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  • Serving Aging Hispanics and the Family Members They Rely On

    Posted by on November 13, 2017

    Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. By 2030, as the last Baby Boomers turn 65, older adults are expected to reach 20 percent of the U.S. population. What’s more, according to the Institute on Aging, 65 percent of older adults with long-term care needs rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance, and another 30 percent supplement family care with paid assistance.

    The HuffPost recently called growth of older Hispanics “the most prominent of rapid changes coming to the look and culture of the elderly in America.”

    Not only are Hispanics making up a growing percentage of older Americans, they also tend to be more likely to turn to family and friends first for assistance, before going to outside agencies.

    As one expert on grandparenting writes:

    In part this tendency can be traced to difficulties with English. Almost three-fourths of Hispanics speak Spanish in the home… In addition, Hispanics are more likely than the population at large to live in poverty and to be uninsured. These circumstances also may influence their tendency to seek help from friends and family.

    According to the Census Bureau, Hispanics are less likely than whites, blacks or Asians to live alone. In addition, they are more likely to want to stay geographically close to family members. They are seldom long-distance grandparents by choice.

    Credit unions are well-suited to serve both older Hispanic populations and the family members they turn to for help. Here’s how…

    A study of more than 400 residents of subsidized senior housing concluded that lower-income, older adults desire the following six banking services from their financial institutions (FIs):

    1. Low-cost, low-fee checking accounts
    2. Low-interest lending and credit products
    3. Assistance accessing public benefits
    4. Help avoiding financial abuse and fraud
    5. In-person customer service
    6. Early-intervention retirement planning

    It’s also important for your members who are faced with the responsibility of caring for their aging family members to know your credit union is there to support them. This can be in the form of products and services, such as guardian accounts, that make it easier for them to help their loved ones. It can also be in the form of consultative advice, information and resources, such as on a dedicated page of your website. Here are a few examples:

    Ally Bank
    Grove Bank & Trust
    Redstone Federal Credit Union
    ● SCE Federal Credit Union
    Veridian Credit Union

    As we look for ways to put the people helping people philosophy into action, it can be beneficial to proactively search for the people most in need of that help. Often, this requires getting outside our comfort zone and learning as much as we can about those individuals. Aging people of all cultures and backgrounds have unique needs with far-reaching impact. How can your credit union look more closely at this market to make retirement years some of the best in your members’ lives?

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