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Renter affordability worsens over the decade

The financial plight of the nation’s 34 million renters has deteriorated rapidly since the beginning of the decade, yet they are rarely included in conversations about housing affordability.

Renter affordability worsens over the decade

Renter affordability worsens over the decade

Half of all renters now spend at least 30 percent of their before-tax income on rent and utility payments, that’s up from about 40 percent in 2000, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. One in four shell out more than half of their income to cover those expenses, up from one in five.

And the AP’s analysis of census data through 2007, the latest available, doesn’t include the effects of the recession, which hammer renters harder than homeowners. Tough economic times also disproportionately affect minorities and the less educated — both groups are more likely to be financially burdened renters.

“In the next year or so, we’re going to see growing numbers of people who are literally homeless because they can’t afford their own home,” said Sheila Crowley, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The median rent, including utilities, rose 7 percent to $775 between 2000 and 2007. But the increase felt worse because renters saw their median income drop 7 percent to $29,000 during that time.

After paying the landlord, what’s left for severely cost-burdened renters is a scant amount for the other basics of living like food, health care and clothing. Forget luxuries like transportation, retirement accounts, let alone a down payment on a house.

“They sacrifice basic household stuff you and I take for granted like hygiene products and detergent. Money for laundry,” said Cicely Dove, the director family housing at Crossroads, an emergency housing shelter in Providence, R.I.

Government funding for renter assistance has been stagnant since 2000. At the same time, the number of affordable apartments has been shrinking and the cost of building new ones rarely pencils out.

During the past six years, about 3 million affordable apartments were destroyed, converted to for-sale condos or upgraded to higher-priced rental units, according to census data released this week.

The waiting lists for Housing Choice vouchers, formerly known as Section 8, are years long in many cities. The program currently serves 2 million families. Renters in this program put 30 percent of their income to rent and the voucher makes up the difference. As the economy worsens, voucher recipients are contributing less money. The program must make up the difference, which means reducing the number of new recipients, said Donna White, spokeswoman at the Housing and Urban Development Department. Fewer are moving onto self-sufficiency too, White said.

The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which encourages developers to build affordable housing, has little funding because investors who buy these tax credits have disappeared, said Eric Belsky, executive director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The National Housing Trust Fund created last July to increase the supply of affordable housing remains empty. Funds were supposed to come from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the government seized control of the companies five weeks later and have so far pumped $85 billion into them to keep them afloat.

“The problems here are costly to address. We’re going to see it get worse and create more hardships with renters spending less on pensions, savings and health care,” Belsky said. “These things cost us down the road.”

Hints of hope, however, are emerging as the country moves away from the homeownership mantra and recasts its housing priorities. President Barack Obama’s recent budget includes $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund and another $1.6 billion for 200,000 new housing vouchers.

But housing experts say that is nowhere enough to make a dent in the problem:

Sixty percent of single parents and senior citizens who rent spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing costs, while a third pay at least half.

Blacks and Hispanics face similar challenges. The unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics are both outpacing the national rate and 30 percent of black renters and 27 percent of Hispanic renters spend half or more of their income on housing. This is happening at the same time that the foreclosure crisis batters these two groups the most.

Indiana is the least affordable for black renters, where 43 percent pay at least half their income to housing expenses. And a third of Hispanic renters in Massachusetts spend 50 percent of their income on rent and utilities, the worst showing in the country for Hispanics.

The least affordable areas for renters are the deep South, the once red-hot housing states like California and Florida, and the beleaguered Midwest manufacturing states. But places like Hawaii and Vermont also rank high on the list.

Now the recession adds another obstacle.

The unemployment rate shot up to a 25-year high of 9.4 percent in May, but that percentage is even higher for those without a high school degree — almost 16 percent — and who are more likely to be renters. They predominantly work in service industries, clearing restaurant tables, cleaning homes and offices and taking care of children and elderly parents.

“We’re talking about the person who makes your latte in the morning,” said Crowley of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

People cope with these housing situations by crowding in with family or friends or living in substandard housing or in dangerous neighborhoods. Others flock to shelters, and, in the worst cases, they sleep on the streets. For those who strain to make the rent, they are often one medical bill or car repair away from homelessness.

If affordability issues facing renters aren’t addressed, there will be social and economic consequences. Children of low-income renters who are forced to move multiple times usually fall behind in school, and later replace their parents as low-income renters. These renters will drag the nation as it faces other costly issues like Social Security, health care, ongoing wars and repairing a broken economy.

