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2016 Prudential Research

ASIAN
AMERICAN
FINANCIAL
EXPERIENCE

KEY FINDINGS

ASIAN AMERICANS FINANCIAL

33

ARE CAREGIVERS FOR


FAMILY MEMBERS
The Asian American financial
experience is influenced in
almost every respect by the
importance of family.
For many in the Asian American
community, financial decisions are
weighed against or influenced by their
responsibilities to and aspirations
for their families, including not just
their children but also their parents,
grandparents and other extended family,
according to survey respondents.
Twenty-five percent of Asian Americans
surveyed say taking care of family
members is a financial priority, versus
15% of the general population. Their
words are backed by their actions: One
in five Asian Americans responded
that they provide financial assistance
to relatives, and one in three act as
caregivers for someone other than
their children.

$87K 1in3
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD
INCOME

Many Asian Americans have the


financial wherewithal to take on
those family responsibilities.
Asian Americans surveyed have median
household income of $87,000, versus
$62,000 in the general population.
Excluding their primary residence or
any business they might own, Asian
Americans estimate the value of their
household financial assets at $445,600
on average, versus $385,500 for the
general population.

OWN INDIVIDUAL
STOCKS

Asian Americans are more


inclined than the general
population to own individual stocks
and buy or trade them online.
Nearly one in three Asian Americans
surveyed owns individual stocks,
compared with only about one in four
members of the general population.
A quarter of Asian Americans indicate
having bought or traded stocks online
within the past year, compared with
16% of the general population.

EXPERIENCE BY THE NUMBERS

64.6
AGE THEY EXPECT
TO RETIRE

Asian Americans plan to retire


at age 64.6, on average, or
15 months earlier than their
general population counterparts,
who plan to retire at age 65.9.
This reflects an overall higher level
of confidence in their financial health.
Like most Americans, Asian Americans
rank retirement-related goals as their
top financial priority.

%
69

VIEW THEMSELVES AS NOT


WELL PREPARED TO MAKE
FINANCIAL DECISIONS
Asian Americans are relatively
confident about their financial
health and prospects, but slightly
less likely than the general
population to view themselves
as financially knowledgeable.
Only 31% consider themselves very
well prepared to make financial
decisions, essentially in line with the
33% of the general population who feel
the same. The most common reason
Asian Americans cite for not being
prepared to make financial decisions is
not consulting a financial professional,
followed by being unsure about what
to consider when evaluating their
options, not knowing what options
are available to them, and not having
enough education on managing personal
finances.

FEWER THAN

1in5

WORK WITH A FINANCIAL


PROFESSIONAL
Relatively few Asian Americans
engage a financial professional for
helpalthough 43% are willing to
consider it.
Just 18% work with a financial
professional right now, compared with
26% of the general population. The
reasons they selected include fees
are too high, I dont feel I have
enough assets and I prefer to do it
on my own. More so than the general
population, though, Asian Americans
responded that they have never found
one I can trust.

Foreword
Prudentials newest and largest study of the Asian American and Pacific Islander1 financial
experience provides fresh insights into the nations fastest-growing population segment. It is a
community that is culturally diverseAsian Americans originate from more than 40 countries,
include native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and speak dozens of languages. However,
study results indicate that they are united by a shared focus on the financial progress, stability
and security of the extended family. Asian Americans wrestle with many of the same financial
challenges as the general population: funding a secure and independent retirement, managing
medical expenses, and, somehow, simultaneously setting aside money for emergencies and
sending children to college.
The majority of Asian Americans (73%) today are first-generation immigrants. Asian Americans
make up a fast-growing segment, and as their numbers have accelerated, so has their social and
economic influence. Asian Americans grew from 4.5% of the U.S. population in 2000 to 6.6% by
2014, according to U.S. Census data. During that same period their buying power grew 180%
faster than for any other ethnic segment in the U.S.2
Our survey results show that the need for a nuanced, culturally acute roadmap to helping Asian
Americans realize their financial goals has never been greater. Companies that take the time to
understand and connect with them will be among those best positioned to serve them.
Prudential has long been a champion of diversity, in our workplace and in the marketplace.
We are committed to understanding and partnering with the broadest possible cross-section of
consumers and communities to help them meet their financial needs and pursue their financial
dreams. We are proud to present this study in support of that commitment.

