National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) runs from September 15 to October 15. NHHM celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
As we celebrate these incredible accomplishments, we all should be aware that the Hispanic and Latinx communities have had, and continue to have, tremendous roadblocks in their path here in the U.S. including wealth inequality and specifically the racial wealth gap which keeps people of color from economic success.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “racial differences in household wealth are some of the most visible and impactful manifestations of racial inequality in the United States” and these weaken our economy as a whole. Wealth is defined as the total financial value of what an individual household owns (assets) minus debts (liabilities).
In 2019, Inequity.org published a Racial Wealth Divide report which shows that the median Latinx family, with just over $6,500, owns only 4% of the wealth of the median White family. As the site puts into different terms, “the median White family has 41 times more wealth than the median Black family and 22 times more wealth than the median Latino family.”
This can be a complex topic, but one way to change this path is through financial literacy and education which often is solely left to family members to navigate to help educate other family members. Sometimes one spouse is more comfortable talking about finances than the other so finding common ground is key. If your spouse won’t participate in financial planning, please read our five tips here.
Alex De la Rosa of Chicago, IL knows this all too well. Alex moved to the U.S. from Colombia when he was 13 years old and has seen firsthand some of the challenges within his community. He shares, “Financial literacy is still very much a taboo topic within the Latino community, not only are many parents born and raised in a different socio-economical settings in different countries but the lack of access to financial tools and education here in the U.S. compounds the problem for the entire Latino community.”
Self-taught in the area of finances also from having worked in the financial field, Alex says, “I have helped my family design financial plans that work for all of our individual goals we each have; but also a bigger goal of mine is to help my niece and nephew take advantage of everything available to them; and from a financial standpoint they are able to learn from the mistakes I have made and money can be a much better tool to help them achieve their own goals in the future.”
Not only does this issue impact finances but insurance as well. Click here to read five things to know about life insurance in the Hispanic community.
Bankers Life is here to help customers with any financial and insurance needs so please visit us at BankersLife.com