The Well-Being and Financial Well-Being of Canadians: financially vulnerable households the most challenged

This brief discusses how more financially vulnerable Canadians are most challenged based on the Seymour Financial Resilience Index TM. This E-Brief builds on Statistics Canada Canadians' Well-being in Year One of the COVID-19 Pandemic report and Seymour’s February 2021 Index Release Summary.



Ganohonyohk (Giving Thanks): Indigenous Prosperity

The Ganohonyohk/Prosperity Research Project explored how seven Indigenous Friendship Centre communities in Ontario understood the concept of prosperity. The guiding research question of “How do urban Indigenous Friendship Centre communities in Ontario view a prosperous/wealthy life?” was used to gauge the meaning of prosperity through a community driven lens.

This strength-based research explores culturally appropriate approaches to urban Indigenous prosperity and considers the role of Friendship Centres in promoting prosperity. It concludes that approaches to Indigenous prosperity need to be context-specific and allow for self-determination in establishing communities’ priorities.



Household economic well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, experimental estimates, fourth quarter 2020

A highlight of some of the findings reported in this briefing:

  • Disposable income declined for most households in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the largest losses for the lowest-income earners (-10.2%).
  • Compensation of employees—of which wages and salaries make up the largest share—was up in the fourth quarter.
  • The most pronounced wage losses were experienced by the lowest-income (-5.3%) and the youngest (-3.1%) households, as many people in these households work in industries or jobs hard hit by the pandemic.
  • There was a decline in COVID-19-specific support measures and a significant rise in EI benefits in the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Overall consumption expenditure was down in 2020 compared with 2019.
  • Net saving for many households declined as their disposable income decreased and consumption edged up.
  • The debt-to-income ratio increased the most for households in the lowest income quintile.

 



Why the Time is Right for a Guaranteed Income with an Equity Lens

Over 50+ mayors in the United States have joined a national initiative Mayor’s for Guaranteed Income (MGI). Many advocates and practitioners now believe the moment has arrived for a guaranteed Income with an equity lens. In this webinar, perspectives from a diverse group of thought leaders involved in GI initiatives including practitioners, government representatives and philanthropy were heard. Panelists shared outcomes and new research results from some of the most successful GI pilots in the country (Stockton and Mississippi); goals for the newly launched Mayor’s for Guaranteed Income; how philanthropy can play a catalytic role and what this moment tells us about the future of guaranteed income initiatives.



Measuring the Financial Well-Being of Hispanics: 2018 Financial Well-Being Score Benchmarks

This report provides a foundational set of benchmarks of the financial well-being of Hispanics ages 18 and older in the United States in 2018, as measured by the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale, that practitioners and researchers can use in their work. The benchmarks were developed using data from the FINRA Foundation’s 2018 National Financial Capability Survey. This report specifically shows financial well-being score patterns for Hispanic adults by socio-demographics, financial inclusion, safety nets, and financial literacy factors. The report highlights key findings in the data and the implications for organizations that are planning to use the benchmarks.



Nurturing Supporting Relationships: The Foundation to a Secure Future

This handbook provides a guide for actions to take when nurturing supporting relationships for people living with a disability.



Financial Anxiety and Stress among U.S. Households: New Evidence from the National Financial Capability Study and Focus Groups

The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has brought to light the deeply rooted financial struggles that many Americans face. This paper shows that even before the pandemic, a
substantial share of households was already anxious and stressed about their personal finances. The greatest levels of anxiety and stress were expressed by women, young adults,
those with lower income, those with more financially dependent children, those who are not married, and those who are unemployed. In this paper, factors likely contributing
to high levels of financial anxiety and stress are analyzed.



The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has brought to light the deeply rooted financial struggles that many Americans face. This paper shows that even before the pandemic, a
substantial share of households was already anxious and stressed about their personal finances. The greatest levels of anxiety and stress were expressed by women, young adults,
those with lower income, those with more financially dependent children, those who are not married, and those who are unemployed. In this paper, factors likely contributing
to high levels of financial anxiety and stress are analyzed.