Steve Pelletier
Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer,
U.S. Businesses

Lata Reddy
Vice President of Corporate
Social Responsibility
and President of
The Prudential Foundation

For the purpose of this study, the group will be referred to as Asian Americans.

The Multicultural Economy: Special Focus on Asian Buying Power by Subgroup in 2014, by Jeffrey M. Humphreys,
Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, September 2014.

2

Asian Americans devote substantial


resources to helping family
Asian Americans focus on family.
Twenty-two percent of surveyed Asian American parents
say providing college tuition for their children is highly
important to them, versus 14% of parents in the general
population. And 25% say taking care of family members is
a priority, versus 15% of the general population. Buying a
home also is a top goal for 24% of Asian Americans, versus
17% of the general population.

70% of Asian American


caregivers pay some or all of
the living expenses for the
person they are helping,
compared to 57% of caregivers
in the general population.

Asian Americans are more likely to act as caretakers for


extended family.
Fully a third of Asian Americans surveyed identify themselves
as caregivers for another persontypically a spouse, parent,
other relative or special-needs childcompared with 21%
of the general population surveyed. Their support doesnt
stop with physical help. Seventy percent of Asian American
caregivers responded that they pay some of the living expenses
of the person theyre helping, including 31% who pay all those
costs. By contrast, 57% of caregivers in the general population
shoulder some of the living expenses of the person theyre
helping, including 28% who pay all the costs.
Asian Americans are significantly more likely to provide
housing and financial assistance to their extended family.
Thirteen percent of Asian Americans have parents or
grandparents living with them, compared with 8% of the
general population. And 20% of Asian Americans provide
financial assistance to their relatives, versus only 6% of the
general population. Ten percent of Asian Americans send
money overseas at least once a monthwith a median send of
$400 each time.

The Asian American Financial Experience visit www.prudential.com/asianamerican

Some have more resources

FIGURE 2

Chart View Table View

Geographic Concentration of Asian Americans

Asian Americans tend to earn more, and have


higher household wealth, in some parts of the country.
Asian Americans surveyed have a median personal income
of $62,000 and median household income of $87,000, versus
$42,000 and $62,000, respectively, for the general population.
Asian Americans estimate the value of their household
financial assets, excluding their primary residence or a
business, at $445,600, on average, compared with $385,500
for the general population. Seventeen percent of Asian
Americansabout one in every sixhave at least $500,000
of equity in their homes, compared with 8% of the general
population.
Of course, all Asian Americans are not the same, and
are represented at all levels of the income spectrum.

Location
West
Midwest

Percent in Location

10%47%

MIDWEST
10%

East

24%

South

19%

24%
EAST

19%

47%

SOUTH

WEST

FIGURE 1 Chart View Table View

Household Income for Asian Americans


Survey Participants
12% Range
16%
Income

30%
24%
18%
Percent
of Asian Americans
in income range

0-$25K

12%

$25K-$50K

16%

$50K-$100K

30%

$100K-$150K

24%

$150K+

18%

$25K

$50K

%87K Medium Income

FIGURE 3

$100K
$150K
$87K Median Income

Income
16% Range
22%

Percent
of General Population
range
34%
20% in income10%

0-$25K

16%

$25K-$50K

22%

$50K-$100K

34%

$100K-$150K

20%

$150K+

10%

$25K

$50K

Location
East

Asian American

General Population

$109.2K $95.1K
Asian American
$109.2K
Population
$96.1K $95.1K General
$87.4K

East
West

West
Midwest
South

$90.7K
$66.8K
American
$84.8K $96.1K Asian$69.1K
$87.4K General Population

Midwest
$90.7K Asian American
$66.8K General Population

South
$84.8K Asian American
$69.1K General Population

$100K

$150K

%62K Medium $62K Median Income Income

Geography and education contribute to higher


income levels.
A variety of factors may play into the income disparities
between Asian Americans and the general population. By a
substantial margin, Asian American households tend to be
concentrated in the East and the West, where wages (along with
living expenses) tend to be higher than they are in the Midwest
or the South. Nearly half47%of Asian Americans reside
in the West, versus 24% of the general population. In addition,
Asian Americans are more likely to have higher levels of
education, with 38% holding a bachelors degree versus 26% for
the general population. Asian Americans also are more likely to
hold professional, managerial or administrative jobs that tend to
pay more than other positions (55% hold such jobs, versus 47%
for the general population).
2

Chart View Table View

Median Household Income by Region

Household Income for General Population


Survey Participants

Where Asian American populations are concentrated


in the East and Westincome levels are comparable
to those of the general population.

