Asset Poverty and the Importance of Emergency Savings

Asset Poverty and the Importance of Emergency Savings. Urban Institute. Caroline Ratcliffe. Web posted October 1, 2013.

What percent of families are asset poor, lack sufficient resources to live at the poverty line for three months, and why does asset poverty matter? A third of U.S. families are liquid asset poor and these families are disproportionately minority, young, and low-income. A lack of assets threatens families’ ability to weather adverse events. After experiencing an involuntary job loss, asset-poor families are nearly three times more likely to experience hardship than non-asset-poor families. These large differences exist across the income spectrum–for low-, middle-, and high-income families. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 136.11 KB].

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