Report: Race, Ethnicity Have Bearing on Retirement Security

The earnings and wealth disparities between whites and minorities in the United States is highly pronounced, and proceeds through to general retirement preparedness, according to a new research brief released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Authored by three in-house researchers at Boston College, the report details 2016 statistics which show that in that year, the share of whites at financial risk in retirement was 48 percent versus 54 percent for blacks and 61 percent for Hispanics. This is a smaller figure than the earnings and wealth disparities, but still illustrates a noticeable difference.

Still, the researchers conclude based on this data that the retirement gap is smaller because, “minority households have a lower pre-retirement standard of living to maintain” as they transition out of work.

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From 2007-2016, retirement risk for whites, blacks and Hispanics all increased. While the gap between whites and blacks narrowed, the gap for Hispanics grew for a couple of notable factors: first, the Boston College researchers detail that “a sharp decline in earnings among low-income blacks was buffered by Social Security.”

Still, Hispanics specifically “were hit much harder than either whites or blacks by the bursting of the housing bubble,” they conclude in a brief of key findings extending from the report.

The BCCRR has made the full brief available, which includes complete substantiation of its findings.

Written by Chris Clow