In times of crisis, many people tend to turn to their family members for support — and this past year has been no different.
Even as the COVID-19 crisis continues to weigh on many Americans’ finances, a new report from Bank of America found that the majority of Latino millennials (72%) in the U.S. carry the additional burden of supporting family members financially — more so than non-Latino millennials (53%).
In fact, 23% of Latino millennials surveyed said that because of the pandemic, they had increased or planned to increase financial assistance to immediate and extended family members.
Family obligations prevent saving for the future
Compared to their non-Latino peers, Latino millennials tend to prioritize their family's financial well-being in their own financial plans, the survey found. For instance, Latino millennials were four times more likely to support their parents or their spouse's parents (16% versus 4% for non-Latinos), as well as relatives in other countries (17% versus 4%).
Likewise, 17% of Latino millennial respondents said they had contributed to their family’s finances since they were old enough to start working — double the percentage of non-Latino millennials who have also done so (8%).
Financial responsibility for older family members can be a heavy burden — one that comes on top of other challenges. In the survey, Latino millennials cited the following as barriers preventing them from achieving their financial goals:
- Reduced income (26%)
- Inability to save (25%)
- Job instability (19%)
Such struggles are especially common for Latino millennials, with 40% reporting they did not have an emergency fund in place before the pandemic (versus 34% for non-Latinos of the same generation), and 27% didn’t have enough saved to weather the fallout from the pandemic (versus 17%).
Latino millennials could be feeling the effects of this long after the crisis is over. On top of the 72% who said the pandemic impacted their ability to save, many also reported that they...
- Contributed less than $1,000 to savings or investments over the last year (45%)
- Weren't able to save at all over the last year (23%)
- Are living paycheck-to-paycheck (24%)
- Are having trouble paying rent, mortgage or other essential expenses (13%)
Of course, Latino millennials aren't the only ones supporting their loved ones financially during this time — CNO Financial Group found that 41% of middle-income baby boomers are also doing the same.
Latino millennials remain optimistic about their financial future
Previous surveys have found that, despite mounting financial challenges, many in the Latino community are interested in improving their financial prospects and are already taking steps to do so.
The Bank of America survey findings supported this, with 51% of Latino millennials saying they were optimistic about their financial future and were working to make it better.
- 71% said the pandemic had influenced their financial values or how they plan to manage their finances (versus 58% of non-Latino millennials)
- 48% planned to start an emergency fund after the pandemic (versus 36%)
- 32% were prioritizing saving and budgeting (versus 28%)
- 27% were more focused on their individual financial goals and self-improvement (versus 22%)
- 21% had already started saving for an emergency fund (versus 16%)
Methodology: Ipsos conducted the survey in English and Spanish on behalf of Bank of America from June 14-28, 2021 using the Ipsos Knowledge Panel. Data was gathered from nationally representative samples of: