Saving MoneyPrudential Financial conducts an “African-American Financial Experience” survey every two years. The 2013 results reveal much hasn’t changed for the 1,153 people polled for the report. Legacies of wealth are fleeting within the black American community, since many are invested in saving for retirement, paying down debt and purchasing life insurance.

The Huffington Post reports:

While the findings compound a recent report on the role the Great Recession has played in perpetuating the wealth gap between racial groups, African Americans remain confident about their financial future, the report says, with half of African Americans saying they are doing better now financially than they were 12 months ago, a sentiment shared by only one-third of the general population.

The report’s silver lining — confidence and optimism — stands in stark contrast to debt, however, which 94 percent of African Americans said they have, compared with the general popula­tion at 82 percent. In addition, one in four African-Americans say they have felt anxiety or depression as a result of that debt.

Earlier this month, U.S. News & World Report released the results of two studies showing that while the estimated $1 trillion in student loan debt affects individuals from all walks of life, two groups experience some of the greatest repercussions of student debt — women and minorities.

According to the report, 27 percent of black bachelor’s degree holders had more than $30,500 in loans, compared with 16 percent of white bachelor’s degree holders. Those African Americans also have higher rates of unemployment, which directly impacts their repayment power.

Prudential’s findings coincide. College-educated African-Americans are twice as likely to have student loan debt, compared with all college-educated Americans, the survey states, adding that while the student debt is a sign of economic progress, it also hampers the ability to invest or save for retirement.

Other principle findings include:

  • Financial decisions in African-American communities are shaped by family and faith. The survey found “African Americans are more likely to live in intergenerational and female-headed households, and to financially support family members. More regular church attendance is accompanied by greater reliance upon faith-based institutions for financial information.
  • The financial industry is ill-equipped to address the needs of African-Americans. Prudential found “across income levels, African-Americans are 13 percent less likely than the general population to have received contact from a financial advisor. The majority believes that working with an advisor could help.”
  • African-Americans have a growing economic power that will soon surpass Whites. More than 39 percent of African-Americans included in the survey have annual household incomes of more than $75,000. The Multicultural Economy found “African-American buying power will increase 73 percent between 2000 and 2012, which not only overtakes the 60 percent increase in Caucasian buying power, but also the 67 percent rise in total buying power of all races combined. Two factors contributing to the gains include a 61 percent increase in Black-owned businesses in the five-year period between 2002 and 2007, and 84 percent of Blacks over 25 years of age completing high school or college – a sharp increase from 66 percent in 1990.”

Prudential’s solutions for increasing long-term financial freedom for African-Americans include decreasing unemployment and assist financial institutions with providing better resources to African-American needs.

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  • JuciyBee

    I just came from the city like 20 minutes ago. Guess what I saw, businesses lots of new businesses, none of them owned by blacks, but are located in black communities. This is why there haven’t been any improvements in the financial state of the black community. Why are other groups acquiring more wealth, but blacks are not? It makes no sense, we need to take control of our own businesses, stop letting other groups beat us out, it’s sad.

    • Nope

      This is exactly why I ignore the whiners who say we can’t do this and we can’t do that. I read somewhere that if African Americans had our own country, we would be like in the top 20 richest nations. Black folks have money. What are we doing with it? Tithing? Giving it away to family members?

      Biggest consumers and no ownership or businesses to show for it. Like you said go to black neighborhoods. The black owned businesses are all restaurants, barber shops, and salons. And non-blacks are running all the other businesses. I’m convinced folks like spending their money at stores run by non-blacks to try to impress them. It’s like people were saying yesterday: looking for acceptance from people who think you’re not good enough.

    • JuciyBee

      What I’ve seen is that when a black person own a business in the black community, customers expect special treatment, or want to be ‘given a break.’ A black person wouldn’t dare go into a white owned store and ask them for a discount because they’re ‘brothers’, why ask the same from other blacks???

  • Malik Hemmans

    For us to be the biggest consumers we’re always broke……i bet you if black people didn’t buy anything for a week the whole economy would crash

  • Misshightower

    “Others” locate in our communities because it’s profitable for them to do so. We will patronize anybody, any place anytime regardless of how we’re treated. When it comes to voting with our feet on demanding to be treated with dignity in exchange for our dollars, all too often, it’s as though we are “insult proof.” There is no ethnic group that will stay in our communities without the reassurance that our money is a given.

  • Anthony

    My two cents are don’t go into debt for non- necessities, and do not let a church guilt trip you into giving beyond your means.

    People in my generation got hung up on buying stuff. If your iPhone 3 works, why the hell do you need to run out and buy an iPhone 5? It is never bad to save your money. It may not always be the absolute best decision in terms of return, but saving your money is never bad.

  • talaktochoba

    Prudential, a firm NOTORIOUS for doing nothing more in the black community but selling virtually useless penny ante death insurance policies (i know, i once worked for them doing it back when i was young and stupid…thankfully, i’m no longer young) is going to do us all the favour of surveying us to tell the world what it already knows–that people of colour are destined to occupy the very lowest economic strata of the country til we stop buying Rihanna and Beyonce and start buying banks and congressmen like everybody else has…