The Center for Financial Security hosted a webinar on October 10, 2017 to highlight background, methodology, and findings from the International Rescue Committee’s recent study on financial capability for refugees, Financial Capability for New Americans: Lessons from Early Interventions with Refugees. Expert discussants provided information on current refugee resettlement processes and insights into financial capability challenges faced by refugees making their home in the United States.
This half day workshop hosted by The Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explored the potential for Financial Technology to address the needs of underserved consumers. The event was held in Nancy Nicholas Hall in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Panelists from financial technology companies, researchers and practitioners contributed to a lively conversation followed by a key note speaker and reception. Attendees of the event included Affiliates and Fellows of the Center for Financial Security, students, local business leaders, and community stakeholders from the region.
Center for Financial Security Faculty Director, J. Michael Collins, was awarded the inaugural Ketchum Prize from the FINRA Foundation. The announcement took place at the Foundation’s Board of Directors triannual board meeting in Washington, D.C. The Foundation’s prize is named for Richard “Rick” Ketchum, who retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Chairman of the FINRA Foundation in 2016. Ketchum is admired for his distinguished leadership in the field of securities regulation over a career spanning three decades. Dr. Collins is being honored for his extensive work in improving family financial security through innovative and thoughtful approaches.
Following news of the recent Equifax data breach many consumers are fearful of how this could cause personal credit issues and possibly identify theft. Peggy Olive, Senior Financial Capability Specialist with UW-Extension and the Center for Financial Security, provides information and resources on how to monitor your credit report and take steps to remediate credit issues if they occur.
The field of financial coaching has continued to grow over the last decade as an approach for supporting the financial capability of individuals across income levels and diverse populations. The growing demand for trained financial coaches translates into a call for more training opportunities. Yet, differentiating between training programs and choosing the one that best fits practitioner and organizational needs can be difficult.
This training rubric shares seven common components of financial coaching trainings and provides insights into the value of each one. This rubric is meant to provide guidance for individuals and organizations interested in comparing and choosing the training opportunities that best suit their needs.
Findings from the 2016 Financial Coaching Census show that financial coaching training remains the most highly ranked resource to improving delivery of financial coaching to clients by census respondents. Building on the findings from the Coaching Census around training, discussions from the CFPB’s 2017 Financial Coaching Symposium highlighted a field-wide desire for collaboration, communication and clarity surrounding best-practices and preparation competencies taught through financial coaching training.
- Integrated Model Spotlight: Auto Loan Access Program, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin
- Financial Coaching Census 2016 Report Release
- The Center for Financial Security Proposes New “FINMed” Coaching Model for Healthcare Settings
- CFPB Releases Financial Coaching Symposium Report
- Upcoming Financial Coaching Training Opportunities
- Volunteer Financial Coaches Build Organizational Capacity and Help Individuals Take Control of Their Finances:
A Brief on Evaluating Volunteer Financial Coaching at Points of Light
- Resources and Outreach Opportunities from Prosperity Now and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund
- Review You Can Use: Coaching Psychology Manual
Date: September 26-27, 2017
Where: Pyle Center, Madison, WI
Description: University of Wisconsin trainers will provide a 2-day workshop on skills and strategies for financial coaches. This workshop is designed as an introduction to financial coaching and can also be used as a refresher to practice and advance coaching skills.
The report introduces a new intervention called “FINMed.” FINMed is brief, solution-focused financial coaching session designed for people facing new ongoing out-of-pocket medical expenses or a pattern of problems paying for ongoing health care needs. The coaching involves:
- Determining the patient’s health goals and motivation
- Planning for the costs of health care
- Setting up a process to make sure the patient will have the funds needed when the next set of care (e.g., refill or therapy session) is due
This reports present research into the relationship between household financial behaviors and the ability to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, particularly prescription drugs. Overall, households struggling to manage their finances appear more likely to skip medical treatments due to cost. In turn, failing to follow through on a medical treatment can lead to higher costs and worsening health status.
On June 28, 2017, the Center for Financial Security held a webinar presenting new research into the relationship between financial management behaviors and households’ ability to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. The webinar introduced the “FINMed” financial coaching intervention designed to help families pay for ongoing health care needs.
Financial coaching is gaining recognition as a strategy that can improve financial capability and security.
Yet within this advancing field of practice, many questions remain.
What is the current size of the field?
How is financial coaching being implemented?
What is needed to support more effective implementation?
After months of analyzing responses, The Center for Financial Security (CFS) and Asset Funders Network (AFN) are ready to share the findings from the 2016 Census.
Recorded webinar to be uploaded shortly
This brief examines the characteristics of credit counseling clients who experienced problems paying for their medications and analyzes which factors affect clients’ ability to pay for prescriptions. The data used in this brief were collected by Clarifi, a leading nonprofit financial counseling provider that serves about 15,000 Philadelphia-area residents each year. In the summer of 2016, Clarifi surveyed a sample of its non-housing counseling clients to document their credit status and medication use.
