Hispanics are optimistic about their financial future

Hispanics are fairly optimistic about their financial future, believing they have the power to make their dreams a reality and that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, according to the Elements of Success Study, commissioned by Northwestern Mutual. At the same time, Hispanics are financially motivated by the need to be prepared for the unexpected, knowing their families will be protected.

The study suggests there are definitive differences in how Hispanics view their education, career and finances. In terms of education, Hispanics appear to place greater emphasis than the general U.S. population on learning through doing. They are the most likely of all ethnic groups surveyed to indicate they have not yet achieved their career/job goals.

Like most Americans, Hispanics perceive being debt free to be the number-one component of financial success. However, family enters heavily into Hispanics’ financial motivation: they are more likely than other Americans to mention paying for their children’s college, having an emergency fund, and providing for their families in case of death as components of financial success. Yet, only 16 percent of Hispanics currently are using a financial advisor, compared to 21 percent of the total U.S. population.

Working hand-in-hand with a trained financial advisor is the best way for close the gap between dreams and reality for themselves and their families. Education: Hispanics consider the major component of educational success is gaining life skills to achieve goals, earning a college degree and being a lifelong learner.

Compared to the general U.S. population, they are more likely to define educational success as taking advantage of extra-curricular activities to gain skills and get better grades. Career: Hispanic Americans index very high on service jobs, which may explain why they are far more likely to look at their employment as a job rather than a career and to define career success as doing the type of work they want to do.

Financial Success: Only 15 percent of Hispanics believe they are either extremely or very successful financially. They are less likely than other Americans to do research on financial planning topics, and are less likely to mention owning their own home and saving enough for a comfortable retirement as the definition of financial success.

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