Financial Ambassador Tarra Jackson Speaks Truth About New Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (MassMutual) Survey On African Americans and Wealth-Building
In a recent MassMutual survey comprised of 3,235 total Americans, which included 482 African Americans, it called attention to the high debt, low savings and lower likelihood of wide financial product ownership amongst African Americans. 20-minute online questionnaire provided the data for this important survey.
The survey stated that most African Americans believe the American Dream means security (84%), not living paycheck to paycheck (78%) and owning a home (77%). However according to this MassMutual State of the American Family Study, many African Americans lack tangible assets necessary to accomplish those goals currently.
Key survey points are that outside of retirement accounts, only 37% of African Americans own wealth-building products such as stocks and mutual funds; 33% have less than one month of funds saved for a crisis; 25% have amassed more than six months of emergency savings; and 40% rely on family members for information.
Tarra Jackson, personal finance expert, has teamed up with MassMutual to bridge the financial knowledge gap in the African American community. Jackson runs the Madam Money blog that aims to improve financial literacy to a segment of American society that is playing catch-up because of being disenfranchised.
“Most African Americans are not taught about or involved with household finances,” said Jackson. “They are not educated about personal financial strategies in school. This lack of financial education increases the use of credit, which results in higher debt burden, and minimum or nonexistent savings and investing behaviors. This perfect storm of high debt, low or no savings or investing, as well as lack of life insurance, stifles the attainment of the American Dream of financial security.”
Jackson, who has over 20 years of financial services industry experience, believes that loving family members sometimes are not financially savvy but disseminate inaccurate and harmful information. She pointed out the obvious omission of a financial literacy course in schools.
“We get sex education, but we don’t get financial literacy in school,” trumpeted Jackson, the money pundit. “I didn’t have to actively seek to learn Spanish or actively seek to learn French—it was required for me to do that. It’s not required for me to understand how to balance a checkbook, to understand credit, nor to understand stocks and bonds. I don’t want to say that it’s a conspiracy.”
Jackson recommends 5 Simple American Dream Steps:
1) Get the right mindset
2) Start saving something sooner
3) Pay down your debt
4) Create a budget and spending plan
5) Consult a financial professional
There is no time like the present for getting started with saving and investing. Go to MadamMoney.com and MassMutual.com for free financial advice and tools. Also purchase Jackson’s life-changing book Financial Fornication online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Madam Money or Kindle.
Written by Chris Wyatt