Young Adults Experienced Financial Side Effects from the Great Recession

October 24, 2013
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Mounting debt, diminishing net worth, insufficient savings, increasing foreclosures, rising unemployment—all painful financial side effects of what has been dubbed the worst economic recession in almost a century. These side effects have been relatively well-documented. Rates of bankruptcy rose 74% and home foreclosures soared as much as 358% in some areas. Unemployment rates peaked at a national average of about 10%, with much higher rates documented for African Americans and Latinos. High rates of unemployment meant potentially fewer wages for day-to-day household needs. With only small amounts of savings or net worth to tide them over, millions of households turned to public assistance programs to sustain themselves. These effects are likely to follow households—and the children who grew up in these households during the Great Recession—for years to come.

Children are Potential Future Investors who can and do Accumulate Savings

February 27, 2013
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This is America Saves Week, which is an annual campaign that encourages nationwide discussion on savings and promotes good savings behavior. For those of us in the asset-building field, this is an opportunity to elevate research on the relationship between savings and life outcomes. This research can help justify the importance of good savings behavior, especially when these habits and behaviors start early in life. So in honor of America Saves Week, here are some of the research highlights from the asset-building field. Specifically, these highlights come from our research at the Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI) at the University of Kansas School of Welfare, where we are studying the relationship between children's savings and their financial and educational outcomes later in life.

Event Summary: Building Better Savings Products

August 2, 2012
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On Tuesday, July 31, the Asset Building Program hosted an event which investigated innovative savings programs for low-income Americans. “Building Better Savings Products,” moderated by Senior Policy Analyst Pamela Chan, brought together a group of panelists who have all been trying to tackle the issue of access to financial services in various ways.

Upcoming Event: Building Better Savings Products

July 27, 2012
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The Asset Building Program is looking forward to convening a panel of experts this coming Tuesday to look at savings product innovation geared toward low-income U.S. consumers. RSVP to attend in person or watch live starting at 12:15 Eastern time on Tuesday July 31.

Saving for a rainy day is an increasingly important priority for Americans of all income levels, but with limited resources to set aside, saving is a daunting task particularly for lower-income people. Unfortunately, the prevailing features for many basic savings accounts, such as minimum balance requirements and limited distribution, may not support the savings goals or meet the needs of many lower-income people.

Designing Attractive Savings Products for Lower-Income Consumers

June 12, 2012

On June 15, 2012, Senior Policy Analyst Pamela Chan spoke at the Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum Roundtable Café.

Savings Innovations in the Workplace

June 12, 2012

Senior Policy Analyst Pamela Chan spoke at the Grassroots and Groundwork Conference on June 7, 2012 about the AutoSave Pilot. AutoSave is a unique non-retirement savings plan that automatically diverts post-tax wages – through payroll deduction – into a high-quality and low-cost savings account, targeted to expand opportunities for low-income workers to build their personal assets. Once initiated, savings deposits are automatic and occur each pay period.

The AutoSave Pilot: Automating Savings for Workers by Linking Savings Products to Direct Deposit

June 12, 2012

On March 26, 2012, Senior Policy Analyst Pamela Chan spoke on a panel at the American Payroll Association Capital Summit entitled Promoting Paycards and Direct Deposit. Her presentation, The AutoSave Pilot: Automating Savings for Workers by Linking Savings Products to Direct Deposit, is available for download or to the right, under Related Files.

White House Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment

May 16, 2012
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Last Thursday, The White House hosted the first ever Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment.  Did you hear all about it?  Probably not – it somehow slipped the evening news. 

Help Us Talk to Financial Service Providers about Embracing Inclusion through Small Dollar Savings Products

April 5, 2012

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is currently taking votes for their Underbanked Conference Roundtable Café, and we need your help! Follow this link to vote for our session: “Designing Attractive Savings Products for Lower-Income Consumers.” Spread the word and vote before April 13th! You can read about all the possible sessions here. The conference will take place in San Francisco on June 13-15, 2012.  If you simply can’t wait until the Underbanked Conference to learn more about designing small dollar savings accounts, you can check out our paper, Beyond Barriers: Designing Attractive Savings Accounts for Lower-Income Consumers, available here.

New Feature: Asset Building News Week

January 6, 2012
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Way back in 2011, we conducted a survey of readers that told us a number of things: importantly, we learned that many of you look to us for timely news from the asset building field and that a regular round-up of articles would be a welcome addition to our other content. In keeping with the spirit of 2012 and resolutions and all that good stuff, the Asset Building Program is introducing a new weekly blog feature: a Friday news round-up. We hope this will help you (and us, for that matter) keep up with developments in the field, note-worthy news, and learn about partner organizations working around the U.S. on asset building, economic security, anti-poverty policy, and accessible financial services for low- and middle-income Americans. Topics will vary week-to-week (and depending on the news!) but we’ll aim to provide a diverse overview of the things we’re keeping an eye on that we think you’ll find interesting too.

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