Growing up in the projects of Baltimore in the 1980s, things like savings accounts, stocks and bonds were completely foreign to Mysia Hamilton. Asked if her parents could have passed along some money to help her buy a car, go to school or put into a house, she can’t help but chuckle.
“No, that wasn’t there. There was no wealth. My mother was working, she was providing – we weren’t on the street begging – but there was no money in terms of ‘here you go’. No money to pass down.”
Now 48, Hamilton is on the path to a different reality. Working as a medical office manager and earning her college degree, the mother of five manages to squelch away $50 a month by furiously clipping coupons and being “extremely frugal”.
“$50 is definitely not my goal, but it’s all I can do with the money that’s going out,” Hamilton said. And it’s working: a decade after she began working with a financial coach, she is on track to have a positive net worth by March 2018. “I’m so driven to do that. It’s important to me.”
But Hamilton is in the minority, in execution if not intention. A new report calculates that median wealth for black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053, if current trends continue. Latino-Americans, who are also experiencing a sustained downward wealth slide, will hit $0 about two decades later, according to the study by Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies.
“By 2020, median black and Latino households stand to lose nearly 18% and 12% of the wealth they held in 2013 respectively, while median white household wealth increases by 3%,” the report states. “At that point – just three years from now – white households are projected to own 86 times more wealth than black households, and 68 times more wealth than Latino households.”
With the US set to become “majority minority” by 2044, researchers say this spells major economic peril for the nation. “If the racial wealth divide continues to accelerate, the economic conditions of black and Latino households will have an increasingly adverse impact on the economy writ large, because the majority of US households will no longer have enough wealth to stake their claim in the middle class.”
Read full story at : theguardian.com