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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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For many people who receive a tax refund, tax time can be the perfect moment to start putting away money for retirement or paying down debt. J. Michael Collins offers a range of options and insights into the best ways to make your refund work for you in an article for WisContext.
A Broader Approach to Financial Inclusion Brief
Expanding Financial Inclusion Infographic
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.
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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.
Link to Journal Article
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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.
On April 24 through April 25, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in partnership with the Center for Financial Security (CFS) and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), hosted leaders, researchers, and funders in the field of financial coaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discuss the state of the financial coaching field and share insights and learning from research and practice. Stakeholders in the field worked together to outline a path toward further advancement and professionalization for the field of financial coaching.
Date: June 8-9, 2017
Where: Covenant Harbor, Lake Geneva, 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.
A|4 Financial Coaching Foundations Workshop, June 8-9, 2017