Using the 2007–2009 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) panel dataset, this study investigated the relationship between subjective income risks and stock ownership of 2,386 households with a working head before and after the Great Recession. We used subjective income uncertainty as a proxy for subjective income risks. A two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimation with an instrumental variables (IV) approach was used to reduce potential selection bias. The results suggested that households that were more likely to face subjective income uncertainty were less likely to hold stock assets in their portfolios. We confirmed this negative relationship between subjective income risks and stock ownership using tests of robustness.
Your search for all content returned 221 results
- Go to article: Financial Risk Tolerance Before and After a Stock Market Shock: Testing the Recency Bias Hypothesis
Is there an association between a household financial decision maker's risk tolerance and the performance of the stock market? Some researchers argue that financial market events have little association with the financial risk tolerance (FRT) of household financial decision makers, while others argue that FRT among individuals can vary in relation to significant market fluctuations. The applicability of either argument may depend on the length of the period before and after a major market event. The purpose of this study was to evaluate aggregate changes in FRT around a major stock market event for different anchor time periods and to test the recency bias hypothesis. The analyses were designed to explore the FRT of Americans during a volatile multimonth period of stock market performance in 2018–2019. Several univariate, bivariate, and multivariate tests were used to compare FRT assessment scores pre- and post-October 3rd, 2018 (i.e., the market high in 2018). A decrease in FRT from the market high was noted across the sample; however, the decrease was exhibited most acutely by younger, nonmarried respondents with few investable assets. A noteworthy finding from this study is that financial counselors and financial planners likely serve a “buffering” role when household financial decision makers experience stock market shocks.
- Go to article: Childhood Financial Socialization and Debt-Related Financial Well-Being Indicators in Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to explore the potential influence of childhood financial socialization on financial well-being in adulthood. Using a sample (N = 2,213) from De Nederlandsche Bank Household Survey (DHS) we modeled the likelihood of household debt/asset ratio less than or equal to 40%, and the likelihood of a household reporting a current ratio (liquid asset /short-term debt ratio) greater than or equal to 100%. Consistent with predictions of social learning theory, being encouraged to save during childhood had a positive association with meeting the financial planning industry benchmarks for these financial ratios in adulthood. The key implication is that the path to financial well-being does not begin with financial knowledge attained in adulthood, but instead begins with experiential learning and socialization during childhood.
This study investigated whether spending habits before and during the Great Recession predicted financial distress. Financial distress was defined as failing to make mortgage and non-mortgage loan payments on time. Data from the 2007–2009 panel of the Survey of Consumer Finances revealed that one’s prerecession spending habit did not seem to matter. Respondents who reported in the earlier wave that they spent more than income but had begun to spend less than income during the recession were twice as likely to become financially distressed. However, those who were spending more than their income during the recession were three times as likely to be financially distressed. Being in good health, having income certainty, and above average risk tolerance lowered the odds of financial distress.
- Go to article: The Utilization of Robo-Advisors by Individual Investors: An Analysis Using Diffusion of Innovation and Information Search Frameworks
The Utilization of Robo-Advisors by Individual Investors: An Analysis Using Diffusion of Innovation and Information Search Frameworks
This study examines the roles of internal and external search characteristics and attitudinal factors in investors' decisions to utilize robo-advisor-based platforms. Using the 2015 state-by-state National Financial Capability Study and Investor Survey, this study finds that the need to free up time, higher risk tolerance, higher subjective financial knowledge, and higher amounts of investable assets were positively associated with individual investors' adoption of robo-advisors. Additionally, the results from the interaction model indicates that individuals under 65 with a higher risk tolerance and greater perceived investment knowledge were more likely to use robo-advisors. Implications of the key findings for scholars, practitioners, and industry leaders are included.
