Free for 90 days: Sign up now and get 90 days managed free after your first deposit. See offer details

<title>Dismiss</title>
Financial Industry

Understanding the Case for Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income is the idea of giving all citizens a regular, live-able and unconditional sum of money, from the government.

Articles by Jill Schlesinger

By Jill Schlesinger, CFP®
  |  Published: February 6, 2018

Despite the fact that we are nearing the ninth year of a global economic recovery, poverty remains a problem.

In the United States alone, recent numbers from the Census Bureau show the rate to be just under 13% with more than 40 million people considered to be living in poverty.

Globally, more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, meaning they subsist on less than $1.25 a day.

While there are no easy fixes, there are a few ideas that have been tossed around. Some that have been tried and proven—at least on a small scale—like the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI), something that has very much interested me over the last couple years.

The basic concept of UBI revolves around the idea of all citizens of a country receiving a regular, live-able and unconditional sum of money, from the government. You may think that this is a dressed up welfare program that will only encourage people not to work.

On the contrary, dozens of successful basic income experiments around the globe have proven that the vast majority of us actually want to do something with our lives — we just need the means to get on our feet.

Check your negative knee-jerk reaction at the door and open yourself up to at least learning about UBI, which can be an investment that pays for itself.

After all, poverty in its current state is incredibly expensive and ineffective.

Listen to our episode of the Better Off Podcast with guest Rutger Bregman to learn more about universal basic income.

The opinions stated on the Better Off podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.

Recommended Content

View All Resources
Betterment’s Model for Financial Advice: An Overview

Betterment’s Model for Financial Advice: An Overview

Achieving your financial goals is only possible if you plan effectively. Saving enough, choosing the right accounts, deciding when you can buy a house or when to retire—all of these are essential decisions even before you build an optimal portfolio.

Women and Money: Bridge The Gap

Women and Money: Bridge The Gap

It’s no secret that women fight more of an uphill battle than male peers in their efforts to reach personal financial goals.

How Does Betterment Calculate Investment Returns?

How Does Betterment Calculate Investment Returns?

Understanding and using time-weighted and money-weighted returns within your Betterment dashboard.

Explore your first goal

Safety Net

This is a great place to start—an emergency fund for life's unplanned hiccups. A safety net is a conservative portfolio.

Retirement

Whether it's a long way off or just around the corner, we'll help you save for the retirement you deserve.

General Investing

If you want to invest and build wealth over time, then this is the goal for you. This is an excellent goal type for unknown future needs or money you plan to pass to future generations.

<title>Close</title>

Search our site

For more information and disclosures about the Betterment Resource Center, click here. | See our contributors.