Wednesday, April 22, 2009

JES Presentation - May 6th

The first presentation on the Jewish Economics Survey (take it here) is two weeks from today, May 6th, at 8:00pm at the Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights. The address is 135 Bennett Ave., New York, NY, 10040.

In the days leading up to the survey, I'll try to post a few things about both the survey and related subjects, likely touching on issues that I'll be mentioning either during the survey or a Q&A session which will follow.

One issue which I probably will not get into too much, but is extremely important, is touched on by Ariella in a post today: Paying yourself for your time. What people often think is pampering (saving an hour by sending laundry to the dry cleaner instead of doing it yourself) is often far more costly (because you'll work three hours after taxes to earn the same money). It's also money you don't have which can be better used to save or earn you money, whether by paying off credit cards or investing.

An interesting tidbit regarding life insurance responses on the survey so far, when you break it out - the % of each group which has life insurance:
  • Single, no kids: 7.7%
  • Married, no kids: 26.7%
  • Single, kids: 50.0%
  • Married, 1 child: 62.1%
  • Married, 2 children: 64.4%
  • Married, 3 children: 92.6%
  • Married, 4 children: 96.2%
  • Married, 5 or more children: 78.8%
There are actually more responses of 5+ children than either 3 or 4, so it's not the sample size [there are actually a similar number of responses in each slice, there are simply far more "No" answers in the 5+ group]. Most likely, once people have families of a certain size they are pressed for money, and life insurance is an expense that is deemed less necessary than others - understandable when pitted against expenses for current, tangible items. Of course, the flip side of this is that the devastation to the family (and by extension, the community) has that much more of an impact in a large family if chas v'shalom something happens.

In addition, the other groups I've highlighted are also a little troubling. (The single with kids group is a small sample size, however - just a handful of responses.) While it is more understandable that a family with no children or a single person living on their own might not have life insurance, that over a third of families with 1-2 children also don't have is a concern.

Again, the survey is available here; please pass it around to friends, family, shul e-mail groups, community organizations, and the like. The more data we can collect the more useful the survey can be and the greater the impact it can have. Thank you so much!