Financial planners face a consistent challenge to help clients understand the trade-off between risk and return. Most clients relate to the idea of a targeted level of expected return to achieve specific wealth goals but with limited understanding of the required risk. Extended investment horizons require client discipline when market volatility appears to be enhancing the possibility of loss of wealth. The purpose of this article is to illustrate that bearing the risk associated with market volatility can reward clients with the achievement of targeted portfolio returns, even during times of great financial and economic uncertainty. Data from 1994 to 2013 is used to create hypothetical portfolios consisting of stock and bond allocations designed to target specific client return objectives. Graphical charts illustrate the resulting annual volatility associated with multiyear investment horizons. Financial planners can use these examples to better communicate the historical volatility associated with portfolios constructed to deliver target levels of return to clients.
This article describes the unique benefits of discourse analysis, a qualitative sociolinguistic research methodology, for evaluating financial literacy counseling. The methodology is especially promising for organizations that may lack the resources to implement “gold standard” large scale, randomized, experimental, or quasi-experimental longitudinal designs. We begin with an overview of problems with program evaluation research on financial literacy interventions, particularly for smaller community service agencies. We lay out the advantages of discourse analysis as an alternative method of assessing program quality. We include a pilot study demonstrating the use of the research approach, and we conclude the description of this study with specific guidelines as to “best practices” indicated from the results. We believe discourse analysis has the potential to make data collection and analysis easier and more effective for counselors and agency staff at community service organizations, especially when the work of program evaluation is being done by the service providers themselves and the client needs may be atypical, complex, or very specific.
We surveyed high school students in Southern California to investigate whether there is an improvement in financial attitudes from eight class periods of financial literacy intervention in a high school economics course. We examine whether the money management (MM) and financial investing (FI) components of financial instruction influence attitudes differently and whether they each influence attitudes beyond a standard economics course. We find that the MM treatment influences being thrifty and delaying gratification. Both treatments increase risk-taking behavior, with neither treatment being more important than the other. Within the confines of our experiment, exposure to economics per se did not influence any of the financial attitudes, pointing to the need for financial education to inculcate healthy financial attitudes in high school children.
Financial coaching is an emerging strategy to help people enhance financial capability and well-being. However, few studies of coaching practices have been completed. A survey of 273 coaches in the United States provides insight into current coaching practice. The average coach in the survey served 19 clients per month and saw each client about four times. The range of coaches varied widely; many coaches operated at a relatively small scale, often embedded in social service programs. Coaches generally reported coaching had positive impacts on clients, especially coaches with more training and those who served more clients. Overall, this study shows the financial coaching field includes an array of approaches but may benefit from capacity building and adoption of standards of practice.
Families that have a child with Down syndrome (DS) are facing financial challenges due to the increased life expectancy and daily life dependencies that he or she experiences. This article uses pediatric findings to supplement child mortality impairment assumptions and proposes a combination annuity pricing model to explore an annuity solution for families that have a child with DS. A Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation model is constructed with features such as a fixed death benefit, return of premium, different premium payment patterns, and the widowhood effect factor. The results indicate that such a product is generally affordable for families that have a child with DS to cover their child’s longevity risk and increased dependency needs.
This study examined how retirement planning information search was related to retirement savings of working women. By controlling for sociodemographic variables, the study further explored factors associated with individual information sources for retirement planning. An online survey was developed to collect data from a national population, obtaining 591 valid responses. The results showed that women who learned about retirement planning through discussions with friends/relatives tended to save less in their personal retirement savings, whereas those who obtained information from financial advisors tended to save more. Personal income was positively associated with seeking information from financial advisors. The study concluded by discussing the implications for financial service providers, retirement plan marketers, financial educators, researchers, and policymakers.
