Wyclef Speaks On Retirement And Essence Fest Performance With Lauryn Hill
BLACK ENTERPRISE caught up with Wyclef Jean at the Essence Festival of Culture where he discussed the importance of preparing for retirement in the Black community.
The Grammy award-winning musician teamed up with the retirement services provider TIAA as part of its ongoing mission to #RetireInequality. Wyclef was front and center at the TIAA Legacy Makers Studio within the Global Black Economic Forum at Essence Fest where he discussed the fact that 54% of Black Americans do not have enough money saved to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
“I come from a group called The Fugees which is short for The Refugees, and the core message has always been to make you see yourself as greater than you might think that you are,” Wyclef explained.
Bringing his group’s “immigrant story” back to America, and noting his timeless hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Maria Maria,” Wyclef highlights how he’s been talking about “generational wealth” for decades and how it ties to important life factors like retirement. The “Gone Til November” songwriter stressed the importance of partaking in conversations around retirement at younger ages.
“Moving forward how do we approach it so it’s not too late,” Wyclef said. “There are a lot of ways for you to save that you’re not informed of.”
“The Wyclef Studio” was on display as part of TIAA’s Legacy Makers Studio. It served as a recreated smaller version of the recording studio that mimics the studio Wyclef worked in when he made the upcoming song he partnered with TIAA on that will be released later this summer. Guests were able to read about how Wyclef is personally sharing his legacy with upcoming artists and securing retirement in the music industry.
Understanding tax benefits, saving, and all the resources available to prepare for retirement are crucial, according to Wyclef who had just “caught a vibe” on stage with his Fugees group member Lauryn Hill the night before and shared how his long catalog of timeless classics helped kickstart his retirement plans.
“My retirement plan starts with my daughter and it’s important,” he declared.
Wyclef also touched on the importance of ownership in music and how keeping the rights to his music helped in the generational wealth he was able to pass down to his daughter.
“My retirement plan is my publishing,” he said. “I own all of these compositions.”
Press play below to learn more about Wyclef Jean’s passion for music and community and the resources he shares to help others get started on their retirement plans.