New AARP report underscores the value of family to Latinos, even in a bad economy

LatinaLista — It’s been reported that Latinos have been disproportionately affected by the nation’s recession more than other groups. Well, a new study jointly released by AARP and the National Hispana Leadership Institute reveals just exactly who among Latinos is bearing the brunt of the poor economy — and why.

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According to

Recession Takes Toll on Hispanics 45+: Boomers Particularly Hard Hit, it’s the so-called “sandwich generation” who are feeling the tightening effects of a poor economy coupled with family responsibilities of taking care of both children and parents.

The report’s author found that Latinos, age 45 and up are feeling the effects of the recession even more than Latino seniors, 65-years of age and older.

Some of the report’s findings include:

More than one half of Hispanics ages 45+ had problems paying for gasoline (56% versus 50% in the general population), while 43 percent had problems paying for essential items such as food and utilities (versus 23%), and 33 percent had problems paying the rent or mortgage (versus 15%).

Job loss in the last year for Hispanics ages 45+ was double that of the general population (21% versus 10%). Further, 10 percent of Hispanics ages 45+ returned to work from retirement (versus 5%).

More than one-third cut back on their medications (35% versus 15% of the general population), while two in ten Hispanics ages 45+ lost employer-provided health care insurance (20% versus 13%), and 60 percent lost sleep due to stress or worry (versus 41%). One third of Hispanics began carrying a higher balance on credit cards (33% versus 21%), five percent filed for bankruptcy (versus 2%), and 11 percent had their utilities turned off (versus 3%).

Eighteen percent of Hispanics had a child move in with them for financial reasons (versus 13% of the general population), seven percent had a parent move in with them for financial reasons (versus 2%), and eight percent had a friend move in with them for financial reasons (versus 5%). Further, Hispanics were responsible for the care of a parent (19% versus 8% of the general population), spouse (41% versus 29%), a minor child (31% versus 19%), an adult child (24% versus 14%), a grandchild (16% versus 7%), and an in-law (8% versus 3%) at rates higher than the general sample. Those Hispanics who had helped a parent or child financially fared worse in key indicators of economic hardship compared to Hispanics who had not.

While the overall picture is discouraging, the report also found that Latino Boomers are not just sitting back and waiting for the economy to improve. They are doing something to improve their odds in a competitive job market, at greater numbers than the general population.

Within the past year, a considerable portion of Hispanics took trainings to both keep skills up-to-date (29% versus 25% of the general population) and to gain skills for new jobs (12% versus 5%). They looked for new jobs (26% versus 17%) and started their own business (8% versus 4%) more commonly than the general population.

Hispanics also said they plan to take trainings in the future (45% to keep skills up-to-date versus 33%; 34% to get skills for a new type of job versus 11%), look for a new job (34% versus 18%), attend a job fair (31% versus 11%), and start their own business (22% versus 7%).

With family responsibility routinely spanning three generations, the Latino dedication to family is validated by this report that clearly shows regardless of how bad the economy is la familia always comes first.

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