- Go to article: The Effectiveness of Financial Literacy Instruction: The Role of Individual Development Accounts Participation and the Intensity of Instruction
The Effectiveness of Financial Literacy Instruction: The Role of Individual Development Accounts Participation and the Intensity of Instruction
We examine improvements in financial knowledge for 8th-grade participants in our financial fitness camp, part of our multifaceted financial literacy program. Eighty-three students enrolled in the camp, and 59 had individual development accounts (IDA). We address several issues raised in the literature by focusing on low-income, predominantly Hispanic students, varying the treatment intensity, comparing outcomes for students in our IDA program with those who are not, addressing the potential endogeneity of IDA participation, and testing for selection bias. Financial knowledge increased by approximately 12 percentage points from camp participation. Standardized Language Arts scores, rather than treatment intensity or IDA participation, most affected gains in financial knowledge. There was no evidence of selection bias. Parents with high “present bias” were less likely to enroll their students in the camp, implying that integrating financial literacy education in the regular school curriculum will better serve students in such families.
The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is the most frequently used dataset for research in this journal, but many researchers and readers do not fully understand some of the dataset’s complex details. This article provides insight into important issues that researchers and readers need to understand to accurately conduct and interpret SCF-based research. The issues addressed include the primary economic unit versus the household, identifying the respondent versus the head, limitations of variables in the survey, imputation and implicates, shadow variables, the public dataset versus the full dataset, weighting of analyses, and the use of replicate weights.
- Go to article: Gender, Parental Characteristics, and Financial Knowledge of High School Students: Evidence From Multicountry Data
Gender, Parental Characteristics, and Financial Knowledge of High School Students: Evidence From Multicountry Data
This study examines the gender gap in financial literacy by using the Financial Literacy Assessment from the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The analysis focuses on the influence of parents on their children's understanding of financial concepts, utilizing multilevel modeling procedures to examine variance among students, within schools, and within countries. Based on data from 18 countries, results suggest that a gender gap in financial knowledge favoring male high school students is present and that parents may influence their children's financial knowledge.
- Go to article: The Effect of Parental Warmth During Adolescence on Later Income and Subjective Well-Being: Comparing Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Young Adults
The Effect of Parental Warmth During Adolescence on Later Income and Subjective Well-Being: Comparing Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Young Adults
This study explores the influence of parental warmth during adolescence on financial experiences and well-being across the transition to adulthood. Given the poorer financial outcomes and more complicated parental relationships reported by sexual minorities compared to their sexual majority counterparts, the present study examined the moderating impact of sexual orientation during emerging adulthood. The current study used three waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent eHealth. Groups were categorized as identifying as either heterosexual (n = 4,337) or nonheterosexual (referred to as “sexual minorities,” n = 482), resulting in an overall sample size of (n = 4,819). Using a multiple group structural equation model, results indicated that while mediated by future financial expectations, parental warmth during adolescence positively predicted income and well-being during adulthood in both sexual minority and heterosexual individuals. Significant differences were found between these two groups. Parental warmth was a stronger predictor of later well-being in sexual minority individuals. Implications for practitioners are discussed including the need for further cultural competency related to sexual minority populations.
The purpose of this study is to examine migration during retirement and its association with retirement satisfaction. Utilizing longitudinal data collected from the Health and Retirement Study, this study estimates a fixed-effects logit model to examine how changing U.S. Census divisions during retirement is related to retirement satisfaction. The findings suggest that a change in residential location during retirement is associated with an increase in retirement satisfaction. In planning for retirement, individuals should examine what will provide them with the highest level of satisfaction during their retirement and whether their current location can facilitate an enjoyable retirement. Financial planners and counselors should also consider, as a part of their systemic retirement planning process, increasing the attention that is given to the residential location in which their clients will reside during retirement.
- Go to article: Financial Counselors' Experiences Working With Clients of Color: Lessons of Cultural Awareness
Financial counseling work with clients of color is unique and can be complex. There is a need for a better understanding of culturally aware and competent counseling approaches with clients of color to provide effective services. Nine financial professionals who work with clients of color were interviewed in this qualitative phenomenological study resulting in three emergent themes: beyond the numbers, building a bridge, and switching gears. The lessons learned from their experiences were endorsements to expand the focus of counseling beyond the problem and the individual client to the larger cultural context and familial situation, to devote efforts to the counselor's relationship with clients of color, and to be adaptive and flexible in the counseling process.