Control, Sufficiency, and Social Support Lessons from Low-income Canadians about Financial Wellbeing

This report examines how diary participants achieve the financial wellbeing that they have. The evidence we found is that low-income people work very hard to manage their finances. They endeavor to control their finances so that, as one participant said, their finances don’t control them. They must prioritize needs and wants because there is not enough for both. One participant talked about her goal of having a ‘little bit more’ than her needs so that there was a little extra for savings or small purchases or trips. Finally, we saw that family and friends are terribly important for achieving financial wellbeing because social supports can provide loans, gifts, and emotional support. Having a low-income means that banks offer few financial supports. Of course, family and friends also make demands.

Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Women: Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been profound and far-reaching. Beyond endangering the health of Canadians, the pandemic has worsened inequalities among groups of people. Women, girls and gender-diverse people have faced unique challenges during the pandemic.

The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada take various actions to assist women, girls and gender-diverse people during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Many recommendations relate to improving women’s health and labour force participation. Some recommendations focus specifically on women’s paid and unpaid care work. The Committee also recommends interventions to help reduce trafficking and violence against women.



Canadians’ Well-being in Year One of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Given the scope and the diversity of the reports and studies that examined the impacts of the pandemic on well-being, it can be challenging to absorb and understand all the ways in which quality of life has been affected by COVID-19. The well-being literature offers an approach that may help.

This report brings together diverse findings that illuminate changes in quality of life since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides valuable insights through examining these results through a well-being lens. Several widely used frameworks exist to describe the dimensions of well-being, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Framework for Measuring Well-Being and Progress.



Financial Well-Being: A Conceptual Model and Preliminary Analysis

Based on an extensive literature review and re-analysis of existing qualitative data, this report offers a working definition and an a priori conceptual model of financial well-being and its possible determinants. Using survey data from Norway (2016), ten regression models have been conducted to identify the key drivers of financial well-being and enhance the understanding of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the unequal spread of well-being across the population. The preliminary analyses in this report were consistent with both the definition and the model, albeit with some nuances and unexplained effects.

The empirical analysis identified three sub-domains of financial well-being. It was found that all three measures share three behaviours as their main drivers: ‘active saving’, ‘spending restraints’ and ‘not borrowing for daily expenses’. Also, ‘locus of control’ stood out as an important explanatory variable, with significant impacts on all three levels of well-being. Beyond that, some distinguishing characteristics were identified for each of the measures.

The TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index)

The TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index) measures knowledge and understanding that enable sound financial decision making and effective management of personal finances among U.S. adults. The P-Fin Index is an annual survey developed by the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, in consultation with Greenwald & Associates. It is unique in its breadth of questions and its coverage of the topics that measure financial literacy. The index is based on responses to 28 questions across eight functional areas: earning, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing/managing debt, insuring, comprehending risk, and go-to information sources.



Growing household financial instability: Is income volatility the hidden culprit?

On March 9th, 2018, leading American and Canadian researchers and policy makers from all sectors gathered in Toronto to explore the question: Growing household financial instability: Is income volatility the hidden culprit? The policy research symposium was an invitational event co-hosted by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and Prosper Canada. Its purpose was to shine a light on an issue that has gained prominence in US economic and policy circles but was just emerging as a topic for exploration in Canada in the context of
growing household financial instability.

This report summarizes key insights, conclusions and next steps from the symposium in the hopes that it will inform, catalyse and support further action on this issue. To view the conference agenda and links to all conference presentations, please see Appendix 1. Presentation videos can be found online at
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC0J2kAG0MZZ5gd_6ZaHjqqEcenL2jCtP



Household economic well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, experimental estimates, first quarter to third quarter of 2020

Over the first three quarters of 2020, disposable income for the lowest-income households increased 36.8%, more than for any other households. At the same time, the youngest households recorded the largest gain in their net worth (+9.8%). These changes were driven by unprecedented increases in transfers to households, as the value of government COVID-19 support measures exceeded losses in wages and salaries and self-employment income.

