In partnership with BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative, authors Timothy Flacke and Deborah Winshel wrote an essay, “Meeting People Where They Are and Laying a Foundation for the Future: Solving America’s Emergency Savings Crisis,” in a new book, The Future of Building Wealth, by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and The Aspen Institute. We’re pleased to share a short excerpt from the essay below.
“For millions of families focused on making ends meet each week, the possibility of wealth feels not just beyond reach but also utterly disconnected from the reality of their financial lives. To make wealth possible for everyone, we must begin by addressing their most pressing, persistent financial need today—managing volatility—with the most versatile, effective, efficient and dignified tool possible: emergency savings.
The data are clear—and not new—that we have a long way to go. The Federal Reserve reports that 30% of U.S. households lack even $400 to manage financial emergencies, and this jumps to 71% for Black families with incomes under the median.
Having no savings reserves is surely a crisis for families, but it is also an acute problem for employers, communities and the country. It is also one we can make meaningful progress against. The starting point is recognizing the lack of emergency savings as a specific public crisis, worthy of bold and coordinated action.”
Read the full chapter, where Flacke and Winshel share the latest thinking on laying a foundation for the future and addressing some of the most pressing financial needs of millions of families today, by downloading the book here.
To request a free mailed copy of the book, fill out the form here.
BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative
In 2019, BlackRock announced a multi-year, $50 million philanthropic commitment to help millions of people living on low- to- moderate incomes gain access to and increase usage of proven savings strategies and tools – ultimately helping them establish an important safety net. The Emergency Savings Initiative (ESI) is a key part of The BlackRock Foundation’s mission to help people beyond the firm’s core business to build financial security. The size and scale of the savings problem requires the knowledge and expertise of established industry experts that are recognized leaders in savings research and interventions at the individual and corporate levels. Led by its Social Impact team, BlackRock is partnering with innovative industry experts Common Cents Lab, Commonwealth, and the Financial Health Network to give ESI a comprehensive and multilayered approach to addressing the savings crisis.