CFS’s Five-Year Focus on Vulnerable Populations

J Michael Collins

Collaboration with the U.S. Social Security Administration supports work led by J. Michael Collins, the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance and Associate Professor in Consumer Science.

It’s not uncommon today to hear reports of a looming retirement crisis for the population at large. But what lies ahead for our most vulnerable? As a center within SSA’s Retirement and Disability Research Consortium (RDRC), SoHE’s Center for Financial Security (CFS) is unpacking that issue through a new, five-year cooperative agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

With J. Michael Collins overseeing the initiative, CFS will conduct research into the financial well-being of at-risk populations, including people with disabilities and low-wealth households. In this first year, the collaboration also creates graduate
and postdoctoral fellowship programs, supports an extensive outreach program and funds 10 research projects exploring such topics as policy that impacts care for children with disabilities and the implications of debt stress in older age.

CFS will also work with the historically black college Howard University on a training program for PhD candidates and junior faculty, helping emerging scholars from under-represented communities translate their research skills and experience to issues around retirement, disability and social insurance programs.

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