As the pandemic unfolded in Canada, households experienced extraordinary changes in their economic well-being. While quarterly releases of gross domestic product and the national balance sheet provide an aggregate view of these impacts, new experimental sub-annual distributions of household economic accounts (DHEA), released today, provide insight into how the pandemic and the associated government support measures have affected the economic well-being of different groups of households in Canada.



Financial Well-being among Black and Hispanic Women

This paper provides an in-depth examination of the financial well-being of Black and Hispanic women and the factors contributing to it, using the 2018 wave of the National Financial Capability Study. Differences between Black and Hispanic women versus White women are documented, in that the former are more likely to face economic challenges that depress financial well-being. Controlling for differences in socio-demographic characteristics, there are important differences in the factors that contribute to financial well-being for Black and Hispanic women compared to White women. This includes distinct impacts of education, family structure, employment, and financial literacy. Results imply that extant financial education programs inadequately address the needs of Black and Hispanic women.



2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report

The 2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report details the United States' Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's financial literacy strategy and activities to improve the financial literacy of consumers. Congress specifically charged the Bureau with conducting financial education programs and ensuring consumers receive timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions. Empowering consumers to help themselves, protect their own interests, and choose the financial products and services that best fit their needs is vital to preventing consumer harm and building financial well-being. Overall, this report describes the Bureau’s efforts in a broad range of financial literacy areas relevant to consumers’ financial lives. It highlights our work, including the Bureau's:

  • Response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pivot to financial resilience
  • Start Small, Save Up campaign
  • Foundational research to understand the pathways to financial well-being
  • Misadventures in Money Management online training program
  • Managing Someone Else’s Money guides
  • Your Money, Your Goals toolkit
  • Paying for College tool
  • Direct to consumer tools, community outreach channels, and areas of research



Effective Programs and Policies for Promoting Economic Well-Being

This report was originally developed to support the work of Feeding America and its member food banks in exploring interventions that support households’ economic well-being. Such strategies can be valuable not only for organizations serving households facing food insecurity, but for agencies and organizations serving families with low incomes and other vulnerable populations. This report reflects this broadened audience, and we thank Feeding America for their support in helping us develop this report.



CPA Canada 2020 Canadian Finance Study

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has released its comprehensive Canadian Finance Study 2020, which examines people's attitudes and feelings towards their personal finances. The results highlight the new financial realities that Canadians are experiencing during these unprecedented times.

Nielsen conducted the CPA Canada 2020 Canadian Finance Study via an online questionnaire, from September 4 to 16, 2020 with 2,008 randomly selected Canadian adults, aged 18 years and over, who are members of their online panel.

Among the key pandemic-related findings:

  • 31 per cent of the participants say their income has decreased as a result of COVID-19.
  • 30 per cent of respondents report COVID-19 has reduced the amount they are saving.
  • 21 per cent of pre-retired respondents reveal they now plan to retire later as a result of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 also is impacting the way survey participants are spending, with 55 per cent saying they are spending less, on average.
  • Nearly half of the respondents (46 per cent) say that their financial situation is about the same as it was a year ago.
  • 77 per cent of those surveyed are not receiving a COVID-19-related benefit from the federal government.



Connecting to Reimagine: Money & COVID-19 webinar series

This webinar series released by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) features speakers from the public, private, and academic sectors.

Past and upcoming webinar topics include:



Inter-generational comparisons of household economic well-being, 1999 to 2019

This study of data from the Distributions of Household Economic Accounts compares households' economic well-being from a macro-economic accounts perspective, as measured by net saving and net worth for each generation when the major income earner for a household in one generation reached the same point in the life cycle as the major income earner for a household in another generation. The study finds that while younger generations have higher disposable income and higher consumption expenditure than older generations when they reached the same age, their net saving is relatively similar. As well, younger generations' economic well-being may be more at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic since they depend more on employment as a primary source of income, they have higher debt relative to income, and they have less equity in financial and real estate assets from which to draw upon when needed.



