Survey on Financial Capability and Asset Building Services During COVID-19 is now Live!

The Center for Financial Security has partnered with the Asset Funders Network (AFN) to explore how financial capability service delivery has evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey will provide valuable insights into the equity and effectiveness of financial capability and asset building services during the pandemic and how to support and improve services going forward. CFS has launched this national survey to hear from financial practitioners and program leaders who can shed light on how clients have engaged with their services, how these shifts will impact their services going forward, and the role that funders can play in supporting virtual service delivery.

The survey will be open until Monday, November 1st. Upon completion of the survey, respondents will have the opportunity to enter a free drawing for a chance to win one of five $50 Amazon gift cards and an invitation to a preview of survey findings prior to public release in an online webinar presentation.

Our CFS Commitment to Change

The goal of the Center for Financial Security (CFS) is to develop evidence–high quality, rigorous research–that can guide policies, programs and financial systems that reduce inequities, and that include and support economically vulnerable people. We are driven by serious concerns about racial injustice, and its attendant economic insecurity, especially in light of the current pandemic and social issues that have only intensified disparities.

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Webinar: The Rise of Industrial Robots and Increased Overdose and Disability Rates: A Story of Automation and Addiction in the U.S.

Mortality rates for working age adults without a college degree have increased in recent years, driven by rising ‘deaths of despair’ including drug overdose mortality. At the same time, demand for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs among working age adults have increased in recent decades. Research suggests that fading economic opportunities—such as the decline of manufacturing employment—may explain an important portion of these worrisome trends.

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Webinar on Student Loan Debt Relief: What Do We Know?

The economic challenges from the pandemic have drawn added attention to student loan debt relief. There are various approaches to address the $1.7 trillion of national student loan debt or reduce loan default: employer-sponsored repayment, public service loan forgiveness, income-based repayment plans, deferment, refinancing, loan consolidation and in particular loan forgiveness.

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New Harris Poll Commissioned by DailyPay, Funding Our Future, and CFS Focuses on Millennials and Their Savings Habits Amid the Global Pandemic

A new Harris Poll among over 500 U.S. millennials (ages 24-39), commissioned by DailyPay, the Funding Our Future Campaign, and the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin reveals that millennials have been hit hard financially by the global pandemic. More than half (52%) note that their savings on hand have declined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and more than 2 in 5 (44%) cite they have either no savings (17%) or not enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense (27%).

“This data shows the resilience of younger generations in the face of the second major economic shock of their financial lives, as well as highlights how vulnerable people are today, especially given the effects of the pandemic on top of student loan debt and other concerns,” said J. Michael Collins, Director of the Center for Financial Security. “It is also notable that Social Security is still very much viewed as being important, even among young people, as a pathway to financial security.”

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CFS RDRC Newsletter Now Available with Calls for Applications for Four Training Programs

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center (CFS RDRC) is an applied research program which develops evidence that can assist policymakers, the public, and the media in understanding issues in Social Security, retirement, and disability policy, especially related to economically vulnerable populations. The CFS RDRC incorporates diversity of viewpoints and disciplines, develops diverse emerging scholars and generates research findings that are used in policy and practice. To this end, CFS has released four calls for applications for training programs within the CFS RDRC.

Read more about the CFS RDRC in our newly released Newsletter and subscribe to our CFS RDRC updates:

Ross, Zhou Release Working Paper on Documenting Loss Aversion using Evidence of Round Number Bias

Stephen Ross, CFS Affiliate and Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Connecticut, along with his co-author Tingyu Zhou, Assistant Professor in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate, and Legal Studies at Florida State University, release working paper that builds on existing literature documenting loss aversion in the housing market, where expected losses lead to higher sales prices. Ross and Zhou study how exposure to expected losses may correlate with unobservables that influence housing prices.

CFS RDRC Awarded Third Year of Funding to Support Research on Financial Vulnerability

U.S. Social Security Administration approves 11 major projects, investigating topics including vulnerability to Social Security scams, identity theft among seniors, older Americans’ changing work, and the impact of employment shocks.

