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Survey finds increased financial preparedness among Hispanics

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Nearly three-quarters of all Hispanics (74 percent) say they feel better positioned financially than they were three years ago, and that may be better prepared for potential financial crises.

So reports Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) in a new report, “Financial Resiliency,” which examines perceptions Hispanics have of their finances today as compared to the past and how prepared they are for emergencies. Conducted by KRC Research in January 2015, the survey polled 2,616 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including an oversample of 727 Hispanic adults.

“Hispanics are gaining financial confidence, and we want to ensure that they will feel even more prepared for their financial future,” says Chris Mendoza, vice president of multicultural market development.

The top reasons why Hispanics feel more optimistic about their financial future this year than they did three years ago include getting a new job (40 percent) receiving a promotion or raise (34 percent) or gaining money on investments (18 percent). The report all also attributes Hispanics’ increased financial optimism to perceived preparedness: Most Hispanics say they have a plan to “bounce back” from financial challenges (85 percent).

The report also cites as evidence of Hispanics’ ability to weather financial crises these findings:

  • Almost half (45 percent) of Hispanics indicate they’d lean on their savings accounts in moments of need.

  • Only 18 percent have taken out a loan from a bank.

  • Only 13 percent have taken money out of a life insurance policy or retirement fund, when faced with a financial challenge.

  • Few would first cut contributions to a 401k or retirement savings (12 percent), if an unexpected financial challenge arose.

When faced with financial challenges, Hispanics are most likely to forgo:

  • Taking out-of-town vacations (60 percent)

  • Buying lunch out (56 percent)

  • Eliminating the purchase of premium foods/beverages (43 percent)

On building a resilient financial plan for the future:

  • More than half (54 percent) of Hispanics put money into a savings account to bounce back from financial challenges.

  • 53 percent learned from their mistakes as they went along.