CHICAGO (AP) – Older white Americans are nearly twice as likely as African-Americans to say they’ve saved enough for retirement, a new poll found.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey also found that African- Americans and Latinos have less financial security than whites and will rely on fewer sources of income during retirement. The retirement savings gap between white and other minority groups extends beyond pensions, 401(k)s or other retirement accounts.
The survey shows older white Americans are also more likely to collect Social Security benefits, inherit money from their families or receive income from the sale of a home or other physical assets.
The disparity in retirement readiness is a sign that the structural inequalities black and Latino workers face during their working years extend into retirement. For example, the unemployment rate among African-Americans is twice that of whites. On top of that, blacks earn less than whites with similar education and experience, research shows.
“Having good saving habits is good but black and Latino workers are just always worse off, and it makes every aspect of saving for retirement harder,” said Matthew Rutledge, an economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
About 38 percent of older white Americans said they had sufficient money for retirement compared with 20 percent for African-Americans.
Four in 10 older Americans say they think they’ll outlive their retirement savings.
“Black and Latino families benefit from being close,” Rutledge said, adding that family members help to care for children and the elderly. “But it doesn’t pay off when compared to whites family’s (financial) contributions.”
Families not only pass down money, but also information on how to handle finances.