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Miami Hispanics Not Saving Much For Retirement, Study Says

Credit Lisann Ramos / WLRN
Panel discussing the results of the Prudential survey at the Adrienne Arsht Center. From left to right are former US Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida Josie Bacallao, and from Prudential, Alexandra Galindez and George Castineiras.

A recent survey by Prudential Financial advisors reveals the Hispanic American community places a priority on funding near-term goals, making it more difficult for Hispanics to prepare for retirement.

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 18 last year, the study polled 1,023 Americans who identify as "Hispanic." It covered several financial topics and what the driving force is behind making financial decisions in Hispanic American households.

Anna Escobedo Cabral is a Mexican-American who served as United States Treasurer from 2004 to 2009. She cites cultural values such as caring for both children and parents as one of the reasons retirement planning gets put in the back burner for Hispanics.   

"I think you can actually accomplish financial goals within the framework of our culture," she says. "For you to ensure that your family has a better quality life, you also have to provide for yourself."

Although the findings showed Hispanics with higher incomes tend to save more for retirement than those with lower incomes; among all levels, retirement information doesn't reach Hispanic Americans as easily as it does the general population.

Josie Bacallao is the president and CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help Hispanics become self-sufficient. She looked at the results and thought about their relations to the Hispanic population in South Florida.

"No matter if you came on a boat and don’t have any money, or flew in and purchased a business and became part of this community, learning how the system works and using it to your advantage is something that will resonate for people even in South Florida," Bacallao says.

Wells Fargo came up with similar findings in a new survey. It focused on Miami-based Hispanics and reported that many Hispanic adults in the area feel they are in good shape on immediate financial needs, but tend to feel less "healthy" on longer-term goals.

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