Asset Poverty and the Importance of Emergency Savings (Slideshows)
What percent of families are asset poor-lack sufficient resources to live at the poverty line for three months -and why does asset poverty matter? A third of U.S. families are liquid asset poor and these families are disproportionately minority, young, and low-income. A lack of assets threatens families' ability to weather adverse events. After experiencing an involuntary job loss, asset-poor families are nearly three times more likely to experience hardship than non-asset-poor families. These large differences exist across the income spectrum-for low-, middle-, and
Poverty in the United States (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: October 01, 2013||Publication Date: October 01, 2013|
Poverty rates were largely unchanged in 2012, remaining at high levels since the Great Recession, though unemployment rates have fallen. Child poverty rates have remained high, and racial and ethnic gaps and differences by family structure remain large.
Prohibitions, Price Caps, and Disclosures: A Look at State Policies and Alternative Financial Product Use (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 17, 2013||Publication Date: September 17, 2013|
This study uses nationally representative data from the 2009 National Financial Capability State-by-State Survey to examine the relationship between state-level alternative financial service (AFS) policies (prohibitions, price caps, disclosures) and consumer use of five AFS products: payday loans, auto title loans, pawn broker loans, refund anticipation loans, and rent-to-own transactions. The results suggest that more stringent price caps and prohibitions are associated with lower product use and do not support the hypothesis that prohibitions and price caps on one AFS product lead consumers to use other AFS products.
The Rising Use of Nonbank Credit among U.S. Households: 2009-2011 (Policy Briefs/Unemployment and Recovery)
|Posted to Web: August 30, 2013||Publication Date: August 30, 2013|
Between January 2009 and June 2011, through the depths of the Great Recession and the initial sluggish recovery, the percentage of U.S. households that had ever used high-cost nonbank credit rose from 11.8 to 14.2 percent. This includes payday loans, pawnshop loans, rent-to-own agreements, and refund anticipation loans. The demographic composition of nonbank credit users also shifted, toward population segments normally considered economically advantaged: older, nonminority, more educated, married couples, and those with incomes above $50,000. Reflecting the broadly-based financial stress among households nationally, 45 percent of nonbank credit users needed such funds for basic living expenses versus unexpected needs.
How Important is Social Security Disability Insurance to U.S. Workers? (Policy Briefs/Retirement Project Brief Series)
|Posted to Web: July 17, 2013||Publication Date: June 15, 2013|
Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) is a vital part of the nation's social safety net, providing essential financial support to millions of disabled workers and their families. Nearly half of beneficiaries rely on the program for the majority of their family income. A fifth receive nearly all of their income from DI. The program is not particularly generous, however, and many beneficiaries face financial hardship. Average family incomes are only about half as large for DI beneficiaries as nonbeneficiaries. Efforts to address Social Security's financing problems should recognize the crucial support that Social Security provides to Americans with disabilities.
Limiting the Tax Exclusion of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums: Revenue Potential and Distributional Consequences (Policy Briefs/Timely Analysis of Health Policy Issues)
|Posted to Web: June 21, 2013||Publication Date: June 21, 2013|
The exclusion of employer-sponsored health insurance premiums and medical benefits reduced federal tax revenues by $268 billion in 2011 alone-by far the largest federal tax expenditure. Moreover, the exclusion disproportionately subsidizes those with higher incomes. In this brief, we provide estimates of the revenue potential and distributional consequences of limiting the exclusion from income and payroll taxes at the 75th percentile of 2013 premiums, indexing by GDP. The policy would produce $264.0 billion in new tax revenues over the coming decade while preserving 93 percent of the tax subsidies available under the current policy.
Racial Wealth Divide is 3 Times Wider than Income Gap, Threatening Economic Opportunity Integrity (Press Release)
|Posted to Web: May 08, 2013||Publication Date: May 08, 2013|
Why have middle-income blacks and Hispanics seen little, if any, improvement in their economic status relative to whites? New research from the Urban Institute's Opportunity and Ownership Project points to an ever-widening wealth chasm.
Less Than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: April 29, 2013||Publication Date: April 29, 2013|
Income inequality understates the size of the economic gap between whites and minorities in the United States. In 2010, whites on average had two times the income of blacks and Hispanics, but six times the wealth. Analyses of wealth accumulation over the life cycle show that the racial wealth gap grows sharply with age. Wealth isn't just money in the bank, it's insurance against tough times, tuition to get a better education and a better job, savings to retire on, and a springboard into the middle class.
Retirement Plan Assets (Updated 4/13) (Research Brief)
|Posted to Web: April 26, 2013||Publication Date: April 26, 2013|
The retirement savings of American households took a big hit when the stock market crashed in 2008. Since then, however, a good portion of these losses has been reversed. This fact sheet reports the value of assets held in retirement accounts and defined benefit plans and how they have changed since 2007-before the stock market crash and the Great Recession. It replaces "Retirement Account Balances"
Financial Consequences of Long-Term Unemployment during the Great Recession and Recovery (Policy Briefs/Unemployment and Recovery)
|Posted to Web: April 05, 2013||Publication Date: April 05, 2013|
Extended job loss dealt a serious financial blow to many workers during the Great Recession and recovery. Despite the protection provided by unemployment insurance benefits, family incomes fell 40 percent or more for half of workers unemployed for at least six consecutive months between August 2008 and December 2011. About a quarter began experiencing economic hardship, including more than a third of African Americans, Hispanics, and unmarried adults. Social Security shielded most workers ages 62 and older from the worst outcomes, although early retirees receive lower monthly retirement checks for the rest of their lives, possibly causing financial hardship later.
|Posted to Web: April 05, 2013||Publication Date: April 05, 2013|