White, black, and Hispanic People retire early for quite a lot of causes

Almost half of Americans will leave work sooner than expected. While white workers may have the option to retire early, black workers are more likely to leave earlier due to health issues.

That is according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald Research that focuses on the challenges black and Hispanic workers face when planning retirement.

While age 65 is most targeted, more than half of Black and Hispanic Americans have retired earlier than planned, compared with 46% of white retirees.

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Although all respondents cited the same three reasons for early retirement, white workers were more likely to say they could afford the plunge.

About 44% of white workers retired early because they could afford it, compared to 28% of black retirees and 39% of Hispanic retirees who left their careers for the same reason.

In addition, 40% of black and Hispanic workers cited health problems or disabilities as the main reason for leaving work more quickly.

“Not surprising given their lower access to health care,” said co-author Craig Copeland, senior research fellow at the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Black and Hispanic workers are less likely to have health insurance, making prevention a lifelong challenge, he said.

However, this is not necessarily driven solely by their race and ethnicity, Copeland said.

These workers tend to earn less, which makes it harder to afford health insurance premiums, he said.

Help others save for retirement

Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc. | Getty Images

Another important finding from the survey is that some groups may give others priority over saving for their own future.

Almost half of all Hispanic workers said it was important to support family and friends rather than make their retirement plans, in contrast to white Americans surveyed.

“That carried over to any income,” said Copeland. “There was an expectation or cultural norm to help your family members.”

However, a lack of retirement provision in these communities can be cyclical as workers continue to support older generations.

But those making $ 75,000 or more can expect to share their income because they “are likely to be in a better position than those in need,” he said.

White Americans, however, were less likely to share these attitudes, even as revenues increased.

Only 33%, earning $ 75,000 or more, “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed the importance of helping others through their own retirement savings.

The Retirement Confidence Survey was conducted in January 2021 of 3,017 Americans, including 1,507 blue-collar workers and 1,510 retirees. It is the longest-running survey that measures American workers and retirees’ confidence in retirement.

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