“In the long run, a society that doesn’t attend to fundamental human needs won’t succeed,” Crowley said.

We all have a stake in it.

wise quote

wise quote

Source: San Francisco Chronicle – AP – By J.W. ELPHINSTONE, AP Real Estate Writer

Allstate Celebrates the Passion of Mexican National Team Fans With a Unique Sweepstakes for the Ultimate Tricolor Fan

Multichannel promotion allows fans to participate online, on-site or by texting

NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 24 /PRNewswire/ –It’s Game Time…Allstate Insurance company, the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer and exclusive auto, home and life insurance sponsor of the Mexican National Team, today launched this year’s sweepstakes, an exclusive promotion to celebrate the beauty of the game and its legions of fans.

Created to bring fans closer to a legend of “the beautiful game,” Allstate will reward one winner and a guest with an all-expenses-paid trip to Dallas, Texas on September 30 to watch a Tricolor game with one of the most exciting soccer players in history – former MNT captain Luis Roberto Alves, also known as “Zague.”

The sweepstakes is part of the activities surrounding Allstate’s third consecutive year as a sponsor of the Mexican National Team and is being announced as players prepare for the highly-anticipated June 24 exhibition match against Venezuela at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

“Allstate is a very proud sponsor of the Mexican National Team and we are excited to be able to offer this exclusive experience to two fans to be able to watch their team with one of its legends,” said Georgina Flores, senior marketing manager at Allstate.

Mexican soccer legend, former MNT player and ex-captain of the team, Luis Roberto Alves “Zague,” has teamed up with Allstate over the past three years to add to the excitement and passion for the sport and to convey to fans that on and off-the field, protection is the right move. Sharing the team’s last game in the United States with him will be a once in a lifetime experience for a lucky winner and guest.

“This year has been full of excitement surrounding the performance and results for the qualifying games for both the Gold Cup and the World Cup. I’m thrilled to once again team up with my friends at Allstate, a company that’s always been committed to the Hispanic community,” commented ‘Zague’. “I look forward to joining the thousands of fans during the upcoming matches of the U.S. tour and I can’t wait to meet the winners of this year’s sweepstakes in Dallas.”

The promotion officially ‘kicks off’ on June 24, 2009, and is open until September 1, 2009. There are three ways for participants to enter and consumers can enter in English or Spanish:

  • Enter online at www.proteccioneslajugada.com – the official Web site of Allstate’s MNT sponsorship
  • Text “ZAGUE” to 49737 (standard rates apply)
  • Visit the Allstate booth at Futbol Fiesta in Atlanta on June 24 and/or San Diego on June 28

There is one entry permitted per person. For rules and the official entry form, visit www.proteccioneslajugada.com

About Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate(R)” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through approximately 14,700 exclusive Allstate agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate(R). Encompass(R) and Deerbrook(R) Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers. Customers can also access information about Allstate Financial Group products and services at myallstatefinancial.com.

Source: Allstate Insurance
seek to be worth knowing rather than be wee known - deep truth

seek to be worth knowing rather than be wee known – deep truth

New National Poll Reveals Economic Abuse Defined Differently on Main Street than Wall Street

I believe the research should have included at least 15% Hispanic respondents in order to mirror the breakdown of the current U.S. population according to the U.S. Census but interesting results nonetheless:

The Allstate Foundation responds with new financial curriculum for abuse survivors

NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 23 /PRNewswire/ — While 70 percent of Americans know people who are or have been victims of domestic violence, nearly the same percentage of Americans fail to see a connection between domestic violence and “economic abuse,” according to a new national poll released by The Allstate Foundation.

Economic abuse is a tactic commonly used by abusers to control their victims’ finances and prevent them from leaving a dangerous relationship. However, the survey also revealed nearly eight out of 10 Americans link economic abuse to Wall Street woes or irresponsible spending.

“Many people associate domestic violence with physical cuts and bruises, but bruises on your credit score and being cut off from access to money create lasting scars that make it hard, if not impossible, for abuse victims to recover,” said Jennifer Kuhn, manager of the Economics Against Abuse Program at The Allstate Foundation. “For victims of domestic violence, economic abuse is much more personal – and dangerous.”