When financial hardship strikes, Asian Americans are


more confident of being able to handle it.
Thirty-six percent of those surveyed say they could maintain
their current lifestyle for a year or more if their household
lost all its regular monthly income, versus 27% of the general
population. Along these same lines, only 20% of Asian
Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck, versus 32% of
the general population.

More than a third of Asian Americans


say they could maintain their current
lifestyle for a year or more if their household
lost all of its regular monthly income.

Prudential Financial

Retirement is the top financial priority


Like the U.S. general population, Asian Americans rank
retirement-related goals as their top financial priorities.
Having enough money to maintain their lifestyle throughout
retirement, being able to cover unexpected medical costs, and
not becoming a financial burden to their loved ones are among
the top three priorities for both groups. (See Figure 4)
The two groups diverge, though, on goals relating to debt
and family issues.
While 43% of the general population responded that reducing
personal debt is a top priority, only 35% of Asian Americans
surveyed share that concern (the data shows that Asian
Americans are less likely to have onerous credit card debt,
medical debt or auto loans). Conversely, a slightly higher
percentage of Asian Americans than non-Asian Americans
rate several family-related financial goals as very important:
having enough life insurance to protect loved ones, helping
to take care of parents or other family members, and buying a
home and providing college tuition for children. The research
surfaced one outlier among the priorities: maintaining a
standard of living for my family if something were to happen
to me. Just 30% of Asian Americans rate that a top goal,
compared with 35% of the general population.
FIGURE 4

While 43% of the general population


says reducing personal debt is a top priority,
only 35% of Asian Americans
share that concern.
Financial priorities appear to shift with age.
Younger Asian Americans survey respondents are more
focused on debt reduction and nest building (buying a home,
building an emergency savings account), while older Asian
Americans are primarily concerned about sustainability
(maintaining their lifestyle in retirement, covering medical
costs) and self-reliance (not becoming a burden, not
outliving savings).

Chart View Table View

Financial Priorities

PERCENTAGE OF ASIAN AMERICANS

PERCENTAGE OF THE GENERAL POPULATION

Financial Priorities

Asian American

General Population

Having enough money to maintain my lifestyle throughout retirement

49%

56%

Not becoming a financial burden to my loved ones


Not
becoming a financial burden to my loved ones

38%

40%

38%

42%

Making sure I do not outlive or fully spend all my savings


Having
enough money to cover an unexpected medical cost

36%

38%

35%

43%

Maintaining
standard
of living
for family
if something
weremy
to happen
to me
Making
sure
I do not
outlive
or fully
spend all
savings

30%
26%

35% 36 38
27%

22%

25%35

Having enough money to maintain my lifestyle throughout retirement

Having enough money to cover an unexpected medical cost


Reducing my personal debt

Protecting investments and retirement savings from market volatility

Reducing
my life
personal
debt
Having enough
insurance
to protect my loved ones
Helping to take care of my parents or other family members

15%

Saving for a major purchase other than a home (e.g., car, etc.)

19%

Providing college tuition for my children

14%

Passing on money as an inheritance to my children/heirs

20%

Having enough life insurance to protect my loved ones


Helping to take care of my parents or other family members

Providing college tuition for my children


Passing on money as an inheritance to my children/heirs
The Asian American Financial Experience visit www.prudential.com/asianamerican

38

42

43

23%

26 27

22%

22 25

21%

25

17

Saving for a major purchase other than a home (e.g., car, etc.)

