Obstacles to Saving for Retirement

A presentation on Obstacles to Saving for Retirementwas given by Dr. Wilhelmina Leigh for the National Press Foundation's Retirement Issues 2011 forum on June 14, 2011.

African Americans and Social Security: A Primer

Although many African Americans depend on Social Security benefits to meet their basic needs, the value of the program to this group is often debated and sometimes misrepresented or discounted.

Congressional Black Caucus Hearing Out of Work But Not Out of Hope: Addressing the Crisis of the Chronically Unemployed

Good morning. I, Wilhelmina Leigh, Senior Research Associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, would like to thank Chairwoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, Chair of the CBC Jobs Taskforce, for inviting me to testify at this hearing. During my brief testimony, I will address the topic of this panel “Who are the chronically unemployed?” in two ways. I will first identify the chronically unemployed via trends in unemployment rates.

Retirement Savings Behavior and Expectations of African Americans: 1998 and 2009

Among pre-retirees, confidence about having enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement typically reflects the state of one’s current savings behavior, known savings vehicles and expected major sources of retirement income. African Americans and whites have differing assessments of their own retirement security, and their differing views suggest that the recent economic downturn may have constrained African Americans’ ability to save for retirement to a greater degree than it has for whites.

Asset-Building: Explaining the Racial/Ethnic Wealth Gap

The racial/ethnic wealth gap in this country is both huge and persistent. The ratio between the median net worth of white households and African American households is nearly 7:1, while the white-Hispanic ratio is nearly 5:1 (Bucks, Kennickell, and Moore 2006). Despite increased awareness of these gaps, clear consensus has yet to emerge about the steps needed to narrow them. Some of this lack of consensus relates to a lack of understanding of the causes of this disparity.

The 2008-2009 Economic Downturn: Perspectives of African Americans

African Americans and white Americans differ in the type and magnitude of their asset holdings. Perhaps as a result of these differences, the two groups also have differing perspectives on and responses to the 2008-2009 economic downturn. Similarities of perspective exist between the groups as well. For example, both African Americans and whites report similar levels of confidence in the nation’s financial institutions and sector.

Promising Practices in Asset Building for Low-Income Communities of Color

To identify promising practices in asset building for low-income people, the Joint Center analyzed data for two groups of states - those with high CFED asset-outcome rankings and those with low CFED asset-outcome rankings.

Can Infrastructure Investments Promote a More Inclusive Economy?

It seems that the spring won't be much more favorable to the economy than the winter--while the April showers may have brought May flowers, according to recent job data, they also brought another 500,000 pink slips.

Asset Building in Low-Income Communities of Color, Part 2

This report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies presents findings from the second year of an initiative to assess what works to enable low-income communities of color to build assets. It highlights predisposing factors and promising practices in 10 states that received low rankings on asset building for low-income people in the 2007-2008 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. The featured states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Texas.

Vital To Our Recovery Nonprofits and Foundations in These Difficult Times

For nearly 16 years, Paul Martodam has helped Catholic Charities assist people throughout Phoenix with food, shelter and many other parts of daily life.