Hispanic Americans, the nation's fastest-growing minority group, are least prepared for retirement, according to a new ING Study that compares how different ethnic groups are planning for their financial future. These findings come in the midst of growing nationwide anxiety over retirement, as some Americans report not having enough money to retire.
While 54 percent of Hispanic respondents said they felt either "not very" or "not at all" prepared for retirement, 50 percent of black, 48 percent of white and 44 percent of Asian respondents said they felt ill-prepared.
Still, the study's findings aren't reflective of the nation as a whole. ING's subjects were all employed full-time and earning a house-hold income of $40,000 or more. As the wealth disparity between white, black and Hispanic households continues to grow, the share of minorities concerned about their financial future is likely to grow beyond what the study reports.
That said, the ING study highlighted some startling figures: "57 percent [of Hispanics] have never calculated how much money they'll need to continue their current lifestyle and 70 percent do not have a formal investment plan to reach their retirement goals."
Respondents currently contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan have an average of $69,000 saved in the plan, with the average higher among Asian respondents ($81,000), and lower among African-Americans ($55,000) and Hispanics ($54,000).
While 88 percent of respondents said their jobs offered an employer-sponsored retirement plan, only three-quarters contributed. According to the study: Blacks and Hispanics reported different reasons for not saving. For Hispanic respondents, information and guidance seemed to be the greatest hurdle with 57 percent saying they "expect their employer to do more to educate them about retirement options." For black respondents debt was a major obstacle preventing them from saving.
While a higher percentage of Asian respondents said they contribute to a employee retirement plan, the group of respondents reflected a "tendency to place a higher priority on lifestyle choices, such as purchasing a nice house or car, than planning for retirement."
As lawmakers debate the future of Social Security in Washington, minority groups who do not have retirement funds to fall back on will be more reliant on the social safety net. According to AARP, "84 percent of African-Americans over age 65 and 78 percent of Hispanics over age 65 have income from Social Security."