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  • Archive for February, 2017

    America Saves Week: Spotlight on Latina Caregivers

    Monday, February 27th, 2017

    America Saves Week (February 27 – March 4, 2017) is an annual opportunity for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. Each year, we and other organizations across the country encourage savers – or potential savers –to set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically.

     

    America Saves Week is a time when everyone, no matter their income level, age, ethnicity, or gender can think about their savings habits. Even if you already save, the week offers an opportunity to take stock of your savings, make sure you are on track and perhaps encourage others in your life to save more.

    This year, WISER is partnering with MANA, A National Latina Organization to highlight the importance of saving, particularly among Latina caregivers. Caregivers are vulnerable to some unique challenges when it comes to saving. Oftentimes, caregiving responsibilities cause caregivers to have to leave their workplace or reduce hours, and many pay out-of-pocket for caregiving costs which can impact their own future financial security. A MetLife study showed that caregivers lost $303,880 in wages, Social Security benefits, and private pensions over their lifetime as a result of caregiving responsibilities.[i]

    For Latina caregivers, the challenges of caregiving are compounded by additional factors that make it all the more difficult, yet even more important to save.  While many Americans struggle with long-term financial security, the wealth gap is especially pronounced for Latinas – wealth of the typical white household is 10 times that of the typical Hispanic household. Latinas earn $.55 for every dollar white, non-Hispanic men earn, and median wages for Latinas in the United States are $30,293 per year, compared to median compared to median wages of $55,470 annually for white, non-Hispanic men.[ii]  Finally, Latinas live longer on average and therefore need more retirement income.

    Saving can be difficult when it feels like your income is already being stretched too thin. But it is important to remember that you can start small, with small savings goals, and build on those savings over time. You might be surprised how quickly it can add up, which can provide additional motivation to save.  This week, WISER encourages everyone to visit American Saves (www.americasaves.org) for savings tips, tools and resources.  If you don’t have access to a retirement savings account through an employer, another great way to save is through the myRA; a savings account available through the U.S. Treasury.  There is no cost to open a myRA and there are no fees.  You can contribute any amount that fits your budget, even if it is just a few dollars at a time. Learn more about this savings option at www.myra.gov.

    For more saving and retirement planning information, and resources specifically for caregivers, check out WISER’s guide, “Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Money and Retirement.”

    [i] The MetLife Mature Market Institute, MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers, June 2011

    [ii] U.S. Census Bureau. (2015). Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement.

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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