We examined the relationship between holding a student loan and financial satisfaction and financial education's moderating role using the 2015 National Financial Capability Study dataset. Households with a student loan had lower levels of financial satisfaction than those without one. We found a moderating role of receiving both formal and informal financial education on the relationship between a student loan and financial satisfaction, regardless of for whom the loans were taken. Our findings confirm the importance of financial education and suggest that receiving a thorough combination of formal and informal education will improve student loan holders' financial satisfaction.
- Go to article: Potential Consumer Harm Due to Regulation on Financial Advisory Communication in the FinTech Age
This article examines potential consumer harm that may arise due to regulating modern financial services communication technology with rules written in the early 20th century. It is argued that disparities in record keeping regulation across communication mediums disincentivizes the use of technology capable of generating records for consumer retention, while incentivizing the use of technology which shields financial advisors from accountability. Experimental evidence is provided in support of this argument. Further, it is argued that regulation disparities across communication mediums may result in more wrongful accusations of advisor misconduct, less reporting of genuine misconduct, less self-policing among industry members, and greater unrectifiable consumer harm. Objections to these arguments are considered, along with practical guidance for consumers, regulators, and policy makers.
- Go to article: Active Versus Passive Investment Management Of State Pension Plans: Implications For Personal Finance
Active Versus Passive Investment Management Of State Pension Plans: Implications For Personal Finance
There are 19 million workers and retirees and $3 trillion of assets in state pension plans. However, questions have arisen about the long-run ability of the plans to pay promised benefits to retirees. Consequently, proposals have been made to reduce promised pension payments or alter other terms of the pension contracts. Yet another heretofore unexplored alternative is to reduce state pension plan management fees by moving from actively managed portfolios to low-fee passively managed accounts. Using state pension plan data for the 2003-2012 decade and returns from three alternative low fee portfolios, it is found that all states could have increased after-fee earnings and improved their long-run ability to pay retirees by moving to the low-fee investment accounts. While clearly relevant for workers and retirees in state pension plans, the findings also have implications for all investors regarding the ongoing debate between active and passive investment management strategies.
This research sought to further understanding of factors related to low-income household saving behavior. Saving behavior, defined as whether a household spent less than income, was analyzed by applying institutional theory, which proposes that households' institutional environment has a substantial effect on financial decisions. Two logistic regression models were used to test the effects of variables on saving behavior; the first logit was based on the life cycle hypothesis and the second added noneconomic individual factors (i.e., social networks, financial literacy, and psychological variables) and institutional factors (i.e., access, incentives, and facilitation). Institutional factors, including the number of institutions used, credit access, and having an employer sponsored retirement plan, had significant effects even after controlling for the effect of variables based on the life cycle model, suggesting that promoting institutional access and facilitation—especially through employer-provided plans—may encourage saving behavior among low-income households.
The purpose of this study was to examine associations between saving goals and saving behavior from a perspective of Maslow's Hierarchy. Using 1998-2007 Surveys of Consumer Finance datasets, we analyzed responses given to an open ended saving reason question, and categorized responses into six saving goals. The retirement/security goal was the most frequently mentioned, and the self-actualization goal was the least frequently mentioned. We tested two models to ascertain whether the order of response differed in the likelihood of saving, measured as whether households spent less than income. Model 1 tested the effects of whether particular goals were given as the first response to the open-ended question, and Model 2 tested the effects of whether particular goals were given as any response. In both analyses, self actualization and retirement/security had the strongest associations with saving behavior.
This study explored the relationship between financial literacy and the use of interest-only mortgages using data from the 2009 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS). A series of analyses were conducted to investigate characteristics associated with the use of an interest-only mortgage as a primary mortgage, as compared to fixed-rate mortgage and adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) options. Consistent results indicate the individuals who incorrectly answered questions related to compound interest, mortgages, and diversification were more likely to be using an interest-only mortgage. Respondents with higher reported math skills were less likely to use an interest-only mortgage, whereas individuals with higher levels of financial confidence were more likely to be using one. These results reinforce concerns about a household’s ability to understand and evaluate complex mortgage products.
