The Great Recession exposed the financial fragility of millions of American families. Now researchers and policymakers are striving to improve the next generation’s grasp of personal finance and its access to safe financial products.
While many Americans took a big financial hit during the Great Recession, homeowners were less likely than renters to lose very large proportions of their wealth, finds a new study from the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Many of the 40 million older adults in the United States are struggling financially. They lack the assets to see them through their later years, when they require more health care and other services than they expected.
Rhode Island’s treasurer and governor-elect, Gina M. Raimondo, on Dec. 10 announced a policy change to make college savings more accessible for newborn children in that state. In January, it will be as simple as checking a box.
Asian scholars, practitioners and policymakers share lessons about asset-building policies in Asia and chart the future in the new book “Asset-Building Policies and Innovations in Asia.”
The 80 experts attending the event were brought together by a common interest in creating strategies for using the “golden moment” of tax time to help Americans build savings by changing the way consumers make economic decisions.
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Ph.D., the associate director of the Center for Social Development and associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University, presented to a visiting delegation of Israeli government officials in New York City.
“Financial Capability Practice” — a course based on the Center for Social Development’s new Financial Capability & Asset Building curriculum — begins in January at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.
The U.S. Treasury Department has awarded a $1.08 million research contract to the Center for Social Development at Washington University’s Brown School. One of 11 contracts awarded nationally under the Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund, this award will fund research on myRA accounts (“My Retirement Accounts”).
The Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis recognizes that asset-building policies in Asia offer important lessons in lifelong wealth and retirement security. International interest in these policies, particularly regarding aging populations, has prompted a book published in Chinese and one forthcoming in English.
One of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs believes a college education has a “multiplier” effect. Students learn material through coursework, and then go out into the world and apply that knowledge, in turn helping and teaching others.
More than two decades after Michael Sherraden, PhD, wrote Assets and the Poor – introducing asset building as a new social policy framework – that idea has taken off in numerous directions.
This week, the state of Maine became the first in the United States to make college savings for newborns universal and automatic, putting into practice research pioneered by Michael Sherraden and the Brown School’s Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.
February 25, 2014, Washington, DC
As the 2014 tax season opens, the Refund to Savings initiative continues with adjustments designed to better understand consumer savings behavior and help more Americans build savings.
A college savings account in a child’s name not only gives parents hope for the future, it also results in improved social-emotional health for their children.
More than 160 people attended “Generation Debt: the Promise, Perils and Future of Student Loans” at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on Monday, Nov. 18. The conference was co-sponsored by the St. Louis Fed and the Center for Social Development in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
As the financial roller coaster continues, those working to close the wealth gap and achieve economic security in the South are working more vigorously than ever.
Low-income youth in developing countries will save their money in a formal account when given the right opportunity.
Financial capability is central to the success of individuals, families and communities, yet social workers and other human service professionals are often ill-equipped when addressing such issues with financially vulnerable clients.
Financial issues impacting families are receiving renewed attention and interest by scholars, practitioners and students. Unfortunately, social workers and other human service workers often lack preparation, knowledge and skills to tackle increasingly complex financial problems facing their clients.
As taxpayers make the final push to file before the April 15 deadline, they often have visions of refund checks and plans to spend their windfall. But the question that more and more people are asking is, “How can I make the most of my refund?”
March 6-7, 2013, St. Louis, Missouri
Researchers and practitioners from around the globe met at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis this week to make strides toward increased financial awareness of children and youth.
The 2013 tax season has officially launched, and there is a 75-percent chance taxpayers will be eligible for a refund. What would it take to get them to save most, or all, of that money?
When every dollar is spent on necessities like diapers, gasoline and utilities, saving for college may be the furthest thing from a new parent’s mind. Mothers participating in a research study, however, suggest that a college savings account with $1,000 makes them feel optimistic about their children’s postsecondary education.
Grinstein-Weiss is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of asset building whose research focuses on developing programs and policies to promote economic and social development of vulnerable groups.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently launched the first large-scale test of college savings accounts when it incorporated a college savings and financial counseling component into GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs), its initiative to prepare youth for college.
The Conference on Lifelong Asset Building: Strategies and Innovations in Asia, taking place this weekend in Beijing, will harness the experiences and brainpower of leading scholars, policy makers, practitioners, corporate leaders and funders from around the world.
Representatives from the Center for Social Development at Washington University recently traveled halfway around the world to meet with colleagues from the YouthSave Consortium, and had the unique opportunity to talk with Nepalese youth and learn more about their savings experience.
Do Ghanaian youth have money? How do they get it? What do they do with it? These are questions we are beginning to answer in YouthSave using data from a baseline survey of over 6,000 in-school youth.
Asset-building scholars, policymakers, and foundations gathered earlier this month in Washington, DC to celebrate the 21st anniversary of “Assets and the Poor: A New American Welfare Policy.”
April 17, 2012, St. Louis, Missouri
Sheldon Garon, the world’s leading historian in “popular savings” initiatives such as postal savings, will speak and answer questions at Washington University on Thursday, April 26th from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.
The Center for Social Development at Washington University’s Brown School will host a Symposium on International Research and Innovation on April 17, 2012, to examine the process and experiences of building international research partnerships and highlight innovations in economic empowerment and financial inclusion in international settings.
Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, will deliver a lecture, “Developing Financial Capability in New York City,” on February 22 at the Brown School.
In Assets and the Poor, Michael Sherraden, PhD, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, writes that asset accumulation is structured and subsidized for many non-poor households, primarily via retirement accounts and home ownership.
Our Integrative Case Studies, conducted by research partners in the four YouthSave countries in collaboration with the Center for Social Development, aim to capture the contextual factors that will affect YouthSave outcomes and operations.
State-sponsored college savings plans, often called 529 plans, offer tax incentives to facilitate saving for postsecondary education. Low- and moderate-income families are less likely to have college savings than higher-income families.
Available evidence suggests that youth savings has the potential to improve the well-being of low-income and vulnerable youth, but globally, the number of youth savings programs is relatively small.
Evidence supporting the link between savings and college success is growing. Three studies out of the Center for Social Development at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis offer a connection between assets and college enrollment and completion.
William Elliott, III, Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and a Faculty Associate at the Center for Social Development at Washington University’s Brown School, will present his research on children’s savings and educational outcomes at 1:00 pm, April 8, 2011, in Brown Lounge.
What does it take for a family in the US to not merely get by, but to have long-term economic security and ongoing opportunities? This was the question that inspired the creation of the Basic Economic Security Tables Index and accompanying Report.
Earnings in 529s grow free from federal income tax when used to pay for qualified educational costs. Many states, like Oregon, offer a tax deduction for families saving in the state 529 plan. Yet tax incentives provide more benefit to people with higher incomes.
Striving to Save: Creating Policies for Financial Security of Low-Income Families was published in February, 2010 to acclaim from economist Stuart Rutherford, Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Treasury Michael Barr, and Director of Brandeis’s Institute on Assets Thomas Shapiro.
The Center for Social Development congratulates Michal Grinstein-Weiss on her receipt of the Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.
In an article on the front page of the May 28, 2010 San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco city officials point to a CSD study on savings and college enrollment as they prepare to launch a city-funded college savings account program this fall.
Child Development Accounts are savings accounts that begin as early as birth. CDAs allow parents and children to accumulate savings for post-secondary education, homeownership or business initiatives.
CSD conducted a webinar on assets and education on February 17th hosted by the Asset Funders Network.
States use a variety of 529 policy strategies to make it easier for low-and moderate-income families to save for college.