The Center for Financial Security (CFS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as part of the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium (RDRC), has been awarded a third year of funding from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). One of just four RDRC centers in the country supported by SSA, UW–Madison’s is the only one to focus specifically on the financial well-being of economically vulnerable families, older people, people with disabilities, low-wealth households, and children.

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Webinar: Does State-mandated Financial Education Affect Subjective Financial Well-being?

CFS produced a webinar on October 6, 2020 entitled “Does State-mandated Financial Education Affect Subjective Financial Well-being?”. Associate Professor Carly Urban presented research with CFS Director J. Michael Collins and Research Scientist Jeremy Burke on how state-mandated financial education in high school impacts subjective financial well-being. The research was supported by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

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Household Finance Research Seminar, held weekly on Thursdays from 3:45-4:45pm

Our Fall 2021 HHF Seminars will be held in-person in 1199 Nancy Nicholas Hall and virtually via Zoom. Click HERE for Zoom link and meeting invitation.

With over 50 faculty affiliates across departments at UW-Madison, as well as more than 50 fellows at other institutions throughout the nation, The Center for Financial Security is pleased to provide a platform for sharing some of the most exciting and innovative early stage research in the household finance realm. Join us every Thursday of the academic year for a seminar from 3:45-4:45 pm for this multi-disciplinary exploration of household finance research.

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The COVID19 Crisis and Student Loans: A Webinar Event for Borrowers and Practitioners

The Center for Financial Security (CFS), in collaboration with the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Loan Debt (WCSD) and Ascendium Education Solutions, Inc., hosted a webinar entitled “The COVID19 Crisis and Student Loans: A Webinar Event for Borrowers and Practitioners” on June 9th. The webinar increased awareness about how COVID19 has impacted student loan borrowers and on the various types of COVID19-related relief available.

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A Webinar Session: Information and Resources for Landlords, Tenants, and Homeowners during the COVID19 Crisis

The Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, held a webinar on May 29th at 10:00 am to 11:30 am CT.

The webinar provided timely resources, information, and updates on resources for landlords, tenants and homeowners during the COVID19 crisis. The information and resources provided are most appropriate for Wisconsin-based practitioners, educators, and those working with the public to address housing related issues resulting from the COVID19 crisis.

Presenters included representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and Legal Action of Wisconsin.

Financial Resources during COVID-19 Crisis: A Webinar Event for Wisconsin Practitioners & Educators

The Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with the Division of Extension, hosted a webinar on April 27th. The purpose of the webinar was to provide timely resources, information, and updates on Wisconsin state agency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted the financial well-being of households across the state. The information and resources were especially helpful for Wisconsin-based practitioners, educators, and those working with the public to address financial issues resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

Presenters included representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

CFS Faculty Director, Staff, Affiliates and Fellows Provide Expertise on COVID-19 Crisis

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has caused devastating financial strain on families and individuals nationwide. From unprecedented levels of people applying for unemployment insurance, constantly shifting policy responses, and the impacts on housing and food insecurity, CFS experts are available and being called upon to provide insights on the crisis. A UW-Madison COVID-19 Experts list was released to help guide media to appropriate researchers.

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Newly Released Research Brief: Understanding Differences in Financial Well-being Based on Educational Attainment and Gender

With the support of a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation researchers, J. Michael Collins and Carly Urban, conducted a study that examines the financial well-being of young adults through the lens of gender and educational attainment. Using the CFPB’s Financial Well-Being Scale, the research contrasts the financial well-being of men and women among college graduates and high school only graduates.

UW-Madison Division of Extension: Financial Resources to Help Get Through COVID-19

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is impacting households, communities, and businesses. A new national survey shows that 1 in 5 households in the US have already had their income cut or stopped altogether. UW-Madison Division of Extension has put together a list of frequently asked questions that highlight some common financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer to each question has links to government websites and the types of assistance that might be available. The resource list will be added to as new policies and resources are put into place.