The purpose of this study is to examine factors associated with households’ willingness to take financial risks, particularly the effect of households’ expectations. The data used in this study are the Survey of Consumer Finances 2007 by which researchers can examine the household financial issues before the financial crisis. By employing multinomial logit regression, the new finding of this study is that when the households expect that the future economy will be better, they are not willing to take either no or substantial financial risk. This study uses the uncertainty theory with the timing of the survey to interpret this seemingly unintuitive result. Other findings are that age, more working people in a household, male, education, and majority race are household characteristics positively affecting the probability of the household’s willingness to take average and above average financial risks.
- Go to article: Differences in Bank Account Ownership Among White, Black, and Latino Children and Young Adults
Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Child Development Supplement and Transition into Adulthood, this study compared Whites, Blacks, and Latinos to identify racial and ethnic differences in bank account ownership. Having a bank account as a child was significantly associated with bank account ownership in young adulthood. Black children and young adults lagged in bank account ownership. Parental bank account ownership and family wealth increased the odds of bank account ownership for White children significantly more than for Black children. Financial independence, employment status, and educational attainment of young adults showed greater associations with bank account ownership than family background. Findings call for educational programs and policies to increase opportunities for the bank account ownership of minority youths.
- Go to article: Guest Editor's Introduction to the Special Issue on Financial Counseling, Coaching, and Education: Linking Research to Practice
- Go to article: Workplace Financial Education and Change in Financial Knowledge: A Quasi-Experimental Approach
This exploratory study employed quasi-experimental research methods to investigate the relationship between adult participation in a comprehensive workplace financial education program and changes in financial knowledge levels. Results revealed a positive association between participation in the education program and changes in financial knowledge levels, even when controlling for demographic and socioeconomic differences between the participant and non-participant groups. However, results did not support an association between perfect attendance in the program and changes in financial knowledge. Evidence from this study provides meaningful insight into the association between adult financial education and financial knowledge and offers guidance for the future development of effective comprehensive workplace financial education programs.
- Go to article: Prediction of Default Risk in Peer-to-Peer Lending Using Structured and Unstructured Data
Using data from Lending Club, we analyzed funded loans between 2012 and 2013, the default status of which were mostly known in 2018. Our results showed that both the borrower characteristics and the conditions of the loan were significantly associated with the loan default rate. Results also showed that the sentiment of a user-written loan description influenced the borrower's loan interest rates. It contributes to expanding the scope of peer-to-peer (P2P) loan research by implementing unstructured data as a new model variable. Financial counselors need to consider the growth potential of the P2P loan market using data analysis: This will reveal niche market opportunities, enabling the development of services necessary for the safe supply of small loans at reasonable interest rates.
- Go to article: Using Field Experiments to Evaluate the Impact of Financial Planning and Counseling Interventions
Field experiments, which are a powerful research technique, are common in some fields, but they have not been widely used in studying the effect of financial and counseling planning interventions. Financial services can benefit from the expanded use of field experiments to explore potential causal mechanisms for the effects of financial planning and counseling interventions. This article describes the value of field experiments as well as the potential problems with the approach, in this context. Researchers and practitioners in financial planning and counseling should explore opportunities to conduct field experiments, especially in situations where studies can be carefully designed and implemented in a standardized way with a sufficient number of people and where valid measures are available.
Both financial anxiety and first-generation student status have been linked to negative academic outcomes, mental health issues, and poor social adjustment among college students; however, each factor has been studied in isolation. This article examines the predictors of financial anxiety, including generational status, using the Roy Adaptation Model and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis on data from a large, Midwestern public university. First-generation student status was positively associated with financial anxiety in multivariate modeling. Proxies for students' self-concepts, including financial comparisons to peers and perceived mastery, had the largest contribution to the model. Financial counseling programs geared toward first-generation college students may impact their self-concepts and reduce financial anxiety.
