My academic journey began in 1994 in Japan. At the time, I was 36 years old, had completed college, and worked in Korea. After 7 years of graduate school in Japan, I was trained as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Housing and Consumer Economics at the University of Georgia for one and half years. In 2002, the University of Kentucky provided me a valuable opportunity to serve Kentuckians, as well as, students at UK. I was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2008. During my sabbatical leave in the fall semester of 2009, I stayed at Columbia University for developing non-cognitive and motivational research for retirement savings. For the last three years (2010-2013), I served as a member of Board of Directors in the American Council on Consumer Interests.
I have been fascinated with research on how we can obtain financial security in our life time. One line of my research has focused on financial security and health problems in later years. I have extensively studied the effect of health on retirement savings from various perspectives: difference in race/ethnicity, older women and their poverty transition, comorbidity of chronic health problems, longitudinal effect, and financial security status of solvency, liquidity, and investment asset accumulation for retirement. I have also kept track of consequences of health problems and family/consumer debt. The other line of my research has been how to save for retirement with limited resources. This research has focused on two directions: cognitive intervention through improving health literacy and financial literacy, and non-cognitive intervention through improving self-regulatory skills/capabilities such as perseverance and motivation. This line of research began in 2009. Since then, I have been devoted to developing and refining conceptual underpinnings for intervention for retirement savings, and conducting pilot studies. Currently, many intervention focused studies are underway.
I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many wonderful graduate students in this department. In particular now I am working with five passionate doctoral students. Their research interests are: debt in young adults, health issues in military family, informal economy, generational conflicts and older parent well-being and food security for low income families, which are all imperative for family and consumers. Messages that I frequently send to my graduate students include having strong passion for their research topics, working hard, and having great communication. Intelligence has a normal distribution and is not the only factor for meaningful research outcomes and successful academic careers.
- FAM 251: Personal and Family Finance
- FAM 402: Issues in Family Resources Management
- FAM 661: Health and Financial Issues in Aging Family
- FAM 668: Allocation of Family Resources
- FAM 690: Research Methods in Family Science
- FAM 703: Theory and Research in Family Economics and Management
- FAM 790: Advanced Research Methods in Family Science
- Financial Security in later years
- Chronic Health Conditions and Financial Burdens
- Health Events and Consumer Debts
- Health Literacy, Financial Literacy and Retirement Savings
- Noncognitive Skills/Traits and Financial Outcomes
- Self-regulation and Financial Behaviors
Kim, H., Franks, B. & Higgins, E.T. (2013) Evidence that self-regulatory mode affects retirement savings. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 25(3), 1-17.
Kim, H., Yoon, W. & Zurlo, K. (2012). Health shocks, out-of-pocket medical expenses and consumer debt among middle-aged and older Americans. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 46(3), 357-380.
Gillen, M & Kim, H. (2009). Older women and poverty transition: Consequences of income source changes from widowhood. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 28(3), 320-341.
Kim, H., & Lyons, A. (2008). No pain, no strain: Impact of health on the financial security of the elderly. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42(1).
Lee, J., & Kim, H. (2008). A longitudinal analysis of the impact of health shocks on the wealth of elders. Journal of Population Economics, 21(1), 217-231.
Schoenberg, N.E., Kim, H., Edwards, W., & Steven T. Fleming, S. (2007). The burden of common multiple morbidity constellations on out-of-pocket medical expenditures among older adults. The Gerontologist, 47(4), 423-437.
Kim, H., & Lee, J. (2006). The impact of co-morbidity on wealth changes in later life. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 61(6), S307-S314.
Kim, H., & Richardson, V. E. (2006). The impact of driving cessation on consumption expenses in the later years. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 61(6), S347-S353.
Lee, J., & Kim, H. (2006). Medicaid and family wealth transfer. The Gerontologist, 46(1), 6-13.
Kim, H., & Lee, J. (2005). Unequal effects of elders’ health problems on wealth depletion across race and ethnicity. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 39(1), 148-172.
Lee, J. & Kim, H. (2003). An examination of the impact of health on wealth depletion of the elderly. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 53B (1), S120-S126.