To better educate Americans about this often overlooked aspect of domestic violence, The Allstate Foundation provides the following signs to recognize economic abuse:

  • Taking money, credit card or property from a partner without their permission
  • Racking up debt without a partner’s knowledge
  • Purposely ruining a partner’s credit score
  • Forbidding a partner from earning money or attending school
  • Being forced by a partner to hand over paychecks
  • Cancelling insurance or credit cards without the partner’s knowledge
  • Harassing a partner at work to negatively impact a job

“A downturn in the economy impacts us all, but it disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable members of society, including domestic violence survivors,” said Rene Renick, director of programs and operations at The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). “Now more than ever it’s important that domestic violence survivors build economic skills to overcome financial instability, a major barrier to escape and stay out of an abusive situation.”

The Allstate Foundation, in partnership with NNEDV, recently developed a Financial Empowerment Curriculum to help victims achieve financial independence. The Financial Empowerment Curriculum includes financial tools and information designed to enable survivors of domestic abuse to fully understand their financial circumstances, as well as engage in short-term and long-term planning (e.g., budgeting tools, step-by-step planners, tips, etc.) to accomplish their personal goals.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about how economic empowerment can lead to a safe and financially secure future,” said Kuhn. “With resources like the Financial Empowerment Curriculum, we’re providing tools to domestic violence survivors and others who may need financial guidance in these tough economic times.”

The user-friendly curriculum is available in a variety of formats, including hard copy, Spanish-language, DVD and downloadable versions at www.ClickToEmpower.org. Also available are e-learning modules to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term economic empowerment.

Other national survey findings include:

  • More than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) believe the poor economy has made it more difficult for victims of domestic violence, and two-thirds (66 percent) believe it has caused an increase in domestic violence.
  • 44 percent say the most difficult barrier to leaving an abusive relationship is financial security.
  • Almost 60 percent of Americans don’t see a connection between harassing a partner at work and economic abuse, even if it may cost the victim their job and ultimately limiting income.

About the National Poll

The Allstate Foundation “Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence” poll was a nationwide telephone survey of 708 Americans conducted in May 2009 by Murphy Marketing Research. The survey sample was generated by random digit dialing and represents a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points. The survey sample was designed to closely mirror the breakdown of the current U.S. population with 10 percent African-American and 10 percent Hispanic respondents. For the full survey results, please visit www.ClickToEmpower.org.

About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities”; “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity”; and “economic empowerment.” The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America’s families achieve their American dream.

About the Economics Against Abuse Program

The Allstate Foundation Economics Against Abuse Program helps domestic violence survivors build their financial independence to get free and stay free from abuse. Seeing a significant gap in resources for programs designed to assist survivors with the economic challenges that they face, The Allstate Foundation took action and partnered with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to create a comprehensive program. Economics Against Abuseprovides resources, funds direct services and spreads the word on how to empower those touched by domestic and economic abuse. For more information and to find out how to help, visit www.ClickToEmpower.org.

Source: The Allstate Foundation

Growth in Hispanic purchasing power

Reaching Hispanics

The growth in Hispanic purchasing power between ’00 and ’07 was 80% greater than that of non-Hispanics. It’s a growing list of drool-worthy stats like those that have an increasing number of marketers honing in on the group.

Eclipse Marketing just launched a Hispanic Marketing Division specifically to assist cable ops and program nets. Leading the group is MTVN/Univision vet Karen Habib. Univision teamed with Experian Simmons for extensive data on Latinos to present to advertisers.

What Univision and Experian Simmons found is that while many American consumers are feeling glum about the economy and reining in spending, Hispanics are more optimistic. 29% are more positive about the US economy in the coming 12 months (vs 21% non-Hispanic), 34% are optimistic about their finances in the coming year (vs 25% non-Hispanic); and the Hispanic average consumer confidence rating is 11% higher than non-Hispanics, and has remained constant since ’05, while the non-Hispanic rating has declined.

So why the disparity? Chalk some of it up to less plastic (thus less debt burden). Hispanics are 44% more likely to use cash to pay bills than non-Hispanics. There’s also less stress about potential home foreclosures as the group is almost twice as likely to rent their home as non-Hispanics (44% vs 23%). Following the economic meltdown, Hispanics have rebounded stronger. And many are now looking to buy a new home, or their first home. Experian found that following the economic crash, 7% of Hispanics still plan on buying a home in the next 12 months. Only 3% of their non-Hispanic counterparts said the same.

