Half of Texans Have Almost No Savings to Cover Emergencies or Save for the Future

Half of Texas residents are living on the edge of a financial hardship with almost no savings to fall back on as a result of a job loss, health crisis or other income-depleting emergency, according to a report released today by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).

The 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard defines these Texas residents as “liquid asset poor,” which means they lack adequate savings to cover basic expenses for just three months if they suffer a loss of stable income. Included in this group are a majority of Texas residents living below the federal poverty line of $23,050 for a family of four plus many Texans who would consider themselves middle class. Nearly three in ten households earning between $55,045 and $86,448 per year have less than three months of savings ($5,762 for a family of four).

Without savings, these families have limited hope of building a more prosperous future for themselves or their children, including saving for college, buying a home or setting aside money for retirement.

Texas ranks 39th in the country overall in the ability of residents to achieve financial security. You can view the entire Texas profile here.

The Scorecard evaluates states across 53 measures within the five different issue areas. Texas received:

  • “F” in Health Care,
  • “D’s” in Financial Assets & Income/Education, and
  • “C” in Businesses & Jobs.
  • Overall, our best area was Housing & Homeownership, where we scored a “B”.

Texas also ranks in the bottom ten on 18 of the ranked 53 outcome measures, including these notable ones:

  • Unbanked Households; Underbanked Households
  • Homeownership Rate
  • Share of Consumers with Subprime Credit
  • Households with Savings Accounts
  • Retirement Plan Participation
  • Uninsured Rate; Employer-Provided Insurance Coverage
  • Share of Adults with High School Degree
  • Student Loan Default Rate

To improve financial stability, reduce asset-stripping and enhance borrower success, Texas should enact “ability to repay on-time” legislation to limit fees, decrease rollovers and reduce auto repossessions.

To increase access to mainstream financial products, promote financial success and reduce asset poverty, Texas should remove state asset limits, particularly for SNAP and TANF, and promote household savings through strategic investments in proven financial education, credit building and college savings initiatives.

Finally, to address the highest uninsured rate in the country and to improve affordability and continuity of health coverage for low-income working families, Texas should opt to cover more than one million uninsured U.S. citizen adults in Medicaid beginning in 2014. In conjunction with Affordable Care Act implementation, Texas must continue to modernize and streamline Medicaid-CHIP enrollment and renewal procedures to ensure “no wrong door” enrollment for either public or private health coverage. To improve affordability and continuity of health coverage, Texas’ Department of Insurance must stop unreasonable rate increases and ensure that Texas’ health insurance exchange is user-friendly and family-centered.

To read an analysis of key findings from the 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, click here. To access the complete Scorecard, visit http://assetsandopportunity.org/scorecard. To register for CFED’s Washington D.C.-based webinar at 12 p.m. CST on the Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, click here.

At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we believe in a Texas that offers everyone the chance to compete and succeed in life. We envision a Texas where everyone is healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. We want the best Texas - a proud state that sets the bar nationally by expanding opportunity for all. CPPP is an independent public policy organization that uses data and analysis to advocate for solutions that enable Texans of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We dare Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families.

1 Comment

    Being an employee in Texas is a risky thing to be. You want a living wage,
    Texas is a right-to-work state. So if you thought us Texans were going to welcome union bosses and thugs you are wrong – we prefer big company bosses and their security thugs instead. We are also a right to hire, right to fire state. That means we can hire you when we want to with no reason given, and better yet, we can fire you when we want, without giving a reason – like when you get old, and you are getting ready for retirement, we can fire you before you qualify, Ya don’t like it – tough cheese

    And the neatest thing, we do not have to pay for your hospital bills if you go and break your neck on the job. Seriously, you thought every state had workers comp required insurance. Texas don’t, we do not require it. To get out of it, we just have to post a notice saying that we do not have it, so that you know going into a job. We don’t even have to give you bus fare to the hospital, we can fire you with no reason, and replace you the same day.

    AND IF YOUR EMPLOYER HAS IT, TRY FILING FOR IT. My employer had workers compensation insurance, and left an extension cord laying across a walkway. I was carrying a box as part of my job and tripped on it and dislocated a toe. I got it taken care of and the fact i filed a claim, large or small, followed me for 5 years when I looked for jobs later on. You got treated like you were a communist, or had the flu by some employers. Texas is a state with friendly people, good music, great culture, and patriotic, with a firm handshake for everyone.

    Ken 04.02.2013

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.