Data and Research

Whites Have More Sources of Retirement Income

On average, white adults ages 50 and older have three sources of income for retirement, compared with two sources each for older African Americans and Hispanics, a survey found.

By PLANSPONSOR staff editors@plansponsor.com | May 18, 2017

In addition to racial and ethnic differences in family wealth, African Americans and Hispanics have less financial security than whites and will rely on fewer sources of income during retirement, according to a survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Overall, older white Americans are nearly twice as likely as African Americans to say they have a sufficient nest egg for retirement. Thirty-eight percent of whites ages 50 and older report that they’ve saved enough for retirement, compared with 20% of African Americans.

On average, white adults ages 50 and older have three sources of income for retirement, compared with two sources each for older African Americans and Hispanics. White adults are also less likely to have no sources of retirement income at all; just 4% of whites report having no retirement income sources compared with 14% of both Hispanic and African American adults.

In addition to disparities by race and ethnicity in the number of sources of retirement income available to older adults, the types and sources of this income vary. 

Whites are more likely than African Americans and Hispanics to have Social Security (82% vs. 62% and 60%, respectively), a retirement account like a 401k or IRA (61% vs. 38% and 35%), an inheritance (13% vs. 3% and 5%), other investments (21% vs. 6% and 8%), or other savings (40% vs. 17% and 19%) as retirement funds. On the other hand, older African Americans are more likely than older whites to say they have disability payments as a source of retirement income (27% vs. 12%).

The full survey report is here.

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