A few other findings to keep in mind as companies approach advertisers:

· Hispanics are consistently more frequent shoppers than non-Hispanics (34% vs 29%)

· Twice as many Hispanics are willing to pay for branded prescriptions as non-Hispanics (31% vs 15%)

· Hispanics are 38% more likely to buy from an advertiser than non-Hispanics

Source: Amy Maclean – http://www.cable360.net/cfp/just_in/Reaching-Hispanics_36124.html

The Recession As Hispanics See It

Very interesting article from Patricia Graham, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Knowledge Networks.

The Recession As Hispanics See It

by Patricia Graham, April 23, 2009, 11:30 AM
It is no secret that the struggling economy is affecting everyone in one way or another. But how, specifically, are Hispanics viewing and weathering the downturn? Data sources abound about the general population — polls from various sources that may or may not be statistically representative of that or any group. But those who need to make marketing and business decisions taking into account Hispanics and the economy need something more substantial.
New data from a representative cross-section of all Americans — including Hispanics — is providing just that, along with some surprising insights, with greater reliability, on the recession as Hispanics see it.
Knowledge Networks asked 28,754 people (ages 18 and above) — including 2,511 Hispanics — on our nationally representative KnowledgePanel® the following question: “Do you consider the state of the economy to be better, worse, or about the same relative to one year ago?” In the general population, 88% said “worse,” and 10% said it’s about the same, with no differences appearing by ethnicity — indicating a common view: “It’s worse.” It seems that we see ourselves as sharing the same boat.
The future: Optimism versus pessimism
When it comes to optimism about the future, however, clear ethnic and racial differences do emerge. Hispanics and African Americans are envisioning the health of our economy one year from now very differently from Caucasians.
In their survey responses, Hispanics were less likely than the general population or African Americans to say that the economy would get worse — 29% for Hispanics, versus 37% for African Americans and 34% for Caucasians. In fact, 38% of Hispanics think there will be no change in the economy one year from now, a stasis view that African Americans do not share (29%).
What behaviors would they change?
Nationally, attempts abound to predict how people will behave in the marketplace, given differences in economic psychology among different ethnic and racial groups. In short, what might people change if the economy gets worse … or if it gets better?
Let’s look at what Hispanics and other groups said they would do, as a consequence of the economy getting worse. Almost everyone who self-evoked the “worse” scenario will change how much they spend. Yet, there are differences in predicted saving and investments by ethnicity. Hispanics (42%) and African Americans (44%) are less likely than Caucasians (49%) to change how much they save. They also are less likely to change how much they invest; 24% of Hispanics said their investment level would change, versus 30% in the general population.
And if things got better . . . ?
With an improving economy, it seems there is reason to believe that spending will bounce back. When asked, “Which of the following do you think you might change as a result of the economy improving?” Forty-one percent of the general population said they would change how much they spent; a drop of thirty-seven points relative to their spending behavior ‘if the economy was worse.’ So average people in the U.S. will be much less likely to reconsider their spending habits if the economy improves.
However, we again have a difference in the self-predicted behavior of Hispanics (and African Americans) compared to Caucasians under the improved economic scenario. The difference between their “economy gets worse” and “economy gets better” spending predictions was smaller for Hispanics (30 point difference) and African Americans (26 points) than it was for Caucasians (37 points).
This supports the conclusion that Hispanics may be among the last to have their spending habits change drastically as the economy improves — because they predict a smaller change in their spending for a positive economy. Ongoing online survey research using a representative sample can illuminate whether this is indeed the case.
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Managers' Hiring Practices Vary By Race, Ethnicity Says University of Miami Study
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Thought of the Day
time is an illusion

time is an illusion

Renter affordability worsens over the decade

The financial plight of the nation’s 34 million renters has deteriorated rapidly since the beginning of the decade, yet they are rarely included in conversations about housing affordability.

Renter affordability worsens over the decade

Renter affordability worsens over the decade

Half of all renters now spend at least 30 percent of their before-tax income on rent and utility payments, that’s up from about 40 percent in 2000, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. One in four shell out more than half of their income to cover those expenses, up from one in five.

And the AP’s analysis of census data through 2007, the latest available, doesn’t include the effects of the recession, which hammer renters harder than homeowners. Tough economic times also disproportionately affect minorities and the less educated — both groups are more likely to be financially burdened renters.

