Federal financial services regulators are still not sure what kinds of educational programs can help consumers improve their financial well-being, a top official says.
Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke talked about the uncertainty earlier this week during a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Duke is a governor who comes from the world of consumer banking rather than from the world of theoretical economics. She worked her way up from being a bank teller in 1974 to serving as the 2004-2005 chairman of the American Bankers Association, Washington.
Duke spoke in Boston about the practical effects of American families’ ability to save for the future.
“Many now have fewer financial resources and limited options,” Duke said, according to a written version of her remarks provided by the Federal Reserve Board.
“The pace and timing of their saving and investing life cycle has also been disrupted. For example, high unemployment levels among recent high school and college graduates, especially among young African Americans, means that this demographic likely won’t be able to start saving and investing as early in life as previous generations.”
Analysts have found that 401(k) plan hardship withdrawals increased 49% between 2005 and 2010, and that other types of withdrawals had increased 56%, Duke said.