This study develops a conceptual framework to investigate the relationship between households' information search behavior and financial management outcomes. Consumers' information search behavior is examined from both internal and external perspectives. The internal information sources include human capital and psychological and attitudinal factors, whereas the external information sources comprise financial professionals from different financial service areas. Financial management behaviors examined in this study consist of consumers' savings and credit-using behavior. This study uses the 2012 National Financial Capability Study and structural equation modeling methodology. The results suggest that (a) both internal and external information sources used by consumers are significantly associated with savings and credit-using behavior, and (b) seeking external financial advice from professionals mediates the relationship between consumers' internal sources and financial management outcomes. The findings of this study provide practical implications for financial professionals when counseling and communicating with clients and challenge policymakers to develop pathways that can enhance the quality and accessibility of internal and external information sources for clients, including customized financial education programs and affordable professional financial services.
- Go to article: Financial Literacy Types and Financial Behaviors Among Adolescents: Role of Financial Education
The mismatch between financial objective and subjective knowledge that occurs in youth and adolescents has been understudied in the literature. Based on objective and subjective financial literacy scores, this study categorizes financial literacy into four types: financial literacy overconfidence, underconfidence, competence, and naïvete in a sample of adolescents. Data were collected from 330 students aged around 15 years old in six middle schools in Hong Kong. The results indicate that adolescents who are overconfident about their financial literacy are more likely to engage in risky financial behavior and report higher levels of financial autonomy. A randomized experimental trial was conducted to assess whether financial education could change the mismatch between financial objective and subjective knowledge. The results show a significant increase in underconfidence after the financial education intervention, but no significant change in the other three categories. The findings highlight the same type of financial literacy overconfidence in both adolescents and adults and has implications for financial counselors and educators who would improve the financial engagement of adolescents.
Many who want to save more for retirement are tripped up by short-run temptations. Yet, some can still achieve their goals by using commitment devices to limit suboptimal behavior. Defined contribution plans in the United States resemble a commitment device because they are framed as savings for the future and penalize early withdrawals. This study investigates whether defined contribution plans are particularly useful for households that value the future and exhibit self-control problems. We find that participation in defined contribution plans has a greater impact on wealth accumulation among households with hyperbolic preferences. Our results suggest that those who find it difficult to resist short-run temptation can achieve long-run goals through the use of less liquid accounts and automated savings.
- Go to article: Financial Planning for Retirement: Bibliometric Analysis and Future Research Directions
This study aims to determine the status of existing research on financial planning for retirement. We used bibliometric analysis and content analysis to examine a sample of 1,116 studies conducted over a span of more than five decades. Bibliographic coupling network was developed to determine the intellectual themes in the field. Our findings suggest that the structural, economic, and cultural disparities worldwide lead to distinct pressures for savings on individuals. Further studies should be conducted considering emerging economies and the aforementioned disparities to gain deeper insights. While a few studies have examined the influence of social biases, behavioral biases, personality traits, and psychological constructs on financial literacy and the impact of this interaction on financial planning for retirement. We conclude by suggesting potential future research directions.
- Go to article: Mortgage Usage and Mortgage Payments as Share of Income in China: Comparing Residential Homeowners and Housing Investors
Mortgage Usage and Mortgage Payments as Share of Income in China: Comparing Residential Homeowners and Housing Investors
The study investigates factors associated with mortgage usage and the share of income that Chinese use for mortgage payments. Using data from the 2010 China Family Panel Study, we found mortgage usage shows a hump-shaped income effect. Workers in government-controlled nonprofit institutions are more likely to use a mortgage to purchase a house because banks treat them favorably. Notably, government employees borrow less to purchase a residence because they have advantages by way of subsidies. Individuals who have attained higher education are more likely to use a mortgage and have a larger share of their monthly income devoted to mortgage payments. For housing investors, risk tolerance is positively associated with mortgage use but not with the share of mortgage payments in the household’s monthly expenditure.
