AFRICANGLOBE – *Can you, as an African American with little to no emergency savings on hand, recall when it was that you realized you were in trouble? There is no blame pointed at the parents who didn’t sit us down and talk to us about money. Hell, they were busy trying to handle their own day-to-day; keeping us clothed and fed. But now that many of us are way past grown — with adult children of our own — we look around and see all the reasons why we wish we would’ve saved a little nest egg.
Assuming you even had disposable income (which many of us don’t). This is especially scary for those of us who find ourselves looking at the so-called “retirement age.” Many of whom have worked since the age of 12, and are so worn out they retire early and op to take even less of the social security money they worked so hard to earn.
Knowing retirement anytime soon wouldn’t be a good option if you want to have any kind of quality life as an elder, some of us wouId like to think we’ll be working until we’re old and gray, but as we can already see: nobody’s hiring us now. At least nobody willing to pay a living wage.
Turns out this no-savings-in-the-bank dilemma is one that many Americans are faced with ; but African Americans win the prize for being the largest group of Americans with no emergency money on hand. According to Neighbor Works America, who conducted a survey in its second-annual consumer finance report, approximately 34% of Americans don’t have any emergency savings and 25% of Americans have only enough to support themselves for a month. The lack of savings affects Black families even more than others, with many of these families being in the low-income bracket and having no college education.
“There is a large disparity in the ability to save, with the highest percentages of households without any savings at all seen among African-American low income adults with lower incomes, and among those with a high school education or less,” the survey reports.
African-American families have the highest percentage of households without savings, at 47%. Hispanic families without savings are at 41%, and Caucasian families at 19%.
“Fifty percent of families who earned less than $40,000 a year admitted to not having a savings,” reports Black Enterprise. “There was a significant gap in comparison to families earning $40,000 to $59,000 a year (34%), homes earning $60,000 to $100,000 (21%), and those earning $100,000 and more (17%) who didn’t have any savings. Additionally, more family heads who only had a high school education or less (49%) were said to have no money set aside, versus family earners who had a college degree (18%).”
We hear a lot of talk about a strengthening economy and decreasing unemployment rate, but for many African Americans, especially older adults who still feel as if they have a lot of life in them, but can’t get in the door for an interview, the Great Recession is still hurting our pockets. Many African-American families can’t see the forest for the trees due to everyday living expenses like housing, gasoline, and fluctuating grocery prices.
Having an emergency fund that can protect you for at least three months is essential and websites such as FinancialJuneteenth.com is there to assist in empowering African-American households by providing financial literacy and sharing resources that can assist with managing income and/or generating supplemental income from a business outside of one’s primary source of income.
7 A.M.: Dr. Claude Anderson – Inheriting Nothing