38 40

30
24%35

15

Buying a home

56

25%

Maintaining
to me
Buying a homestandard of living for family if something were to happen17%
Protecting investments and retirement savings from market volatility

49

24

19 23
14

22
20 21
3

Asian Americans are relatively


confident theyll achieve their
financial goals
Asian Americans believe theyll be able to retire more
than a year earlier than the general population.
Reflecting a general confidence in their financial health, Asian
Americans surveyed plan to retire at age 64.6, on average,
a difference of 15 months compared with their non-Asian
American survey participants, who on average plan to retire
at age 65.9. Theyre also less likely to think theyll need to
supplement their income in retirement with part-time work
(25% of Asian Americans have plans to do so, versus 38% of
the general population).

Among Asian Americans aware


of how much income their workplace
retirement plans will generate,
74% feel they are on track to
meet their retirement goals.
Higher levels of financial assets, and greater access to
workplace retirement savings plans, may contribute to
Asian Americans confidence about retirement.
In addition to having higher levels of household financial
assets, Asian American respondents are more likely than the
general population to have access to a retirement savings plan
at work: 76% versus 66%. Whats more, 58% of those with
access to a workplace plan contribute to it at a percentage
equal to or greater than the amount their employer matches.
Asian Americans also feel better about their overall
financial health.
A solid majority (58%) of Asian Americans feel they are
better off financially than their parents were at the same age,
versus 49% of the general population. Similarly, 56% of Asian
Americans say they are better off today than they were five
years ago, versus 45% for the general population. However,
the two groups are about equally optimistic about the next
generation; 59% of Asian Americans and 57% of the general
population say their children will be better off than they are.

Family relationshipsand support


remain important in retirement
Asian Americans are more likely to move in with family
or friends in retirement.
While the vast majority91%intend to live independently,
meaning alone or with a spouse or partner, thats still
significantly lower than the 96% of the general population
that plan to live independently in retirement. Among Asian
Americans, 3% say they plan to move in with children, 4%
with other relatives, and 1% with friends.
Few expect to receive direct financial assistance from
family in retirement.
Only 4% of Asian Americans plan to receive assistance
from their children in retirement, and 4% from other family
members. Thats not much different than the 3% and 6% of the
general population, respectively, who expect to receive such
support.
A significant number of Asian Americans plan to spend at
least a portion of their retirement years outside the U.S.
While 79% say they plan to live primarily in the U.S. in
retirement, 7% say they will live primarily in another country
and 14% say they will split time equally between the U.S. and
another country. This trend is even more pronounced among
younger Asian Americans.

Nearly one in four21%of


Asian Americans say after they retire,
they plan to split time equally between
the U.S. and another country or
live primarily in another country.

Prudential Financial

Product ownership reveals a consumer group with diverse assets


Asian Americans are more likely than the general population to own individual stocks.
Like the general population, Asian Americans own a broad variety of financial products. One way they stand out:
29% of Asian Americans own individual stocks, compared with 23% of the general population. Also, 26% of all Asian
Americans say they have purchased or traded stocks online in the past year, compared with 16% of the general population.

FIGURE 5

Chart View Table View

Product Ownership

Product
Ownership
Asian American
Percentage
of Asian Americans
Percentage of the General Population
Checking, savings, money market accounts, or certificates of deposit
68%

General Population

Health insurance provided/purchased through a place of employment

49%

Checking, savings, money market accounts, or certificates of deposit

77%

47%

Employer-sponsored
plan/defined contribution
Health
insurance retirement
provided/purchased
through aplan
place of employment 37%
Individual retirement accounts (IRA, SEP, KEOGH or ROTH, etc.)

38% 47

36%

Employer-sponsored
retirement plan/defined contribution plan
Individual stocks

37

23%

Life insurance
purchased outside
of a place
employment
Individual
retirement
accounts
(IRA,ofSEP,
KEOGH or ROTH, etc.)

