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Nationwide Financial Study Shows More Than 70 Percent of African-American Males Retire for Reasons Beyond Their Control

May 3, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Columbus, OH (Akiit.com) – According to a new study released by Nationwide Financial (NYSE: NFS), 73 percent of African-American males say they were driven into retirement by factors beyond their control, compared to 33 percent of the general population. This number represents retirees who say they had to retire when they did due to illness, disability, company closing, or for another reason beyond their control. From the same study, the percentage for African-American females was 28 percent, compared to 37 percent for females of the general population.

The extreme difference between the number of African-American males forced into retirement and that of the general population should serve as a wake-up call,” said Gordon Hecker, senior vice president for Nationwide Financial. “These results demonstrate the dire need to begin preparing early and assessing one’s readiness for retirement since it can come sooner than expected.”

The Nationwide Retirement Decisions Study, conducted with Mathew Greenwald & Associates, covered people with household incomes of at least $40,000 a year. The survey also found that most African-Americans expect to retire between the ages of 55 and 65, compared to 57 and 66 for the general population.

The percentage of those forced into retirement is significant because other expert research indicates that only one-quarter of African-American workers are confident about their retirement future and approximately 40 percent of African-Americans rely on Social Security as their only source of cash income in retirement(1).

In terms of steps taken to prepare for retirement, the Retirement Decisions Study indicated that 63 percent of African-Americans received retirement information from an employer, compared to 43 percent of the general population, and 48 percent of African-Americans filled out some type of retirement worksheet. This shows an interest in preparing for the financial aspects of retirement.

Additional findings in the survey regarding African-Americans include:

    * 94 percent would like to remain in their homes after retirement as long as they like without selling for financial reasons, compared to 81 percent of the general population

    * 73 percent responded being able to help children or grandchildren if they need it was extremely or very important, compared to 49 percent of the general population

    * 71 percent say it is extremely important to be able to afford quality nursing home care if needed, compared to 57 percent of the general population

“The study demonstrates the importance to African-Americans of home, family and affording quality nursing home care during their retirement years,” said Mathew Greenwald, principal of Mathew Greenwald & Associates. “To help reach these goals, they need to be aware of the risk of an earlier than anticipated retirement and take steps to minimize its impact should it occur. African-Americans strongly value caring for the next generation, and early planning themselves will help in their ability to assist their children and grandchildren.”

Here are three important steps most experts say can help you be better prepared:

    * Start saving now: Prepare for the unexpected and rising costs of living by saving as early as possible. Even a small amount each month can make a difference in the long-term.

    * Assess your readiness: Use available worksheets and online tools to estimate how much you need to fund your retirement and take stock of all your possible sources of income.

    * Explore options: Evaluate different savings sources to help prepare for the future such as employee-sponsored 401k plans, pensions, and other sources. Consult with a professional that can guide you and explain the different options.

This research is a continuation of Nationwide Financial’s commitment to help empower consumers, regardless of income or financial sophistication, with clarity around the path to retirement. The company recently launched RetirAbility Check(SM), a free online resource that provides users with a simple, fun and engaging way to measure their retirement readiness. Visit http://www.nationwide.com/RetirAbility Check for more information.

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