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K-State Today

October 2, 2015

Heckman receives top research award at financial planning conference

Submitted by Jane P. Marshall

Stu Heckman, assistant professor in the College of Human Ecology, received the Best Applied Research Award last week at the Financial Planning Association national conference in Boston. His research presentation was "Financial Catastrophes Due to Disability: Which Households Are Most at Risk?"

Only nine academic presentations were accepted for the conference; four of them were from Kansas State University's personal financial planning program.

The other three were:

  • Martin Seay, assistant professor, presented work by Sonya Britt, associate professor and program director, "The Influence of Physiological Stress on Readiness to Change & Goal Achievement";
  • Sarah Asebedo, doctor student, present a paper she wrote with Seay, "Financial Self-Control: Facilitating the Willpower to Save;" and
  • Cliff Robb, associate professor, "Exploring the Gender Gap in Financial Knowledge: Self-Efficacy Stress & Behavior" with colleagues from the University of Georgia.

Heckman's study explored U.S. households' experience of disability and private disability insurance ownership.

Financial planners can use the information he uncovered to help assess the likelihood of disability for clients and identify ways in which the profession can better serve those who need help in this area.

Disability can be a financially catastrophic event for households so there can be significant monetary value in advice that helps households reduce risk exposures, Heckman said.

Although many financial planning textbooks point out that consumers often overlook the risk of disability, there are few resources that clearly describe U.S. households’ loss exposures due to disability, he added.

The program is part of the School of Family Studies and Human Services.