The ongoing coronavirus is forcing the elderly black Americans should take a closer look at their finances, including income stability, debt, and retirement planning.
A recent report by AARP shows that around 80% of blacks are concerned about COVID-19 and its financial impact, compared with 47% of whites (see AARP infographic). The powerful non-profit organization that has more than 38 million members and focuses on issues affecting those over 50 is affiliated with BLACK COMPANY about how to build and maintain black wealth in these turbulent times.
Much of the financial concerns of those over 50 are fueled by forces like rising unemployment and uncertainty about how long the pandemic will devastate the economy. These developments have made millions of Americans – including blacks – more concerned about their prospects for retirement than in previous years.
Large numbers of people continue to experience dramatic depreciation in their retirement portfolios. Some are concerned about having to stop their retirement plans, while others wonder if they can even retire. As such, the fallout has sparked new fears in the elderly as they reassess how they can prepare for their golden years.
However, there are steps African Americans can take to improve the status of their financial future.
Shani Hosten, Vice President, Multicultural Leadership for African American / Black Strategy & Outreach at AARP, shared her perspective on how African Americans – especially those aged 50 and over – can overcome myriad financial challenges in the current pandemic climate.
She points out that COVID-19 has changed the way people interact with the world and manage their finances on a daily basis. AARP research shows that the current environment has created more debt and financial worries for Black Americans over 50 compared to the general population. For example, she says, nearly a quarter of them had trouble paying their bills during the pandemic, and 43% fear they may have to use retirement savings to pay for necessary expenses.
“This community is staying home more to protect their health and that of others, so their reliance on technology has increased significantly. Digital resources and tools have been and are vital to managing finances in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. "
How can individuals participate in financial planning? According to Hosten, AARP believes that those 50 and over are provided with sustainable resources, tips, and tools that have both short-term and long-term implications. In the short term, she says, the organization is encouraging older adults to take inventory of monthly expenses and eliminate unnecessary items at this point.
For those who recently lost a job, she suggests improving their LinkedIn profiles and learning new digital communication platforms like Zoom through online training on sites like Coursera and YouTube. She claims adopting such skills has always been important, but they are more important than ever in the face of the pandemic.
For long-term planning, many older adults are concerned that the pandemic will force them into early retirement – if they haven't already – but the question is whether they can afford it. She says there are many resources that can support retirement planning and help you increase retirement planning, including AARPs Ace your retirement Experience. "I believe these tools will address the unique financial challenges of COVID-19 and that the same tools will provide lasting benefits beyond the pandemic," says Hosten.
Given the persistent nature of COVID-19 and its ongoing economic and employment impact, Hosten spoke about resources AARP has made available or will introduce to its members to improve money management practices and prepare them for other potential challenges, including health care .
According to Hosten, AARP has been committed to helping individuals achieve financial resilience for years. She noted that the AARP Foundation is a great resource to help achieve this in such difficult times Fintech for Financial Resilience programwhich was created in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase. “With digital and fintech tools, we can do everyday money management tasks without the added stress.” She added that the fintech website has a variety of educational and interactive resources that anyone can explore.
She says that additional resources that AARP also offers are always available, including his Black community page, which provides resources and tools in all areas that affect the African American community of 50+. Another is that AARP money cardThis will help anyone over the age of 18 create a plan of action to manage debt and keep their finances up and running.
“We are also constantly updating our website. aarp.org/coronavirusWith important news and information every day since March. Americans over 50 and their families need to know about their health, wellbeing, and finances during this time, ”says Hosten.