Wilhelmina A. Leigh
Senior Research Associate, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow
April 2013 |
In the wake of The Great Recession, employees in the education sector (both the K-12 and post-secondary levels) are confident about their retirement savings behavior and likely retirement outcomes. Further examination of this high degree of confidence, however, yields conflicting insights. For example, many African American and white employees in the sector are confident that they will be financially comfortable when they retire, though they don’t know how much money they will need to achieve this objective. In addition, among African Americans more so than whites, high levels of debt and using savings to cover basic expenses may limit the ability to retire comfortably. Advice from a financial professional may be associated with the high degree of retirement confidence. About 60% of whites and African Americans in the sector received retirement planning advice within the past three years, with whites more likely than African Americans to have received such advice in the past year. White employees in the education sector are more likely than their black counterparts to cite healthcare expenses as their biggest financial concern during retirement, while African Americans are more likely than whites to have received advice about paying for health care during retirement.