A Framework for Promoting Retirement Savings

Wiener, J. & Doescher, T. (2008). A Framework for Promoting Retirement Savings, The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42 (2), 137-164.

Brief description: This paper identifies the constructs that influence an individual’s intention to save for retirement. It discusses how and when these factors can be changed by an agent trying to induce an individual to enroll in a retirement plan, increase his or her contribution to a plan, or purchase a particular retirement product. A broad array of psychological theories …

Impact of Health on Financial Security of Older Americans

Kim, H. & Lyons, A. C. (2008). No Pain, No Strain: Impact of Health on the Financial Security of Older Americans. The Journal of Consumer Affairs; Spring 2008, 42(1), 9-36.

Brief Description: This study investigated the impact that new and existing health problems have on the financial strain of older Americans. Health problems significantly increased the likelihood of financial strain for older individuals, but the effects varied by the measure of financial strain used and how health status is …

Banking Experience and Individual Development Accounts

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Yeo, Y. H., Despard, M. R., Casalotti, A. M., and Zhan, M. (2010). Does prior banking experience matter? Differences of the banked and unbanked in Individual Development Accounts. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 31, 212-227.

Brief Description: This study compares the saving performance and program participation of participants who owned bank accounts and those who did not prior to program enrollment in 14 Individual Development Account programs. Banked participants were shown to have higher average monthly net …

Effect of Expressing a Quantitative Goal on Savings Behavior

Loibl, C. & Scharff, R. L. (2010). Examining the effect of expressing a quantitative goal on consumer savings. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44, (1): 127-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6606.2010.01160.x.

Brief Description: The study extended the psychological concept of implementation intentions to the analysis of savings behavior. A field experiment was conducted with current participants of an America Saves campaign in a large city in a U.S. Midwestern state. The intervention required the treatment group participants to write down specific plans about the …

Managing a Retirement Portfolio: Do Annuities Provide More Safety?

Spitzer, J.J. (2009). Managing a retirement portfolio: Do annuities provide more safety? Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, 20(1), 58-69.

Brief Description:  One of the biggest concerns of retirees is the risk of outliving their assets. This study used a technique called “bootstrap simulations” to estimate the probability of someone outliving a retirement portfolio as increasing proportions of a tax-deferred account are annuitized. It also examined the sizes of the portfolio balance as the annuity amount increased. Required …

Spousal differences in financial risk tolerance

 

Gilliam, J.E., Goetz, J.W. & Hampton, V. L. (2008). Spousal differences in financial risk tolerance. Financial Counseling and Planning, 19(1), 3-11.

Brief Description: This study explored the financial risk tolerance of 110 couples who completed a Web-based survey. Wives who were university graduates had a higher tolerance for risk, whereas their husbands’ mean risk tolerance score was lower than husbands whose wives did not have degrees. Perhaps, due to a higher level of household income, it is unnecessary for …

What is a Roth 401(k)?

A Roth 401(k) is retirement savings option that became available in 2006. With Roth 401(k)s, companies can add an option to their 401(k) plan that enables employees to make after-tax contributions. The contribution limit for a Roth 401(k) is the same as the contribution limit for a regular 401(k). In 2017, the limit is $18,000 plus an extra $6,000 “catch up” amount for those who will be age 50 or older by the end of the year ($24,000 total).

If …

Are Savings Accounts Insured?

Financial institutions such as commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions offer the safest alternatives for savings. Government insurance programs such as FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) or NCUA (National Credit Union Association) guarantee the safety of deposits up to certain amounts (currently $250,000 per depositor). Savings accounts are very liquid and require a low or no minimum balance. However, the rate of return for passbook accounts is frequently below the rate of inflation, which results in a …

Automated Saving and Investing Strategies

 

O’Neill, B. (2007) Overcoming Inertia: Do Automated Saving and Investing Strategies Work? Journal of Family and Economic Issues 28(2), 321-335. http://www.springerlink.com/content/wt1653190x010357/

Brief Description: Various automated strategies have been implemented by employers with the objective of increasing retirement plan participation. Automatic strategies work by proactively arranging some type of action (e.g., plan enrollment) to occur unless people specifically opt out. This article examines and synthesizes previous empirical research about five automatic savings and investing strategies: (a) automatic retirement savings plan …

Decrease in Stock Ownership by Minority Households

 

Hanna, S. D. & Lindamood, S.( 2008). The decrease in stock ownership by minority households. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 19(2), 29-45.

Brief Description: Researchers have found that White households are more likely to own stocks that minority households. Although stock ownership rates increased for minority households from 1992 to 2001, they declined significantly between 2001 and 2004.

Implications: Credit counseling agencies should monitor the clients’ intentions of completing their debt management plans and incorporate educational components that …