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U.S. Retirement Crisis Hits Black Americans Hard

U.S. Retirement Crisis Hits Black Americans Hard

. Kimberly Owens doesn’t know if retirement will ever be a reality for her. A well-educated project coordinator in her late 40s, she has pulled from h

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Kimberly Owens doesn’t know if retirement will ever be a reality for her. A well-educated project coordinator in her late 40s, she has pulled from her retirement funds for emergencies twice in 20 years. Her 401(k) balance is in the low-five figures.

“I’m going to be working until I am 75 at this rate,” said Ms. Owens, who works for the New Haven, Conn., campus of a medical-device company. ”I’m not anywhere close to where I thought I was going to be at this point in my life.”

Many American households aren’t prepared for retirement, but Black Americans like Ms. Owens are even further behind than whites, according to academic and government data. The recent economic turmoil is likely widening the disparity.

Many Black Americans are hampered in saving for retirement by such factors as less intergenerational wealth, more college debt, lower incomes and lower homeownership rates than white Americans, according to academic and government data.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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