SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For Hispanics, it appears that the definition of The American Dream is based on achieving financial security, so their families can get ahead – with a specific focus on paying off mortgages, getting out of credit card debt, paying for their children's college educations and financially preparing for retirement. Although Hispanics are experiencing a cautious increase in optimism about the economy, when it comes to financial planning, their intentions and desires aren't closely aligned with their actions. These are among the key findings of Massachusetts Mutual life Insurance Company's (MassMutual) third biennial "State of the American Family Study," which offers a broad snapshot of Americans' financial views.
The study identified a foundational element that could bridge the gap between Hispanics' desire to achieve financial security and taking the necessary steps to do so: the need for financial education and access to resources to help with proper planning.
Additional key findings include:
- Paying off debt. More than half (57 percent) of Hispanics prioritize paying off their mortgage as a top financial priority and nearly half (46 percent) prioritize getting out of credit card debt – significantly greater than the general population. Despite these higher-than-average initial efforts to achieve financial security, additional steps seem to be lacking. Almost half (43 percent) feel investing and financial planning should be a higher priority for them, and only 28 percent are confident selecting investment options to meet their goals.
- Focusing on a college education. Nearly half (49 percent) of Hispanics claim that paying for their children's college education is something they insist on doing, yet only 31 percent rank savings/investing in their children's college education as a top priority.
- Educating children about finances. Close to half (47 percent) of Hispanics are actively involved in educating children about finances and 79 percent recognize it is important in order to ensure their success in the future. Perhaps this emphasis is because 36 percent of adults wish their own parents had taught them more about money.
"This year's State of the American Family study clearly shows that Hispanics continue to struggle with competing financial priorities, just like all other American families. Hispanic Americans are very concerned with improving their financial prospects and are proactively seeking ways to educate themselves, which is a positive sign," said Chris Mendoza, Vice President of the U.S. Insurance Group at MassMutual. "We're working harder to inform Hispanics about resources available that can help them put concrete financial plans in place and to adequately address their current and future needs."
MassMutual offers the following tips to help Hispanic Americans ensure that their finances are on the right track:
Preparing for the Golden Years. The amount of income needed to maintain a standard of living in retirement varies from person to person and family to family. List all current and future expenses to see if you are saving enough right now. If not, talk to a financial professional who can create a plan.
Teaching the Future Generation. Setting children up for financial success is vital, yet many parents might not know where to start. Consider involving children in high-level family budgeting discussions and paying some of the monthly bills. Playing family board games or engaging in activities that have a monetary component also can help kids learn in a fun way.
Protecting Paychecks. For families, making sure that their income stream doesn't stop coming in should be a priority, and disability income insurance may be a solution to address that need; it can help breadwinners meet future financial obligations – like paying electrical bills or, even more important, mortgages – if unable to work due to illness or injury.
Securing Families' Financial Futures. Not only does life insurance provide financial protection if the worst were to happen, but some policies also accumulate cash value* – a living benefit that can be used for supplementing retirement income, funding a child's education or emergencies.
To learn more about MassMutual's State of the American Family Study or for educational resources for children on money management, logon to massmutual.com/familyfinances. [or in-language at massmutual.com/espanol
*Access to cash values through borrowing or partial surrenders will reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit, increase the chance the policy will lapse, and may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured.
The State of the American Family survey was conducted for MassMutual by the Forbes Consulting Group, LLC between February 4th and February 25th, 2013 via a 20-minute online questionnaire. The survey comprised 1,337 interviews with American households with children under age 18 for whom they are financially responsible. Interviews were conducted among men and women aged 25-64 as of 2013 with household incomes greater than $75,000 (50 completes were allowed among 25-32 year olds with HH incomes falling between $50,000 and $75,000). Respondents had to contribute at least 40% to decisions regarding financial matters in their household to qualify. Results were weighted to the 2010 US Census distributions for age, gender, ethnicity, region, and same sex married/partnered couples to be representative of American families in this age and income bracket. This study includes trending data for survey waves conducted in 2009 and 2011.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
For more information, visit www.massmutual.com/espanol.