28%

Life insurance provided/purchased through a place of employment

20%

Employer-provided benefits (pension, cash balance/defined benefit plan)

18%

Health insurance purchased outside of a place of employment

15%

Life insurance purchased outside of a place of employment


Disability
income provided/purchased
insurance through a placethrough
of employment
Life
insurance
a place of employment
Estate plans, trusts or written wills

14%

Education investment accounts (529, Coverdell, UGMA)

7%

20

Health
purchased outside of a place of employment
Fixed orinsurance
variable annuity
Disability income insurance provided/purchased outside a place of employment

Disability income insurance through a place of employment

27
22

Estate
None ofplans,
these trusts or written wills
Education investment accounts (529, Coverdell, UGMA)

Individual bonds

19%
11%
11%
10%

6%15 19

9%

5%

8%

1%

2%

14 19
8%

10%

15

11
10

Fixed or variable annuity

6 9

Disability income insurance provided/


purchased outside a place of employment

None of these

19%

30 15%

7 11

Long-term care insurance through a place of employment

Other

23%

8%

14

Other

38
29%

22%

28 33

Long-term care insurance


through(pension,
a place of employment
9% 18 23
Employer-provided
benefits
cash balance/defined benefit plan)
Individual bonds

49

39%

30%

23 29

14%

Mutual funds or exchange traded funds, other than a retirement plan

77

3633%39

27%

Individual
stocks
Mutual funds
or exchange traded funds, other than a retirement plan

68

2
8

The Asian American Financial Experience visit www.prudential.com/asianamerican

10

Asian Americans debt profile is


similar to the general population

They see a need to improve


their financial literacy

Nearly equal proportions of Asian Americans


and the general population carry debt.
Overall debt levels are comparable, too.

For all their confidence in their financial health and


outlook, Asian Americans do not feel any more financially
savvy than their general population counterparts.
In fact, only 31% of Asian Americans surveyed feel they are
very well prepared to make financial decisions, similar
to 33% of the general population. And 43% responded
theyre either beginners or, if not, still need to increase their
knowledge in many areas.

Asian Americans are less likely to carry certain


types of debt, though, including credit card debt.
Only 38% of Asian Americans surveyed responded that they
carry credit card debt, compared with 48% of the general
population. Asian Americans also are less likely to have
medical debt (7% of Asian Americans, versus 12% of the
general population), and auto loans (30% versus 36%).
Mortgage balances are higher.
By contrast, reflecting the higher housing costs in the East and
West where the majority of them reside, Asian Americans tend
to have higher mortgage balances (7% have mortgage balances
of $500,000 or more, versus less than 1% of the general
population).

FIGURE 6

Chart View Table View

Preparedness in Making Financial Decisions


Levelwell
of Preparedness
Very
prepared
Very well prepared

Asian American
31%

I need help in a few


26%
selected areas or
I topics
need help in a few selected
I need to increase my
knowledge in many
areas

31%

General Population
33% American
31% Asian
33%
General Population
29%

areas or topics
26% Asian American
27%
29% General Population

I need to increase my knowledge in many areas


Im a beginner and
12%
need to gain a lot
of knowledge and
experience
Im
a beginner and need

11% American
31% Asian
27% General Population

to gain a
lot of knowledge and experience
12% Asian American
11% General Population

Asian Americans are most confident in their knowledge


of managing household expenses and budgets, managing
money and managing debtand least confident about
leaving money for the next generation.
This mirrors the general population. But compared to the
general population, a smaller percentage of Asian Americans
are confident about managing household expenses and budgets
(68% versus 78%) or dealing with life insurance (45% versus
52%). Knowledge levels also start to wane for both when it
comes to less routine financial needs, such as planning for
income streams and covering medical expenses in retirement,
investing, and planning for succession of wealth.
A variety of factors play into the feeling of not being
prepared to make financial decisions.
Presented with a dozen possible reasons for not feeling
prepared to make financial decisions, more Asian Americans
(31%) chose I have not consulted with a financial
professional than any other selection. Other top factors
included not being sure what to consider when evaluating
options (cited by 27%), not knowing what options are
available to them (24%), and not receiving enough education
regarding managing personal finances (21%).

Prudential Financial

Asian Americans are more avid consumers of financial information


Asian Americans are more inclined to seek out
information before making financial decisions.
Not only do they consult a higher number of resources than the
general population (5.8 average resources versus 4.1), they also
demonstrate a higher propensity to consume information from
less traditional sources, such as clubs, social media and faithbased resources. (See Figure 7)
FIGURE 7

Family members are the preferred source


of financial information.
Family members are cited as the preferred source of financial
information by 44% of Asian Americans, followed by friends
(37%), financial professionals (36%), and employers or
employer-sponsored resources (35%).

