March 2012

Image of a tax refund check

Extra in Refund Checks Spurs Savings

A breakthrough experiment determined that some low-income tax filers are willing to save part of their IRS refund after all.

What separates savers from non-savers is each individual’s own “mental accounting.” What specifically influences them is whether their refunds exceeded their anticipation.

The research found that 7 percent of all low-income filers saved part of their refunds. But 12 percent of people who got more than they’d anticipated agreed to save – they did so by opening a savings account or buying a US savings bond or certificate of deposit. Only 4.5 percent of those who got the same as, or less than, anticipated, saved part of it.

“At tax sites, most people don’t save,” said Michael Collins, director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “But if you target the right people you might find some savers.” His research controlled for income, demographics and the refund amount. …Learn More

Retirement Security Set by Life Decisions

Looking back on a lifetime of financial decisions from Squared Away on Vimeo.

In the second of two videos, retirees from the Savin Hill Apartments in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood spoke honestly about the decisions they made during their working lives that have affected their financial security in retirement. The residents come from all walks of life and from home towns ranging from Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland, and Thomasville, Alabama, to around the corner in East Boston.

The first video can be viewed here.
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