Wages and household income are important indicators used to define and assess poverty, but they are only part of the picture of an individual or a family's economic stability or vulnerability. In most cases, it is a person's assets -- a home, a savings account, a retirement account, or even a college degree -- that provide the foundation for solid economic standing. **The challenge facing Illinois and our nation as a whole is to expand existing asset-building opportunities to benefit all people, particularly those most in need. Given the current realities of poverty in Illinois, there is an ongoing need for government involvement in promoting asset-building strategies.
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