Retirement – Will You Be Ready?

Hispanics are doing even less financial planning for retirement than the rest of the population. How “golden” will your retirement years be?

Does saving for retirement represent a major challenge for you? If so, you are not alone.

A study released last year by the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) shows that Hispanics are just as “at sea” as their non-Hispanic counterparts when it comes to financial planning for their retirement. However, Hispanics tend to save less, carry more debt, and be more insecure about their ability to support themselves during their “golden years.”

The study, “AARP Retirement Planning Survey – Hispanic adults age 40 or older,” polled a national representative sample of adult Hispanics concerning their current financial situation and what (if any) retirement plans they had in place. Eight in ten Hispanic adults (81 percent) say that saving for their retirement years is very important. Only about one-third (36 percent), however, say that they feel very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably through their retirement years.

Many Hispanic workers and retirees in the study are concerned about their ability to cover various retirement expenses, and their confidence is often lower than their non-Hispanic counterparts. For example, 41 percent of Hispanic workers and 33 percent of Hispanic retirees are not confident that they will be able to cover their medical expenses during retirement, compared to 27 percent and 11 percent respectively among non-Hispanics. Forty-five percent of workers and 50 percent of retirees do not feel confident that they could afford long-term care expenses, vs. 40 percent and 32 percent respectively for non-Hispanics. Thirty-two percent of workers and 28 percent of retirees are not confident that they will have enough money to take care of their basic expenses in retirement, vs. 13 percent and 8 percent respectively among non-Hispanics.

Weaker confidence among Hispanics reflects weaker financial preparedness. While 45 percent of non-Hispanic workers have tried to figure out how much money they will need for retirement and 70 percent have saved some money, only 32 percent of Hispanic workers have looked into their retirement needs and 52 percent have saved some money for retirement.

Almost three in ten Hispanic workers (28 percent) admit that they aren’t confident enough to even know what to do to plan for retirement. About seven in ten workers say that their everyday living expenses are too high (69 percent), and/or that the economy is too bad (68 percent), and/or that their childrearing and education expenses (70 percent) are too high to enable them to save for retirement.

It’s notable that the last reason, especially education expenses, is much more prevalent among Hispanics than non-Hispanics.

Many Hispanics age 40 or older are also faced with a lot of debt. The most common types are credit cards (39 percent), a mortgage (30 percent), and/or car loans (25 percent). More than one third (37 percent) don’t see their debt as a problem – but one quarter (26 percent) see their debt as a major problem. In addition, two in ten workers (20 percent) are not confident that they will pay off their debt by the time they retire.

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