The Long and the Short of It: Financial Fragility in America

Much media and policy attention is devoted to enhancing Americans’ long-term financial security. For example, financial planners work hard to help people boost their savings for the long term. Many firms automatically enroll workers in pension plans, sometimes with company matches, to help their employees build up retirement assets. Also, government policy promotes saving for old age, including the important tax deferral provided to qualified retirement plans.Read More

A Financial Literacy Test That Works

Brokers, financial advice providers, and many others need to test peoples’ ability to manage their money. Nevertheless, there are some who debate such tests arguing that they aren’t useful for predicting behavior. But our work has confirmed that there actually IS a short and very effective diagnostic financial literacy test that can be used to measure financial know-how and predict behavior.Read More

Three Cheers For Financial Literacy

Since 2000, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC) has assessed the reading, math, and science knowledge of 15-year-olds around the world every three years.  More recently, since 2012, the program has also measured teen’s financial literacy. The latest findings just released by the OECDs provided small – but consequential – reasons for celebration.Read More

You Don’t Have To Go To College To Save Right

In our new research study which interviewed participants across 10 European countries, our team working with Annamaria Lusardi has demonstrated that financial and risk literacy leads to better choices when it comes to making decisions and identifying the right paths to our financial goals. We also show that the impact of financial and risk literacy on decision-making goes above and beyond that of education. And as in Olivia S. Mitchell’s recent findings, we confirm that women and millennials are least informed when it comes to financial and risk literacy.Read More

Understanding The Implications Of An Interest Rate Hike

Pundits keep a close watch on the U.S. Federal Reserve as it meets to raise interest rates after seven years of effectively zero rates. Yet the reality is that many Americans know little about interest rates, and much less about the implications of a rate hike for their finances! This was one key finding from the recently released S&P Global FinLit Survey, gathered with the support of McGraw Hill Financial.Read More

Financially Frail Boomer Women

Baby Boomer women – now in their 50’s and 60’s – are doing worse financially than older women in the 1990s. My new research with Professor Annamaria Lusardi explains why, using national representative survey data from the Health and Retirement Study and the National Financial Capability Study. We track changes in older women’s work plans and debt burdens, along with the links to financial literacy and debt stressors.Read More

Improving Women’s Retirement Security

Older women confront many retirement security challenges. For one thing, women live longer than do men, so their money must stretch farther. For another, many average fewer years in the paid workforce and, when they do work, their average pay is often lower. Additionally, they are more likely to work part-time, for a lower salary. These factors all translate into lower retirement accumulations, smaller retirement payouts, and higher poverty rates in old age, as reported in a recent Society of Actuaries 2014 study “Impact of Retirement Risk on Women.”Read More