African-Americans Open Their Wallets for Family & Friends Despite Daily Financial Concerns

by LP Green, II

MassMutual Research Survey Says:

  • 48 percent of African Americans think about their financial well-being daily
  • 43 Percent Also Manage Finances for Parents, In-laws
  • 90 percent believe it is important to look out for one another

A new survey by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) reveals African-Americans are more likely to believe community involvement is important to their overall well-being versus other ethnicities. For this group, community begins with family and friends, and sometimes involves finances.

This new body of research involving trading platforms online reveals that nearly half (48 percent) of African Americans think about their financial well-being daily, the highest of any racial group polled by MassMutual. They are more likely to track spending, develop or revise budgets and track progress toward financial goals compared to their Caucasian counterparts.

The survey also reveals despite financial concerns, the vast majority (90 percent) believe it is important to look out for one another. More than 60 percent have supported someone in their community in time of financial stress. Almost a third (32 percent) have been supported by someone in times of their own financial stress.

MassMutual conducted the nationwide survey to explore the intersection of community involvement and financial well-being. While it reveals blacks and whites are almost equally as anxious about their current financial well-being (39 versus 38 percent, respectively), the major differences are their views toward community involvement and realities of financial support of others.

“Throughout history, African-Americans have had to rely on each other – often times to survive,” said Evan Taylor, African- American Market Director at MassMutual. “Therefore, it is not surprising that helping each other lies at the heart of their beliefs about community and finances. Although no strangers to tough economic times, sacrificing to support each other, particularly family and friends, is a huge part of black culture and community.”

The survey reveals 80 percent of African Americans agree community involvement is important to their overall well-being compared to only 66 percent of whites. When asked to define communities, family, friends and schools came in as the top three. Religion, children, work/professional networks and towns/ city or region are also important, in that order.

“What this shows is what people care about and the philanthropic role of finances in their lives,” said Taylor. “There is significant opportunity to adopt new attitudes, habits and actions to strengthen personal financial health as a way to build what can be shared with the communities most important to them.”

Another interesting finding reveals how African-Americans lag behind Caucasians in sharing information about their finances with other people (32 percent versus 55 percent, respectively). “This indicates there is a need for African Americans to open up dialogue with each other and their communities about the steps necessary to build strong financial foundations and create generational wealth that can help the larger community in the long-term,” added Taylor.

The MassMutual survey is an exploration of the thoughts and actions that showcases the company’s philosophy that living mutual allows people and communities to grow stronger when they rely on each other. PSB conducted the research online September 7 through September 28, 2017, using a nationally representative sample of 10,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and above, including 720 African Americans. Results are nationally representative of age gender, race, ethnicity and education.

Visit for tangible tips for those interested in becoming more involved in their community as well as educational materials and tools to explore ways to build financial security, including an option to connect with a financial advisor.

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