Study: Even African Americans Making Almost Six Figures Feel Financially Insecure - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

A new study reveals that nearly half of African Americans with yearly household incomes between $35,000 and $150,000 feel financial worry. Forty-five percent of African Americans making incomes of $75,000 a year and up say they feel more financially insecure than Americans of other races in the same income bracket.

The study was conducted by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual). The data also showed that black people were more likely to say they had under-funded retirement savings. Forty-one percent are even concerned about making ends meet.

The majority of the survey respondents did not feel that they lacked money management skills, however 7 percent said they would be interested in receiving financial planning services from their employer.


Education to Combat Feeling Financially Insecure


“Across the board, African Americans are more likely to say they are unprepared for retirement and feel less financially secure but are more open to education and financial guidance,” said Evan Taylor, head of MassMutual’s African American Markets.

“The findings demonstrate a real need to reach more people, make financial education and guidance more readily available, and focus on financial wellness.”

Some other key takeaways from MassMutual’s study include:

  • Middle-income African Americans are more likely to report difficulty managing their households monthly finances
  • Debt, lack of income, and cost of living are the top African American financial concerns
  • Black Americans are less worried about the cost of healthcare compared to other groups
  • Negative outcomes from financial issues (including the inability to eat healthily, pay for a child’s education, or stress in a marriage or relationship) are reported more by middle-income African Americans

“The African American community is very open to education, information, and advice about financial matters from their employers, financial service firms, and financial professions,” said Taylor. “It’s an opportunity for financial service firms, financial advisers, and employers to make a difference.”


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Samara Lynn

Samara Lynn is a technology journalist, covering the industry for a decade. Her work appears in The Wirecutter, Tom's Hardware, PC Mag, and other online outlets. She's the author of "Windows Server 2012: Up and Running" and previously worked in the IT industry. She's currently the digital manager at Black Enterprise.