Annual Junior Scholars Intensive Training Sees Success

2021 JSIT Scholars Cohort

For a week in June 2021, the Center for Financial Security (CFS)—in collaboration with Howard University’s Center on Race and Wealth—held the annual summer workshop of Junior Scholar Intensive Training (JSIT) program. JSTI is an intensive training program for emerging researchers, and made possible with funding from the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

This year’s JSIT workshop was virtual, allowing participation from Minnesota to Mississippi, and California to Cambridge (England!). Scholars are first-generation and/or are economically disadvantaged and/or are from historically underrepresented populations.

“I’ve participated in a lot of junior scholar workshops, but none were as beneficial as JSIT. JSIT provided the opportunity to develop and get feedback through “hands on,” iterative activities. I’m still amazed at how much I developed in just one week!”

Mila Turner, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Florida A&M University was part of this year’s JSIT cohort.

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

U.S. Social Security Administration approves 13 major research projects, investigating a range of social insurance topics, including the Child Tax Credit, the geography of long-term care, the effects of COVID-19 on older adults, and improving trust among those targeted by scams and frauds.

The University of Wisconsin—Madison’s Center for Financial Security (CFS), as part of the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium (RDRC), has been awarded a fourth year of funding for $2.2 million from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). One of just four RDRC centers in the country supported by SSA, the UW-Madison center has a particular focus on the financial well-being of economically vulnerable families, older people, people with disabilities, low-wealth households, and children. 

“The pandemic has really highlighted the financial vulnerability of many families, and how important safety net programs are to keep people financially stable,” says CFS Faculty Director Dr. J. Michael Collins, Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance in the School of Human Ecology and Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. “We are grateful for the Social Security RDRC to be able to support this research, including work related to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 for disability, retirement and social insurance programs.”  

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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 12th. 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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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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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