African Americans, more likely to face greater financial difficulties than other middle-income Americans, including saving for retirement, would welcome more financial education and guidance through their employers, according to a study by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual).
While 63 percent of middle-income Americans overall say they feel “very” or at least “somewhat” financially secure, only 51 percent of African Americans say the same, according to the MassMutual African American Middle America Finances Study. The study, which surveyed 492 African Americans with annual household incomes of between $35,000 and $150,000, found that even higher earners expressed financial misgivings: 45 percent of African Americans with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more say they feel less than financially secure compared to just 28 percent of other Americans in the same income category.
“Across the board, African Americans are more likely to say they are unprepared for retirement and feel less financially secure but are more open to education and financial guidance,” said Evan Taylor, head of MassMutual’s African American Markets. “The findings demonstrate a real need to reach more people, make financial education and guidance more readily available, and focus on financial wellness.”
African Americans are more likely to say they are behind in saving for retirement and 41 percent of the survey respondents expressed concerns about making ends meet. Respondents indicated a greater proclivity to making withdrawals or loans from their 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan compared to the general population (24 percent vs. 14 percent, respectively). However, they are also more open to education from their employer about saving for retirement, setting financial priorities and learning about other financial products that can enhance their financial security.
|To what extent do you agree with the following statements?||African|
|When it comes to retirement, I am behind where I need to be.||72%||63%|
|I wish my employer offered more resources to help me set financial priorities.||67||52|
|I wish my employer did more to educate me about saving for retirement.||59||51|
|I wish my employer did more to educate me on other financial products and insurance that can help protect me and my family from financial hardship.||61||50|
|I struggle to make ends meet.||41||35|
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