Trends in Retirement Security by Race/Ethnicity
The brief’s key findings are:
- The earnings and wealth gaps between whites and minorities are enormous. The question is how these disparities translate to retirement preparedness.
- In 2016, the share of whites at risk in retirement was 48 percent vs. 54 percent for blacks and 61 percent for Hispanics, smaller than the earnings/wealth disparities.
- The retirement gap is smaller simply because minorities have a lower pre-retirement standard of living to maintain.
- From 2007-2016, retirement risk for all three groups increased, but the gap between whites and blacks narrowed while Hispanics fell further behind because:
- a sharp decline in earnings among low-income blacks was buffered by Social Security; and
- Hispanics were hit much harder than either whites or blacks by the bursting of the housing bubble.