Nebraska Radio Network (CFED)
By: Matt Kelley
March 13, 2012
Report: One in four Nebraskans has no "rainy day" fund
A study finds nearly a quarter of all Nebraskans have no financial cushion to rely upon if there's a serious event in their lives, like getting fired or being in a serious car accident.
Jennifer Brooks, spokeswoman for the national nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development, says "asset poor" is the term used in the report.
"Almost a quarter of Nebraska households are asset poor, 23.5%, and that's compared to a national figure of 27% of households," Brooks says. "These are households that don't have enough resources to make it for three months at the poverty level if their income is interrupted."
If they lost a job or they had some kind of medical emergency, almost one in four Nebraska households wouldn't last, she says.
Another measure used in the study of residents' financial instability goes one step beyond asset poverty and into a category called liquid asset poverty.
"To get that measure, we basically take out some resources like a home or a car or a business that would be very difficult to turn into cash if you lost your job to figure out what resources people actually have," Brooks says, "so it's money in the bank, retirement savings, that type of asset that they could easily access."
In Nebraska, 26% of residents were liquid asset poor -- just over a quarter of the population. The survey ranks all 50 states in 52 measures of financial security.