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Dr. Luisa Blanco Publishes Manuscript on Promoting Retirement Saving Among Minorities

Luisa Blanco - Pepperdine University

Dr. Luisa Blanco, associate professor of public policy at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, co-authored and published a new manuscript titled, "A Community-Based Randomized Controlled Trial of an Educational Intervention to Promote Retirement Saving Among Hispanics." 

Blanco and co-authors O. Kenrik Duru and Carol M. Mangione collaborated for this project with two community organizations, the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation and New Economics for Women. The team conducted an educational intervention to promote financial planning for retirement among 142 Spanish-speaking Hispanic participants (70 and 72 in control and treatment groups) and found that in the treatment group 14 percent of participants opened myRetirement Account (myRA), while none in the control group did. The myRA program was a retirement saving plan sponsored by the federal government with the goal of making retirement simple and accessible to individuals who did not have access to retirement saving plans through an employer.

This is the first study that conducted an educational intervention to promote retirement saving focused on Hispanics. Previous work has shown that on average Hispanics lack retirement-preparedness when compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Thus, this work contributes to understanding the role of financial education addressing ethnic and racial disparities. Furthermore, this study is the first to provide an evaluation of a government-sponsored retirement saving plan.

In order for programs such as the new state-sponsored retirement saving plan, CalSavers, to succeed, improving financial knowledge specific to financial planning for retirement will assist in diminishing the racial and ethnic gap in retirement saving. Findings from this study suggest that educational programs are crucial in order to get minorities to participate in the CalSavers program and not opt out from it. 

Learn more about the research and findings, here