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Dr. Luisa Blanco Proposed Module on Retirement Knowledge Selected to be in the 2020 Health and Retirement Study

February 22, 2019  | 1 min read

Luisa Blanco

Dr. Luisa Blanco, associate professor of economics and public policy at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, continues to research the lack of financial planning and savings for retirement among United States adults.

Blanco, along with Dr. Sylvia Paz (UCLA) and Dr. Ron Hayes (UCLA), proposed a new module on "retirement knowledge" and is selected to be included in the 2020 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) experimental modules.

In past qualitative and quantitative studies, Blanco found Hispanics, the largest race and ethnic subgroup in California, to have low levels of self-reported retirement preparedness. Studies showed Hispanics to lack the understanding of high-level information and learning costs which prevents access to basic financial services. 

The proposed experimental module will consist of a retirement-knowledge scale appropriate for low- and medium-income English and non-native English speakers. The purpose is to develop a self-reporting scale that can be used in future studies to assess retirement knowledge and evaluate interventions that address this issue. This measure will be designed in both English and Spanish to reach the author's targeted audience of race and ethnic minorities. Although the module will measure Hispanics who are least likely to have any form of retirement savings, the scale will also be appropriate for high-income individuals, allowing measurement of financial literacy across the US. Taking the complexity of retirement knowledge into consideration, she believes it is important to develop scales that are linguistically and culturally appropriate.

Blanco, Paz, and Hayes will produce a manuscript based on the analysis of the data and description of methods used to design and test the proposed retirement knowledge scale.