Webinar: How does Housing Assistance Affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Application for People with Disabilities?

This February 26th webinar focused on a recent study exploring how housing assistance may influence people’s decision to apply for and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The research was presented by Erik Hembre, who conducted the study with Carly Urban at the Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center, supported by the Social Security Administration. Discussants, Kathleen Moore, a researcher and contractor with the Administration for Children & Families, and Arthur Jacobs, Housing Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities in New York, provided commentary on the implications of the study.

J. Michael Collins Yahoo Finance interview on healthcare costs and impact on retirement savings

“Planning for and managing out of pocket medical costs is an emerging form of financial literacy that all of us need to be aware of, including older people for whom health care expenses are a rising part of their retirement spending,” said J. Michael Collins, Faculty Director of CFS and Professor in La Follette School of Public Affairs and the School of Human Ecology, in a recent live interview with Yahoo Finance. Collins spoke about the impact of people choosing to use less healthcare as out-of-pocket costs rise, a decision that could lead to greater health and financial outcomes in the long run.

Supporting Employee Financial Stability: How Philanthropy Catalyzes Workplace Financial Coaching Programs

The Center for Financial Security and the Asset Funders Network (AFN) collaborated on a case-study investigation of employer-based financial coaching programs in the latest research: Supporting Employee Financial Stability: How Philanthropy Catalyzes Workplace Financial Coaching Programs. This brief shares innovative approaches employers believe increase recruitment and retention while impacting employee financial well-being.

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Spring 2021 Speaker Calendar

February 4: The Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center, Discussion of Research Priorities and Information Session on Research Opportunities

February 11: Nancy Wong, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Have I Saved Enough to Social Distance? The Role of Household Financial Preparedness in Public Health Response

February 18: Steve Wendel, Behavioral Technology, & Cliff Robb, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Study design: Inoculations to Resist Online Scams

February 25: Marti DeLiema, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Identity theft and older Americans – Who experiences the worst outcomes?

March 4: Pamela Herd, Sebastian Jilke, Donald Moynihan, Georgetown University, Improving Public Understanding of OASI: An Experimental Approach

March 11: Isaac Swensen, Montana State University, The Effects of Expanding Access to Mental Health Treatment on SS(D)I Applications and Awards

March 18: Chris Herbert, Jen Molinsky, Samara Scheckler, Harvard University, Spending on Health Among Older Adults Before and After Mortgage Payoff

March 25: Won-tak Joo, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Retirement in the Context of Intergenerational Transfers

April 1: Irena Dushi and Brad Trenkamp , Social Security Administration. Improving the Measurement of Retirement Income of the Aged Population

April 8: Yulya Truskinovsky, Wayne State University, Unemployment Shocks, Unemployment Insurance and Caregiving

April 15: John Nunley, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, R. Alan Seals, Auburn University, The Changing Task Content of Jobs for Older Workers

April 22: Patricia Boyle and Lei Yu, Rush University, and Gary Mottola, FINRA, Aging, financial exploitaiton and fraud

April 29: Stephanie Moulton, The Ohio State University, Economic Security in Retirement: Does borrowing from home equity moderate the impact of a health shock on health outcomes?

May 6: Lydia Ashton, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Using Online SSDI Conversations to Improve Communication and Outreach?

May 13: Daniel Mangrum, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Impacts from Financial Aid Shocks: Evidence from Changes to Pell Grant Generosity



Jevay Grooms

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Howard University

Jevay.Grooms@howard.edu

Areas of Research Interest: Public Economics, Health Economics, and Studies of Poverty and Inequality.

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Jennifer Doleac

Assistant Professor, Economics

Texas A&M University

jdoleac@tamu.edu

Areas of Research Interest: Crime and discrimination, with emphasis on how to reduce redcidivism and the effects of technology on public safety.

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