A sharp increase in Chinese house prices combined with the extraordinary lending growth during the 2000 s has led to concerns of an emerging real estate bubble and impairment of consumer financial well-being. This article studies real house prices relative to fundamental house values. Housing constitutes a large fraction of most household portfolios therefore affect household well-being, and its characteristics are in contrast to what prevails in most financial markets as arbitrage is limited, and hence correction toward fundamental values can be a prolonged process. Using a time-varying present value approach, our findings suggest evidence of bubbles in the Chinese housing market nationally and in representative cities using real-term data. We also find that price dynamics have an important role to play in determining house prices. Moreover, the results reveal that the dominant driving force of house price deviations from fundamental values might be the less than fully rational behavior of investors rather than fundamental factors. This seems plausible in an emerging market such as China.
This study examines the associations among financial hardship, perception of situation, social support, and perceived stress using data from the second wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States. Both financial hardship and perception of situation were hypothesized to be positively associated with perceived stress, whereas social support was hypothesized to act as an intervening variable between perception of situation and perceived stress. The results from a structural equation model showed that (a) financial hardship was a precursor of perception of situation, (b) perception of situation exhibited a positive effect on perceived stress, and (c) social support was negatively related to the level of perceived stress.
- Go to article: Couple Perceptions as Mediators Between Family Economic Strain and Marital Quality: Evidence From Longitudinal Dyadic Data
Couple Perceptions as Mediators Between Family Economic Strain and Marital Quality: Evidence From Longitudinal Dyadic Data
The deleterious nature of U.S. economic recessions over the last several decades highlight a need to investigate the role of family economic strain on families. The current study explored the impact of family economic strain on marital quality and marital stability through dyadic associations of marital support and work–family conflict of 370 married couples over a 12-year period (1989–2001) through an actor–partner interdependence model, encompassing two major U.S. recessions. Guided by family stress and coping theory, findings are consistent with past research indicating the negative impact of family economic strain on marital quality and marital stability; however, this impact may be mitigated through the mediation of positive perceptions of marital support and work–family conflict. Implications suggest financial counselors should consider the lasting influence of economic strain on families, and how the psychosocial resources of martial support and managing work–family conflict may promote relationship quality and stability.
- Go to article: Low- and Moderate-Income Tax Filers Underestimate Tax Refunds: Implications for Financial Counseling and Policy
Low- and Moderate-Income Tax Filers Underestimate Tax Refunds: Implications for Financial Counseling and Policy
Low- and moderate-income tax filers often receive refund and tax credit checks that easily total a fifth or more of their total annual income. This study uses data collected in 2009 and 2010 from 79 clients of a volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program to compare filers’ estimates of their returns before the tax preparation process with their returns calculated by trained VITA volunteers. Most filers (75%) underestimated their refunds, and 52% underestimated by $500 or more. Hence, at least some portion of the refund arrives as an unanticipated windfall. Counseling and planning work with low- and moderate-income families should take these significant lump sum income events into consideration.
The efficacy of family budgeting programs is often measured purely in terms of financial outcomes. There has been less research on its potential impacts on cognitive outcomes. The present study investigated whether an existing financial counseling intervention could help people improve their deliberative cognitive capacity. A community sample of participants in Auckland, New Zealand who identified that they wanted to better manage their money were randomly assigned to a month-long financial counseling intervention or a wait-list control group. Results showed that participants exposed to the intervention had a greater improvement in self-control than participants in the control group, and that self-control improved more for people with a low income than a high income. Financial counseling interventions may impart broader cognitive benefits that help people escape further financial hardship.
