Affluent Black Americans are more likely to give to charitable causes and feel responsible for providing financial support to adult family members than affluent non-Blacks, according to a Northern Trust survey released Wednesday.
The survey, “Wealth in Black America,” also found that four out of 10 affluent Black Americans do not have a will, and more than half have not worked with a financial advisor to establish an estate plan or wealth transfer plan during the past five years.
“Over the past few years the number of affluent Blacks has increased, and we can expect this group to continue having a major positive influence on their families and communities,” said Marguerite Griffin, national director of Philanthropic Services at Northern Trust. "At the same time, like many Americans, too many affluent blacks have not executed wills or other estate planning documents. This is a critical issue because these legal, tax saving instruments are essential tools used to protect one's legacy and transfer resources to one’s family."
Northern Trust’s nationwide survey, the second since 2008, seeks to provide insights into the financial attitudes and preferences of wealthy Black Americans with household incomes of at least $250,000 or a minimum of $1 million in investable assets. The new study covered 361 affluent Blacks and 256 affluent non-Blacks to compare their attitudes and behaviors on key measures.
The survey found affluent Black Americans as a group are very charitable. Fifty-two percent of Black respondents give to educational institutions, compared with 39% for non-Blacks, while 47% of Blacks give to human-services organizations vs. 38% for non-Blacks. Blacks were found to be less likely to donate to environmental or animal organizations than non-Blacks.
Generational differences exist as well, the study found. Affluent Black Americans 55 and older are more likely to donate to religious and human-services organizations (57% and 55%), while younger affluent Blacks tend to donate to educational institutions (37%).