Financial Literacy and Wellness Among U.S. Women: Insights on Underrepresented Minority Women

The 2020 TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index) survey was fielded in January 2020 and included an oversample of women. This enables examining the state of financial literacy and financial wellness among U.S. women immediately before the onset of COVID-19. A more refined understanding of financial literacy among women, including areas of strength and weakness and variations among subgroups, can inform initiatives to improve financial wellness, particularly as the United States moves forward from the pandemic and its economic consequences.



Financial wellness: What is it? How do we make it happen?

Achieving financial wellness takes more than just financial resources. It also requires the ability to make good financial decisions and engage in sound money- management practices. To inform policies and programs that promote financial wellness—including those sponsored by employers—the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center held a roundtable discussion featuring a range of experts. This report presents the key findings and recommendations that emanated from the discussion. To learn more about the roundtable itself, visit TIAA Institute events page.



Supporting the financial resilience of citizens throughout the COVID-19 crisis

This policy brief outlines initial the measures that policy makers can make to increase citizen awareness about effective means of mitigation for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential consequences on their financial resilience and well-being.



Launch of the OECD/INFE 2020 International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy

This report provides measures of financial inclusion including elements of financial resilience and a newly-created score on financial well-being.

Twenty-six countries and economies, including 12 OECD countries, participated in this international survey of financial literacy, using the 2018 OECD/INFE toolkit to collect cross-comparable data. The survey results report the overall financial literacy scores, as computed following the OECD/INFE methodology and definition, and their elements of knowledge, behaviour, and attitudes.

The data used in this report are drawn from national surveys undertaken using and submitted to the OECD as part of a co-ordinated measurement exercise; as well as data gathered as part of the OECD/INFE Technical Assistance Project for Financial Education in South East Europe.



The changes in health and well-being of Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

This article examines how the self-reported health and mental health of people with long-term health conditions or disabilities has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic explored by age, sex and type of reported difficulty. Additionally, the rates of health service disruptions are explored by type of service and region.



Wealth and Health Equity: Investing in Structural Change

Building on the Asset Funders Network’s the Health and Wealth Connection: Investment Opportunities Across the Life Course brief, this paper details:

  • What we know about the health-wealth connection for adults.
  • Why investment in integration is important.
  • How philanthropy can contribute to improving health-wealth outcomes for adults.

On September 29th, AFN hosted a webinar to release the paper with featured speakers:

Dr. Annie Harper, Ph.D., Program for Recovery and Community Health, Yale School of Medicine
Joelle-Jude Fontaine, Sr. Program Officer, Human Services, The Kresge Foundation
Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chief of Race, Wealth, and Community, National Community Reinvestment Coalition



Plan Institute Learning Centre

The Plan Institute Learning Centre presents workshops, webinars, publications and other resources for individuals and/or families of a person with a disability, support-care workers, and organizations.



Lifting the Weight: Consumer Debt Solutions Framework

Aspen Financial Security Program’s the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC) has identified seven specific consumer debt problems that result in decreased financial insecurity and well-being. Four of the identified problems are general to consumer debt: households’ lack of savings or financial cushion, restricted access to existing high-quality credit for specific groups of consumers, exposure to harmful loan terms and features, and detrimental delinquency, default, and collections practices. The other three problems relate to structural features of three specific types of debt: student loans, medical debt, and government fines and fees.

This report presents a solutions framework to address all seven of these problems. The framework includes setting one or more tangible goals to achieve for each problem, and, for each goal, the solutions different sectors (financial services providers, governments, non-profits, employers, educational or medical institutions) can pursue.



Indicators for Financial Empowerment: Learnings from the National Financial Empowerment Champions Project

This resource offers a set of common indicators that community organizations can use to measure the reach and impact of their financial empowerment (FE) programming. It is intended for any community organization that works to foster greater financial well-being for economically disadvantaged Canadians.

This resource compiles the key performance indicators (KPIs) and presents them for use by community organizations beyond the National Financial Empowerment Champions (FECs) partners. The KPIs have been refined in response to partners’ feedback and in recognition of developments in the FE field, ensuring that the definitions reflect current and best practices in the field of financial empowerment/financial literacy in Canada and the USA.