Estate and Trust Litigation and Business Litigation practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That way, you can ensure your estate will go to the people and entities you intend, and avoid legal, tax and accounting issues.

3.) Emergency Funds

Setting aside emergency savings should be personalized to one’s overhead bills, marital status and career. It’s not a one-size-fits-all calculation, Elliott says.

A single person should have at least six months’ worth of savings, she says.

While this may not be true for married couples, who generally can get by with just three months of savings, if they are working for the same company or in the same industry, they should each have savings to cover six months of being out of the job market, according to Elliott.

People who own their own business should have a least a year’s worth of expenses saved, Elliot believes.

4.) Tax Withholding

If you get a big tax refund each year, you are withholding too much from your paycheck and are basically handing your money over to the government for most of the year.

If you owe money to Uncle Sam, you need to increase your tax withholding so that you aren’t faced with a bill on April 15.

Someone who owes more than $1,000 might want to change their withholding, says Ted Jenkin, CFP and CEO of oXYGen Financial in Atlanta.

If you have a major life event like a marriage, divorce or birth of a child, you should consult with an accountant or tax software and fill out a new W-4 form at work, Jenkin says.

5.) Retirement Savings

Last but not least in importance is retirement savings. The median retirement savings of Americans is $87,000, according to the Federal Reserve.

That’s the good news. Nearly one-third, 28%, of people have nothing saved for retirement, a GOBankingRates survey of 1,000 adults found.

“People underestimate how much money they’re going to need in retirement,” Elliott says. Many people figure they will only spend 60% of what they made during their working years, since the kids are out of the house and they are no longer incurring costs associated with working.

What they don’t take into consideration is medical and long-term care, the actual cost of a comfortable vacation including travel, or, in today’s world, inflation.

The dismal retirement outlook for so many “highlights a widespread financial literacy gap and underscores many challenges in balancing immediate financial needs with long-term savings goals,” says Edward Piazza, president of Titan Funding in Boca Raton, Florida.


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