Please join the Center for Financial Security for a webinar to discuss a recent case study project conducted by CFS and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. CFS interviewed financial coaching organizations from across the U.S. about their strategies for making their programs more inclusive and accessible to the communities they serve.
Retirement planning and saving is often a difficult task for individuals and families. Studies show that more than one in four workers have less than $1000 in retirement savings. The question of how to stimulate employees to save for retirement has led to a variety of different tactics. Our March 1st webinar, discussed a field study completed by researchers from the Center for Financial Security, which tracks the effect of financial education on retirement savings in an online format. Results of the study show that this information-based intervention increases the reported participation in retirement planning, saving and using a budget. Presenters included Carly Urban, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Montana State University; Billy Hensley, Senior Director of Education, National Endowment for Financial Education; Tarna Hunter, Director of Strategic Engagement and Government Relations, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds; and Shelly Schueller, Deferred Compensation Director, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds.
The Center for Financial Security (CFS) and the National League of Cities (NLC) produced a webinar featuring research findings and future implications of the newly completed evaluation of Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP) program. Listen to Denise Belser of NLC speak on the program’s background; Bonnie Ashcroft, of Houston’s Department of Public Works and Engineering, discuss the participating city perspective; and researcher Stephanie Moulton present on the findings and implications of the program.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released new resources for financial educators including Building Blocks to Help Youth Achieve Financial Capability, a report brief that presents a new financial capability developmental model and makes recommendations for financial education. Based on the developmental framework that is introduced in the report, the CFPB also released a Youth Personal Finance Pedagogy, a teaching tool to enhance personal financial education in schools.
Center Affiliates and UW-Madison youth financial capability experts, Elizabeth Odders-White and Chuck Kalish, were part of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) team that conducted research described in the report.
The Center for Financial Security recently completed an evaluation of My Classroom Economy (MCE), an innovative approach to financial education. In contrast to more traditional financial education programs based around lesson plans, MCE is experiential. Teachers establish a classroom-based economy that integrates into the school day as a classroom management system. Research suggests that this type of experiential approach is a promising teaching strategy, with the added benefit of minimizing time away from other classroom activities.
During the 2015-2016 school year, 24 elementary schools in the School District of Palm Beach County, FL participated in the evaluation. Students in MCE classrooms show consistent gains in financial knowledge, budgeting, financial socialization, and economic experience after 10 weeks. These effects range in size but are all statistically significant and positive. Overall, the results of this study are encouraging and highlight the promise of experiential learning programs like MCE for elementary school–age students.
Presentation slides from the September 21, 2016 webinar are available to view.
A supplementary guide discusses the Center’s development of the survey measures used in the evaluation.
The evaluation was performed under contract TOS-14F-0028 for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The Center for Financial Security conducted the evaluation of LIFT-UP, with CFS researcher Stephanie Moulton leading the study, which shows that participating cities were better able to collect overdue water utility payments with less reliance on costly debt collection agencies or resorting to shutting off service to customers. At the same time, program participants were able to catch up on overdue bills, make more on-time payments and save money on late fees.
FINRA released results of the National Financial Capability Study in July, a report that provides comprehensive findings of financial behavior in the United States. The survey is part of an ongoing, multi-year effort with consultation from the U.S. Department of Treasury, to better understand the key indicators of financial capability and evaluate how they differ based on varying population demographics and characteristics.
Retirement planning is a difficult task for many people in the U.S. and as studies by the National Institute on Retirement Security show, about 38 million working-age households do not have any retirement savings. Various tactics to increase participation in retirement savings in the workplace have been employed, such as tax subsidies and automatic defaults. Some states are even seeking to pass legislation on state run retirement programs for private sector employees.
A newly published paper,The Role of Information on Retirement Planning: Evidence from a Field Study, authored by CFS Faculty Director J. Michael Collins and CFS Research Fellow Carly Urban, present the findings of a randomized field study showing that an information-based intervention increased participation in retirement plan savings. Education programs offered to employees increased their monthly contributions to retirement accounts, a finding that shows promise for retirement education programs as a strategy for increased saving.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the Money as You Grow book club materials on their website, which can be accessed HERE. The book club is a family financial education program that uses children’s books to help families learn key money concepts through reading, play, and quiet one-on-one talks.
The intersection of health and finance is an increasingly linked area of study that continues to gain traction in research and policy. Collaboration and discussion across disciplines and sectors of health and financial well-being are fundamental to the progress of these fields.
On June 1, 2016, the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin‐Madison, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hosted a Health and Finances Research Workshop to convene faculty and researchers across UW-Madison and the Center for Financial Security and related centers on campus to explore existing research and to foster future research ideas. CFS initiated this effort to discover innovative research opportunities as well as nurture this growing community of scholars committed to building the field of health and finance research.