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Assets and Opportunity in Nebraska


Today, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) released their comprehensive assesment of wealth, poverty, and financial security in the United States.  CFED looks at how states, including Nebraska,  are doing with regard to these measures.  Nebraska ranked 17 overall.  Nebraska continues to have low unemployment and a strong homeownership rate of over 67%, but other areas show room for improvement:

  • Almost 24% of Nebraska households are “asset poor”, meaning that they lack the resources to meet basic expenses for a mimum of three months in the absence of income.  This often means that these households are living paycheck-to-paycheck and have little saved for emergencies or for the future.
  • Of Nebraskans with college degrees, 62% graduated with debt and the average debt amount is $21,227.

CFED makes reccommendations on what Nebraska can do to improve some of these measures and some can be addressed by bills pending in the legislature right now:

  • LB 883 would allow state tax refunds to be directly deposited in to 529 educational savings plans, creating a streamlined opportunity to help more families use tax refunds to save for their children’s college education.
  • LB 1041 improves our public benefit programs and includes a provision to raise asset limits in the child care and Aid to Dependant Children (ADC) programs, which create a disincentive for low-income families to maintain savings.

There are many reasons to be hopeful about how Nebraska is faring economically, but there is also reason to believe that we can do better.  We hope that the legislature will take some simple steps this session to ensure that opportunity remains in reach for all Nebraskans.



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