Hispanic Americans Have Self-Reliant Approach to Retirement

Although Hispanic Americans are saving for retirement, more than two-thirds do not use a financial adviser, a study by Prudential found.

Even Hispanic Americans with income over $50,000 typically do not have a professional advising relationship; only 35% report having a professional adviser, says the “Hispanic Americans on the Road to Retirement” report.

Those that do work with an adviser have a higher tendency to contribute to a retirement savings account (85% versus 54% of those without an adviser).

The number with advisers is lower in non-English-speaking households (12%) compared with English-speaking households (34%). Among Hispanic Americans that have an adviser, many choose a family member or friend (professional or nonprofessional). The study suggests that this could mean Hispanic Americans prefer fellow Hispanic Americans to advise them financially.

On Track for Retirement

Overall, the study found that Hispanic Americans are on track for retirement, with 90% ranking retirement savings as an important goal. Two-thirds (64%) are saving for retirement. Of those that save, more than half (54%) use a defined-contribution vehicle.

In Hispanic American households with an annual income greater than $50,000, the numbers in the survey are even higher. In this group, 81% of respondents said they are putting aside money for retirement. Of all survey respondents, more than a third of those actively saving for retirement have reached $100,000 in retirement savings.

A majority of Hispanic Americans are thinking about retirement, and the study says that advisers could bring some of these important issues to the surface. Seventy-one percent of Hispanic Americans say they at least somewhat think about how much savings they need for retirement.

While Hispanic Americans are known for having strong family ties, most do not plan on relying on their families for retirement security (but 32% do). The study found that Hispanic Americans take a very self-reliant approach, with 80% agreeing with the statement, “A successful retirement depends on careful planning.’ Thirty-one percent are relying on fate to determine retirement savings, but only 18% plan to rely on the government.

Selecting Services

Hispanic Americans hold high standards for the quality of financial services they receive, the study says. More than two-thirds rate top performance as important factors in selecting firms, products, and advisers. Other important factors include: dependability (73%) and independent ratings (54%). These factors were more important to respondents than low cost.

However, the majority of unacculturated households (which tend to be lower income) do rate low cost as important. Also, 57% of unacculturated households, which might not speak as fluent of English, said advertising targeted to them (such as Spanish ads) is important.

The study was based on interviews with Hispanic Americans ages 25 to 65 with a minimum household income of $35,000. It is available here.