Self-leadership examines how individuals can motivate themselves through behavior focused strategies, constructive thought patterns, and natural reward strategies. This study examined the potential influence of self-leadership on financial self-efficacy, credit card debt, and student loan debt among college students. Data were collected from a survey of 197 graduate and undergraduate students at a major Midwestern university. The findings suggest students higher in self-leadership tend to have lower student loan debt. Additionally, financial self-efficacy and credit card debt mediate the relationship between self-leadership and student loan debt. The results have implications for the role self-leadership plays in credit card debt, financial self-efficacy, and student loan debt.
This study examines associations between financial education and financial literacy among people with different levels of education and income using a large, national data set, the 2015 National Financial Capability Study. This study estimates whether financial education in high school, college, or through an employer, is associated with a person's financial literacy score. Results show that people who received any financial education are likely to have higher financial literacy scores compared to those without financial education. Financial education has larger predicted probabilities for those with lower education and income, suggesting that financial education is especially important for this demographic group. This research emphasizes a need to teach financial education to people whom previous research suggests lacks financial literacy the most.
This study tests whether risk tolerance mitigates the effects of credit card mismanagement on users' financial satisfaction. We used data from the Health and Retirement Study and found results showing that credit card mismanagement reduces the financial satisfaction of lower-risk-tolerance users only. The results also suggest that the psychic costs of credit card mismanagement (i.e., stress and anxiety), not the monetary costs (fees and higher interest rates), may be the biggest contributors to the dissatisfaction associated with credit card use.
Financial counseling plays an important role for low- and moderate-income Americans and deserves more attention from leaders in the field. As financial counseling has evolved, the providers have been challenged to find a model that is both borrower centered and sustainable. This article provides a diagnosis of the failures and challenges in the financial counseling field, as well as a discussion of steps through which the providers could optimally serve families in need. These steps include (a) enhanced funding of the industry as a result of a recognition by financial stakeholders that it would be beneficial for them if the counseling industry was markedly improved; (b) stronger training for counselors; (c) implementation of enhanced measurement tools so that both funders and consumer borrowers could choose their providers from an informed position; and (d) assertion of leadership by consumer advocates and the Consumer Financial Products Bureau in improving this industry.
This research examined the prevalence and amount of care-related out-of-pocket expenditures of family caregivers and the factors that influence this spending. Secondary analysis of 2007 General Social Survey (Cycle 21) data yielded population estimates for Canadians age 45 years and older. Thirty-five percent of respondents—1.2 million Canadians—reported care-related out-of-pocket expenditures, which amounted to almost $12.6 million. Caregivers who were more likely to incur these costs reported higher levels of stress, were caring for a family member or friend with more complex health conditions, were providing more intense levels of care, and lived further away from the care receiver. We find that care-related out-of-pocket spending is common among Canadian caregivers, that it can be substantial, and that relatively few caregivers receive financial supports that can defray these costs.
- Go to article: Poverty Levels and Debt Indicators Among Low-Income Households Before and After the Great Recession
This study analyzed the debt profile of low-income households before and after the Great Recession using the 2007, 2010, and 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). We used Heckman selection models to investigate three debt characteristics: (a) the amount of debt, (b) debt-to-income ratio, and (c) debt delinquency. Before and after the Great Recession, results from the selection stage showed the probability of holding debt for households increased as their income level increased (moving into less severe poverty categories); results from the outcome stage indicated households in the most severe poverty category (below 100% of poverty threshold) were less likely to meet debt-to-income ratio guidelines. Following the Great Recession, these lowest income households were more likely to have higher debt and debt delinquency problems.
- Go to article: Modeling Changes to Survey Response Items Over Time in a Britain Financial Literacy Education Study
This study develops a general method for modeling changes in response to items relating to students perceptions of personal finance and financial products. The new method is illustrated to analyze data from a sample of 1,250 students aged 16–18 who participated in a financial capability education study in the UK. We demonstrate how a quantitative indicator of the changes in students' responses can be applied in various educational research projects, particularly as a measure of program effectiveness. Predictions are based on prior survey responses, which are taken as relevant historical information for a cohort of students. We find significant changes in the responses of students toward reported career choice following the Financial Literacy Education course at national colleges in the UK.