“In the next year or so, we’re going to see growing numbers of people who are literally homeless because they can’t afford their own home,” said Sheila Crowley, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The median rent, including utilities, rose 7 percent to $775 between 2000 and 2007. But the increase felt worse because renters saw their median income drop 7 percent to $29,000 during that time.

After paying the landlord, what’s left for severely cost-burdened renters is a scant amount for the other basics of living like food, health care and clothing. Forget luxuries like transportation, retirement accounts, let alone a down payment on a house.

“They sacrifice basic household stuff you and I take for granted like hygiene products and detergent. Money for laundry,” said Cicely Dove, the director family housing at Crossroads, an emergency housing shelter in Providence, R.I.

Government funding for renter assistance has been stagnant since 2000. At the same time, the number of affordable apartments has been shrinking and the cost of building new ones rarely pencils out.

During the past six years, about 3 million affordable apartments were destroyed, converted to for-sale condos or upgraded to higher-priced rental units, according to census data released this week.

The waiting lists for Housing Choice vouchers, formerly known as Section 8, are years long in many cities. The program currently serves 2 million families. Renters in this program put 30 percent of their income to rent and the voucher makes up the difference. As the economy worsens, voucher recipients are contributing less money. The program must make up the difference, which means reducing the number of new recipients, said Donna White, spokeswoman at the Housing and Urban Development Department. Fewer are moving onto self-sufficiency too, White said.

The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which encourages developers to build affordable housing, has little funding because investors who buy these tax credits have disappeared, said Eric Belsky, executive director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The National Housing Trust Fund created last July to increase the supply of affordable housing remains empty. Funds were supposed to come from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the government seized control of the companies five weeks later and have so far pumped $85 billion into them to keep them afloat.

“The problems here are costly to address. We’re going to see it get worse and create more hardships with renters spending less on pensions, savings and health care,” Belsky said. “These things cost us down the road.”

Hints of hope, however, are emerging as the country moves away from the homeownership mantra and recasts its housing priorities. President Barack Obama’s recent budget includes $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund and another $1.6 billion for 200,000 new housing vouchers.

But housing experts say that is nowhere enough to make a dent in the problem:

Sixty percent of single parents and senior citizens who rent spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing costs, while a third pay at least half.

Blacks and Hispanics face similar challenges. The unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics are both outpacing the national rate and 30 percent of black renters and 27 percent of Hispanic renters spend half or more of their income on housing. This is happening at the same time that the foreclosure crisis batters these two groups the most.

Indiana is the least affordable for black renters, where 43 percent pay at least half their income to housing expenses. And a third of Hispanic renters in Massachusetts spend 50 percent of their income on rent and utilities, the worst showing in the country for Hispanics.

The least affordable areas for renters are the deep South, the once red-hot housing states like California and Florida, and the beleaguered Midwest manufacturing states. But places like Hawaii and Vermont also rank high on the list.

Now the recession adds another obstacle.

The unemployment rate shot up to a 25-year high of 9.4 percent in May, but that percentage is even higher for those without a high school degree — almost 16 percent — and who are more likely to be renters. They predominantly work in service industries, clearing restaurant tables, cleaning homes and offices and taking care of children and elderly parents.

“We’re talking about the person who makes your latte in the morning,” said Crowley of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

People cope with these housing situations by crowding in with family or friends or living in substandard housing or in dangerous neighborhoods. Others flock to shelters, and, in the worst cases, they sleep on the streets. For those who strain to make the rent, they are often one medical bill or car repair away from homelessness.

If affordability issues facing renters aren’t addressed, there will be social and economic consequences. Children of low-income renters who are forced to move multiple times usually fall behind in school, and later replace their parents as low-income renters. These renters will drag the nation as it faces other costly issues like Social Security, health care, ongoing wars and repairing a broken economy.

“In the long run, a society that doesn’t attend to fundamental human needs won’t succeed,” Crowley said.

We all have a stake in it.

wise quote

wise quote

Source: San Francisco Chronicle – AP – By J.W. ELPHINSTONE, AP Real Estate Writer

Allstate Celebrates the Passion of Mexican National Team Fans With a Unique Sweepstakes for the Ultimate Tricolor Fan

Multichannel promotion allows fans to participate online, on-site or by texting

NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 24 /PRNewswire/ –It’s Game Time…Allstate Insurance company, the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer and exclusive auto, home and life insurance sponsor of the Mexican National Team, today launched this year’s sweepstakes, an exclusive promotion to celebrate the beauty of the game and its legions of fans.

