Learn More: A Collection of Resources on Building Savings and Assets

Posted January 20, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog learnmoreassetbrief 2016

Sav­ings and assets — emer­gency sav­ings, a col­lege fund, home­own­er­ship — help fam­i­lies become finan­cial­ly sta­ble, which in turn allows them to help their chil­dren real­ize their full poten­tial. But some fam­i­lies’ dai­ly strug­gle to sup­port them­selves leaves noth­ing for tomor­row. Almost half of Amer­i­cans can­not han­dle a $400 emer­gency — the cost of replac­ing a car alter­na­tor, for exam­ple — let alone pay for a col­lege edu­ca­tion or a home.

Our new fed­er­al pol­i­cy brief under­scores the impor­tance of sav­ings and assets in help­ing low-income fam­i­lies weath­er finan­cial crises and move toward self-suf­fi­cien­cy. It also details how fam­i­lies of col­or have faced his­tor­i­cal obsta­cles in reach­ing these goals, result­ing in a per­sis­tent racial wealth gap that has widened since the Great Reces­sion. The fol­low­ing resources offer addi­tion­al insights on the impor­tance of sav­ings and assets for fam­i­lies, the racial wealth gap and state and fed­er­al poli­cies focused on asset build­ing. They also pro­vide fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the pol­i­cy solu­tions we rec­om­mend to increase the finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty of low-income fam­i­lies, par­tic­u­lar­ly those of color.

On the Impor­tance of Assets

Fam­i­ly Assets and Child Out­comes: Evi­dence and Directions
The Assets Per­spec­tive: The Rise of Asset Build­ing and Its Impact on Social Policy
Upside Down: The $400 Bil­lion Fed­er­al Asset-Build­ing Budget
Who Ben­e­fits From Asset-Build­ing Tax Subsidies?
Who Gets the $400 Bil­lion in Annu­al Fed­er­al Asset-Build­ing Tax Subsidies?
Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty’s Insti­tute on Assets and Social Pol­i­cy: Resources
CFED: Fed­er­al Pol­i­cy Resource Center
New Amer­i­ca Foun­da­tion: Asset Build­ing Program
Inclu­sion in Asset Building

On the Racial Wealth Gap

Beyond Broke: Why Clos­ing the Racial Wealth Gap Is a Pri­or­i­ty for Nation­al Eco­nom­ic Security
Clos­ing the Racial Wealth Gap for the Next Generation
The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Pol­i­cy Matters
Cen­ter for Glob­al Pol­i­cy Solu­tions: Resources

Relat­ed to Our Fed­er­al Pol­i­cy Recommendations

Emergency/​Retirement Savings

Flex­i­ble Sav­ings: The Miss­ing Foun­da­tion for Finan­cial Secu­ri­ty and Eco­nom­ic Mobility
Mak­ing Retire­ment Sav­ing Even More Valu­able by Adding Auto­mat­ic Emer­gency Savings

Asset Lim­its

Asset Lim­its Are a Bar­ri­er to Eco­nom­ic Secu­ri­ty and Mobility
Bar­ri­ers to Sav­ings: Asset Tests

Fam­i­ly Self-Suf­fi­cien­cy Program

Asset-Ori­ent­ed Rental Assis­tance: Next Gen­er­a­tion Reforms for HUD’s Fam­i­ly Self-Suf­fi­cien­cy Program
Hous­ing More Peo­ple More Effec­tive­ly Through a Dynam­ic Hous­ing Policy

Children’s Sav­ings Accounts

Children’s Sav­ings Accounts Expand Opportunity
Invest­ing in Dreams: A Blue­print for Invest­ing in Children’s Sav­ings Accounts
Mov­ing Toward a Pol­i­cy Agen­da for Improv­ing Children’s Sav­ings Account Deliv­ery Systems
Col­lege Sav­ings Plans: A Plat­form for Inclu­sive and Pro­gres­sive Child Devel­op­ment Accounts
Children’s Edu­ca­tion Sav­ings Accounts: A Case Study of San Francisco’s Kinder­garten to Col­lege Program

On State Pol­i­cy Opportunities

Boost­ing Eco­nom­ic Mobil­i­ty Through Prize-Linked Savings
Prize-Linked Sav­ings: Cre­at­ing Finan­cial Con­fi­dence and Opportunity
Preda­to­ry Lend­ing Takes Advan­tage of Finan­cial Insecurity

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