As time passes and we adjust to the new reality imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, we realize the multiple layers and effects of the public health crisis on communities of color.
We have already discussed hospitalization rates, the economic impact on Latino households, and even the reluctance to vaccinate among members of our community. However, new studies show changes in family dynamics that could completely change the structure of the Latino community.
Bank of America Better Money Habits research found that as Latino millennials continue to cope with the significant financial impacts of the pandemic, nearly three-quarters (72%) are also providing financial support to the family — far more than non-Hispanic millennials (53%).
In addition, nearly one-quarter (23%) increased or are increasing financial support to the family due to the pandemic, including immediate and/or extended family.
Similarly, the research found that while nearly half of Hispanic millennials have saved less than $1,000 during this time, many are starting emergency funds and taking steps toward a more secure financial future.
“Many Hispanic millennials are providing financial support to family and facing disproportionate impacts from drops in savings and other financial hardships, underscoring the need for guidance as they take proactive steps to rebuild financial security,” said Christine Channels, Head of Community Banking and Client Protection at Bank of America. “Through our Better Money Habits platform, we’re committed to arming individuals and families with the resources and guidance to help navigate challenging times, prepare for the future and reach their financial goals.”
A closer look at the concept of family
Bank of America’s research found that, compared to non-Hispanic millennials, Latino millennials are four times more likely to support their or their spouse’s parents (16% vs. 4%), as well as family overseas (17% vs. 4%).
Seventeen percent have provided financial support for family since they were old enough to have a job — twice as many as non-Hispanic millennials (8%), which translates into a particular sense of family responsibility in the community.
The study found that Hispanic millennials today are twice as likely to feel a greater sense of financial responsibility for their loved ones (18% vs. 9% of non-Hispanic millennials).
“Family has long played a powerful role in Hispanic millennials’ financial priorities and decisions, and the pandemic has only strengthened their commitment to the financial well-being of loved ones,” said Alberto Garofalo, Community Banking & Development executive at Bank of America. “Our research shows us that as Hispanic millennials take steps to rebuild their own financial security, they’re also strongly prioritizing financial support to the family in the year ahead.”
The most important finding of the research was the undeniable financial resilience of the Latino community, especially Latino millennials, where 48% already plan to start a post-pandemic emergency fund (vs. 36% of non-Hispanic millennials), and where 21% have already started saving (vs. 16%).
Similarly, Latino millennials are focused on the future and are taking steps to achieve their financial goals despite the challenges.
71% say the pandemic has influenced their financial values or how they plan to spend and manage finances — more than non-Hispanic millennials (58%).
Nearly one-third (32%) now prioritize saving and budgeting (vs. 28% of non-Hispanic millennials), and 27% are more focused on their individual financial goals and self-improvement (vs. 22%).