Created to bring fans closer to a legend of “the beautiful game,” Allstate will reward one winner and a guest with an all-expenses-paid trip to Dallas, Texas on September 30 to watch a Tricolor game with one of the most exciting soccer players in history – former MNT captain Luis Roberto Alves, also known as “Zague.”

The sweepstakes is part of the activities surrounding Allstate’s third consecutive year as a sponsor of the Mexican National Team and is being announced as players prepare for the highly-anticipated June 24 exhibition match against Venezuela at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

“Allstate is a very proud sponsor of the Mexican National Team and we are excited to be able to offer this exclusive experience to two fans to be able to watch their team with one of its legends,” said Georgina Flores, senior marketing manager at Allstate.

Mexican soccer legend, former MNT player and ex-captain of the team, Luis Roberto Alves “Zague,” has teamed up with Allstate over the past three years to add to the excitement and passion for the sport and to convey to fans that on and off-the field, protection is the right move. Sharing the team’s last game in the United States with him will be a once in a lifetime experience for a lucky winner and guest.

“This year has been full of excitement surrounding the performance and results for the qualifying games for both the Gold Cup and the World Cup. I’m thrilled to once again team up with my friends at Allstate, a company that’s always been committed to the Hispanic community,” commented ‘Zague’. “I look forward to joining the thousands of fans during the upcoming matches of the U.S. tour and I can’t wait to meet the winners of this year’s sweepstakes in Dallas.”

The promotion officially ‘kicks off’ on June 24, 2009, and is open until September 1, 2009. There are three ways for participants to enter and consumers can enter in English or Spanish:

  • Enter online at www.proteccioneslajugada.com – the official Web site of Allstate’s MNT sponsorship
  • Text “ZAGUE” to 49737 (standard rates apply)
  • Visit the Allstate booth at Futbol Fiesta in Atlanta on June 24 and/or San Diego on June 28

There is one entry permitted per person. For rules and the official entry form, visit www.proteccioneslajugada.com

About Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate(R)” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through approximately 14,700 exclusive Allstate agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate(R). Encompass(R) and Deerbrook(R) Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers. Customers can also access information about Allstate Financial Group products and services at myallstatefinancial.com.

Source: Allstate Insurance
seek to be worth knowing rather than be wee known - deep truth

seek to be worth knowing rather than be wee known – deep truth

New National Poll Reveals Economic Abuse Defined Differently on Main Street than Wall Street

I believe the research should have included at least 15% Hispanic respondents in order to mirror the breakdown of the current U.S. population according to the U.S. Census but interesting results nonetheless:

The Allstate Foundation responds with new financial curriculum for abuse survivors

NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 23 /PRNewswire/ — While 70 percent of Americans know people who are or have been victims of domestic violence, nearly the same percentage of Americans fail to see a connection between domestic violence and “economic abuse,” according to a new national poll released by The Allstate Foundation.

Economic abuse is a tactic commonly used by abusers to control their victims’ finances and prevent them from leaving a dangerous relationship. However, the survey also revealed nearly eight out of 10 Americans link economic abuse to Wall Street woes or irresponsible spending.

“Many people associate domestic violence with physical cuts and bruises, but bruises on your credit score and being cut off from access to money create lasting scars that make it hard, if not impossible, for abuse victims to recover,” said Jennifer Kuhn, manager of the Economics Against Abuse Program at The Allstate Foundation. “For victims of domestic violence, economic abuse is much more personal – and dangerous.”

To better educate Americans about this often overlooked aspect of domestic violence, The Allstate Foundation provides the following signs to recognize economic abuse:

  • Taking money, credit card or property from a partner without their permission
  • Racking up debt without a partner’s knowledge
  • Purposely ruining a partner’s credit score
  • Forbidding a partner from earning money or attending school
  • Being forced by a partner to hand over paychecks
  • Cancelling insurance or credit cards without the partner’s knowledge
  • Harassing a partner at work to negatively impact a job

“A downturn in the economy impacts us all, but it disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable members of society, including domestic violence survivors,” said Rene Renick, director of programs and operations at The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). “Now more than ever it’s important that domestic violence survivors build economic skills to overcome financial instability, a major barrier to escape and stay out of an abusive situation.”

