In a December report, The Cut: Exploring Financial Wellness Within Diverse Populations, Prudential Financial builds upon the findings from their 2018 Financial Wellness Census. I spoke to Jim Mahaney, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Prudential Financial, about the report and its findings. The biggest takeaway is that cultural background and experience influences the financial standing of individuals and communities. Perhaps this should be obvious, but traditional financial advice does not often take this fact into account.

So what did the report find about different communities in the United States?

Asian Americans

  • Tend to have a higher median income
  • Have saved a greater percentage of their income than others
  • Are more likely to be employed
  • Household income varies greatly depending upon where they were born
  • Foreign-born Asians who participated in the survey are significantly more optimistic about the future than the general population
  • Place high levels of importance on financial goals, especially those that revolved around helping their children and their parents
  • Caring for other generations within their families isn’t just a goal, but a current reality that they face

Black Americans:

  • Are optimistic about the future
  • Prioritize assisting others financially
  • Reported saving far less than the general population
  • homeownership for black Americans remains elusive
  • are as likely as the general population to carry credit card debt (42% of black households versus 40% of general population households)
  • Rely more on insurance rather than inheritances to pass on wealth
  • Those making over $60,000 struggle more with student loan debt

Latino Americans

  • Responded to the survey at a lower rate
  • Are younger, more urban, and more likely to have served in the military
  • Prioritize paying down debt
  • Place a high importance on supporting family members, particularly the younger generation
  • Are less likely to take advantage of retirement plans, life insurance, and other products
  • Are more confident than the general population that they will reach their financial goals, especially if they are foreign-born

Read the rest of Maggie Germano’s article at Forbes