It’s no secret that money and stress go hand in hand. “Mo’ money, mo’ problems,” might hold true, but a lack of money, especially when it comes to retirement savings, is a problem like no other.
According to AARP reports, just 35% of African Americans feel they’re doing a good job of saving, and a third admit to having less than one month of funds to rely on in a crisis. This is despite the fact that money management 101 dictates at least six months’ worth if you want to stay afloat. For women, this represents a particular challenge because when you operate at a gender-and-race-based earnings disadvantage (never forget: black women currently earn 61 cents for every dollar earned by white men—and that’s 18 cents less than white women), savings are hard to come by.
Given the prevalence of women-led households, the wage gap, and wealth of financial pressures black women are balancing across generations, AARP and the Ad Council have stepped in to help “sheroes” shore up their savings and build long-term wealth.
Their joint “Tribute to Our Sheroes” retirement savings campaign, launched today, is specifically tailored to black women, their unique questions, needs, and concerns. The goal, according to the campaign’s designers, is to create some much-needed #blackgirlmoneymagic.
“We believe in supporting black women as they plan for the next phase of their lives,” says Edna Kane Williams, AARP’s senior vice president, Multicultural Leadership. “They are so often taking care of others and deserve to have access to all the necessary tools needed to live comfortably in retirement.”
Part of the campaign’s own magic is its simplicity. A visit to the site opens with a three-minute virtual chat with Avo, a digital retirement coach, regarding your current retirement savings efforts and status. Based on these results, you are provided with personalized tips relevant to your specific income, obligations, and goals. Ultimately, you receive a doable, semi-customized retirement savings action plan for yourself—for free.
“All of this is about uplift and empowerment,” says Shani Hosten, vice president of Multicultural Leadership, African American/Black Audience Strategy, AARP. “It’s about reducing the shame, blame, and sense of discouragement around retirement savings.”
Black women are at the helm of creating “Tribute to Our Sheroes.” From campaign strategy to production to publicity, this “for us by us” public service campaign was designed by black women who feel a deep personal attachment to its mission.
“I hear my friends expressing regret and blaming themselves for not doing a better job of saving,” says Hosten. “We have to start putting actual tools in place earlier to empower African American women. This does that, and meets you where you are.”