The Allstate Foundation, in partnership with NNEDV, recently developed a Financial Empowerment Curriculum to help victims achieve financial independence. The Financial Empowerment Curriculum includes financial tools and information designed to enable survivors of domestic abuse to fully understand their financial circumstances, as well as engage in short-term and long-term planning (e.g., budgeting tools, step-by-step planners, tips, etc.) to accomplish their personal goals.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about how economic empowerment can lead to a safe and financially secure future,” said Kuhn. “With resources like the Financial Empowerment Curriculum, we’re providing tools to domestic violence survivors and others who may need financial guidance in these tough economic times.”

The user-friendly curriculum is available in a variety of formats, including hard copy, Spanish-language, DVD and downloadable versions at www.ClickToEmpower.org. Also available are e-learning modules to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term economic empowerment.

Other national survey findings include:

  • More than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) believe the poor economy has made it more difficult for victims of domestic violence, and two-thirds (66 percent) believe it has caused an increase in domestic violence.
  • 44 percent say the most difficult barrier to leaving an abusive relationship is financial security.
  • Almost 60 percent of Americans don’t see a connection between harassing a partner at work and economic abuse, even if it may cost the victim their job and ultimately limiting income.

About the National Poll

The Allstate Foundation “Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence” poll was a nationwide telephone survey of 708 Americans conducted in May 2009 by Murphy Marketing Research. The survey sample was generated by random digit dialing and represents a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points. The survey sample was designed to closely mirror the breakdown of the current U.S. population with 10 percent African-American and 10 percent Hispanic respondents. For the full survey results, please visit www.ClickToEmpower.org.

About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities”; “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity”; and “economic empowerment.” The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America’s families achieve their American dream.

About the Economics Against Abuse Program

The Allstate Foundation Economics Against Abuse Program helps domestic violence survivors build their financial independence to get free and stay free from abuse. Seeing a significant gap in resources for programs designed to assist survivors with the economic challenges that they face, The Allstate Foundation took action and partnered with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to create a comprehensive program. Economics Against Abuseprovides resources, funds direct services and spreads the word on how to empower those touched by domestic and economic abuse. For more information and to find out how to help, visit www.ClickToEmpower.org.

Source: The Allstate Foundation

Growth in Hispanic purchasing power

Reaching Hispanics

The growth in Hispanic purchasing power between ’00 and ’07 was 80% greater than that of non-Hispanics. It’s a growing list of drool-worthy stats like those that have an increasing number of marketers honing in on the group.

Eclipse Marketing just launched a Hispanic Marketing Division specifically to assist cable ops and program nets. Leading the group is MTVN/Univision vet Karen Habib. Univision teamed with Experian Simmons for extensive data on Latinos to present to advertisers.

What Univision and Experian Simmons found is that while many American consumers are feeling glum about the economy and reining in spending, Hispanics are more optimistic. 29% are more positive about the US economy in the coming 12 months (vs 21% non-Hispanic), 34% are optimistic about their finances in the coming year (vs 25% non-Hispanic); and the Hispanic average consumer confidence rating is 11% higher than non-Hispanics, and has remained constant since ’05, while the non-Hispanic rating has declined.

So why the disparity? Chalk some of it up to less plastic (thus less debt burden). Hispanics are 44% more likely to use cash to pay bills than non-Hispanics. There’s also less stress about potential home foreclosures as the group is almost twice as likely to rent their home as non-Hispanics (44% vs 23%). Following the economic meltdown, Hispanics have rebounded stronger. And many are now looking to buy a new home, or their first home. Experian found that following the economic crash, 7% of Hispanics still plan on buying a home in the next 12 months. Only 3% of their non-Hispanic counterparts said the same.

A few other findings to keep in mind as companies approach advertisers:

· Hispanics are consistently more frequent shoppers than non-Hispanics (34% vs 29%)

· Twice as many Hispanics are willing to pay for branded prescriptions as non-Hispanics (31% vs 15%)

· Hispanics are 38% more likely to buy from an advertiser than non-Hispanics

Source: Amy Maclean – http://www.cable360.net/cfp/just_in/Reaching-Hispanics_36124.html

The Recession As Hispanics See It

Very interesting article from Patricia Graham, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Knowledge Networks.

