Many American workers find themselves financially unprepared for retirement. Among racial and ethnic groups, Latinos are the least prepared.
They’re one of the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups, and they have a longer life expectancy than whites and blacks — at about 81 years old.
But four out of five Hispanic households have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, according to a recent report by the National Institute on Retirement Security.
Compare that to three out of four black households and one out of two for whites. (The report does not break down the data for Native Americans or Asian Americans.)
“This is a national crisis,” says Nari Rhee, manager of research at the National Institute on Retirement Security. “I think that there are serious racial dimensions to this.”
Rhee found that Latino workers face two main hurdles to saving for retirement. Many Latino workers are in low-wage jobs in the private sector, and they’re the group least likely to have access to retirement plans at work.
While 62 percent of white employees and 54 percent of black and Asian employees work for employers that sponsor retirement plans, that’s true for only 38 percent of Latino workers.
“Without access to workplace retirement savings and with not a lot of other kinds of wealth, what’s left really for most people is Social Security,” Rhee says.
On a recent Saturday morning at the Latino Economic Development Center in Washington, D.C., Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz stood in front of a packed classroom. And he made a pitch.
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