Helping Women Play Games with their Financial Futures
Washington, D.C.— The NASD Investor Education Foundation has granted $150,000 to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College to develop a computer game designed to teach women the fundamentals of investing and empower them to better address their retirement income needs. The interactive program, developed in collaboration with Northeastern University's EdTech Center, will help women investors see how investment decisions made at critical age junctures can affect their retirement savings.
The Foundation's grant program focuses on priorities identified by NASD's 2003 Investor Survey. That survey indicated that women, the elderly, and novice investors tend to have a weaker understanding of fundamental financial issues.
"Women face many special challenges in retirement," said Robert R. Glauber, Chairman & CEO of NASD, who also serves as Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation. "Although they live longer than men, they typically retire with smaller Social Security and other retirement benefits. This program is intended to provide them with an important and practical tool for maximizing the value of their retirement savings and investments."
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College will develop a game based on decisions made at critical ages and that concludes with participants preparing an action plan to define their own next steps. Matthew Greenwald and Associates will then test a prototype with focus groups comprised of financially, educationally and ethnically diverse women between the ages of 45 and 60 and analyze its ability to help women overcome key behavioral, structural, and informational barriers in planning for retirement. Using this evaluation, the Center will prepare the game for final release. It will also develop supporting scripts and web-based materials to help women plan more effectively for retirement. The project will be conducted in the Boston metropolitan area.
The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003, supports educational programs and research with the goal of providing investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand investing and the markets. The Foundation recently awarded more than $1 million in total to 11 organizations, including Boston College, for new educational programs and research projects targeting the underserved segments of the population. The NASD Investor Education Foundation formally launched its second full grant cycle on April 5, inviting non-profit groups and researchers to apply for funding. Grant proposals must be submitted by June 3, 2005. For details about grant programs and other new initiatives of the Foundation, visit www.nasdfoundation.org.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation. NASD believes that understanding should precede investing - and that education is often the best form of investor protection. NASD's broad range of investor education programs include Investor Alerts, brochures and online resource guides on such critical topics as mutual fund class shares and 401(k) and college savings plans. This information is distributed through its Web site, www.nasd.com, printed materials and Investor Forums.
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College is a leading source of academic research on the economics of retirement and the provision of retirement income. The Center sponsors a wide variety of research projects, trains new scholars, disseminates findings to a broad array of public and private decision-makers, and develops educational materials for the public at large. Its publications are available at http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr.