- The primary purpose of this study was to assess the influence
of information on Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance in motivating
homemakers to do further family financial security planning.
Planning was measured in terms of estimating OASDI benefits and
total income available for retirement and for survivors.
The subjects used for securing the data were members of Benton
County, Oregon, extension units, which are homemakers' clubs
sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service. One hundred forty-three questionnaire respondents had received information on OASDI
from the county extension agent, while 76 respondents had not received
this information. An additional 43 unit members who had not
completed the questionnaire were interviewed by telephone. There was a significant positive relationship between homemakers
having received the OASDI information at the extension meetings
and having estimated OASDI benefits. There was also a significant
positive relationship between estimating OASDI benefits and figuring
on total income for survivors and for retirement. There was
no significant relationship between attendance at OASDI meetings and
figuring on total income for retirement and survivors by those who
had estimated their OASDI benefits. There was no relationship between
attendance at the OASDI meetings and interest in further family
finance information concerning life insurance, financial involvements
when death comes, and family money management.
When the data were arranged according to age groups, it was
found that as the women became older, a greater proportion estimated
their OASDI benefits. There was no significant difference in the proportion
of each age group who figured on their total retirement income.
However, the youngest age group did significantly more figuring
on total survivor income than did the next older group. There
was no significant difference between age groups in total activity following
the OASDI meeting.
Of the 143 respondents who had attended the OASDI meeting, 71
had estimated their OASDI benefits. Fifty of these (70%) said they
learned how to do the estimating at the extension meeting. Thirty-two of the 71 (45%) said they knew how to estimate benefits before their husbands did. Other activities resulted from attendance at the
OASDI meetings: 35% mailed the request card for a check on their
OASDI accounts, 11% talked to the social security representative for
the area, 43% checked on the whereabouts of their vital papers, and
81% discussed OASDI with someone else.
From the telephone interviews with homemakers who had attended
the OASDI meetings but had not filled out questionnaires, information
was secured as to why 19 of the 43 had not estimated their
benefits: social security was not important to them, they did not understand
how to estimate their benefits, their husbands took care of
everything, they just put off doing anything, they could not get husband
interested, children were nearly 18 so could not get immediate
benefits, income fluctuated too much to estimate benefits. From
those who had estimated their benefits, very little information was
secured as to the specifics of planning and action taken to improve
the financial security situation.
From this study the conclusion might be drawn that information
about OASDI, including how to estimate benefits, will result in more
people doing family financial security planning. It seems to be worthwhile
to give this information to homemakers, since they share this
information with others, particularly their husbands. Each age group
was motivated to use this information.