New research from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (MassMutual) found that nearly seven in 10 African Americans (71 percent) aged 45-60 currently do not have a will. Furthermore, nearly two in five (56 percent) surveyed revealed they have not documented important financial information.
Despite not having adequate planning in place, nearly half (49 percent) of the individuals surveyed said they want to leave a positive life legacy as a great mom, dad, son and/or daughter.
“Black families are very concerned with making sure their families will be taken care of financially in the event of their death,” said Evan Taylor, African American Market Director, MassMutual. “Without end-of-life planning, children and family members may be faced with unnecessary difficulties.”
Nearly 34 percent of African Americans who say that they have documented their important financial information selected their spouse or significant other and 16 percent selected their brother or sister as a trusted contact that has access to their important financial information in the event of an emergency.
MassMutual offers the following tips to plan now for your financial future:
1. Document financial information. MassMutual offers a “What my loved ones need to know” guide to help capture critical information.
2. Update beneficiary information and review it annually for necessary updates.
3. Draft a will. The consequences of not having a will could become troubling and expensive for loved ones.
4. As retirement nears, get up to speed on Social Security. In a separate survey commissioned by MassMutual last year, nearly half (46 percent) of African American respondents failed a true/false quiz when asked basic questions about Social Security retirement benefits.
5. Contact a financial professional. Professional guidance would be helpful when starting conversations with your loved ones.
“Taking the time now to plan is an important step in securing your family’s financial future,” said Taylor. “Knowing you’re not leaving your loved ones with a burden provides peace of mind and enables you to appreciate life’s most important moments and be more confident in the future of your loved ones and the memories you leave.”