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Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities

Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation National Financial Capability Study

Overview

On Monday, December 11, 2017, National Disability Institute (NDI) released a report titled Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation National Financial Capability Study. NDI’s analysis of data from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study provides compelling evidence pointing to the need for solutions that advance financial stability and capability for people with disabilities.

This report discusses the financial capabilities of Americans with disabilities in comparison to other Americans. The findings are summarized below by section:

Making Ends Meet

Respondents with disabilities:

  • are more than twice as likely to find it “very difficult” to cover expenses and pay bills (23 percent versus 9
    percent).
  • are twice as likely to have past due medical bills (38 percent versus 18 percent) and much more likely to forgo medical care because of costs (46 percent versus 25 percent), although they are equally likely to have health insurance.
  • are twice as likely to be unable to come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose in the next month (37
    percent versus 18 percent).
  • experience higher levels of financial stress (people with disabilities are twice as likely to be late with a
    mortgage payment) and are almost twice as dissatisfied (41 percent versus 23 percent not at all satisfied)
    with their current financial condition.

Planning Ahead

Respondents with disabilities:

  • are less likely to have set aside three months of emergency funds (30 percent versus 46 percent).
  • are equally likely to have a household budget (59 percent versus 56 percent), but less likely to have set
    long-term financial goals (44 percent versus 61 percent).
  • have a shorter time horizon for planning and budgeting with a large number only planning and budgeting
    for the next few months (34 percent versus 24 percent).
  • are less prepared for retirement with less having figured out their retirement savings needs (31 percent
    versus 41 percent), less likely to have a retirement account (40 percent versus 62 percent) and more worried about running out of money in retirement (63 percent versus 59 percent).
  • are less likely to have non-retirement accounts (20 percent versus 31 percent) and less willing to take any
    risk on financial investments (36 percent versus 24 percent).

Managing Financial Products

Respondents with disabilities:

  • are less likely to have checking (84 percent versus 91 percent) and savings accounts (61 percent versus 77
    percent) and more likely to be unbanked (12 percent versus 6 percent).
  • are more likely to use prepaid debit cards (36 percent versus 24 percent).
  • are less likely to own a home (45 percent versus 58 percent); but among those who are homeowners, more
    than twice as likely to be “underwater” (28 percent compared to 13 percent).
  • are less likely to have any credit cards (63 percent versus 80 percent); but among those who had credit cards, equally likely to have researched and compared credit cards (37 percent versus 37 percent) and more likely to engage in expensive credit card behaviors (56 percent versus 40 percent).
  • are more likely to use non-bank borrowing methods (42 percent versus 25 percent).
  • are less likely to have good debt (29 percent versus 39 percent have a mortgage or home equity loan) and
    more likely to have bad debt (38 percent versus 18 percent have unpaid medical bills).

Financial Knowledge and Decision Making

Respondents with disabilities:

  • have fewer correct responses on a test of basic financial concepts (44 percent versus 53 percent average
    correct answer score on a financial literacy test).
  • have a lower self-perceived level of financial knowledge (70 percent versus 81 percent rated themselves
    positively).
  • have similar access and use of financial education (20 percent versus 22 percent were offered and
    participated in workplace or school financial education).

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This resource created by ndi


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