Chart View Table View

Sources of Information for Financial Advice

Friends/Family
(5.8 average
General
(4.1 average resources)
Percentage of Asian Americans (5.8 average resources) Asian American
Percentage
of theresources)
General Population
(4.1Population
average resources)
Family

44%

37%

Friends

37%

26%

Spouse/partner

34%

32%

37

Coworkers

19%

26
9%

37

Industry Pros

Asian American (5.8 average resources)

General Population (4.1 average resources)

Financial professionals

36%

29%

Employer or employer-sponsored resources

35%

27%

Financial company websites

35%

22% 29

28%

22%27

Friends/Family
Family

Friends

Spouse/partner
Coworkers

Industry Pros

Financial professionals

Employer
orfinancial
employer-sponsored
resources
Materials
from
companies

32 34

19

Financial financial
company
websites
Well-known
experts
in the media

26%

22 21%

Financial
planning
or apps companies
(e.g., Mint or Learnvest)
Materials
from site
financial

23%

22 17% 28

Financial
seminars
or conferences
Well-known
financial
experts

23%

in the media

21

Advertising or marketing materials

16%
Financial planning site or apps (e.g., Mint or Learnvest)

Financial seminars
Banks/Credit
Unions
Advertising
Local
bank

or conferences

or marketing materials

Credit union
Banks/Credit
Unions

Local bank

17

23

27%

16

19%

31%

11%
26
8%

19 19

23

27

General Population (4.1 average resources)


25%

25%

19%

Newspapers
and
magazines
Ratings
or reviews
on blogs/user
groups

20%

11%
25

Social
(e.g., Facebook,
Linkedin, etc.)
Booksmedia
on financial
topics

18%

10%
25

Club

Social media (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

Investment club

Clubs
Lending circle/savings circle
Investment
club
Money
club
Lending circle/savings circle

35

19%

Newspapers and magazines

Ratings or reviews on blogs/user groups

35

23%

Asian American (5.8 average resources)

Media
Books on financial topics

36

11 resources) 23 General Population (4.1 average resources)


Asian American (5.8 average

Media

Credit union

44

19
11

20

Asian American (5.8 average resources)

10

13%

18

11%

31

General Population (4.1 average resources)


4%
5%

13

11%

3%

11

Other

Asian American (5.8 average resources)

General Population (4.1 average resources)

Government agencies

20%

16%

Money club

Other
Faith-based organization

Government
agencies
Community
center,
club, or group
Faith-based
Other

organization

13%

8%

16

12%

5%

Community center, club, or group


Other

11

4
4

13

20

4%
4%

12

The Asian American Financial Experience visit www.prudential.com/asianamerican

Few Asian Americans engage financial


professionals
Relatively few Asian Americans seek the help of a
financial professional, but many are open to the idea.
Only 18% of Asian Americans currently work with a financial
professional, compared with 26% of the general population.
But many43%are open to the idea given the right
circumstances. Asian Americans who responded that they use
a financial professional feel much more knowledgeable on
financial issues than those who said they do not. However,
as those working with financial professionals also index
higher on wealth and wanting to maximize the growth of their
investments, causality is hard to determine. Moreover, 63% of
those who are financially very well prepared report that their
own current financial situation is better than it was five years
ago, while 54% of those who need limited financial help, 39%
who need extensive help, and 33% of financial beginners feel
this way.

Only 18% of Asian Americans work


with a financial professional, although 43%
of those who dont are open to the idea.
Age, wealth, birthplace and language all influence the
decision to use a financial professional.
Older and wealthier Asian Americans are more likely to be
working with a financial professional than younger Asian
Americans. However, among all who do not, younger Asian
Americans are more willing to consider it than their older
counterparts. Those who do work with a financial professional
are more likely to have been born in the U.S. (23%, versus
16% who were not) and speak English (20%, versus 7% who
do not).
FIGURE 8

Chart View Table View

Using a Financial Professional


Comparing Generations
Currently
Generation
Use

12%
Millennials
Millennials
Gen X

14%
Boomers

Would

Currently
Use
Consider Using

53%

Dont Dont
Use/Wouldnt
Would
Use/
Consider
Using
Consider
Wouldnt
Using
Consider
35%
Using

12%

53%

35%

14%

47%

39%

47%
28% 30%

39%
42%

Gen X
28%

30%

Investing and retirement planning are the top two reasons


for using a financial professional.
This is true for Asian Americans and the general population.
Of those who use a financial professional, 78% of Asian
Americans and 74% of the general population are getting help
with investments, and 60% and 63%, respectively, are getting
help with retirement planning.

