Registration Now Open for CFS Event “FinTech: Innovations for Family Financial Security”

This half day workshop hosted by The Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will explore the potential for Financial Technology to address the needs of underserved consumers. Panelists from financial technology companies, researchers and practitioners will contribute to a lively conversation followed by a key note speaker and reception. Affiliates and Fellows of the Center for Financial Security, students, local business leaders, and community stakeholders from the region are encouraged to attend.

Register Now

Continue reading

FINRA Foundation Awards Inaugural Ketchum Prize to Dr. J. Michael Collins

J. Michael Collins

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.

Full Story

Peggy Olive offers resources and guidance for consumers following credit bureau data breach

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.

Full Story

CFS Releases Financial Coaching Training Rubric

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.

Download Training Rubric

Webinar: CFS Presents “Financial Coaching: A Webinar Presentation of National Training Models”

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.

View the recording

Continue reading

Summer/Fall 2017 Financial Coaching Newsletter Now Available

Articles include:

  • 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

Read Now

Financial Coaching and Medication Adherence: Introducing the “FINMed” Coaching Model

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.

Download Report

Continue reading

Webinar: “Financial Coaching and Medication Adherence: The Potential for a New Model”

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.

View the recording

Continue reading

Financial Coaching Census 2016: Results Brief, Executive Summary and Webinar

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.

Download Brief

Download Executive Summary

Recorded webinar to be uploaded shortly

Finances and Health: A Survey of Clarifi Financial Counseling Clients

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.

Download Research Brief

Continue reading

Webinar: CFS presents “Strategies for Creating a More Accessible and Inclusive Financial Coaching Program”

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.

View Webinar

Download Presentation Slides

Download Research Brief

Continue reading

Webinar: CFS presents “Moving the Needle on Retirement Planning & Saving: The Role of Education”

UrbanRetirement 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.

View Webinar

Download Presentation Slides

Research Brief

Webinar: CFS presents “LIFT-UP: An Innovative Approach to Municipal Financial Empowerment”

nlclogoThe 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.

View Webinar

Download Presentation Slides

Download Report

CFPB Releases New Youth Financial Education Resources with Research Conducted by CFS Affiliates Elizabeth Odders-White and Chuck Kalish

Logo1_horizontal-lockup_@2The 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.

My Classroom Economy Evaluation Results Now Available

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.

Download Report

Download Brief

View Webinar

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. 

Study Shows National League of Cities’ LIFT-UP Program Helps Cities Recoup Lost Revenue & Families Build Financial Security

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.

Download Paper

Continue reading

Release of FINRA’s Financial Capability Study Puts Media Spotlight on CFS

finraFINRA 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.

Continue reading

J. Michael Collins and Carly Urban Publish Paper on Retirement Planning in Economic Inquiry

StagesRetirement 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

Download Article PDF

Download Research Brief

Center for Financial Security and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Finances Research Workshop

rwjf-hss-dark-greenThe 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.  

Literature Review

Event Brief

Event Video

Continue reading

Past Seminar Speakers and Topics

Spring 2017 Speaker Calendar:

John MullahyAnalyzing Food Insecurity, Multiple Deprivation, and Related Financial Security Outcomes (February 2, 2017)

Dee WarmathHow Am I Doing?: Financial Well-Being, Its Potential Antecedents, and its Relation to Psychological / Emotional Well-Being (February 9, 2017)

Dominik PiehlmaierFrom Preschool to Wall Street: The Development of Overconfidence (February 23, 2017)

David ElsterBarking Up the Wrong Tree: Revealing the Limitations of Financial Education through a Randomized Controlled Trial (March 2, 2017)

Eric Grodsky & Jayme PyneLooking for Debt in all the Wrong Places: The Increasing Role of Graduate Student Borrowing (March 9, 2017)

Olga KondratjevaBorrowing Sources, Purposes and Household Well-Being: Evidence from Nepal (March 30, 2017)

Emily GallagherThe Effects of Health Insurance on Home Payment Delinquency: Evidence from the ACA Marketplace Subsidies (April 6, 2017)

Olivia MitchellPutting the Pension Back in 401(k) Plans: Optimal versus Default Longevity Income Annuities (April 7, 2017 – 12-1:20pm in Grainger)

Anita MukherjeeThe Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime (April 13, 2017)

Michael Collins – Household Finance and Health: Preliminary Analysis to Design a Therapy Adherence Intervention Using Financial Coaching(April 20, 2016)

Amrita KulkaBulk Purchases and Consumption Smoothing: Using Tax Policy Changes to Estimate Saving for the Future by Buying Ahead (April 27, 2017)

Benjamin KeysEyes Wide Shut? Mortgage Insurance During the Housing Boom (Friday, May 5, 2017) *Please note this seminar is being sponsored by the Real Estate Department in the WI School of Business and will be held  in Graaskamp 4440 at 10:30-12pm.

Fall 2016 Presenters:

Drew AndersonFinancial Aid for College (September 15, 2016)

Michael Collins – Evaluation of My Classroom Economy (September 22, 2016)

Justin Sydnor – Simplifying Health Insurance (September 29, 2016)

Rourke O’BrienDisparate Impact? Race, Sex, and the Use of Credit Reports in Hiring (October 6, 2016)

Kegon TanSocial Security Notch (October 13, 2016)

Kuan LiuTime to Repay or Time to Delay? The Effect of Having More Time Before a Payday Loan is Due (October 27, 2016)

Carly UrbanCan Financial Education in High School Affect Aid Packages for College Freshmen? (November 10, 2016)

SaradaEntrepreneurship and Wealth Mobility (November 17, 2016)

Cliff Robb – College Student Financial Behavior: A Social Cognitive Approach (December 1, 2016)

Madelaine L’esperanceGender and the Division of Household Financial Management (December 8, 2016)