Northwestern Mutual Survey Highlights Gender Differences in the Priorities of Black College Graduates

Despite suffering crushing financial hits during the recent recession, African American college graduates are optimistic about their ability to become financially stable. Northwestern Mutual and independent research firm Ipsos completed an online survey of black college graduates and found that 70 percent of 18-to-34 year graduates described themselves as “disciplined” or “highly disciplined” financial planners, compared to only 47 percent of those aged 35 and older. Approximately 40 percent of African American college graduates felt financially prepared to live to age 75; one in four graduates were prepared to live to age 95.

However when it came to certain aspects of their lives, black men and women diverged in their priorities. Black male college graduates were more likely to have a financial plan in place to meet their financial goals than black women, 52 percent versus 35 respectively. Black female graduates placed more emphasis than black men on working to achieve their spiritual, physical and family life goals. Fifty-eight percent of African American female graduates had a plan in place to work on their spiritual life versus only 43 percent having a financial plan.

The most popular attitude of African American college graduates toward financial planning is that of “slow and steady wins the race,” or a cautiously optimistic approach to their saving and investments (31 percent).

At least some of the differences in priorities between black men and women can be attributed to the gender difference–men seem to view and related to money differently than women do, and that goes for all ethnic groups.

[Source: Northwestern Mutual]
Jamila Akil is a senior editor at Beyond Black and White. Follow her on Twitter @jamilaakil or email her at jamilathewriter-at-gmail-dot-com.