Trust is a notable stumbling block


to hiring a financial professional
Fees and a DIY mentalityplus trustare key barriers
to using a financial professional.
Among Asian Americans and the general public, reasons
for not using a financial professional include commonly
cited examples such as fees are too high (34% of Asian
Americans and 35% of the general population), I dont feel
I have enough assets (28% versus 37%), and I prefer to do
it on my own (28% versus 35%). Among Asian Americans,
however, I have never found one I can trust is also a strong
reason for not using a financial professional, cited by 21% of
those surveyed. This is significantly higher than the 13% of
the general population who cite this. Convincing these Asian
American consumers to consider a relationship with a financial
professional will be tricky, though, as those Asian Americans
with the least amount of trust are also most likely to think fees
are too high (48%).

One in five Asian Americans


say they have never found a
financial professional they trust.
To earn their trust, Asian Americans advise financial
professionals to treat them with respect and follow
through on their promises.
Asian Americans and the general population alike say the best
ways for financial professionals to build trust is by treating
clients with respect and being someone who is reliable and
follows through on their promises. A significant percentage of
both groups also advise financial professionals to be upfront
and transparent, and provide information appropriate for the
clients level of financial experience and knowledge. Overall,
though, financial professionals may find it more difficult to
build trust with Asian Americans than the general population:
Asian Americans surveyed identify significantly fewer
measures financial professionals could take to build trust
6.9 on average, versus 8.6 for the general population.

42%

Boomers

Prudential Financial

APPENDIX A

Key differences among major Asian American subgroups


Although this paper covers the financial experience of the Asian American community as a whole, there are important differences
between the various subgroups that make up the Asian American population. Listed below are key areas where each of the six
largest subgroups participating in the survey differ notably, relative to all Asian Americans, based on responses to survey questions.

Chinese Americans

Demographics
On average a little older
Less likely to have children
Less likely to have larger households
Financials
With higher-than-average education levels and more
professional careers, tend to have higher incomes,
higher asset levels and greater equity in their homes
Less likely to be living paycheck to paycheck, and thus
confident they could sustain their household longer in
the event of income loss
Self-described savers, with more knowledge
about debt management and investing
Own a greater diversity of financial products, with
highest levels of investment in individual stocks and
retirement plans, and more likely to trade stocks online
In retirement, more likely to expect to rely on personal
investments and savings

Indian Americans

Demographics
More likely to be born outside the U.S.
Significantly more likely to report being married
Financials
With higher-than-average education levels and a higher
proportion of professional jobs, tend to have higher
income levels
Less likely to be living paycheck to paycheck, and able
to sustain their household longer in the event of a loss
of income
More likely to describe themselves as savers, and to
report the highest levels of knowledge regarding all
financial topics
More likely to provide caregiving for others and support
others outside the country
More likely to care that their financial professional was
recommended by a religious or community source, and
more likely to attend religious services at least monthly

Vietnamese Americans

Demographics
Less likely to have children
More likely to have smaller households
Financials
Largely in line with the average Asian American

Filipino Americans

Demographics
Households tend to be larger than average
Households more likely to include extended family
members
Financials
Tend to carry more types of debt, including a higher
volume of credit card debtand as such have debt
reduction as a higher priority
More likely to be working in a mix of manual and
professional careers
In retirement, more likely to plan to work to supplement
income, and more likely to say they will spend their
time equally in the U.S. and their native country
Obtaining insurance, so as not to be a burden to others,
is a higher priority
Much more likely to attend religious services at least
weekly

Korean Americans

Demographics
Youngest Asian American group
Financials
Less likely to be living paycheck to paycheck but more
likely to expect to be working to supplement income in
retirementand to be receiving support from family in
retirement
Less likely to be financially supporting others outside
the country or to be caregivers for others

Japanese Americans

Demographics
Older on average, and perhaps as a result least likely
to have children and more likely to have smaller-size
households
Most likely to be born in the U.S.
Financials
While generally optimistic in outlook regarding themselves,
less likely to think the next generation will be better off
Less likely to be living paycheck to paycheck, and
believe they are able to sustain their household longer
in the event of a loss of income
Less likely to carry the burdens of supporting family or
others outside the country
Less likely to be caregivers
Less likely to report regular participation in a religious
service

The Asian American Financial Experience visit www.prudential.com/asianamerican

About the Prudential research


Methodology
The Asian American Financial Experience survey was
conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on
behalf of Prudential from June 19 to July 21, 2015.

