Columbia, South Carolina residents making financial changes to navigate choppy economy
Tavis Smiley and Nationwide Insurance to provide financial literacy workshop in Columbia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2010
Gayle Saunders (614) 203-4772
Vanesse Lloyd Sgambati (215) 888-4673
Columbia, SC —Columbia residents are making significant changes in how they manage their finances and many are looking for a hands-on approach toward improving their financial situation. The Nationwide Insurance On Your Side® Tour with Tavis Smiley will help to empower Columbia residents to better manage their finances.
Nationwide Insurance is partnering with author and broadcaster Tavis Smiley to bring its free financial workshop to Columbia on November 20 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Doors open at 9 a.m.; the economic empowerment event begins at 10 a.m.
The need for Columbia residents to address financial literacy and financial planning – including African-American households – is highlighted in a new financial survey commissioned by The Smiley Group and Nationwide Insurance that shows the recession has impacted how Americans are preparing themselves for the future.
According to the financial survey, African Americans in Columbia have made more positive changes in the past year as a result of the economy than the city’s general population, including creating a household budget (40 percent of African Americans compared to 30 percent general population) and cutting back on eating out and entertainment (64 percent African Americans to 56 percent general population).
Tough Times in Columbia
A third of all respondents in Columbia believe their financial condition has worsened in the past year, however one in four African Americans in the city say it has improved. Sixty percent of African Americans in Columbia have a household income less than $50,000 before taxes, compared to 34 percent of the city’s general population. One in four African Americans have a household income less than $25,000.
Twenty percent of African Americans and 13 percent of Columbia’s general population say they are unemployed. Thirty-eight percent of African Americans say they are unable to pay all their household bills, compared to 16 percent of the general population.
Despite their situation, 71 percent of African Americans in Columbia expect their financial condition will improve one year from now, compared to just 35 percent of the city’s general population. In addition, 20 percent of the general population expects their financial condition to get worse over the next 12 months, compared to just 6 percent of African Americans.
“The results of the survey underscore that Americans in Columbia – black and white – are struggling to emerge from this downturn on their feet,” said Tavis Smiley. “As the world continues to recover from the recession, Black America has the highest unemployment rates, was heavily impacted by the housing crisis and was hit hard by the credit crisis. These sessions are as timely today as they were when we started the tour two years ago.”
Work To Be Done
When it comes to financial goals, 33 percent of African Americans say paying rent or mortgage is their most important financial goal, compared to 16 percent of the general population. Only 7 percent of African Americans in Columbia say saving for retirement is their most important goal, compared to 23 percent of the city’s general population
About 90 percent of all Columbia residents plan to build up an emergency savings fund over the next 12 months and say they will continue to do so for the long term.
The free financial workshop will feature a general session with Smiley as the keynote speaker and two informational seminars with breakout sessions about financial literacy basics, employment opportunities and more.
“As America continues to see the long-term impact of the Great Recession, consumers are becoming more aware that fiscal accountability and responsibility is up to them,” said Terrance Williams, Nationwide’s regional vice president for the Southern States Region. “Consumers are seeking financial information and tools to help them plan for today and prepare for tomorrow. We view our On Your Side Tour with Tavis Smiley as a way to help people help themselves and make a difference in communities like Columbia.”
About the Financial Survey
The online financial survey was conducted in July 2010 by the Blackstone Group. A web panel was used to collect data. A total of 390 residents of Columbia were split into two sample groups: general population, ages 18+ (200 people) and African American, ages 18+ (190 people). Significance testing was done at the 90 percent confidence level. Margin of error is +5.8 percent. No incentives were provided to survey respondents.
About Tavis Smiley and The Smiley Group
From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders, as a broadcaster, author, advocate and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be an outstanding voice for change. Smiley is currently the host of the late night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS and The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International (PRI). TIME magazine honored Smiley in 2009 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The Smiley Group, Inc. is a communications corporation established in support of human rights and related empowerment issues. TSG serves as the holding company for various enterprises encompassing broadcast and print media, lectures, symposiums and the Internet. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including car insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.