The Recession As Hispanics See It

by Patricia Graham, April 23, 2009, 11:30 AM
It is no secret that the struggling economy is affecting everyone in one way or another. But how, specifically, are Hispanics viewing and weathering the downturn? Data sources abound about the general population — polls from various sources that may or may not be statistically representative of that or any group. But those who need to make marketing and business decisions taking into account Hispanics and the economy need something more substantial.
New data from a representative cross-section of all Americans — including Hispanics — is providing just that, along with some surprising insights, with greater reliability, on the recession as Hispanics see it.
Knowledge Networks asked 28,754 people (ages 18 and above) — including 2,511 Hispanics — on our nationally representative KnowledgePanel® the following question: “Do you consider the state of the economy to be better, worse, or about the same relative to one year ago?” In the general population, 88% said “worse,” and 10% said it’s about the same, with no differences appearing by ethnicity — indicating a common view: “It’s worse.” It seems that we see ourselves as sharing the same boat.
The future: Optimism versus pessimism
When it comes to optimism about the future, however, clear ethnic and racial differences do emerge. Hispanics and African Americans are envisioning the health of our economy one year from now very differently from Caucasians.
In their survey responses, Hispanics were less likely than the general population or African Americans to say that the economy would get worse — 29% for Hispanics, versus 37% for African Americans and 34% for Caucasians. In fact, 38% of Hispanics think there will be no change in the economy one year from now, a stasis view that African Americans do not share (29%).
What behaviors would they change?
Nationally, attempts abound to predict how people will behave in the marketplace, given differences in economic psychology among different ethnic and racial groups. In short, what might people change if the economy gets worse … or if it gets better?
Let’s look at what Hispanics and other groups said they would do, as a consequence of the economy getting worse. Almost everyone who self-evoked the “worse” scenario will change how much they spend. Yet, there are differences in predicted saving and investments by ethnicity. Hispanics (42%) and African Americans (44%) are less likely than Caucasians (49%) to change how much they save. They also are less likely to change how much they invest; 24% of Hispanics said their investment level would change, versus 30% in the general population.
And if things got better . . . ?
With an improving economy, it seems there is reason to believe that spending will bounce back. When asked, “Which of the following do you think you might change as a result of the economy improving?” Forty-one percent of the general population said they would change how much they spent; a drop of thirty-seven points relative to their spending behavior ‘if the economy was worse.’ So average people in the U.S. will be much less likely to reconsider their spending habits if the economy improves.
However, we again have a difference in the self-predicted behavior of Hispanics (and African Americans) compared to Caucasians under the improved economic scenario. The difference between their “economy gets worse” and “economy gets better” spending predictions was smaller for Hispanics (30 point difference) and African Americans (26 points) than it was for Caucasians (37 points).
This supports the conclusion that Hispanics may be among the last to have their spending habits change drastically as the economy improves — because they predict a smaller change in their spending for a positive economy. Ongoing online survey research using a representative sample can illuminate whether this is indeed the case.
Intelligent Technologies You Should Know About
Managers' Hiring Practices Vary By Race, Ethnicity Says University of Miami Study
U.S. Census Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2009
Thought of the Day
time is an illusion

time is an illusion

Reaching Hispanic businesses

You may think Reaching Hispanic businesses is simple. Discover how to truly bond with these businesses so as to generate word-of-mouth and increased ROI.

by Claudia Havi Goffan

An amazing thing happened the other day. A colleague of mine and I decided to have lunch at a customer’s restaurant. On waiting to be seated, we noticed that the metal napkin holder on every table had a magnet of our bank. Let me correct myself, every napkin holder had two magnets, one on each side. We were honored by the endorsement and asked the owner why he did such a thing. He answered very candidly, “Because your bank was the first place in this country where they called me Señor.”

Reaching Hispanic businesses can be accomplished in many ways—purchasing lists—Hispanic Yellow Pages—etc. But to truly bond with these businesses so as to generate word-of-mouth is a completely different story. And here’s how you do it:

  • Make sure your product or service is in alignment with the market needs
  • Make sure your company can properly service this market
  • Show you care about the community
  • Build honest and trusting relationships
  • Make sure your message is one that your market will understand, relate to and engage

Maybe then and only then, you will be able to have the community endorse your company just like it did “our bank.”

#Reaching Hispanic businesses

This quote seems very appropriate when I think of those times I would advise reaching hispanic businesses in the manner described above and some people would actually look at me in disbelief. Of course, until they saw the results.

Always follow your instinct #greatquotes

Always follow your instinct #greatquotes

Intelligent Technologies You Should Know About
Managers' Hiring Practices Vary By Race, Ethnicity Says University of Miami Study
U.S. Census Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2009