The Hidden Financial Lives of America's Poor and Middle Class

Complimentary two-part webinar series

Sponsored by: 

An unprecedented look at the financial lives of working Americans and new insights for designing policies, programs and products that can help make their lives better.

There’s no question that the American economy has undergone dramatic change over the last 30 years—stagnant wages, rising inequality, automation, freelancing, and globalization. The impact of these economic changes on the lives of low- and moderate-income Americans has been difficult to see, until now. New research indicates that current programs and policies for helping families escape poverty, build stability, move up the ladder, and invest in the future are based on an outdated understanding of what their financial lives looks like—one that no longer reflects reality.

The U.S. Financial Diaries (USFD) is an unprecedented research study that observed 235 low- and moderate-income American households over the course of a year. The study examined the day-to-day financial lives of people living in these households, covering issues such as assets and debts, cash flows in and out of the households, financial instruments used, employment, financial goals, and attitudes about money. Conducted by New York University’s Financial Access Initiative and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the study offers data and stories that explore the financial realities of these households, and how people’s finances and options influence—and are influenced by—other aspects of their lives.

In this complimentary two-part SSIR Live! webinar series, researchers from New York University and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, will be joined by experts from the Aspen Institute, and Pew Charitable Trusts, the University of Michigan, and the Urban Institute to present new research findings, their implications, and insights for designing new policies, programs, and products to help improve the lives of low- and moderate-income Americans.

This webinar series will be of interest to nonprofit leaders, policymakers, social entrepreneurs, government leaders, researchers, and funders who want to better understand the financial realities and choices these households face in order to address the shifting needs of low- and moderate-income Americans.


 

The Hidden Financial Lives of America's Poor and Middle Class

Part One of Two

Presented by Jonathan Morduch, Rachel Schneider, Luke Shaefer, & Diana Elliott

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon PDT, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

The first webinar in this series will discuss the results and implications of new research into the hidden financial lives of low- and moderate-income American households and delve into the effects of income volatility, how families are adjusting to this volatility, and the gaps in current programs and policies.

This webinar will:

  • Explore the results and implications of new research on the financial lives of low- and moderate-income Americans
  • Illustrate how month-to-month income and expense volatility can be more important than income level
  • Highlight findings from Pew Charitable Trust’s recent research on economic mobility, financial stability and security
  • Discuss the new challenges households face and how they are adjusting
  • Look at gaps in the safety net and what it means for people who fall through them

Learn more about this webinar and speakers here.

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The Hidden Financial Lives of America's Poor and Middle Class

Session Two of Two

Presented by : Jonathan Morduch, Rachel Schneider, Ida Rademacher, & Ellen Seidman

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon PST, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EST

What are the implications of the U.S. Financial Diaries and other recent research and how can they provide insight to help families escape poverty, build stability, move up the ladder, and invest in the future? This webinar will look at innovative policies, products, and programs that seek to help households make ends meet, build security and stability, and invest for the future. We’ll consider innovative efforts in all sectors of society—from financial tech start-ups, to new policy approaches at all levels of government, and everything in between.

This webinar will:

  • Provide insight into how to redesign programs, policies, and products to better match the needs of low- and moderate-income Americans
  • Highlight examples of innovative products, programs, and policies that address income volatility and other challenges that households face now
  • Discuss the prospects for policy change at the federal, state and local level

Learn more about this webinar and speakers here.