CRR’s “Beta” Financial Education Website

Squared Away, our new financial education website, provides trustworthy tools and information to help you make smart financial decisions.  You can use the site to learn what you need to know, decide what to do, and then do it.  Squared Away also provides a personal financial planning agenda, based on …Learn More

Borrow Less Tomorrow: Behavioral Approaches to Debt Reduction

Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman

Mounting evidence suggests that behavioral factors depress wealth accumulation. Although much research and policy focuses on asset accumulation, for many households debt decumulation is more efficient. Yet the mass market for debt reduction services is thin. So we develop and pilot test Borrow Less Tomorrow (BoLT), a behavioral approach to …Learn More

The Rise of Financial Fraud: Scams Never Change but Disguises Do

Americans submitted nearly 1.1 million complaints about financial fraud in 2010 – a 35 percent increase in just three years. But scammers may be difficult for their potential targets to recognize, because scammers constantly alter their disguises. Awareness of these disguises can help individuals recognize – and steer clear of – fraudulent schemes that can rob them of their financial security… Learn More

Temporal Distance to Retirement and Communication Framing: Enhancing Retirement Financial Decision Making

Nicole Votolato Montgomery, Lisa R. Szykman, and Julie R. Agnew

Based on temporal construal theory, the length of time a person has before they reach retirement age will influence how they react to different types of messages. This theory predicts younger workers prefer more abstract communications compared to older workers who should prefer more concrete information because retirement is a …Learn More

Developing and Disseminating Financial Guidelines for American Households

William G. Gale and Benjamin H. Harris

Household financial planning can be challenging and household members often lack basic financial literacy skills. This paper discusses the potential and pitfalls of one approach to solving these problems—the development and dissemination of financial guidelines simple enough to be explained in graphic form. The discussion is motivated by the history …Learn More

Personal Finance Instruction at U.S. Colleges and Universities

by Kimberly Blanton

During the financial boom several years ago, mortgages weren’t the only form of money that coursed through the nation’s financial system. Student loans were plentiful – and easy to get. College students reported that money appeared – almost like magic – in their bank accounts, minutes after they completed a …Learn More

Exploration of Retirement Planning Attitudes and Behavior

By the Boathouse Group and Plan-it Marketing

In the fall of 2010, the CRR sponsored a series of qualitative interviews with consumers on a range of retirement issues. The objective was to explore consumers’ attitudes and behavior toward retirement planning, including knowledge gaps, sources of information, and unmet needs. A total of 70 individuals aged 50-65 were interviewed in three cities (Hartford, Cincinnati, and Phoenix). This report summarizes the interview results…Learn More