Héctor L. Ortiz, Ph.D. is Senior Policy Analyst at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Office for Older Americans where he leads the office research on financial literacy, retirement security and elder financial exploitation. Previously, Mr. Ortiz worked at the Center for Benefits of the National Council on Aging, where he managed research and program evaluation on public benefits outreach and enrollment initiatives targeted at low-income seniors. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Mr. Ortiz holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University.
Since 2012, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the Bureau) has undertaken foundational research to understand what contributes to people’s financial well-being. In the first stage of this work, the Bureau developed a consumer-derived definition of financial well-being and a way to measure it.1 Using input from consumers and experts in financial education, the Bureau also formulated hypotheses about the association between financial well-being and financial capability factors such as financial knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The Bureau then fielded a national survey to test these hypotheses and conducted a study based on the survey results through Abt Associates.2 This brief summarizes findings from Abt’s technical report, “Understanding the Pathways to Financial Well-Being,” and examines the implications for the role of financial education in improving peoples’ financial well-being.