Survey Sample Size = 2,597 Americans

2,097
500

self-identified as Asian American

General Population

The research, which covered a broad range of


financial topics, surveyed U.S. residents ages 25-70.

The survey was designed to broadly represent characteristics of


the just over 11 million Asian Americans (ages 25 to 70) in the
United States. It is important to note, however, that the Asian
American community is composed of a number of different
ethnic groups with unique cultural experiences, traditions and
history. (See Figure 9)

Notes
All results shown are percentages unless otherwise labeled.
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding and to
multiple responses being allowed for some questions.
In this report, we use the term Asian American to describe
respondents who self-identified as Asian American. Results
of the survey reflect broad generalizations, averages and only
some of the characteristics of the broadest depiction of the
Asian American community, as defined in the U.S. Census.
As such, results or analyses do not necessarily describe
some or all of the groups that comprise that community.
Prudential recognizes that substantial variations in individual
experience exist, and this survey should not be used as a basis
for assuming that all Asian American consumers have the
characteristics cited. (See Appendix A.)
The term caregiver was defined in the survey as someone
who is responsible for taking care of another person and
is engaged in care-related activities for this person, such
as taking them to the doctor, making medical decisions, or
providing financial support. The person being cared for may
or may not live with the caregiver.
More information and survey results can be downloaded at
prudential.com/asianamerican.

Sample Source
Respondents for this survey were primarily selected from
among those who have agreed to participate in surveys from
Harris Poll or sample partners. A small number of respondents
was recruited to a central location and then completed the
survey online. Results for each population were calibrated
separately (by age, gender, region, income, education and
country of birth where necessary) to align them with their
actual proportions in their respective populations.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use
probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error
which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate,
including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with
non-response, error associated with question wording and
response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.
Therefore, Harris Poll avoids the words margin of error as
they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different
possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure,
unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These
are only theoretical because no published polls come close to
this ideal.
10

Prudential Financial

FIGURE 9

National Distribution in Population


Among Asian Americans
Percentage

FIGURE 13
Age
Asian
Americans

General
Population

Indian

14%

12%

25-29

Filipino

25%

23%

30-39

Vietnamese

25%

22%

40-49

9%

Korean

29%

33%

50-64

6%

Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

7%

10%

65-70

5%

Japanese

44.4 yrs

47 yrs

Mean

20%

Chinese (including Taiwan and Hong Kong)

18%
16%
11%

16%

Other Asian

Source: Current Population Survey, March 2014


(A Census Bureau publication)
*Other Asian countries include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia,
Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
FIGURE 10
Household

Composition

FIGURE 14
Language

Most Spoken
at Home
Asian
Americans

86%
English
29% English only

Asian
Americans

General
Population

40%

38%

No children

27% English mostly

60%

62%

Have children

30% English and another language equally

2.2

2.3

Average no. of children

2.9

2.7

Average no. of people in HH

14%

Another language

11% Mostly another language


3% Dont speak English

FIGURE 11
Education
FIGURE 15

Asian
Americans

General
Population

17%

33%

High school or less

20%
38%

28%
26%

Some college
Four-year college

Asian
Americans

24%

14%

Graduate degree

1%

Less than 1 year

7%

1 to 5 years

Years

Living
in the United States

10%

6 to 10 years

FIGURE 12

18%

11 to 20 years

Marital

48%

More than 20 years

17%

My whole life

Status
Asian
Americans

General
Population

69%

69%

Married/Living with partner

8%

13%

Widowed/Divorced/Separated

22%

19%

Never married

The Asian American Financial Experience visit www.prudential.com/asianamerican

11

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