By Lori Lucas

Essay Overview

A critical finding with regard to wealth in the United States is the gap that persists between White Americans’ financial means and resources and that of Black and Hispanic Americans, regardless of income level. Black and Hispanic Americans are also more likely to consider debt to be a problem for their household than are White Americans across income groups. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) projects that Black and Hispanic American households aged 35 to 39—in other words, those with much of their career remaining to save for retirement— are significantly more likely to run short of money in retirement, and to have larger retirement shortfalls than are their White counterparts. In this essay we will explore the racial disparities that contribute to differences in retirement preparedness by race and ethnicity, the impact of those disparities on retirement outcomes, and private sector solutions that might effectively address these disparities.

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About the Author

Lori Lucas is president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

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